Into the Woods

January 4, 2015
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This is a well done Disney movie adaptation of one of Stephen Sondheim’s most popular musicals.  I had never seen the play, so the movie was new territory for me.

The screenplay is a cleverly written parody with a plot seamlessly weaving together multiple fairy tales including Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood, although with some interesting twists.

It has an all-star cast including Meryl Streep (The Witch), Anna Kendrick (Cinderella), Johnny Depp (The Wolf) and Chris Pine (Cinderella’s Prince) among others. The acting is first rate from all the leads (especially Streep, what else is new?) and the special effects are uniformly excellent.

I went with Robin and a house guest (Sam) and they both really like it and gave it an 8!  They liked the songs and were engrossed in the story.

I thought it was tolerable but I didn’t like the score at all and kept wishing that the characters would stop singing and just talk!  I also didn’t get emotionally involved in the story much, so I really didn’t care what happened to any of the characters.

If you like Sondheim or saw the play and liked it, I’d go.  In short, it’s a split decision.  Robin and Sam say go, I say pass.

Dave’s Rating – 6.5 – borderline rental, but, with the songs and special effects, it’s best seen on the BS.

Average Rating – 7.5 – An interesting, mature exploration of familiar storybook themes. (Sam)

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