Sam Raimi’s grand and magical new picture recalls the sense of wonder that movies could once awaken in us, writes Kurt Loder. Unlike such recent 3D fantasy riffs as Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and Jack the Giant Slayer (which tanked last weekend), Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful is untainted by modernist irony—it carries us back to the clear-cut emotions and moral outlooks of traditional fairy tales and asks us to take them straight. And while the digital marvels with which these sorts of movies now swarm have come to seem rote, this film deploys them with fresh glee.
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