Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Into the Woods

Disclaimer: I am not a theatre geek; I saw a stage production of Into the Woods fifteen years ago in college, and don't remember much of it.

Into the Woods is a musical fairy-tale mashup satire originally written by Stephen Sondheim (West Side Story, Sweeney Todd) in 1987. If that sentence doesn't have you rolling your eyes, you'll probably enjoy this movie. Unless, that is, you're a serious theatre geek and you can't handle the fact that this is necessarily an abridgment of the story. Some good parts were left out, to be sure, but I found this version to be very entertaining. The two princes hamming the heck out of Agony was worth the trip to the theater all on its own.

This movie has a heck of a cast. Meryl Streep is satisfactorily creepy, dramatic, and over-the-top as the witch who drives and connects the various parts of the story. James Corden and Emily Blunt are very good as the baker and his wife, who are more or less the main characters. Anna Kendrick is fantastic as Cinderella. Johnny Depp is appropriately icky as the wolf. My favorite performance, though, is Chris Pine as Cinderella's prince, who has possibly my favorite line in addition to my favorite musical number.

I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, but didn't find it particularly moving or deep (though it does have some surprisingly good moral messages).

Into the Woods is a comedy, but it's fairly dark. It includes some of the nastier parts of, for instance, the Cinderella story, so it might not be suitable for small children despite the PG rating.

Also, point of trivia - I had to hunt for examples of this movie passing the reverse Bechdel test. That doesn't happen very often.

Performance: 3.5/5
Plot: 3.5/5
Production: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Bechdel: Pass
Reverse-Bechdel: Pass
Mako Mori: Pass
What are these?

1. Boyhood
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
3. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
5. X-Men: Days of Future Past
6Edge of Tomorrow
7. The Fault in Our Stars
8. Lone Survivor
9. The Wind Rises
10. The Maze Runner
11The Amazing Spider-Man 2
12. The Lego Movie
13. Lust For Love
14. Into the Woods
15. The Grand Budapest Hotel
17. Hercules
18. Fury
19. Big Hero Six
20. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
21. Maleficent
22I, Frankenstein
23. Monuments Men
24. Knights of Badassdom
25. Divergent
26. Brick Mansions
27. 300: Rise of an Empire
28. Godzilla
29. RoboCop
30The Giver
31. Winter's Tale
32. Interstellar
33. Transcendence
34. Noah
35. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
36The Legend of Hercules
37. Need For Speed
38. 3 Days to Kill
40. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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