If you like watching actors think on their feet, the possibility of hilarity born out of spontaneous answers and a reprieve from standard interview questions, we've got just the thing.
Introducing our new rapid-fire question segment A Toonie For Your Thoughts! And while no one was paid to participate, it's a fun way to break up the press junket monotony and give actors a chance to show off their improv skills.
Our first willing participant was none of than Zach Braff, who was in town to talk Oz The Great and Powerful and his role as Finley the Billy Crystal-esque wise-cracking monkey sidekick, who had some clever, interesting and deadpan answers to our carefully, well not too carefully, curated questions.
Watch our new video segment after the jump!
Oz the Great and Powerful is living up to its name at the box office.
Walt Disney's 3-D blockbuster led all films for the second week in a row, taking in $42.2 million according to studio estimates. Sam Raimi's prequel to the L. Frank Baum classic "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" also took in $46.6 million overseas, leading to a two-week worldwide total of $281.8 million.
In a winter of underperforming releases, that makes Oz easily the biggest hit of 2013 so far.
"Boy, did we need it," said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. "There have been a lot of box-office casualties this year. This is the shot in the arm that we needed, but we're still waiting for the marketplace to gain some sort of momentum."
The box office is down nearly 13 percent from last year.
Oz the Great and the Powerful clicked with moviegoers.
Disney's 3D prequel to the classic L. Frank Baum tale "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" debuted in first place and earned $80.3 million at the weekend box office in the U.S. and Canada and $69.9 million overseas, according to studio estimates.
Oz tells the origin of James Franco as the wizard with Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz as the trio of witches he encounters after crashing in the mystical realm of Oz.
The updated take on Oz, which was directed by original Spider-Man trilogy mastermind Sam Raimi, was a gamble that looks like it will pay off for the Walt Disney Co. The film reportedly cost $200 million and opened a week after Jack the Giant Slayer, another big-budget 3-D extravaganza that reimagines a classic tale, flopped in its opening weekend, debuting with $28 million at the box office.
1997 was the year of the volcano (Dante’s Peak, Volcano). 1998 was the year of the Earth-crushing asteroid (Armageddon, Deep Impact). In 2000 it was all about forgettable Mars movies (Mission to Mars, Red Planet). In 2013, it’s all about magicians.
Not since competing magic movies The Prestige and The Illusionist were released in 2006 has there been such attention on illusionists, tricksters, and magic men on the big screen. With three movies about magicians being released over the next few weeks, we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and pull a rabbit out of a hat.
The first magician to hit the big screen is James Franco’s Kansas magician in Oz: The Great and Powerful. Next up, Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi and Alan Arkin try their hand at some magic tricks in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, debuting in theatres on Friday. And finally, Now You See Me featuring some tricky illusionists (Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, and Dave Franco) who use their magic skills to pull off bank heists appears in theatres in early June.
We’ve pulled together a selection of movie magicians, magic men, illusionists, and sleight of hand artists for our poll. Which magician is your favourite? Cue up “Abracadabra” and click through to vote in our poll!
Though "Scrubs" ended its impressive, nearly decade-long run three years ago, its star Zach Braff has only done a TV cameo here and there, and wowed in the little-seen 2010 Canadian drama The High Cost of Living, but his next part in Oz: The Great and Powerful will be his most visible role in years, even if he is playing a CGI monkey for most of the movie.
The actor plays mutton-chopped assistant Frank, who helps James Franco's small-time charlatan with big-time dreams pull off carnival shows in the black and white Kansas-set opening, and then turns into Oz's flying primate pal Finley when the top-hatted magician blows into the wondrous, chromatic town that bears his name.
It's a candy-coloured, 3D world that director Sam Raimi creates for the prequel to The Wizard of Oz and Braff admitted he was enchanted by the elaborate sets where he and Franco filmed many playful scenes together and, considering the dazzling visuals audiences are treated to, it's easy to see why.
We got the chance to speak with Braff about monkeying around, following the yellow brick road and what makes Raimi's Oz so great and powerful. Watch our interview now!
"I didn't want anything to do with it," Sam Raimi says when asked how he came to direct this month's Oz The Great and Powerful. "I really had so much respect for the [original] movie that I didn't want to even read it."
It's December 2012 and Raimi's sitting in the Luxe Hotel on L.A.'s famous Sunset Boulevard, seemingly relaxed and happy. As well he should be. If the 14 minutes of footage screened earlier in the day is any indication, he has one seriously good-looking film on his hands. Digging deeper into how Oz got off the ground, Raimi admits he eventually did read the script (while looking for a writer for another project), and says, "I actually fell in love with the characters in the story and I realized this does not dishonour the original Wizard of Oz movie. It's a love note to the works of Baum."
Raimi is referring to writer L. Frank Baum, who published a staggering 14 Oz novels over 20 years beginning in 1900 with "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," which became the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.
You won’t find the merry old Land of Oz on a map, but you will find these other real life locations on a globe.
As James Franco’s Kansas magician gets carried away in a hot air balloon to the place beyond the yellow brick road inOz: The Great and Powerful this week, we’re turning our attention to all things geography-related in our movie quiz this week. We’ve come up with ten questions based on movies with geographical locations in their title. We're talking real locations, so you won't find Narnia, Neverland or Pandora or Panem in this quiz!
Grab a globe and put your geography and movie knowledge to the test in our Where in the World quiz!
Get transported to the Emerald City and beyond as James Franco, Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis introduce us to the wonderful world of Oz in this on-set interview featurette.
When a circus magician (James Franco) gets swept away to the Land of Oz, he thinks he’s got it made thanks to a case of mistaken identity. The inhabitants of Oz think he’s the great and powerful wizard they’ve been expecting, here to rid them of their troubles. Throw in a handful of witches played by Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz, a Flying Monkey voiced by Zach Braff and you’ve got yourself one fresh take on the classic L. Frank Baum tale.
Find out what it was like filming this fantasy epic, working with director Sam Raimi and following the Yellow Brick Road in this exclusive video on the next page!
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