Latest Lifestyle

Latest from Lifestyle

April 18, 2019

Managing an Additcted Parent

by Ask AC
April 02, 2019

Your FREE monthly Angel Card reading is here

by Annmari Love
April 01, 2019

Free Monthly Horoscopes - April 2019 - Aries

by Maya White
March 22, 2019


by Ask AC
March 15, 2019

My top three design elements

by Christopher Porikos
March 14, 2019

How to help teenagers manage their money

by Lillian Appleby
March 05, 2019

Free Angel Card Reading March

by Annmari Love
February 28, 2019

Free Monthly Horoscopes - March 2019 - Pisces

by Maya White
February 21, 2019

Dating While Fat

by Cassandra Appleby
February 19, 2019

My Daughter Came Out!

by Ask AC
February 08, 2019

The Amazing Dog Nose

by Bethany Wilson
February 06, 2019

Teaching Your Child about Money

by Lillian Appleby
February 04, 2019

Interior Design - 2019 Color of the Year

by Christopher Porikos
February 01, 2019

Free Monthly Intuitive Angel Readings - February

by NoHo - North Hollywood
Tuesday, 06 January 2015 02:11

Movie Reviews - Grimm and Grimmer: Into the Woods; The Interview

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

While some have been waiting for the screen version of Wicked, I guess we’ll have to make do with the anticipated adaptation of Into the Woods. With a beautiful score by Stephen Sondheim and well-crafted screenplay by James Lapine (adapting his own “book”), Into the Woods approaches a beloved story (or two) in a different manner.

Whereas Wicked provides a creative “back story” to the events in The Wizard of Oz, Into the Woods is akin to a cinematic “mash-up’ of a few well-known Grimm fairy tales, putting a spin on them through the addition of a newly created tale of a childless baker, his wife—and a witch who will provide them with a child-- provided they can obtain certain items. As a result, the tales of “Rapunzel,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Cinderella,” and “Little Red Riding Hood” are skillfully interwoven in the exuberant first half, then turned on their heads in the more somber second half, as many of the characters discover that a “happy ending’ doesn’t necessarily mean “happily ever after.”

Purists will no doubt note there are some dropped songs, as well as some changes that ‘soften” the original show, yet Into the Woods is faithful to the tone and theme of the show (though I will say that Rapunzel’s onscreen fate is decidedly less interesting than in the original, and a younger Red Riding Hood only takes the film in a more strident, and differently disturbing direction). What is onscreen is an atmospheric, haunting parable of hope, love and disillusionment, all of it bolstered by the respectful and occasionally inspired handling of one of the best scores to have graced stage and screen.

James Corden and Emily Blunt anchor the film, both dramatically and musically, with their portrayals of the Baker and his wife; their ingenious, comical attempts to secure such items as a “cape red as blood,’ as well as their mutual determination not to surrender to adversity and despair are of inestimable value to the movie’s success. Meryl Streep is in fine form as the witch, in all her incarnations, while Tracey Ullman handles the comic and musical notes as Jack’s loving, pragmatic mom, who only wants her son to bring home the bacon (and definitely not the beans) for their milky white cow. Anna Kendrick continues to impress as a Cinderella who discovers that “Charming” doesn’t necessarily mean “sincere,” while Chris Pine masters both the comic and musical aspects of Cinderella’s Prince. His duet with Rapunzel’s erstwhile swain, entitled “Agony,” proves to be a highlight, as is his later encounter with the Baker’s Wife. The movie is filled with pleasures both incidental and major, and even if it is finally not as moving it sets out to be, Into the Woods is for the most part, an enchanting cinematic experience.



Much ado about nothing? Is this the film that launched a thousand hacks? With all the hullaballoo, one might have expected the Seth Rogen/James Franco love-fest The Interview to be a little more subversive and hilarious than it eventually is. It is certainly too cartoonish to qualify as satire, and so indulgent towards its leads (particularly James Franco’s ham-handed quirkiness) that the audience might feel like kibitzers at a private party. Yet it does make a couple of points about how politicians and media are all too willing to mislead each other, and it does have two of the best comic turns I’ve seen in a movie this year. One is from Randall Park as North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, who is depicted as (depending on the situation) fun-loving, charming, petulant, overly sensitive and dangerously insecure (especially when you have nukes at your disposal); the other is Diana Bang as Sook, Kim’s outwardly rigid and uptight media aide with some powerful, heretofore untapped feelings. When Park’s Kim and Bang’s Sook are onscreen, The Interview comes close to being the inspired lunacy that its makers intended; without them, the movie is just marking time.


Read 11421 times Last modified on Tuesday, 06 January 2015 02:28
Mike Peros

Mike Peros is an author whose new book, DAN DURYEA - HEEL WITH A HEART, the first biography of classic Hollywood's iconic villain, was recently published by the University Press of Mississippi.  He is  also an educator with a passion for movies ever since he saw John Wayne riding toward the bad guys, reins between his teeth, in TRUE GRIT.  Some of his favorite films include THE BAND WAGON, THE WILD BUNCH, OUT OF THE PAST, THE SILENT PARTNER, IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER ( a great musical--if you're a Gene Kelly fan, what are you waiting for?), and KONGA with the great Michael Gough.

Leave a comment

Do you have an event, video or news to share?  Drop us an email and you may see it on