Lightning Review: Into the Woods

Into the Woods movie posterSynopsis
A pastry baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are tasked by a witch (Meryl Streep) to find several items to be used to lift a curse placed on their family. During their journey, the baker and his wife cross paths with Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Jack (Daniel Huttlestone), and Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford).

Review
Going into Into the Woods I had no idea it was an adaptation of a stage play or that it was a full blown musical. The friends I went with were huge fans of the play and were excited to see it on screen, so naturally I was intrigued (now I know how my friends feel during Marvel movies). Regardless of not knowing much about the film, I enjoyed it very much. One thing I found particularly interesting was how the story weaves the renowned fairy tales together. Since Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk are well known, the film is not spent during the stories themselves but rather in between them. For instance, instead of seeing Jack in the giant’s city in the sky, he is only seen going up and down the beanstalk and his interactions with the other characters. This allowed more time for the movie’s story instead of retreading the parts of the stories the audience is already familiar with.

The special effects look amazing. Although not used as heavily, the visual style remind me of Maleficent. Like any good musical, I was singing the music long after leaving the theater. The song “Into the Woods,” sung by the film’s cast, and “Agony,” sung by Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen, are a few of the highlights. The cast was amazing, too. With stars like Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, and Anna Kendrick, how can you expect anything less? I thought James Corden as the baker did especially well. Into the Woods offers a variety of catchy songs, some good effects and a stand-out cast, easily making it one of the better musicals I have seen recently.

Rating
4/5

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Rob Marshall – Director
James Lapine – Screenplay / Musical
Stephen Sondheim – Composer

James Corden – Baker
Emily Blunt – Baker’s Wife
Meryl Streep – Witch
Anna Kendrick – Cinderella
Daniel Huttlestone – Jack
Lilla Crawford – Little Red Riding Hood
Christine Baranski – Stepmother
Tammy Blanchard – Florinda
Lucy Punch – Lucinda
Chris Pine- Cinderella’s Prince
Tracey Ullman – Jack’s Mother
Johnny Depp – The Wolf
Annette Crosbie – Granny
Mackenzie Mauzy – Rapunzel
Billy Magnussen – Rapunzel’s Prince
Frances de la Tour – Giant
Simon Russell Beale – Baker’s Father

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10 thoughts on “Lightning Review: Into the Woods

  1. Woof, I did not think the visuals were reminscent of the rejected Tim Burton storyboards that eventually became Maleficent. Regardless, glad you enjoyed even without a lot of prior knowledge about the show. That seems to be hampering some people who see the movie.

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    • Yea, that’s what I’ve heard, too, about people hesitating to see it. But my friends who are big fans of the play really enjoyed it (probably more than I did), so that must mean something. Sometimes going into a movie cold turkey yields the best results.

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    • I thought she did a good job as the witch. She definitely deserves the chatter she’s been getting for it but it’s tough for me to say if she should get actually receive the nomination. Sorry, that probably didn’t help too much…

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  2. I liked it but I thought it had one ending too many and the part chasing down the giant was a let down. I wish it had just ended with the wedding. But very good singing and it is tough songs. I also thought the costumes and makeup were superb.

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    • Yea, there were times I thought “Oh, it’s still going.” Plus at the end it took a very dark turn that I wasn’t expecting. The wedding would have been a good place to end the film, in typical Disney fashion. I agree, the costumes and makeup were absolutely fantastic!

      Liked by 1 person

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