Dorothy once set off to find the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but was he ever wonderful, or even a wizard? The new film, “Oz the Great and Powerful,” seeks to tell the story of the man behind the curtain, and a new trailer for the film promises that there’s plenty that we don’t know about the world somewhere over the rainbow.
Though this trailer sets up the fact that James Franco’s Oscar Riggs is mistaken as the “great man” who Oz has been waiting for when he lands there by way of hot air balloon. He is mistaken for the foretold Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and opts not to tell the Ozians that he is not quite a wizard. He is quickly caught up in a quest to find and defeat the Wicked Witch, but that raises a whole new crop of questions.
There are three witches introduced in this trailer: Theodora, Glinda and Evanora. While fans of “The Wizard of Oz” know that Glinda is the Good Witch of the North, does that automatically make Theodora and Evanora the Wicked Witches of the East and West? And which witch is which? Were they always evil, as Mila Kunis’s Theodora introduces herself as a Good Witch? Who will end up being squashed under Dorothy’s poorly placed house? The trailer seemingly intentionally begs us to ask these questions, if only so we get our butts to theaters to have them answered.
The film, directed by Sam Raimi (The “Spider-Man” trilogy), stars James Franco as Oscar Diggs — the man who eventually becomes the man behind the curtain: the Wizard of Oz. The cast also includes Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams, who star as witches Oscar meets during his adventures in the Land of Oz. Though it’s made many years later, it’s easy to see the parallels Raimi is trying to draw both visually and story-wise between “The Wizard of Oz” and this film.
“Oz the Great and Powerful” is due in theaters on March 8, 2013.
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It’s hard to imagine Comedy Bang! Bang!’s newest bandleader any more animated than he already is, but “Weird Al” Yankovic will soon loosen the shackles of the physical world and become a cartoon. The parody singer has been cast to voice the lead character in Disney XD’s upcoming animated series Milo Murphy’s Law, the new show from the creators of Phineas and Ferb.
As Milo, “Weird Al” plays an accident-prone jinx who suffers from “Extreme Hereditary Murphy’s Law Condition.” True to the age-old saying, everything that can go wrong for poor Milo does in hilarious fashion. And Al’s dulcet tones won’t be sacrificed either: Milo will occasionally bust out a tune throughout the show and Yankovic will also compose the intro’s theme song.
Of course, “Weird Al” is no stranger to the animated realm. Check out his 3D-rendered ’80s form in UHF’s parody of Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing.” And check back for more updates about Al’s debut as Comedy Bang! Bang!‘s new bandleader and musical cohost.
The Flaming Lips are known for a lot of things. Operatic rock. Epic live shows. And, of course, psychedelic imagery that includes robots and karate masters. What they aren’t often thought of is straight up funny. And yet, as we prepare for their appearance on the sixth season premiere of Portlandia tonight at 10P, we’re reminded that Wayne Coyne and his band of rock misfits have never been afraid to crack wise. “Do You Realize” just how funny these dudes can be?
10. “Wayne Coyne Wears a Halloween Costume,” Comedy Bang! Bang!
Scott Aukerman may have been dressed up as his favorite Wayne for the occasion, but it was Wayne Coyne’s world on this classic Halloween episode of Comedy Bang! Bang!. The Flaming Lips frontman dryly delivered absurd lines, like his favorite scary movie being TheLord of the Rings, all while playing it super cas’ in a blood drenched Carrie costume. In a series full of game rock star cameos, this was by far one of the best.
9. “A Fairy Tale Song,” Yo Gabba Gabba!
When we were kids, children’s programming was there to sell us toys, as God intended. Now, shows like Yo Gabba Gabba! are so hip, they feel like they’re made in some cool bar underneath Brooklyn that you’re too lame to be invited to. And so, of course, The Flaming Lips found their way onto the popular kid’s show, and turned their indie rock hit “I Can Be A Frog” into a ridiculous costume party full of breakdancing monkeys and oversized keytars. If ever there was a video that recreates the experience of seeing The Lips live, it’s this one.
8. Wayne In The Bubble
The Flaming Lips are famous for putting on a one-of-a-kind show. They encourage their audience to dress up like giant stuffed animals. They have inflatable characters do battle on stage. They create an environment where the psychedelic can meet the absurd. But in the end, it all comes down to this: Wayne Coyne trying not to fall over as he crowd surfs in a giant, inflatable bubble.
7. Vine’ing Like the Kids Do
How does a band stay relevant? Well, if this video is any indication, it’s just to do as the kids do. Wayne Coyne took his first cautious steps towards being a Vine star with this short video shot at Funny or Die, in which some overeager interns try to impress the Lips frontman with their take on the band’s popular song “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.”
6. Wayne Coyne and Miley Cyrus: BFFs
There’s another way to stay young forever, and that’s to have a unique friendship with a pop ingénue. A happy birthday tweet from the former Hannah Montana to Coyne got fans scratching their heads back in 2014. Was this a joke, or could the fifty-something Coyne really be friends with the former-Disney star-turned-pop-performance-artist? The two have since become paparazzi targets, collaborators and full on BFFs. While this friendship may not be intentionally funny, the out there visuals the pair have produced have offered more than a few laughs.
5. Wayne Stops By The Gorburger Show
The Gorburger Show‘s premise is simple: A giant monster has taken over a Japanese television station so that he can interview his rock star heroes. Pretty standard stuff. T.J. Miller voices the corpulent creature, who has interviewed everyone from Tegan and Sara to Carson Daly. Coyne stopped by for the show’s 15th episode to discuss his love of spectacle and making movies in his backyard. It isn’t often that Coyne isn’t the weirdest guy on set.
4. Playing Pictionary on The Tonight Show
Sometimes Wayne Coyne’s funniest moments are the ones where he is in the most mundane situations. And what could be more mundane than playing Pictionary with Demi Lovato? Coyne joined the pop star, along with Modern Family‘s Julie Bowen and The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon, for a game of Pictionary that grows weirder and more amusing as it goes along. If Coyne had been a famous musician in the ’70s, it’s safe to say he would’ve been a regular on Match Game.
3. The Flaming Lips Pull An April Fools’ Prank For The Ages
On April Fools’ Day 2014, The Flaming Lips teamed up with Funny Or Die to pull a prank that was as ridiculous as it was unbelievable. Out of the blue, the band performed a companion piece to Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon that synced up perfectly with the classic album. Having dropped their Dark Side of the Moon tribute, The Lips decided to full on sell out. Jon Daly played a slick exec in this FOD video, telling the guys, “We need to stop thinking of this as a band, and start thinking about it as a brand.” Because, as he pointed out, “Wayne could sh*t in a paper cup, and Pitchfork would give it an 8.7.” It was time to cash in.
2. Michael Bay’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Feature Film
Selling out led to a natural collaboration between the band and Michael Bay. Who hasn’t listened to “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” and wanted to see a bloated, big budget action movie version? While this was a big joke, the fact remains that we would LOVE to see this movie.
1. Portlandia’s own Fred Armisen Joins the Band
And with the sell out in place, there was only one more thing to do, and that’s find a new lead singer. After all, Wayne had a lot going on “with the Comcast deal” and all. That’s how Fred Armisen found his way into the band. If you liked this collaboration, then you’ll want to see what Wayne and Fred have come up with on the season premiere of Portlandia, which airs tonight at 10P/9c on IFC with guest appearances from The Flaming Lips and Natasha Lyonne.
Want more Portlandia? Watch a free episode from the new season right now on IFC.com or on the IFC app.
When fans heard that Todd Margaretwas coming back to IFC for a third season, they were more than a little bit surprised. Not because the David Cross-led series isn’t great, which it is, but because of the surprising cliffhanger that ended the show’s second season. Todd seemingly caused a nuclear holocaust, making a third season a tall order. And yet, Cross has found a way to bring the show back for a third season, premiering tonight at 10P on IFC. That explosive ending got us thinking about some of the other great cliffhangers in television history. Whether they’re played for laughs or horror, the cliffhanger is one of the great gifts of episodic television. Here are the best, as we see it, TV cliffhangers. Oh, and obviously SPOILERS AHEAD.
10. Battlestar Galactica, “Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2″
For a show filled with great cliffhangers (The Cylons can take human form! Who did Boomer just shoot?! Starbuck is a Bob Dylan fan?!), the second season finale will surely go down as its best. With the vagabond fleet finally settling on a planet, we jump a year into the future. While sudden time shifts have become a go-to move on television lately, at the time it was a revelation. Having made the leap, we then watched a seemingly happy ending turn into a dystopian nightmare. First, we watch as our favorite characters grow feckless and, in the case of pretty boy Apollo, downright husky. Then Cylons, the robot army our heroes had been furiously fleeing, show up, taking over the planet and the human population that’s trapped on it. This cliffhanger pretty much had it all, and had us yelling “One more episode!” just like Fred and Carrie.
9. Dynasty, “Royal Wedding”
When Dallas shot one of their lead characters, causing a sensation, the writers of Dynasty thought, why not just open fire on everybody? That’s how a wedding between two of the show’s leads, Amanda and Prince Michael of Moldavia, turned into one of the biggest bloodbaths television had seen up to that point. As the show’s fifth season faded to black, the majority of the cast was left littered on the ground, seemingly lifeless. It would take months to realize that only a couple minor characters were killed, but by then everyone was so happy to have their favorites back for another seasons of backstabbing and shoulder padding, that no one really seemed to care.
8. The Walking Dead, “Days Gone Bye”
Here’s another show whose cliffhanger game is on point, (we’re still reeling over Glenn’s recent close call) even as far back as the intense pilot episode. Right up to the end of the first episode, we’d followed Rick, a terrified sheriff who awoke from a coma to a world filled with the literal walking dead. As the episode came to a close, he was surrounded by zombies, and out of options. That is until a voice crackled through a radio, showing him that his life may not have been quite as screwed as he thought it was. Never have the words “Hey, you. Dumbass…” been more chilling.
7. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Becoming, Part 1″
This episode marked the point that Buffy the Vampire Slayer transformed from a quirky show for teens into one of the greats of its era. Always dripping with metaphor, the show’s second season mined the idea that boyfriends can turn into monsters after you put out. That’s certainly what happened here, with puppy dog vampire Angel going full psycho after finally getting to, uh, “stake” a Slayer. As Season Two came to an close, evil Angelus started really wreaking havoc, torturing and killing those close to Buffy. Kendra, a fellow Slayer whose one weakness was a bad accent coach, was murdered ferociously. The episode comes to a close as Buffy discovers her body at the exact wrong moment, setting up what may be the most heartbreaking finale in the show’s history.
6. Friends, “The One with Ross’s Wedding”
By the time the fourth season of Friends wrapped up, Ross and Rachel seemed destined to forever be “on a break.” That is until this cliffhanger brought America’s favorite sitcom couple back together with a shocking twist. A twist that, reportedly, came from an honest mistake. Actor David Schwimmer, who played dopey Ross on the show, accidentally called his character’s new girlfriend “Rachel” during a take earlier in the season. Show runners David Crane and Marta Kauffman instantly recognized the potential of such a Freudian screwup, and crafted the season finale around it. Seemingly one “I do” away from a lifetime of bliss with English beauty Emily, Ross accidentally calls her his former flame’s name, reigniting Ross and Rachel’s tumultuous love affair one more time. The show went one to squeeze another six seasons out of their “will they or won’t they” romance.
5. Lost, “Pilot”
That hatch. The flash-forward. “We have to go back.” Here’s yet another show that took the cliffhanger trope to a new level. But all those twists and turns owe a debt to the brilliant pilot, which instantly hooked us with a question we’d spend years of our lives trying to dissect. “Guys. Where are we?” It turns out no one, including the writers of the show, had any idea, but in that moment, all that mattered was getting some answers.
4. The Simpsons, “Who Shot Mr. Burns?”
20th Century Fox Television
It took six seasons before The Simpsons tried to put their stamp on the cliffhanger, and it’s no shock that the episode, aired during the show’s Golden Age, became an instant classic. Fans were prepared going in, so no one was shocked when Mr. Burns took a bullet, but discovering who fired the gun became a sensation. A 1-800 number (remember those?) was set up over the summer of 1995, where fans of the show could offer their own theories. FOX even aired a special called “Springfield’s Most Wanted” before the show’s seventh season premiere, breaking down all the different theories. In the end, Maggie Simpson was revealed to be the culprit, which just further proves the point that babies are out to get us.
3. Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Best Of Both Worlds, Pt. 1″
In its early years, Star Trek: The Next Generation had sputtered out of the gate, trying to live up to its namesake. It took three seasons for the show to really hit its stride. Still, no one could have been prepared for the season three finale, in which Patrick Stewart’s indelible Captain Picard was captured and assimilated by The Enterprise’s most vicious foe, The Borg. With no good options, acting captain Riker ordered his ship to fire on The Borg vessel, and his own captain. Stewart’s contract was actually in negotiations at the time, and no one knew for sure if he would be returning. That confusion led to one of the great cliffhangers of all time, and helped ST:TNG go from good to great.
2. Breaking Bad, “To’hajiilee”
In the history of television, has there ever been a show that’s blown our minds more consistently than Breaking Bad? Just when we think we know what’s happening, sh*t really hits the fan. The fact that Breaking Bad was nearing its end when they dropped this classic episode on us just further illustrates how incredible this show was, from start to finish. As “To’hajiilee” comes to a close, it seems that, after years of trying, DEA agent and wacky brother-in-law Hank finally has his man. We’re left to wonder how Walter is going to get out of this scrape, as he has so many others. And then the cavalry arrives, whether we want them to or not. Made up of pissed off drug dealers, armed to the teeth, they have no intention of letting anyone live. The fact that this episode just stops midstream, leaving us white knuckling our seats, desperate for answers, helped to make this episode a modern classic.
1. Dallas, “A House Divided”
If Kim Kardashian’s butt broke the internet, than this episode of Dallas broke people’s minds. It seems almost quaint now, but in the summer of 1980 all anyone could talk about was who shot J.R. It took eight long months before the show finally revealed who shot the irascible rancher, with 350 million people watching worldwide. While the cliffhanger had been toyed with before, this was a dawn of a new era, and what many consider to be the beginning of serialized storytelling in primetime. When you’re talking the best cliffhangers of all time, there can be only one.