Sunday, December 28, 2014

Out of the Woods

Since we are gay - or at least gay enough - it seems to be in the homosexual by-laws that one must go to see Into the Woods.

I mean, that's pretty fucking gay - and this is coming from someone who has seen Madonna in concert. Once.

I was torn on this one. I mean, I love just about anything Meryl Streep does. And I like Anna Kendrick enough.

If we're being honest here, Emily Blunt's career probably peaked in the Devil Wears Prada (thought I did like Wild Target, which was on PBS).

And Chris Pine's popularity will never surpass his groundbreaking role in Unstoppable.

Nahhhh. I kid. I kid.  That movie sucked balls.

As I've said before - I like the idea of Stephen Sondheim more than I actually like his work. He seems like an affable man - and a smart one. Well spoken. He clearly has talent. I've said before, he has a way with a lyric and phrasing, but at time his music can be......just ok. For its quirkiness, after a while, it has a predictability to it. By his own admission, he's not "hummable" - that is kind of what you want when listening to a frickin' musical. When he branches out into being a playwright the entire project can be dicey.

Let's add to it that Rob Marshall - that big queen - directed the movie. Chicago was ok, though nothing outstanding (I don't care that is has an Oscar - so does Anne Hathaway!). Nine and Memoirs of a Geisha suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked. so it's not like he has a great track record either.

So here we were, a Friday evening with friends, committed to some movie and Into the Woods it was. A Disney film, at that.

But it was this movie or the Interview - and I feel Sony has duped lots of people into seeing a less than mediocre movie, by blowing up a what was probably a small story into a huge P.R. feat. By all accounts that movie just blows.

I've never seen the play, so I can't get into the difference or the song(s) they cut. Frankly, I don't care. Honestly, I "liked" one song. I had to look it up, but it's called "Your Fault". Besides being one of my creeds, it was the most cleverly arranged songs of the movie.

I won't get into the details of the movie, but it is basically a mash-up of three or four Grimm's Fairy Tales. Most of them fit into each other, but the Rapunzel one just is there brief need and then that storyline goes almost nowhere. And by almost, I mean, it goes nowhere.

Streep is fine, but it's not an Oscar worthy performance. Blunt is fine. Kendrick is better. Pine looks great, and maybe it is his actual singing voice, but it doesn't quite seem real. James Corden was probably the stand-out. Well, him and Frances de la Tour as the female giant.

I'm not sure Johnny Depp doesn't always look like he did and his song was just plain creepy. His delivery that is - though I get it was supposed to be. Christine Baranski basically plays every fucking role Christine Baranski has ever played since being in Cybil (save maybe the Good Wife).

The kid who plays Jack is a little annoying and over the top  The girl playing Red Riding Hood a little less so (but always trying to play to the back of the room) - though it seemed to me her one solo song is about getting fucked sex. Am I wrong?

"But he drew me close 
And he swallowed me down
Down a dark slimy path 
Where lie secrets that I never want to know
I really got scared
Well, excited and scared"

Ick. I mean, she's like 11.

I saw the ending coming a mile away - and a good 40 minutes away at that. But it's predictable Broadway made into film, so there's nothing surprising about that. You don't really fuck with formula. And while many a review will say that Sondheim is trying to say there isn't always a happy ending - it kind of ends up with a happy ending.

Of course Disney loves this shit - there isn't a mother in sight.....or at least not for long. It's like every Disney animated movie. Visually, the movie and sets are not bad at all.

Overall, the movie was fine. I didn't find it outstanding. But the reality is, if you don't like musicals (Morty!) - and I'm borderline at best - this isn't really the movie for you.

2014 Movie Count / Goal:   11 of 12

Song by: Nickel Creek


Raybeard said...

Oh dear! As someone who knows the stage show well I did have misgivings about how this film might turn out - and it now seems that I may see my fears being realised. However, shall still try to keep an open mind.

Morty said...

I'll wait for it to come out on dvd to not watch it.

Bob said...

The gay in me will still be seeing it.

Fearsome Beard said...

I'm going to see it tomorrow. I've never seen Wicked so it will be all new to me. I typically love Jonny Depp and I loved Chicago so I may enjoy it, or I may not. We shall see.

Mark in DE said...

Unlike Bob, my inner gay thanks you for saving it/me from this travesty.

cb said...

Pine and Streep over-emote the singing and kind of ruin it. Anna was very good as was the Baker. Emily was ok. I thought the children were very good.

It was going to bring this one to the screen-- make it realistic with singing, or dream sequence the singing like in Chicago (which wouldn't have worked).

There were a couple plot points and storylines that I missed. And I missed the real musical ending.

Fearsome Beard said...

I actually found it quite good. For me it was in the many messages spun out of the different angles of the fairy tales. I recommend it and will be seeing it again.

Ur-spo said...

It is one of my favorite shows; I went in with trepidation knowing 'every word and lyric' but I found myself enjoying it and overall wasn't disappointed other than a few profound scenes I guess were removed for time's sake.
Go see the show sometime, it is better.