This week: Into the Woods
written by Lhynette Alejandro
Uno: the aesthetics
Can we please talk about the fancy seamless special effects that populated this movie? From the costume, Cinderella’s transformation from the girl hanging out by the fireplace to a very pretty princess to head to the ball. Even though Johnny Depp was only in the movie for a hot second, his character as the wolf was impressive as expected. The endless hours the actors spent in the make-up chairs reflects in how amazing everyone looked in the movie. We can’t forget about Meryl Streep with the blue hair, snaggle teeth and looking like a crazy bum off of the streets of Compton in the 80s. The way the actors were dressed and made up were so perfect for each character in the movie and definitely tied everything together, by everything I mean the environment they were in. The setting of the woods, as the precocious little girl in the red cape stupidly frolics through the deep dark woods (side note: I mean seriously, what little girl will be THAT happy to go into the woods?) The castle, the bean stalk, the village of the baker and his wife, Rapunzel... the special effects brought all these whimsical themes into life. I was hooked. Sitting in my movie chair, I was in a daze…living happily ever after.
Dos: the great musical talent of Kendrick, Blunt and surprisingly Pine.
This totally surprised me, Chris Pine? Singing? Let me back track - I didn’t know Into the Woods is a remake of a musical from the '80s until I started reading more about the movie. It’s based on the play by this guy named Sondheim. Then I also read that the same person who produced/directed Chicago is the same person who directed/produced Into the Woods. So I was definitely intrigued. I had high hopes, but I definitely had my doubts – especially with this movie being a musical and all. I think of musicals similar to waiting for your newly painted nails to dry. You hate it, you have to sit there, and wait patiently and live through it because you paid money to get your nails done and you don’t want it to get smudged or ruined. Similar to a musicals – I paid for it, but hurry up with the singing, where’s the acting? Then bam, we all know Streep is, as always, nothing short of remarkable. Kendrick and Blunt didn’t disappoint either. Chris Pine blew me away though. I know it might sound lame, but he totally “Captain Kirked” his singing in his role as the Prince. He was fit for the part - he had the face, the blonde hair, the blue eyes, and to top it off he was singing like a bad ass. It blew me away and surprised me. Chris Pine’s singing was like finding that fifty dollar bill in your jacket pocket from last winter while you were spring cleaning. Chris Pine, you blew me away!!! Great singing voice!
Three: great mashup of all fairytales I know by heart presented so differently from what I knew as a child!
Even though the movie put some twists and intertwined each fairytale with one another – it was a great mashup of everything I had hoped. The movie kept the original story line for each fairytale which I really liked and added the baker and the baker’s wife story –Rapunzel gets in the mix of things with Cinderella and Jack with the beanstalk. It was nostalgic to start the movie with the words “Once upon a time…” The movie was whimsical and kept me interested the whole time. I liked that the dialogue was very witty and definitely smart. The fairytale characters definitely held their originality, but in this movie, the characters I knew as a child had something dark. With the Prince falling for the Baker’s wife, and Cinderella questioning the Prince’s motives. It was a good balance of surreal and then the dialogue made the characters seem like “real people” dealing with issues of love, grief, longing, sex, and envy. It was pretty much a fairy tale for grown-ups.
My two cents – If you don’t like musicals, just suck it up. This movie will change every bad opinion you have about musicals being boring and pretentious…maybe for at least 90 minutes you’ll be impressed. Did I mention that Chris Pine sings his heart out in the movie? Totally did not expect that. This movie definitely puts a grown up twist to the fairytales you knew as a child. The actors, the costumes and the whole story line are all together making the best movie sundae of all time. I also read that the movie has already snagged a few supporting actors award and best musical blah blah blah award…How can you go wrong with that? Just go, grab your keys, take a friend and enjoy the film as much as I did!
- WOW Meryl Streep! Tha snaggle tooth though...
- All my fairytales in one movie? I don’t get it.
- Hahaha the Prince was being a smart ass.
- Anna Kendrick! Pitch Perfect!
- Oh God, Johnny Depp looking wack!
2.5 out of 4