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From Justin Bieber to Amanda Bynes to Eddie Murphy: Can These Careers Be Saved?

From Justin Bieber to Amanda Bynes to Eddie Murphy: Can These Careers Be Saved?

Oh Hollywood, you fickle, tempestuous beast. For every shining moment and star it produces, there seems to be someone taking a hit. In the city that can make or break you faster than you can say “I’m ready for my close up,” there’s the persistent problem that plagues certain celebrities. Because for every Robert Downey Jr. that can clean up their act and experience an astoundingly successful career renaissance, there are about five stars that for one reason or another can’t get their career back on track. Here are five that are unfortunately not at the top of their game, but we should still have faith in anyway:

Amanda Bynes – Odds are you’ve been hearing a lot about this gal in the tabloids the last year or so. From a confusing retirement announcement in 2010 and car accidents/license suspension, to a move to New York City that has since involved a dramatic makeover and bizarre tweeting, it seems the former child star has lost her way. While it would be easy to dismiss her as just another fallen starlet who couldn’t handle the pressures of fame, I wouldn’t write her off so quickly. This is a girl who had her own Nickelodeon show at the age of 13! Since we know she has some serious comedic acting chops, it would be great to see her dive back in. But since she may be more interested in starting a fashion line, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that some other famous child stars (Olsen twins ring a bell?) left acting for fashion and have built quite a prestigious empire…

Eddie Murphy – Once a reigning king of comedy at the multiplex, Murphy’s had a rough ten years. While his voiceover work in the “Shrek” movies has kept his career relevant, his live-action work has left something to be desired. With dud after dud opening at the box office (remember “Meet Dave”? Yeah, neither do I), it seemed possible his career might never recover. But all hope is not lost for this funny man. There are a couple ways he could climb back to the top. If there was any doubt he could pull off a dramatic role, his 2006 performance in “Dreamgirls” (which netted him an Oscar nod) proved otherwise. Eddie should look for more roles like this, even in smaller, independent pictures that have a grittier feel. He may have to sacrifice a paycheck, but it could give him the street cred he needs. Also, perhaps a throwback to his stand-up roots would help. There’s a reason his 1987 stand-up special “Raw” is legendary. Follow the comedy light, Eddie!

Justin Bieber – You may be questioning the inclusion of Bieber, and rightfully so. His career is still at its apex, he’s as popular as ever. Unfortunately, the Biebs has been in the news quite a bit lately, and none of it sounds so hot. There’s the strange saga of his pet monkey being confiscated in Germany and some neighborly problems, as well as a few anger issues coming to light. With his recent breakup from Selena Gomez still fresh, it’s not that far-fetched that he might be going through some issues. And when a celebrity goes through issues, the world’s prying eyes are often there to see it. Since I believe he does have a good head on his shoulders, it’s best to nip this in the bud. Perhaps he needs to take a little break. Do us all a favor and take a breather on an isolated island somewhere, Biebs. You’ll come back refreshed and ready to take on the pop universe once again!

Lindsay Lohan – Of course this list could not be complete without a mention of LiLo. The 26-year-old actress has had one of the more tragic falls from grace, as her once promising career acting amidst industry titans like Meryl Streep and Tina Fey has been relegated to appearances in the likes of “Scary Movie 5.” Between the near constant influx of DUIs, court appearances, and rehab stays of the past 7 or so years, it’s easy to forget the adorable little girl that dazzled us in “The Parent Trap” and the wry teenager that voiced a high school generation in “Mean Girls.” Many have given up on her ever recovering, but I’m not so sure. Since she’s once again headed to rehab, I have to have faith that one day she will get clean. And hopefully, after that happens, filmmakers will be willing to take a chance on her again. She has to prove it to herself and audiences, and it will not be an easy battle, but in the long run, she’s still got a shot to turn things around. The talent we all saw is still buried there somewhere!

Once again, it is oh-so easy for actors to make a misstep that costs them all of what they’ve achieved. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, Hollywood loves a good comeback. We embraced Robert Downey Jr. as “Iron Man” extraordinaire, and it seems there’s NOTHING Charlie Sheen can do that will stop us from loving him. Hey, if these guys could do it, anybody can.

Is the New Trailer For “The Conjuring” The Most Terrifying of the Year? You Be the Judge!

Is the New Trailer For “The Conjuring” The Most Terrifying of the Year? You Be the Judge!

While the horror genre is usually one of the more fickle categories that Hollywood struggles to succeed at, if going by the newly released full-length trailer for James Wan’s “The Conjuring,” this year could turn out to be a great one for fright fans everywhere. The newest venture from the director who brought us “Saw” and “Insidious” previously released a terrifying teaser for the film about a month ago, and let’s just say, who ever thought clapping could be so chilling?

However, the new trailer has upped its game tenfold, while delving into more of the characters and the all-too-familiar “based on a true story” tagline. Normally, the “based on a true story” or “inspired by true events” spiel would be enough to turn off jaded horror fans who have seen it emblazoned on pretty much every horror release in the last 10 years. While it’s usually meant to up the ante on the fright factor by making the viewer think they’re a hop, skip, and jump away from having the horror happen to them, the films are usually telling a highly fictionalized version of events and, in some cases, borrowing from multiple vaguely similar cases rather than one happening. Check it out for yourself here:

With all this stretching of the truth it’s no wonder that seasoned horror fans may be a bit wary of the old “true story” tale, but what makes “The Conjuring” all the more interesting is that the “true story” may actually be, well, true. The ‘70s period piece details an investigation of Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Famiga), a couple very real and very famous for their psychic investigations (you might have heard of them in relation to another horror haunt…Amityville anyone?)

Set to the tune of Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” which forever will be a haunting song burned in your brain if you’ve ever seen David Fincher’s “Zodiac,” the trailer introduces us to the ghost-hunting Warrens and the family that desperately needs their help, the Perrons (portrayed by Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston). There’s talk of malevolent spirits, and some actual glimpses of them, and people being thrown about by invisible forces. It may seem formulaic, but there’s no denying that director James Wan understands horror and the proper techniques to elicit it.

With “Saw” he changed the landscape of gore in horror movies, which also happened to launch a franchise and basically created the genre of “torture porn” horror flicks that would ensue. The 2010 hit “Insidious” (the sequel to which hits theaters this fall) went back to basics with some genuine old-school scare tactics and a refusal to play into clichés and stereotypes.

He seems to be following that model with “The Conjuring,” a movie supposedly so scary that it has received an “R” rating from the MPAA for fear alone (no gore, violence, or nudity played a factor). According to producer Walter Hamada, the MPAA specifically told him: “There are no specific scenes or tone you could take out to get it PG-13.” Anyone else intrigued yet? What could possibly be so horrifying that elicits an “R” rating? Will we be shaking in our britches or will it be back to the drawing board? Well, we’ll get our answer when “The Conjuring” hits theaters on July 19th.

“Glee” Star Corey Monteith Enters Rehab, Co-Stars React

“Glee” Star Corey Monteith Enters Rehab, Co-Stars React

In an unfortunate bit of news for “Glee” fans everywhere, in a statement to People, star Cory Monteith admitted he has entered rehab for substance abuse problems. The actor, who first shot to fame just a few short years ago in the leading role of Finn on the popular musical comedy series, revealed the information through his rep, who also asked for respect and privacy on behalf of the young star.

While it may come as a shock to many, Monteith has been quite open in the press regarding his past addictive behaviors and struggles with drugs and alcohol. Already drinking and smoking pot by age 13, the actor underwent his first stint in rehab at the tender age of 19, a part of his past he claims left him with the sentiment: “I’m lucky to be alive.”

Monteith’s co-star and girlfriend, Lea Michele, has already come out with her own statement praising his decision, saying “I love and support Cory and will stand by him through this. I am grateful and proud he made this decision.”

The 30-year-old Canadian-born actor had been acting since the mid-2000s, taking small parts in films like “Final Destination 3” and TV shows like “Kyle XY” when he got his big break in 2009, landing a role on “Glee.” The immensely popular show has catapulted many of its stars, Michele included, to the A list in a relatively short matter of time. In addition to filming the show, the cast has toured and performed various concert specials, surely adding to the hectic schedules and pressure the young celebs must cope with.

Like Michele, the folks at 20th Century Fox have offered their well wishes to Monteith and “looks forward to his return.” As do we all. So here’s to a hopeful and healthy recovery!

From “Independence Day” to “Sin City,” All the Info You Need On Hollywood’s Most Anticipated Upcoming Sequels

From “Independence Day” to “Sin City,” All the Info You Need On Hollywood’s Most Anticipated Upcoming Sequels

There’s no denying that we are a sequel-loving culture. Whether it gets to the point of “Rocky 12” or “Pirates of the Caribbean 10,” there are some stories we just can’t help revisiting. We seem to always want one more chapter, one more adventure with beloved characters, because, let’s face it: even if the sequels never live up to their hype, it’s much less depressing than when something ends for good (“Harry Potter” had 8 movies and I’m still weepy that it’s over!). And as long as the money pours in, Hollywood is happy to oblige us. Here, for your reading pleasure, are some of the scoops and rumors regarding the most-anticipated sequels in development:

“Independence Day” – You didn’t actually think the war between worlds was over, did you? Roland Emmerich is preparing to take the reins once again on a double sequel to his 1996 smash blockbuster: “ID Forever Parts 1 & 2.” It will reportedly take place 20 years down the line after the first invasion, leaving openings for a new cast. But don’t worry! Will Smith returning to the role that made him the box office megastar that he is today isn’t completely off the table yet…

“Avatar 2” – Speaking of aliens, let’s not forget about our favorite blue citizens of Pandora and what the future holds for them. “King of the World” James Cameron is apparently script-writing up a storm: “I’m deep into it and I’m living in Pandora right now…it’s building fast.” Nothing concrete yet on when we’ll actually see it grace the silver screen, but as he previously set a goal of 2015, we can hope and pray the writing phase goes off without a hitch!

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” – We’re still about a year away from seeing this one since it drops April 2014, but it has been garnering some attention already due to recent reports that esteemed Hollywood legend Robert Redford may join the cast. If he is indeed going to play a head honcho with S.H.I.E.L.D. as is rumored, it could lead to appearances of the Sundance Kid in numerous Marvel ventures. Hey, having a reputable Oscar winner in your movie doesn’t hurt!

“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” – It’s been 8 long years since Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez brought a graphic novel to visually intense life, but all the waiting appears to have paid off. The green-screen laden sequel is currently filming and scheduled to hit theaters this October. Along with returning faces like Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, and Rosario Dawson are some new ones like Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Josh Brolin (who has quite literally a new face, as he’s taking over the role of Dwight from predecessor Clive Owen.) Gordon-Levitt will apparently play a character not found in the graphic novels; he does say it will be “something new and unexpected” for fans to look forward to.

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” – This is another one that we unfortunately have to wait a year for, but if the hype is to be believed, it will be everything “X-Men” fans have dreamed and more. Because not only is original director of “X-Men” and “X2,” Bryan Singer, returning, but it will also have the combined forces of all the casts, meaning we’ll get a double dose of Magneto (Michael Fassbender and Ian McKellan? Yes, please!) and new favorites like Jennifer Lawrence will be rubbing elbows with original cast members like Halle Berry. It really is the perfect “Storm”…pardon the pun.

There are so many more coming out the next few years, it would be impossible to list them all. But at least you can feel safe in the assurance that everyone from Iron Man to Thor to Captain Kirk won’t be far from your movie screens.

“Game of Thrones” is Back! Here Are the Top Things To Look For in the New Season

“Game of Thrones” is Back! Here Are the Top Things To Look For in the New Season

According to the groundhog (and despite all evidence to the contrary provided by recent weather patterns…), winter is supposedly on its way out and we will soon be diving headfirst into spring. I can assure you, however, this is false. Winter is coming. If you are already a follower of the epic HBO masterpiece “Game of Thrones,” then you know and are eagerly anticipating the dark cloud of doom that is set to rain hellfire on the kingdoms of Westeros and beyond. And if you are not a fan and have no idea what I’m talking about, well, I henceforth may have to unleash dragons upon you.

The awesome, insanely grim show (which even makes “Breaking Bad” seem like a comedy of zany mishaps that befall a wacky science teacher) premieres its third season March 31 on HBO. And thanks to the numerous chatty stars and creators of the fantasy world, there are quite a few sneak peeks and tidbits of info to chew over until then. Here’s some of what we can look forward to: (*SPOILER ALERT! If you have not watched the first two seasons, spoilers abound!)

The self-proclaimed King of the North and eldest son of the dearly departed Ned Stark, Robb, may have ended season 2 lucky in love, but the continued fighting and war against the Lannisters will take its toll. “He’s got all sorts of plans in place in order to actually win this war, but he’s running on empty at the moment,” says actor Richard Madden. “His own men are kind of revolting. So they’re exhausted, they’re starving and he’s at the end of his tether.” Also, will his illicit marriage to kind nurse Talisa have repercussions since he was betrothed to another?

Since this is the land of no happy endings, ever, I’m going to go with a big, fat yes…

As for one of the other unfortunate Stark children, young Arya (Maisie Williams) has been fighting battles of a different sort, having ended last season by escaping the captivity of Harrenhal with co-horts Gendry and Hot Pie. After so much time being locked away and taking orders, it seems we’ll finally see the brave little Stark taking command of the situation. According to Williams, “She’s starting to stand up for herself and take control of her life…This season there’s a lot more happening. She meets a lot more people and there’s a lot more twists and turns.” Perhaps she’ll bump into her younger brother Bran, who himself is on the run after the sacking of Winterfell?

And what about the most reviled teen-ager to ever grace our television screens? Well, it seems King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) will be up to his usual, devious cruelty and his primary target, Sansa, hasn’t changed. Season 3 will see him walking Sansa down the aisle (while she may have dodged a bullet in marrying the King herself, who IS she marrying?), and as Gleeson puts it, Sansa is “a little plaything with which he can amuse himself.” And since we know Joffrey runs like the coward he is from battle, perhaps he’ll have a bit more luck in council affairs: “He wants to mature more as a king and engage more with administrative duties.” Hmmm. Yeah. Good luck with that.

There are oh-so many questions to be devoured in the days leading up to the premiere. Will Daenerys and her dragons get closer to reclaiming the iron throne? Will Tyrion (a.k.a. the best character of all time) find his way now that dear old dad Tywin is back at King’s Landing? Will the Starks ever be in the same room again? What of Jon Snow and his wildling gal pal? Does anybody in this universe even deserve the throne? Questions to ponder, and hopefully to be answered, when “Thrones” returns this Sunday.

Mission Improbable? Can Tom Cruise Simultaneously Anchor A Second Big Super-Spy Franchise?

Mission Improbable? Can Tom Cruise Simultaneously Anchor A Second Big Super-Spy Franchise?

Not that I ever really watch sports, but much like the wheeling and dealings of major sports teams, it seems a lot of trades have been going down in Tinseltown lately. It’s bound to happen with all those actors and their jam-packed schedules – and the latest to arise may be the trade of one heavy-hitting Hollywood actor for another equally qualified box-office draw. Apparently there have been talks for Tom Cruise to take over a role that was once meant for George Clooney, in the adaptation of the 1960’s TV spy series “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”

The film has been in development for quite some time but unfortunately fell into a tenuous stage of Murphy’s Law, where everything that could go wrong, did. Originally set to be helmed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Clooney way back in 2010, the project fellapart when Clooney was forced to back out due to, well, a back injury. Lacking a leading man, the original screenwriter for the film, Scott Z. Burns, said, “I think we considered a lot of different folks…It just didn’t come together.”

A lot of different folks indeed. With every hot actor in the biz seemingly being considered (everyone from Channing Tatum to Johnny Depp), the movie could have ended up on the scrap heap entirely until Guy Ritchie (“Sherlock Holmes”) scooped it up about a year ago after Soderbergh departed it. And if the plot keeps with the original idea that it will be a vessel for “a new globe-trotting franchise that would serve as an alternative to the ‘Mission: Impossible’ series,” who better to lead than the “Mission” man himself, Tom Cruise?

Which leads to the next obvious question: How would such a move impact “Mission Impossible”? The last one made some decent money and seemed to imply that more were on the way. And with Cruise’s recent “Jack Reacher” also successful enough to potentially warrant sequels, it makes you wonder which franchise he’ll choose – or, being the famous overachiever that Cruise is, could he perhaps try to juggle both spy franchises simultaneously, or gor for the trifecta and keep making “Reacher” films as well? Our heads are spinning just thinking about it.

Of course, the “U.N.C.L.E.” stuff is still in the “preliminary talks” stage, so no confirmation on Cruise’s involvement yet, but it is pretty promising, especially since Cruise is still a certifiable action star and is no stranger to franchises. Guy Ritchie may also prove to be just the right man for this project as he has already proved adept at updating vintage, period stories into slick, modern adaptations as evidenced by the successful “Sherlock Holmes” films. Here’s hoping more of the details and casting get nailed down soon!

Will Emma Watson Star in “50 Shades” Movie? The “Harry Potter” Actress Clears Up the Rumors

Will Emma Watson Star in “50 Shades” Movie? The “Harry Potter” Actress Clears Up the Rumors

So apparently, in contrast to some widespread reports that have been in the news the past few days, Emma Watson’s inner goddess will not be doing the merengue on screen anytime soon. The former “Harry Potter” actress took to Twitter over the weekend to deny, once and for all, that she is not in fact starring in the upcoming adaptation of the erotic novel, “50 Shades of Grey.”

The hubbub began March 7th when a Twitter account with ties to hacktivist group Anonymous posted document s from German film studio Constantin, alleging that the 22-year-old actress had snagged the controversial leading role of Anastasia Steele. While the starlet has long been on a short list of popular, young faces that could ideally fit the part, she has always maintained that she is not linked to the project; in her own words, “I haven’t read the book, I haven’t read the script, nothing.”

Thanks to investigations by Gossip Cop, it has now become apparent that Watson is not confirmed, she is simply one of the choice few the studios wish to snag for the uber-popular adaptation. Miss Emma, however, who has never exactly shied away from setting the record straight, took to Twitter herself on Sunday to clear up any misconceptions. “Who here actually thinks I would do 50 Shades of Grey as a movie? Like really. For real. In real life,” the actress quipped. “Good. Well that’s sorted then.”

Well, for all those that were still holding out hope, praying that maybe Watson was simply playing coy about being cast, I think it’s time to say “Laters, baby.” Even if she is on a short list of dream actresses for the role of Ms. Steele, Watson doesn’t seem to have any desire to be involved and even seems a bit peeved her name is being attached to such silliness. It’s not like with other rumored actors, like Ian Somerhalder, who have denied involvement but expressed interest nonetheless in the past. She genuinely appears disinterested in the project, and hey, I think we can all respect that. (Although watch her do an about-face and warm up to the idea, and I’ll be eating these words).

With no real, concrete developments in sight for the movie, we’re in for continued speculation for the time being (which is pretty fun anyway). Currently the film is set to be unleashed on the eagerly anticipating masses in the summer of 2014, which means that more information should be flowing soon as they will have to nail down a director and cast in order to make their deadline. We’ll keep you posted on any naughty news updates for what will surely be a scandalous flick!

Taylor Swift Debuts New Song, Video Featuring “Real Life Friends”

Taylor Swift Debuts New Song, Video Featuring “Real Life Friends”

Man, sometimes I wonder how Taylor Swift does it. The girl must seriously never sleep; or maybe she’s one of those rare and exotic creatures that gets a relaxing 2 hours, and then awakens alert, energized, ready to take on the world. Regardless, it’s quite clear the young singer is on a roll and never misses an opportunity to unleash awesomeness on the masses. Case in point: in between visiting with a sick fan and kicking off a 47-city tour for her quadruple-platinum album “Red,” the songstress also found time today to debut a music video for her new song “22” on “Good Morning America.”

Via video feed from Omaha, Nebraska where she will be kicking off her tour this evening, Swift acknowledged that the fun atmosphere portrayed in the video was genuine, saying, “I’ve never had this much fun shooting a video because my friends in the video are actually my real-life friends.” Seems like it was a good strategy that paid off for the star; the video plays out as a strong friendship anthem, which is safe to say, a bit of a departure from some of her more love-struck tunes she became famous for.

Between frolicking on the beach and getting dolled up to party (Yes, this is fairly accurate. For ladies, getting ready for a party with friends is often more fun the party itself), Taylor and company appear to be having a blast with nary a dude in sight. The tone of the song is extremely enjoyable as well, a nice, rousing dose of fresh pop enthusiasm that’s pretty hard to ignore. Creating catchy tunes for her legions of fans has amounted to her the level of success that few women in the industry have reached before, and this all by the age of 23 (…or as Taylor sings it, “I don’t know about you but I’m feeling 22…”).

It’s also a refreshing video/song choice for Swift since lately she seems to be consistently on trial for her personal life. From her recent speculated feud with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey to her heavily publicized break-ups, I’d say it’s about time that Swift takes some time and maybe just celebrates being the young gal she is, surrounded by friends, and taking part in some carefree shenanigans. As Taylor says it best, “We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time.” Truth, girl. Sing it.

Batman To Get a Reboot in “The Zero Year”

Batman To Get a Reboot in “The Zero Year”

The Dark Knight is gaining a new level of complexity – and a new mask – as DC Entertainment has announced plans to reinvent Batman’s early years in a series of new comic books.

“It’s not `let’s redo the origin,'” Batman writer Scott Snyder said of the reboot. “It’s time for a new story showing how Batman became who he is.”

Over the last eighteen months, DC has embarked on an ambitious project called “The New 52,” which has taken such iconic characters as Superman, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter and re-imagined them with new costumes and origin stories blending golden age foundations with modern-day sensibilities. Now, the caped crusader writer says that his Dark Knight reboot will explain how Batman became the character he is in the New 52. “Key elements of the character’s history are staying the same,” Snyder explained. “The murder of Wayne’s parents, for example.”

The Dark Knight writer went on to explain that many of these characters’ costumes were also “blended with contemporary changes” from their first appearances decades ago.
Snyder, an Eagle Award-winning writer whose other works for DC include “Swamp Thing” and “American Vampire,” will be calling the new Batman series “The Zero Year,” and it will encompass 11 issues.

Originally created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Batman made his debut in Detective Comics #27 in May of 1939.

“We tried to preserve as much of Batman’s history as we could and keep what we could of his history intact,” Snyder said of the changes he’ll be overseeing in the 74-year-old icon. “It’s `The Zero Year,’ the one that no one has told the story of before. We see how Bruce became the Batman, built the cave, faced off with his first super villain.”

What Snyder won’t be doing, however, is going anywhere near the groundbreaking 1987 Frank Miller-David Mazzucchelli storyline known as “Year One,” which famously brought a new, gritty edge to the character’s origin story. “We’re not going to take apart `Year One,'” said the “American Vampire” writer.

Illustrated by Greg Capullo, “Year Zero” promises to bring a whole new depth to the character when it hits newsstands in June.

“It’s time for a new story showing how Batman became who he is in the New 52,” said Snyder. “It builds up the mythology.”

“Oz” Wins B.O., Finds There’s No Place Like First Place

“Oz” Wins B.O., Finds There’s No Place Like First Place

Apart from March being an annoyingly long month with generally mediocre weather and not much to look forward to apart from St. Patty’s Day, it has also typically been an odd month for Hollywood. It’s that weird in-between stage: post-Oscars and awards show blitz and prior to the start of the summer blockbuster bonanza. Call me crazy, but it seems a pattern is emerging of March’s renaissance as the new “It” month for family friendly releases, a theory supported by the fact that Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful” opened this past weekend to an estimated $80.2 million, blowing all of the competition out of the water (or I suppose you could say, out of Kansas…)

The impressive $80 million opening has secured it a place of prestige as the 3rd highest grossing opening weekend for a movie released in March ever, trailing behind other family friendly fare of previous years, last year’s “The Hunger Games” and 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland.” While “Hunger Games” may not be strictly for children with its somewhat graphic plot, its targeted audience is still a younger generation, a generation that will also probably flock to the land of “Oz” in coming weeks.

The hype around this movie is huge, even if the reviews so far haven’t exactly lived up to expectations. While many critics have praised its visual prowess, some claim the plot leaves much to be desired. As Chris Nashawaty at EW describes it, “Oz is like retinal crack, he (Raimi) never seduces our hearts and minds.”

Regardless of reviews, ever since it was announced, it seemed “Oz” was destined for greatness and box office success, even though it’s a prequel seventy-plus years in the making. With the man behind the crowd-pleasing “Spiderman” franchise sitting in the director’s chair and some fresh, young talent of the likes of Mila Kunis, James Franco (who just received a star on the Walk of Fame), and Michelle Williams, the film is poised to attract legions of new fans, not just fans of the original 1939 classic. Considering the strong start, I’d say its well on its way to doing just that.