Monday, March 11, 2013

'Oz the Great and Powerful' Brings James Franco to El Capitan

James Franco stars in Oz the Great and Powerful.
©Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Oz the Great and Powerful -- the latest big-screen trip down the yellow brick road -- opened in theaters last Friday and scored big at the box office.

I had the chance to check it out the night before it opened at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, and I have to say, the rest of the audience and I got quite a surprise!

Seeing the film's costumes in the lobby was a treat in and of itself (love to see how big or small the actors must be), and competing for fun prizes like a Disney Park Hopper Pass was great, too.

But it was when stars James Franco and Zach Braff before him took the stage that the audience really went nuts. Like super nuts. One fan even ran onstage to lunge-hug Franco.

Fired up, everyone was beyond enthusiastic once the film started.

My not-so-perfect pic of James Franco & Zach Braff.

I thought Oz was lots of fun, and the special effects were impressive. Director Sam Raimi (of Spider-Man fame) really brought the world to life and added his own touches that worked well in 3D -- flying baboons (not monkeys in this prequel -- hard-core, scary-sounding baboons), flying spears and lots of explosions.

For this one, I decided to bring a co-worker instead of CC, in case it was too scary -- which it could be for younger kids.

Of course, when CC found out that I saw it without her, she was less than pleased.

"Why couldn't I go to Oz, Mommy?" she asked the next day.

"Because it might be too scary for you, Sweetheart," I replied.

No dice.

"Well, I'm not scared of anything except zombies whose ears pop off," she said.

Uh, OK.

"I'm not 3 or 4, Mommy," she continued.

We'll see if I'll take her -- she's pushing hard -- but I did enjoy it. The film didn't take itself too seriously and didn't shy away from humor as well as heart.

And, of course, seeing the film's star in person never hurts.

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