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Into the Woods


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#81 of 99 ONLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted December 31 2014 - 07:39 PM

It really wouldn't even take much CGI; you just do a clean plate for every shot and then a shot with the actors, and composite them at say 90 percent opacity, just transparent enough to convey the desired effect. The only really complicated shots would be the ones where the present selves have to interact with the ghosts of their past selves.There are a lot of grand old theaters that have been abandoned for decades that would provide a great atmospheric setting for the soon-to-be-demolished Weismann Theatre. The production crew could fix it up just enough to be safe for the actors, film all of the present day stuff, and then fix it up properly for the rest of the film when the characters see the theater in its prime.As a side benefit, some community would have a piece of its cultural heritage restored to it.

#82 of 99 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted January 05 2015 - 01:20 PM

I thought the Sweeney Todd movie worked about as well as any stunt-nonsinger-casting musical film has, although I could have done with a bit less graphic violence. I wouldn't want to listen to the soundtrack alone, though.

 

(I'm still bitter about Les Mis. . . :( )


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#83 of 99 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted January 05 2015 - 02:07 PM

My wife and I went and saw Into the Woods this past weekend.

 

Loved it.

 

Was really surprised at how strong all the singing performances were.  To my mind, Johnny Depp was the weakest link in the chain.  Streep over-emoted a bit (more obvious when just listening to the soundtrack).  Blunt and Kendrick were really, really good.  The girl who played Red Riding Hood was phenomenal.  Even the boy who played Jack (with his thick accent) was quite good.  Loved Chris Pine in the role of the prince.  And James Corden acquitted himself nicely as the baker.  A strong cast overall.  [I'm no fan of Mamma Mia!...but often wonder what it might've been like without people like Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgaard and Julie Walters.  Casting is so important.]

 

I guess what I liked best was that everything was as clear as could be.  No straining to understand the lyrics. 

 

The film kept rollicking right along. 

 

Probably the biggest mystery for me was the camera pan up to the cloud-laden sky at the end.  I might've preferred another one of those shots from above looking down at the enormity of the woods.  I just didn't get the significance--if there was any. 

 

The one rather wide shot near the beginning showing all the characters heading separately into the woods was nice.  That one also stuck out for me.


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#84 of 99 ONLINE   Wayne_j

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Posted January 05 2015 - 03:18 PM

I thought Colin Firth was actually quite decent in Mamma Mia.  Pierce completely ruined it however.



#85 of 99 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted January 05 2015 - 11:45 PM

 

 

Probably the biggest mystery for me was the camera pan up to the cloud-laden sky at the end.  I might've preferred another one of those shots from above looking down at the enormity of the woods.  I just didn't get the significance--if there was any. 

 

 

 

Mike, I think the main purpose was that it mirrored the opening shot, which started on the cloudy sky and panned down. 



#86 of 99 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted January 06 2015 - 02:29 PM

I'm looking forward to seeing this again soon. I really enjoyed it. 



#87 of 99 OFFLINE   Mark Booth

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Posted January 09 2015 - 03:44 PM

The Booth Bijou gives 'Into the Woods' 4 out of 5 stars.  I felt the performances were outstanding and the singing was quite good.  If not for the story dragging a fair bit in the third act, it might have scored even a bit better with me.
 
BTW, 'Into the Woods' is certain to be nominated for the Hairstylists and Makeup Award (Oscar).  And that is exciting for me because the last time Meryl Streep was in a film to receive that nomination (The Iron Lady in 2012), Streep attended the Hairstylists and Makeup Artists symposium at Academy headquarters the day before the Oscar telecast.  I'll be at the symposium in February and perhaps Streep will be there again!  :)
 
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#88 of 99 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 10 2015 - 07:22 AM

"Into the Woods" was an odd and not wholly satisfying movie musical. I enjoyed much of the music; but unlike the great Disney animated scores or even Moulin Rouge, it is immediately forgettable. And the story left me wanting: it had a beginning, a middle, and handful of non-sequiturs, but no ending.

It's January. There's nothing good in the theater. So go see it. Or rent it when you're in the mood for something atypical.

#89 of 99 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 10 2015 - 07:56 AM

I've read the discussion, and I've got questions :)

Is the Wolf's song as ooky in the play as in the movie? It had obvious sexual undertones. But Red is pre-pubescent, making the scene very...yech!

Why did the witch accuse Rapunzel of being ashamed of her (for seeing the prince)? Of the obvious reactions (animosity for being locked away, of being lonely,etc) being ashamed of her mother was a compete non-sequiter in the movie. Is there a preceding scene left on the cutting-room floor?

When did Jack's mom die? She was shown knocked down, but clearly breathing and alive. Then later, the Baker tells Jack his mom is dead. When and how did she die?

Why was the prince hitting on the baker's wife? It made no sense; and was wholly out of character from what had been shown previously of him.

Why did the Witch cast a spell to get herself sucked down into the mud, at the end? I wholly failed to understand her ending.

The Baker didn't meet his stolen sister. Was a scene left out? It felt like a major, fore-shadowed event was forgotten.

And the end: is there a fourth act they forgot to film? I'm perplexed by it just ending with no resolution, save for the Prince's younger brother.

#90 of 99 OFFLINE   JoelA

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Posted January 10 2015 - 08:08 AM

"Into the Woods" was an odd and not wholly satisfying movie musical. I enjoyed much of the music; but unlike the great Disney animated scores or even Moulin Rouge, it is immediately forgettable. And the story left me wanting: it had a beginning, a middle, and handful of non-sequiturs, but no ending.

It's January. There's nothing good in the theater. So go see it. Or rent it when you're in the mood for something atypical.


Dave, no one loves musicals more than I do (I'm sure a few on this Forum do) and since so few are released theatrically these days I try to see all of them when released to support the genre, however, I felt as you did. The performances and singing by the entire cast were uniformly good and I really enjoy Sondheim, but it just misses the mark overall. Possibly it was an overlong third act that could have used some judicious editing? I recommend seeing it as you do and will let an expert on Into the Woods reply to your Post 89 where you raise some interesting points.

#91 of 99 OFFLINE   Ejanss

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Posted January 10 2015 - 10:45 AM

I've read the discussion, and I've got questions :)

Is the Wolf's song as ooky in the play as in the movie? It had obvious sexual undertones. But Red is pre-pubescent, making the scene very...yech!

 

Yyyep.  (Although less realistic in the play, since Red is an obnoxious brat in the original Lapine version.)

 

Why was the prince hitting on the baker's wife? It made no sense; and was wholly out of character from what had been shown previously of him.

 

"I was raised to be Charming, not sincere."



#92 of 99 ONLINE   Wayne_j

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Posted January 10 2015 - 11:25 AM

I've read the discussion, and I've got questions :)

Is the Wolf's song as ooky in the play as in the movie? It had obvious sexual undertones. But Red is pre-pubescent, making the scene very...yech!

Why did the witch accuse Rapunzel of being ashamed of her (for seeing the prince)? Of the obvious reactions (animosity for being locked away, of being lonely,etc) being ashamed of her mother was a compete non-sequiter in the movie. Is there a preceding scene left on the cutting-room floor?

When did Jack's mom die? She was shown knocked down, but clearly breathing and alive. Then later, the Baker tells Jack his mom is dead. When and how did she die?

Why was the prince hitting on the baker's wife? It made no sense; and was wholly out of character from what had been shown previously of him.

Why did the Witch cast a spell to get herself sucked down into the mud, at the end? I wholly failed to understand her ending.

The Baker didn't meet his stolen sister. Was a scene left out? It felt like a major, fore-shadowed event was forgotten.

And the end: is there a fourth act they forgot to film? I'm perplexed by it just ending with no resolution, save for the Prince's younger brother.

1. In the play the Wolf is anatomically correct.  The actress playing little red riding hood was an adult but was playing a brat the same age or younger as the movie.

2. The hit to the head killed Jack's mom, she clearly dies after a few minutes in the play.

3. The Baker's sister was Rapunzel, I don't believe he ever knew that in the play but the audience was immediately told his sister's name is Rapunzel.

4. There wasn't a fourth act, but the 2nd act was cut somewhat heavily as compared to the play.



#93 of 99 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted January 10 2015 - 11:27 AM

I've read the discussion, and I've got questions :)

Is the Wolf's song as ooky in the play as in the movie? It had obvious sexual undertones. But Red is pre-pubescent, making the scene very...yech!

Why did the witch accuse Rapunzel of being ashamed of her (for seeing the prince)? Of the obvious reactions (animosity for being locked away, of being lonely,etc) being ashamed of her mother was a compete non-sequiter in the movie. Is there a preceding scene left on the cutting-room floor?

When did Jack's mom die? She was shown knocked down, but clearly breathing and alive. Then later, the Baker tells Jack his mom is dead. When and how did she die?

Why was the prince hitting on the baker's wife? It made no sense; and was wholly out of character from what had been shown previously of him.

Why did the Witch cast a spell to get herself sucked down into the mud, at the end? I wholly failed to understand her ending.

The Baker didn't meet his stolen sister. Was a scene left out? It felt like a major, fore-shadowed event was forgotten.

And the end: is there a fourth act they forgot to film? I'm perplexed by it just ending with no resolution, save for the Prince's younger brother.

 

Yes, the wolf scene was pretty much the same on stage, and actually the wolf costume on stage was anatomically correct, so in some ways it was even "ooky-er."

 

The witch accused Rapunzel of being ashamed of her because she was old and ugly.  It's not uncommon for children to be embarrassed by their parents when they first start to engage with the world outside of their home.  And I think it has more to do with the witch herself being ashamed, really, since it was a curse and she's actually not supposed to look that way.

 

Jack's mom died from her head injuries.  It's shown on stage, but Marshall seemed to prefer to not show the deaths on-screen.  I thought that was a mistake on his part.

 

Yes, the prince and the baker's wife have a sexual dalliance in the woods.  In addition to being raised to be charming, not sincere, it makes even more sense in the stage show where we discover that Sleeping Beauty's prince is really Cinderella's prince, cheating on her.  And Snow White's prince is likewise Rapunzel's prince cheating on her.  The princes have a reprise of their song "Agony" in Act II where they pine away for these two new unobtainable women, while essentially bored with their wives they had pined away for in Act I.

 

The witch just wanted to disappear to get away from the forthcoming destruction.  She didn't believe the humans could conquer the Giant's Wife and she didn't want to be a casualty.  Plus, she had had it with the humans and their choices and behavior at that point.  She calls on her mother to curse her again or just take her away.

 

No, nothing was left out re: the Baker and Rapunzel.  They don't meet in the stage show either, before Rapunzel dies.  (In the stage show she is squashed by the Giant's Wife.)

 

I'm not sure what you mean by no resolution.  The piece is a comment on life, and there is no resolution in life.  It's a journey that continues, sometimes taking us into the woods.  It's essentially a cautionary tale warning us to be careful what we wish for, how we go about getting our wishes and to be prepared for what life throws at us.  And especially that we're all in this together and what we do affects others.  "No one is alone." 


Edited by JohnMor, January 10 2015 - 12:33 PM.


#94 of 99 OFFLINE   Ejanss

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Posted January 10 2015 - 11:34 AM

I've read the discussion, and I've got questions :)

Is the Wolf's song as ooky in the play as in the movie? It had obvious sexual undertones. But Red is pre-pubescent, making the scene very...yech!

Why did the witch accuse Rapunzel of being ashamed of her (for seeing the prince)? Of the obvious reactions (animosity for being locked away, of being lonely,etc) being ashamed of her mother was a compete non-sequiter in the movie. Is there a preceding scene left on the cutting-room floor?

 

No, that was Sondheim's experiments with turning fairytale-psychoanalysis into song lyrics (like the Wolf song).  Can't say whether it was actually Bruno Bettelheim, since I never read that nut, but pretty much in the same ballpark.

Ie., that the witch's fear of losing Rapunzel in the tale is "symbolic" of mother-daughter loss during pubescent years, etc...All the stuff you studied the stories "really" meant, back in college.  :rolleyes:  

 

Why did the Witch cast a spell to get herself sucked down into the mud, at the end? I wholly failed to understand her ending.

 

Um...she didn't in the play, so can't say.   :wacko:

She basically says, "It's YOUR problem, you sort it out!" and disappears, but shows up in the final chorus.

Yes, the prince and the baker's wife have a sexual dalliance in the woods.  In addition to being raised to be charming, not sincere, it makes even more sense in the stage show where we discover that Sleeping Beauty's prince is really Cinderella's prince, cheating on her.  And Snow White's prince is likewise Rapunzel's prince cheating on her.  The princes have a reprise of their song "Agony" in Act II where they pine away for these two new unobtainable women, while essentially bored with their wives they pined away for in Act I.

 

Ie., that a princess in a glass coffin or castle of thorns is just as teasingly out of reach as a princess in a tall tower or one who runs away--

Haven't seen the movie yet, so don't know how/whether they handle the stage's abstract concept of the characters walking across the stage between scenes spouting appropriate fairytale morals:  "No knot ties itself."  "Getting is not the same as Having."


I'm not sure what you mean by no resolution.  The piece is a comment on life, and there is no resolution in life.  It's a journey that continues, sometimes taking us into the woods.  It's essentially a cautionary tale warning us to be careful what we wish for, how we go about getting our wishes and to be prepared for what life throws at us.  And especially that we're all in this together and what we do affects others.  "No one is alone." 

 

In the original play, the Narrator (usually a well-known voice actor, like Dick Cavett or A&E's Jack Perkins) stands at the side of the stage and tells the "Once upon a time..." stories in the first act.

In the second act, he explains all the messes the characters have gotten themselves into, until

Spoiler

Of course, with scapegoat dispatched but no one to finish telling the tales, the characters say "But how will we know how the stories come out, now?"  Ding-ding, fears-of-adulthood/responsibility message alert.



#95 of 99 OFFLINE   Garysb

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Posted January 10 2015 - 11:59 AM

It really wouldn't even take much CGI; you just do a clean plate for every shot and then a shot with the actors, and composite them at say 90 percent opacity, just transparent enough to convey the desired effect. The only really complicated shots would be the ones where the present selves have to interact with the ghosts of their past selves.

There are a lot of grand old theaters that have been abandoned for decades that would provide a great atmospheric setting for the soon-to-be-demolished Weismann Theatre. The production crew could fix it up just enough to be safe for the actors, film all of the present day stuff, and then fix it up properly for the rest of the film when the characters see the theater in its prime.

As a side benefit, some community would have a piece of its cultural heritage restored to it.

As far as "Follies" is concerned I just meant that since the entire play takes place at a reunion inside  a theater about to be demolished, I don't know how a whole film in that setting would be interesting.  Nor do I know how they could change the setting so that scenes took place outside the theater. I have no doubt they could do effects to distinguish between the ghosts and the present day characters.



#96 of 99 OFFLINE   Garysb

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Posted January 10 2015 - 12:05 PM

I thought when the witch regained her beauty, she lost her powers. That is why she couldn't stop Rapunzel from leaving.   



#97 of 99 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 10 2015 - 04:22 PM

I thought when the witch regained her beauty, she lost her powers. That is why she couldn't stop Rapunzel from leaving.

She did. But then it seemed she cast one big, final spell that sucked her into a mud pit.

#98 of 99 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 10 2015 - 04:47 PM

Thanks to all for the detailed answers and insights into the story. I enjoyed the music, especially the opening number, Jack's bits, Streep's performances, and the who-to-blame number.

I'm not sure what you mean by no resolution.  The piece is a comment on life, and there is no resolution in life.  It's a journey that continues, sometimes taking us into the woods.  It's essentially a cautionary tale warning us to be careful what we wish for, how we go about getting our wishes and to be prepared for what life throws at us.  And especially that we're all in this together and what we do affects others.  "No one is alone."

But the story and themes progressively lost my interest. The non-sequitur character lurches -- Prince's dalliances and witch's vanity issues and Red's pointless moral qualms over killing the giantess -- were jarring. And the "resolution" was not for me. For such an active movie, with a very lengthy act on killing the giantess, it just petered out in a ho-hum non-ending.

The first half was enjoyable in all ways. The second half had some good music. Not a perfect movie, but a decent night out :)

#99 of 99 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted January 10 2015 - 05:42 PM

You are not alone (to quote the song, LOL).  While I've always enjoyed the show as a whole, many people and critics have had problems with Act II of the stage show and especially the film and feel it just doesn't work as well as Act I.  






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