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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
PHOTOGRAPHY

INTO THE WOODS

Blu-ray Review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS: 125 minutes, featurettes, deleted song, audio commentary, Easter eggs, music and lyrics, digital HD copy

VIDEO: 2.39:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO:  English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Thai 5.1 DD

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Thai, Indonesian, Malay, Korean, Portuguese, Chinese Mandarin

 

STUDIO: Walt Disney Pictures

RELEASE DATE: 3-24-2015

INTO THE WOODS is an interesting musical to watch that flows very well for the first 90 minutes before feeling too long in the last half hour.   It is a visual treat with a great cast while most of the casting choices are spot on with the lyrics (but I wonder if the Wolf’s song would have been more spot on if Little Red Riding Hood was played by a teenager or young woman instead of a kid).  A Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are told by a witch (Meryl Streep) to gather a set of items (a red cape, a golden slipper, golden yellow hair, and a white cow) in three days so the curse put on the Baker’s family to remain infertile will be broken (since the Baker and his wife want a child).  They cross paths with characters from other fairy tales including Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Jack (of Jack and the Beanstalk), Rapunzel (and it is a glaring omission they never resolve whether the Baker’s long lost sister is Rapunzel), and Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford).   Cinderella is faced with indecision each night as she flees from the Prince (Chris Pine) at the Festival while Jack wants to get enough money to buy back his beloved milky white cow (his only friend).   INTO THE WOODS is a fun genre bending musical that director Rob Marshall has managed to craft, but I wonder how this musical adaptation would have turned out if it was under a more daring director or at least have better pacing in the end.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Never Before Seen Sondheim Original Song: “She’ll Be Back” sung by Meryl Streep

 

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT THE WOODS (13:23)- a promotional featurette where Rob Marshall says INTO THE WOODS is a 21st century musical, about the relationship between parents and kids, and it is a metaphor for various things in life like wishes, dreams, fears, and loss and rebirth. Also learn how a patch of woods on Stephen Sondheim’s property inspired the musical and he took the cast of the stage musical to visit it during rehearsals.

 

THE CAST GOOD AS GOLD (10:10)- Rob Marshall and cast interviews.  Anna Kendrick describes Cinderella as brave and neurotic/ a couple therapist’s dream while they used very little make-up to help Meryll Streep achieve the looks for the Witch.

 

DEEPER INTO THE WOODS:

FROM STAGE TO SCREEN (8:33)-a brief history of how the stage musical became a movie

THE MAGIC OF THE WOODS (7:24)- the music, editing, and sound design of INTO THE WOODS

DESIGNING THE WOODS (7:07)- production design featurette that focuses on the woods set they built on a stage which they combined with the woods stuff they shot on location with help from the director of photography of INTO THE WOODS

THE COSTUMES OF THE WOODS (6:53)- Behind-the-scenes of the costume design of Colleen Atwood as she used a different time period for each set of characters and put wood textures into the costumes.  Johnny Depp suggested the Tex Avery zoot suit look for the Wolf while other secretes are revealed like how Colleen designed Emily Blunt’s dress to hide her pregnancy in addition a brief mention of Peter King’s hair and make-up design and how the Witch costumes were a collaboration between Meryl Streep and Colleen to allow for the movements of the character.

 

Audio Commentary by Director Rob Marshall and Producer John DeLuca

 

Music and Lyrics fro various musical sequences in the movie

 

Five Golden Easter Eggs and I have located four of them which includes Anna Kendrick running around in Cinderella’s golden sneakers, the actor playing Jack climbing the beanstock in a wire harness, the farewell of the Witch via a green colored lift platform, and other behind-the-scenes bits.

 

Also included is a code to download and stream a digital HD copy of INTO THE WOODS

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  INTO THE WOODS is a fun genre bending musical which feels a little long in the end.   The behind-the-scenes extra come off sometimes as a little too promotional instead of digging deep into the making of the movie (like the special effects for example).

 

This review is 3-25-2014 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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