Unfortunately, the last act brings down the movie (it's dreadfully boring), but it has it's moments. Agony and Stay With Me are some of the highlights.
I really liked it, great acting and i loved all the songs.
I love every minute of it. It's this year's 'Frozen', an enchanted one. I adore you, Emily Blunt!
Maybe it's because it's a fairytale and there is singing, but... I LOVE IT.
It wasn't good... and it wasn't bad. It just was. But I liked some of the irony, even though some of the singing was annoying.
I have never seen the stage production of "Into The Woods", so I'm reviewing this movie simply on it's own merits. The story is fairly straight forward. A baker is trying to reverse a curse the friendly neighborhood witch placed on his family after his father stole from her garden. In order to lift the curse he must retrieve four fairy tale related items: a cow (Jack and the Beanstalk), a cape (Little Red Riding Hood), hair (Rapunzal) and a gold shoe (Cinderella). The witch needs these items in order to reverse the curse placed on her for allowing the magic beans to be taken by the baker's father. Each of the fairy tale characters also have their own side stories, although none of them are very well fleshed out other than Cinderella. One of the most frustrating parts of this movie, is how indecisive Cinderella is about the prince. It's like she is somehow clarevoyant that her and the prince are destined to be together, but she doesn't know if she wants to be with the prince. It honestly just got on my nerves. Another sticking point is they show no other elements of the fairy tales. You don't see what happens when Jack climbs the Beanstalk, and you don't see what happens at the festival between the prince and Cinderella. You do see what happens to Little Red Riding hood, but it's poorly done. After hearing a scream in the woods, the Baker for some reason decides to kill the wolf and somehow Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother are still alive in the wolf's stomach. It's really hard for me to extend my disbelief that far. One of the fairy tale touches I did appreciate they had in the movie was the dark demise of the Step Sisters in Cinderella. They actually showed the cutting of of the feet in order to fit the slipper and the pecking out of their eyes by the birds. I appreciate that Disney actually tried to keep the dark tone of the original fairy tales. While I liked the baker story line, the rest of the fairy tales seem watered down in order to keep the focus on the main storyline. I wouldn't mind this but you almost lose the movitation behind the characters without knowing the stories. That said, there are also elements of the story line that are so over explained, it leaves nothing to the imagination for the audience. There are some really comedic moments but overall this definitely isn't a comedy. That brings me to my next point. The tone is very uneven. The switching between dramatic parts and comedic parts are jolting and sudden. It tries to be dark but family friendly at the same time. Along with the tone, the pacing also seems a better fit for a stage production than for a movie, especially with the transition from the first to the second act. There almost seems like there should have been an intermission placed right there. At 120 minutes running time, it could be too long for some people to sit through. You have to be really invested in order to make it all the way through. The musical numbers are definitely the true star of this movie. With all of it done by Stephen Sondheim the composer and lyricist of the original musical. It's just a shame that the music wasn't as memorable as I'd hoped. There's not one song that really sticks in your head. In fact there was one musical number that came a little eerily too close to a number from Sweeny Todd (also composed and written by Stephen Sondheim). That said, none of the musical numbers felt really out of place or forced and they all fit the story well. Meryl Streep gave a wonderful performance as the witch, although her singing chops may not have been the best. James Corden did alright as the baker, and same for Emily Blunt as the baker's wife. Anna Kendrick was fine as Cinderella, and I don't blame her for the poor writing of her character. Chris Pine was one of my least favorite performances as the Prince (Cinderella's, not Rapunzal's). He was over the top and annoying and gave no subtlety to the performance. Johnny Depp as the wolf was another one of my least favorite performances. It was actually a really present surprise to see Tracey Ullman as Jack's mother and she did a great job in the role. Another shining performance was from Christine Baranski as Cinderella's stepmother. She played the comedy very naturally and was truely a joy to watch. If you're a big fan of the musical (or musicals in general), I would suggest watching this, just to see what they changed and adapted. Otherwise, there isn't enough here for me to recommend, to a general audience, to watch this. It's just too awkwardly paced and the music isn't strong enough to save it. I would instead suggest checking out the 1991 version which was filmed live on broadway.