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Short Review:

Eh, it’s ok. Some good songs, but overall wasn’t that impressed.

 

Long Review:

 

I am not one of those guys who hates all musicals. Some of my favorites that come to mind are Rocky Horror Picture Show (the first half, after that it gets weird), some of the Disney ones are great, like Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin (Robin Williams was fantastic in that) Little Shop of Horrors, Nightmare Before Christmas, Moulin Rouge, Labrynth and of course all the Muppet musicals are great, yes even this last one.  All these are great musicals and I like them.

 

I’ve heard the original Broadway stage production of Into the Woods with Bernadette Peters was fantastic. It was smartly, recently re-released on DVD and you can rent it or buy it. I haven’t seen it, but perhaps I should give it a watch.

 

I think this is one of those cases where seeing it live would be much more impressive and more fun. In movies and film, we’re spoiled. We’re used to the big, huge expensive explosions and amazing set pieces made in a CG world.

 

To have someone standing there in the woods singing about how the prince just kissed you and nothing else is visually happening...eh.  I feel like live action musicals in film have a huge disadvantage when compared to a live musical on stage or an animated musical. The animated musical has more freedom to play with visuals and can basically do whatever they want. And although the live, stage production has limitations in the real world, it’s just more impressive when something big gets moved around, even though we know that the huge rock that was just moved is really made of styrofoam.

 

That said, there was definitely some fun parts. I was laughing outloud when Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen were singing their prince song and trying to one up each other. Hilarious.

 

Emily Blunt is always fun to watch, Anna Kendrick was great, Meryl Streep was fine, Johnny Depp was fine as the wolf, but he...isn’t in it for very long...

 

The biggest thing Into the Woods has going for it is the story. It calls into question the old assumptions we’ve made from our old fairy tales. Are witches always bad? Or if they start out bad, can they be good? Is the dreamy, rich, handsome prince really the one you want? Are there woods, and should we go into them? Does Johnny Depp look good in a goofy hat?

 

So, if you’re a huge fan of the original, or like musicals, then you’ll probably enjoy this film. But...I don’t think it needs a watch in the theater. Wait for the rental.

 

Or find the original, I hear it’s better.

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