Weekend Movies — “Oz” earns a pass, “Emperor” mixed, “ABCs of Death”? Nope

ImageFor the first time in over a month, filmgoers are worked up to go see something new at the movies this weekend.

Thanks to “Oz, the Great and Powerful.”

Sam Raimi’s “Wizard of Oz” prequel is expected to do upwards of $80 million on its opening weekend. The reviews? Those who will never forgive the idea of touching “The Wizard of Oz” panned it. Others went after the weak, third-choice cast (me included).

But most of us give it a pass. Compare it to “Jack the Giant Slayer,” and at least this one has a dash of wit and a lot of fun uses of 3D.

“Emperor,” which uses a fictional love story to underline the American role in rebuilding-reshaping postwar Japan, a period when everybody BUT Emperor Hirohito paid the price for Japanese war mongering and atrocities, is earning weaker reviews. I was OK with it, up to a point.

There are people who love laughably gratuitous violence, unadulterated carnage and depravity on the big screen. Not my thing, really. “The ABCs of Death” is a collection of short films in that vein. Among those contributing to the 26 films there, the guy who did “Hobo with a Shotgun.” Some work, some don’t. Mixed to weak reviews for that one.

Orlando area filmgoers, remember the great doc 56 Up” comes to The Enzian, as well as a terrific music documentary, “Sound City.”

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