As I mentioned last week, during the first 2 weeks of January, I was lucky enough to see both Big Hero 6 and Into the Woods, within the space of seven days. I reviewed Big Hero 6 last week and now I want to talk about Into the Woods. However as with all reviews I make (movies, books etc.) I don’t want to spoil any plot so my review will be of what I enjoyed and what I thought, with no spoiling of plot.
From what I can gather, Into the Woods, is a musical that is usually on at the theatre. I actually hadn’t heard of it before it was made into a movie and I think that’s a shame as I’d actually like to go and see it on Broadway or the West End. However a) it was Disney and b) I’d heard good things, so when c) the trailer looked good – I was booking tickets for the opening weekend!
The movie itself was actually really good. I didn’t know what to expect at all, but basically its a mash-up of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood. It’s set largely around “the woods” and of course the storyline is musically lead. As I mentioned, I hadn’t heard of the actual show, so all I can judge is the movie and to me it was pretty good. As always, Johnny Depp was weird and wonderful in his role as the Wolf. Sadly though, he wasn’t in it for long enough – for my liking. The Baker and his wife were great (I loved both James Corden and Emily Blunt) as was Anna Kendrick as Cinderella (no surprise there). Jack and Little Red were fairly annoying, but perhaps deliberately so and also it didn’t especially matter. Meryl Streep as the Witch was AMAZING but by far my favourite was Chris Pine, but I’ll explain why in a minute. Rapunzel and her Prince were pretty much a waste of time and I was quite annoyed their storyline wasn’t properly tied up. The rest of the cast were pretty good too.
The music… well I’m not sure. A part of me loved it, while a part of me hated it. I can’t deny, majority of it was terribly catchy, though that’s not always a good thing is it? I came out with a feeling that you could sing any words to the same tune, add “into the woods” and you had majority of the songs that were sung. That said “Stay With Me” stood out especially as a song to be enjoyed – even though its a little sad.
The movie was good but the pacing was a little off at times. I enjoyed the first half and as is often the case, I lost all track of time. As such, I began to think the movie was ending, in a part that turned out to only be the middle. After that, some of the movie dragged and while the pacing was on and off, I found myself struggling to get to the end. Plot-wise there are elements that are predictable and others that weren’t. There were sad bits and there were funny bits and overall I would recommend it to see – though nothing would be lost if that was on DVD rather than the cinema.
Without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite part was the one pictures above. There is a scene, where both Princes (they are brothers) come together and discuss their love issues. They both end up singing, one trying to outdo the other and its actually hilarious. The Princes are, for the most part, pompous idiots – but because they are supposed to be, its okay. It was actually quite scary how much Chris Pine reminded me of William Shatner, in his early role as Captain Kirk. He was suave, charming and completely up his own ass. It was wonderful! It actually made me realise why they probably cast Chris Pine as Kirk in the new Star Trek movies.
Anyway, don’t be put off by my review! Sat in the comfort of my own lounge, perhaps I would enjoy the movie more. Like I said, I knew nothing of the plot and after thinking it was almost finished – only to find it was about half way – I probably caused my own decline! I’ll actually definitely be buying it on DVD and I will absolutely be watching it again. Try it out for yourself but don’t feel the need to see it at the cinema – would be my advise.