‘Oz the Great and Powerful’: Come see it early, for free, in IMAX

Feb. 25, 2013 | 3:44 p.m.
la ca 0104 oz 149 Oz the Great and Powerful: Come see it early, for free, in IMAX

A scene from "Oz the Great and Powerful." The film follows a magician who accidentally lands in Oz and encounters all manner of creatures. (Disney Enterprises)

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China Girl, voiced by Joey King, and James Franco in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Disney Enterprises)

la ca 0104 oz 148 Oz the Great and Powerful: Come see it early, for free, in IMAX

Mila Kunis, left, and James Franco in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Disney Enterprises)

la ca 0104 oz 147 Oz the Great and Powerful: Come see it early, for free, in IMAX

Michelle Williams, center, in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Disney Enterprises)

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Finley, voiced by Zach Braff, in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Disney Enterprises)

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Michelle Williams plays Glinda in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Disney Enterprises)

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Mila Kunis, left, and James Franco in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Merie Weismiller Wallace / Disney Enterprises)

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Finley, voiced by Zach Braff, and James Franco in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Disney Enterprises)

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Finley (voiced by Zach Braff), left, China Girl (voiced by Joey King) and James Franco in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Disney Enterprises)

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Rachel Weisz, left, and Mila Kunis in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Disney Enterprises)

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Rachel Weisz and James Franco in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Disney Enterprises)

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Michelle Williams in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Merie Weismiller Wallace / Disney Enterprises)

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James Franco and Rachel Weisz in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Disney Enterprises)

la ca 0104 oz 144 Oz the Great and Powerful: Come see it early, for free, in IMAX

Finley, voiced by Zach Braff, and James Franco in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Disney Enterprises)

la ca 0104 oz 145 Oz the Great and Powerful: Come see it early, for free, in IMAX

China Girl (voiced by Joey King), left, and Finley (voiced by Zach Braff) in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Disney Enterprises)

la ca 0104 oz 146 Oz the Great and Powerful: Come see it early, for free, in IMAX

Quadlings and Munchkins in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Disney Enterprises)

la ca 0104 oz 150 Oz the Great and Powerful: Come see it early, for free, in IMAX

James Franco, left, and Mila Kunis in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Merie Weismiller Wallace / Disney Enterprises)

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James Franco, left, and Mila Kunis on the set of "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Merie Weismiller Wallace / Disney Enterprises)

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James Franco, left, and director Sam Raimi on the set of "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Merie Weismiller Wallace / Disney Enterprises)

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Composer Danny Elfman says the score for "Oz" came upon him "lightning fast." (Patrick Wymore / Disney Enterprises)

Excited to see Sam Raimi’s lavish interpretation of the world of L. Frank Baum, “Oz the Great and Powerful”?

Hero Complex will host a free screening of the film at the AMC Century City 15 & IMAX on Wednesday, March 6, two days before the movie opens in theaters. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a Q&A with actor Zach Braff.

The RSVP opens at 10 a.m. Tuesday; log on to www.latimes.com/OZ to register to attend the screening.

“Oz the Great and Powerful” is the first film from Raimi since his 2009 horror outing, “Drag Me to Hell.” Here, he’s working squarely in the family film tradition, creating a spectacle event movie that takes place prior to the events depicted in the Oscar-winning 1939 musical, “The Wizard of Oz.”

In the screenplay, credited to Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire, a strong storm blows James Franco’s magician conman Oz from the dusty confines of Middle America into the distant Technicolor dream land where he encounters talking china dolls, flying monkeys and several witches, including Mila Kunis’ Theodora, Rachel Weisz’s Evanora and Michelle Williams’ sunny Glinda.

Finley (voiced by Zach Braff), left, China Girl (voiced by Joey King) and James Franco in "Oz: The Great and Powerful." (Disney Enterprises)

Finley (voiced by Zach Braff), left, China Girl (voiced by Joey King) and James Franco in “Oz: The Great and Powerful.” (Disney Enterprises)

Braff performs Finley, the winged simian who becomes an indispensable companion to Franco’s character on his fantastic journey, in addition to appearing in human form in the film’s black-and-white opening sequence.

“Oz” also represents a reunion for director Raimi and prolific composer Danny Elfman, who hadn’t worked on one of Raimi’s films since 2004’s “Spider-Man 2,” but in an interview in his studio earlier this year, the composer said the score came “lightning fast” — he wrote the bulk of the music in only about six weeks.

“‘Oz’ was very clear, what the tone was,” he said. “We’re going to take an approach that’s old school but not self-consciously old fashioned. Let the melodrama be melodrama, let everything be what it is. I also think there’s the advantage that I’m able to write narratively, and when I’m able to write narratively I can also move quicker because that’s my natural instincts, I can tell a story in the music.”

March 8 will be an interesting date for Raimi. That evening, another of his recent projects as a producer, a remake of his cult classic horror film “Evil Dead,” will premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas.

That film is set for release April 5.

– Gina McIntyre

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

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