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Thursday, March 7, 2013

James Franco the Great and Powerful

I enjoyed watching “Oz the Great and Powerful” last night at Cinema 1, Shangri-La Cineplex in Mandaluyong City. The movie stars James Franco, one of my favorite actors, in the title role as Oz. It’s the prequel to the classic 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz”.

Oz the Great and Powerful

Thank you Nuffnang Philippines, Abenson and Nokia for the free movie tickets!

Along with fairy tales having darker tones or twists, another common trait of movies nowadays are prequels to popular films. Take a look at “The Hobbit” (prequel to “The Lord of the Rings”) and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (also starring James Franco).

I first noticed James Franco when he starred as Harry Osborn in the 2002 Spider-Man movie opposite Tobey Maguire. Then I saw James Franco again in movies like “Milk”, “Tristan and Isolde” and “127 Hours”. I find him humorous, charming, and a very versatile actor. He showed these characteristics again in “Oz the Great and Powerful”.

James Franco 2007 Spider-Man 3

James Franco in 2007 as the second Green Goblin in Spider-Man 3.

He played the character of Oz, a charming circus magician from Kansas who was warped into the Land of Oz through a tornado. He finds the land menaced by the Wicked Witched. He also met the queen of Emerald City who motivated him (through the city’s vast treasure), to end the terror of the Wicked Witch.

I love how the movie was transitioned from black and white (with 4:3 ratio similar to the 1939 film) to color, in 16:9 widescreen, when James Franco arrived in the Land of Oz. It was a great concept and something I haven’t seen before. I also loved how they presented the opening credits to give the feeling that we’re watching the original 1939 movie.

I haven’t watched “The Wizard of Oz” yet but watching the prequel, “Oz the Great and Powerful” somehow gave me an idea on what to expect from the original, classic film. I guess the director and producers decided to retain the family-oriented nature of the original movie instead of giving it a darker tone/twist like “Jack the Giant Slayer”.

“Oz the Great and Powerful” is definitely a must-see movie (Rated PG) for the entire family. I would like to thank Nuffnang Philippines, Abenson and Nokia for the free movie tickets.

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