We were hoping to see it in IMAX, but unfortunately the only thing showing at theaters around us in IMAX was also in 3D. More often than not, the 3D ends up detracting from the movie than helping it.
The other thing we've really appreciated is reserved seats at the theaters. Gone now are the days of lining up 30 minutes before showtime hoping to get a spot near the center of the theater and far enough away from the screen to not get a crick in your neck.
The Arclight Beach Cities not only has big screens and great sound, but they also let you reserve your seats ahead of time online. Sweet!
As a surprise treat for us, when we arrived, members of the local theater group Broadway In The Park were in the lobby in costume promoting their upcoming season of Wizard of Oz! I didn't get any photos (because why would I even think to bring a camera to a movie theater), but Sean Hiller from the Daily Breeze got a few good shots that you can see here.
Time for the movie! I was going into it with low expectations, pretty much just hoping to be entertained for a couple hours. But after seeing the costumes in the lobby I was getting more excited.
I ended up being surprised with how much I liked it. I enjoyed the references to the original Wizard of Oz, even though Disney couldn't reference it too much since it's owned by Warner Brothers. I liked how the movie started in sepia while in Kansas and then turned into super saturated color once in Oz. Being a 130 minute movie, there were a few parts that were a little slow, but I never did check the time to see when it was going to be over.
All the other fun references to the original movie were great, but my absolute favorite part of the movie has to be the final fight scene. I won't spoil it here, but you kind of get an idea of where it's headed through the scenes that build it up. When it actually happens, it's pulled off in such a spectacular fashion that I was just smiling from ear to ear.
My rating: 7 / 10