Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Review: Into the Woods

Into the Woods: 7/10 If you've seen the original source material, not bad. Since I have, I really can't comment about it as a stand alone event. It is your standard musical, with some dancing, and using many of the fairy tales we learned as children: Jack and the Beanstalk, Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel, etc. But it is a pretty standard musical. Meryl Streep and Anna Kendrick are fabulous singers and really work well in their respective parts. James Corden and Emily Blunt are nothing to write home. With that being said, James Corden will always be Stormaggedon's father. Always. End of story. The first number was a bit long, and by a bit I mean, extraordinarily long.... We get it, they are all going into the woods. After that, it picks up and is enjoyable. So, Chris Pine almost pulls a Pierce Brosnan. Neither of them should EVER do a musical. Seriously. Eye candy? Yes. Solid actors, by all means. Singers.... Nope. NOT. AT. ALL. He is a convincing Prince Charming, full of charm and lacking a monogamy gene. Tracey Ullman has an appearance as Jack (and the Beanstalk)'s mother. I was quite surprised by that. Annette Crosbie from Calendar Girls has a bit part as Red Riding Hood's mother. Again, we see Christine Baranski in a musical with Meryl Streep (Mamma Mia). What I loved about her being the evil step mother to Cinderella is that the writers stuck with the original story of Cinderella, including the bloody foot mutilation to fit in the slipper. With that being said, Johnny Depp was not nearly used to his full potential and is only in just a few scenes. I know that he's a headliner but seriously, the emphasis that has been placed on him in this was over the top for the small amount of screen time. Pros: The real story of Cinderella's evil step sisters. Make up and costuming, top notch. And James Corden is getting some well deserved accolades. Cons: Longish, Chris Pine should NOT sing, under utilization of great actors such as Tracey Ullman, Mackenzie Mauzy, etc Take away: This is not the movie to see if you like musicals. If you're not a fan, don't go. If you are, you probably won't be disappointed. Oscar Noms: Adapted screenplay, best makeup, best costuming.

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