Monday, March 30, 2015

Into the Woods

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Pretty sure there's a porn parody of this called Onto the Wood.

Into the Woods – 3 out of 5

Musicals are not really my thing. While I will admit that Les Misérables is ridiculously moving and The Book of Mormon might be the most brilliant piece I’ve ever set my eyes and ears upon, I don’t really seek out any other forms of musicals unless they are a Disney film, written by the geniuses behind Orgazmo and South Park, or contain Muppets. Since Into the Woods is a Disney film, I have to say that I was interested in this one, even though I was completely unfamiliar with the stage version…also, seeing Johnny Depp as a pimp wolf didn’t hurt my desire to watch this either.

Like all films he's in, there was no make-up artists for Depp.  He just showed up to
set already wearing this and taken from his private collections.

The joke is on Jack and the baker's wife.  That's
actually the golden kidney stone passed by the giant.
A witch (who may or may not be wicked) long ago placed a curse on her neighbor’s home and it has caused the son, a baker (James Corden), and his wife (Emily Blunt) to be unable to have a child. The witch (Meryl Streep) has offered to lift the curse if they can collect a few items for her; items like a cape as red as blood, a cow as white as milk, slippers pure as gold and hair as yellow as corn. Quickly the duo break for the woods to collect the items but, as they make their move, fate seems to play along and Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford) and her red cape make their way to Grannie’s house—as long as the Wolf (Johnny Depp) doesn’t get in the way, Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) is out to defy her Stepmother and sisters and make it to the ball and meet her prince (Chris Pine), and Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) is sent by his mother to sell their cow. Soon all their paths cross and it seems the curse will be lifted and everyone will have their happy ending…until the infamous beans that Jack sells the cow for work their magic and then all hell will break loose in the kingdom.

"Cinderella's hair isn't blond!  Stick to the source material."
That's my impression of the fanboys complaining on the internet.

Chris Pine's natural pheromones often cause open flames
to flare.  He's dangerously attractive, people.
Overall, I thought Into the Woods was okay. The performances are fun, the music is fantastically performed, the settings all look amazing and really helped create a whimsical atmosphere but, for the most part, the film did kinda bore me. Maybe the two hour running length is the cause but after a certain point, I found that I just could no longer stay immersed in the story. Maybe that’s because at one point, the film felt like it suddenly started all over again.

James Corden kinda looks like a chubby Star-Lord in the film...that's not
meant to be an insult.  I wish I looked like Star-Lord in pretty much any way,
even a chubby way.

The Earth got an erection again.
When the film begins, I was quickly diving into its events and was having fun with the songs, comedy, and the characters. However, at a certain point, the logical ending arrives and the movie feels like it should end but, in reality, it was really just the beginning of the final act; an act that involves the actions of all the main characters coming home to roost and causing mayhem, destruction and death. At this point, another point of conflict is created and the characters have to come together—while they are coming apart at the seams—and try and bring peace to their land. This is all find and dandy and contains some more of those lighthearted and brilliantly performed songs but, by this point, the film feels like it is firing up its sequel and the whole ordeal starts to feel tedious and I found myself getting very bored.

Dammit, Streep.  Stop being so likable and talented.

I've been there, Red...and I've also used the excuse
that they are "for Granny."
That’s the real killer of this film for me. The performances are fun—there isn’t a single player I didn’t care for—, the songs are enjoyable, and the film has some very moving and amusing moments. However, I just ended up getting very bored with it. It’s still very well made and I enjoyed the first half but there is no way I could ever sit through it again because of its second half and the film definitely didn’t interest me in seeing a stage production of it either. While mostly decent and fun, Into the Woods just dragged too badly in the second half for me really to get into it any more than a single-shot viewing.

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