Posted in Wednesday Warriors


In the film Oz the Great and Powerful, James Franco plays a Kansas carny performer who has overstayed his welcome. In every town he visits, he performs the same scam. He first gains the trust of those around him then he takes advantage of them until either they throw him out, or he has no choice other than to run. You see, Oz is not your ordinary circus performer, he is a very good circus performer who knows people and how they work. That is why he makes an excellent profile for today’s Wednesday Warriors.

James Franco as Oz
James Franco as Oz

In Kansas, Oz is your typical sideshow act. He’s a magician, an illusionist, a performer, an example of what is right in the world—or at least that is what he thinks of himself. Meanwhile, he has wooed multiple women with the same technique he has used countless times. A music box does wonders to a woman’s heart.

But not everyone admires the dashing actor. Husbands, in fact, hate him, and would do anything to see him hanging from a tree until dead.

When Oz attempts to sweep the wrong girl off her feet, his worst nightmare becomes a reality. In an effort to escape an enraged spouse, he hops into a balloon and casts off to places unknown.

The resourceful Oz has no one to rely on than himself. Yet, how different is that from the other times he had to make a quick getaway from other folks who have wanted to make him part of a funeral procession?

The Great and Powerful
The Great and Powerful

What Oz doesn’t count on is the twister that suddenly makes an appearance during the most inopportune time. With the winds wailing, the balloon lifting to heights beyond comprehension, Oz can only dream of a time when his feet will once again walk on solid earth. He will never again take to flight in order to thwart the evil musings of a jilted lover.

After having landed in a place unknown, he discovers the land is not what he expects. He notices the large flowers, the waters alive with creatures he has never imagined and the air running amok with birds that have the ability to swallow him whole. Indeed, Oz is not in Kansas anymore.

As the story progresses, Oz comes upon two sisters (Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz) and a kingdom filled with riches. His eyes fall on the treasure promised to the heir of the fortune—a great wizard who will save the land from the Wicked Witch and her minions. Without knowing what the prophecy means, Oz becomes the unwitting center of the story. But he has more on his mind than saving a people from a woman he could dismiss with a wave of a hand. Oz has the treasure in mind that he wants to inherit all to himself.

The film could run a predictable course where Oz steps on everyone’s dreams as a means to exact his greed-filled desires. But in true Disney fashion, Oz becomes a bigger man than he would have otherwise predicted for himself.

Revealing more of the story would also mean to ruin an experience for the viewer that would highlight a man’s willingness to put aside his own desires for the love of a people.

And seeing Oz in that position of growth is not only inspiring but also a miracle.


Have you seen Oz the Great and Powerful? What do you think about Oz’s growth in the film?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

The Wicked Witch of the West

No one can deny after seeing The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West is a frightening gal. The first time I saw her on TV was when I was four. If you want to cite childhood memories that may have traumatized a growing young lad, this was it.

The Wicked Witch of the West
The Wicked Witch of the West

What would the end of Women Who Wow Wednesday‘s Horror month be without The Wizard of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West? I dare you to count the number of w’s in that sentence.

The Wicked Witch of the West
The Wicked Witch of the West

There’s a whole history behind the green-skinned lady, but this post won’t contain any of that. In fact, I’m not even going to include how her sister, the Wicked Witch of the East, died. Well, we know a house fell on her. That’s about it. Has anyone else ever asked what that woman was doing there in the first place? Was she just standing around waiting for it or was she flying on her broomstick when the house slammed into her? Okay, so maybe I have included a little history with this post.

The other thing I remember about the Wicked Witch was her cackle. Oh, such a dastardly laugh it was. That line where she says, “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!” It still sends chills up my spine. Is it me or does she get meaner as the years go on? Maybe it’s just me. She certainly knows how to scare the pants off a grownup.

Since I’m quoting lines from the movie, here are a few more that make me want to run away and lock myself in my room with the covers over my head:

“Well, my little pretty, I can cause accidents, too!”

“How about a little fire, Scarecrow?”

“Auntie Em! Auntie Em! Come back! I’ll give you Auntie Em, my pretty! Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh!”

“Going so soon? I wouldn’t hear of it. Why my little party’s just beginning.”

“What a nice little dog. And you, my dear, what an unexpected pleasure. It’s so kind of you to want to visit me in my loneliness.”

“The last to go will see the first three go before her. And her mangy little dog too.”

“You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting! melting! Oh, what a world! What a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness? Oooooh, look out! I’m going! Oooooh! Ooooooh!”

Tell me you don’t hear her voice when you’re reading those lines to yourself. I still can hear it and I’m not even trying.

Yes, the Wicked Witch belongs in an asylum, but you can’t tell me she doesn’t wow. As bad as she is, she is a character everyone recognizes. For this reason, her image has remained with me since a child. Maybe one day, I can watch The Wizard of Oz without that scary feeling I get in the pit of my stomach reminding me of the first time.

Until then, I’ll watch her again and again covering my eyes as if I were on a roller coaster. It’s the only way to survive a scary ride.


What do you remember of the first time you saw The Wizard of Oz? Were you as frightened to see her the first time I was?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

The Women of Oz

There is a mystery in the Land of Oz. A wicked witch is wreaking havoc among the people. No one knows who she is, yet if she had her way Oz would become nothing more than a barren wasteland.

Oz the Great and Powerful
Oz the Great and Powerful

Starring James Franco as Oscar Diggs (a.k.a. Oz) and presented by Sam Raimi, director of the original Spider-Man trilogy, the film Oz the Great and Powerful features four Women Who Wow Wednesday characters worth writing about.

Despite lukewarm reviews, this movie is a visual treat. Every frame is gorgeous. Every scene detailed to perfection. Color? Outstanding. But don’t let the eye candy fool you. Woven in its story is an intricate plot between its principles and their ambitions to fulfill their destiny.

Let’s have a look at the women of Oz and the special characteristics that make them unique.

Theodora—Dressed in red, Theodora befriends Oscar believing he is the great and powerful wizard. As a woman preoccupied with her appearance, she delights in the fact she is so beautiful. Somewhat naïve at times, a small scene hints of her untapped potential to harness her unbridled power. Her greatest desire, though, is to bring peace to the Land of Oz.

Evanora—As Theodora’s older sister, Evanora is Emerald City’s protector. When meeting Oscar for the first time, she has her doubts of his authenticity. Her motivation is nothing short of acting as Oz’s guardian, the keeper of the land’s treasure, barring those with intentions to siphon it off for their own selfish desires.

Glinda—Having the power of discernment, Glinda is able to see through Oscar’s craftiness and determine his true nature. She knows he has a good heart. Her calm demeanor suggests of her kindness that radiates in her being. More than anything, she wants justice for all and truth to reign above everything else.

China Girl
China Girl

China Girl—Although made completely out of porcelain, China Girl is a spirited character with more guts than fear. The threat of breaking into pieces does not scare her when confronted with an enemy greater than herself. Her courage carries her through to overcome all obstacles standing in her way. She remains as one of the greatest inspirations in the film, convincing others that if they believe, all things are possible.

No one can deny the women of Oz are of a determined lot. They each have their moment. They each have specific goals tailored for their part. Whether for good or evil, their power comes from a strong resolve to accomplish much.

However, one thing is clear. No matter how much power someone possesses, if the heart is corrupt, so will that power be. For the same reason, everything around that power will dissolve to nothingness, if no one steps in to quell the desire for omnipotence.


Have you seen Oz the Great and Powerful? What did you think of the female characters?