Saturday, May 10, 2014

2.19 Steve's Movie Blog: Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (PG)

You are NOT in Kansas anymore.

You aren't even at WICKED which, you may be surprised to hear, showed a great deal of reverence towards L. Frank Baum's enchanted land of Oz while introducing new songs that flew into the Great Broadway Songbook with no sign of leaving.

This is an attempt, inspired by "Dorothy of Oz," a novel by Roger S. Baum, the grandson of The Royal Historian Of Oz, I refer, of course, to Lyman Frank Baum, who Rascally Roy Thomas once referred to as "The American Grimm," to bring the Oz saga into the new millenium. This animated mishmash has no memorable songs like "Over The Rainbow" or "Defy Gravity," despite the better efforts of Bryan Adams and his partner Jim Vallence. (Oh for the days of "Summer of '69," "Cuts Like A Knife," and "Heaven!")

Lea Michelle comes nowhere close to channeling Judy Garland's portrayal of Dorothy, and while it's great to hear Ackroyd and Belushi (Jim, not his late great brother) together again (Dan is the Scarecrow and Jim is the Lion) and the always delightful Kelsey Grammer as the Tin Man, the whole production only elicited tears of sleep and very few laughs from the audience, this reviewer included.

I can think of a hundred better interpetations of the Oz mythos, of course the MGM classic leads the pack hands down. After I read the names of everyone to blame for this doodad, I clicked my heels together three times and said, (You guessed it!) "There's no place like home!"

Long story short: KICK IT!

Bye Buckaroos!

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