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“Oz the Great and Powerful”: James Franco, bored in Candyland

People probably won’t feel ripped off or confused by “Oz the Great and Powerful” the way they did by “Jack the Giant Slayer” or the parade of dismal, geriatric action movies that have made the depths of winter seem grayer than usual for Hollywood. Sam Raimi’s gazillion-dollar prequel to “The Wizard of Oz” features gorgeous production design – liberally quoting and pilfering from the beloved 1939 original – dazzling costumes (many of them draped on Rachel Weisz) and explosive, imaginative special effects. You can feel its good intentions, even when Michelle Williams isn’t on screen, glowing with the ethereal, saintly blondness of Glinda the Good Witch. Raimi and his collaborators have made an honest effort to capture the family-movie spirit of old Hollywood, while updating the action and humor to more contemporary standards.

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