The Great and Powerful Oz opened this weekend to the tune of 150 MILLION dollars worldwide. All of which got me thinking about the apparent rabid “Oz” fanbase out there and, more to the point, to who in the world considers themselves part of said “Oz” fanbase. First, I must preface this by saying that as of late I have been on a bit of a rant that has seemed unwilling to die down. Initially inspired by the recent Academy Award-winning film Amour, my rage has ensued to envelop the aforementioned box office hit and the entire franchise built around it. We should, in that case, start at the beginning and come out and say the obvious.
The Wizard of Oz is the most overrated “classic” film of all time. That means ever! I mean really, when the main thing that the film inspires to memory after 70-plus years is a song called (and I think this is the name…) If I Only Had A Brain, your film has some problems. It’s all in all an awful film. The characters are all grotesque and as likable as an Ebola infected Kanye West-Kim Kardashian wedding in which the reception is hosted by feces flinging monkeys. All of which is to say, the flying monkeys were always the only half-decent thing about The Wizard of Oz, and only because they scared the shit out of me when I was a child… and even now when I think about it. Every other bit of it is just god-awful, which is to say that if there were a god, he would have given the entire production herpes just to shut it down.
Which brings us to the sad realization that if there is a god, he doesn’t care a smidgen about us poor humans or, even worse, has abysmal taste in allowing a film featuring a “lollipop guild” to emerge from the previously golden hole that, in recent years, is no longer centered in Hollywood’s ass but its mouth.
Like an outbreak of sickle-cell anemia, The Wizard of Oz has since gone on to, ahem, “inspire” the mass Broadway hit Wicked. Now, let it be known that out of all the Wizard byproducts this is the one I like best, but the choice is a bit like choosing between STD’s. Yes, I feel bad for the bad witch and all and, wow, how clever that it’s actually the good witch that’s the bad one, but really, come on! This is art? Then George W. Bush serves as the Da Vinci of the 21st century for his bathroom pics. And in case you haven’t seen those, just let me assure you that looking at them all day would be tantamount to the letters I left out of “pics” and adding a “tor” to the front. Let’s be glad at least that they stopped showing those off at Gitmo (file under: cruel and unusual).
Now we come full circle, to the current talk of Hollywood and sanatoriums everywhere. The only thing the great and powerful oz proves (I refuse to honor it any longer with capital letters or italics) is that James Franco is almost as overrated an actor (and a writer, and a professor, and your local bidet importer) as The Wizard of Oz is as a “classic” franchise. I would rather have an enema than watch it again.