mitchy: (Default)
Saw this this morning and, as suspected, bawled like a baby at the end. As movie tributes go this is one of the best I've seen.

Honking Big Spoilers )

Thoroughly enjoyed the movie, despite the emotional kicking. Now have the urge to watch all previous 6 movies. I think this will have to be arranged......
Mood:: 'cheerful' cheerful
mitchy: (Maureen from Rent)
I went and saw this today, as it was the last day it was on at the Cineworld in Stevenage. It was also a subtitled showing, which I was interested in seeing as there are rarely subtitled performances at times I can go. For future reference, if I have difficulty with a movie's dialogue, a subtitled showing would be excellent, assuming I could get to one. We had a slight technical problem at first, with the bottom line of text being partially obscured by the frame of the film. We lost picture for a minute while something technical was done and then when it came back up, the subtitles were displaying properly. Overall, I found them helpful, as musicals can be tricky to follow if you're not familiar with them. And it had been 25 years since I saw Into The Woods in London, with the original London cast, so my memories of specifics were hazy, to say the least.

The film is a perfectly good adaptation of a stage show, characters adjusted slightly and trimmed a smidge, to fit a movie's running time. The cast surprised me - well, not Streep, I expected her to be brilliant and she was. The rest of the cast were excellent, particularly the two youngest cast members playing Jack and Red Riding Hood, who had a lot of presence for their tender years as well as kick ass voices. I am not a huge fan of James Corden but he was very good here, bringing the Baker to life with all his flaws perfectly well. Also has a decent singing voice, which helps in this show, as Sondheim is not a forgiving song writer. More about this in a bit. Anna Kendrick and Emily Blunt knocked my socks off, although I was very distracted earlier on by thinking Emily looked a dead ringer for Felicia Day. :) Chris Pine clearly had far too much fun as Prince Charming and nicely played "Agony" for the overwrought song it's supposed to be. And there were good turns from Tracey Ullman (whom I nearly didn't recognise) and Christine Baranski, who is a delight in any musical. Depp is only in this for five minutes, which seemed a bit of a waste but he had fun with it anyway.

My issues with "Into The Woods" are nothing to do with the movie which, as I've said, I thought did a great job of translating a tricky musical to the big screen (and keeping it kiddie friendly as required by the Disney overlords). My issues are with the musical itself. 25 years ago, I came out of the theatre thoroughly unsure about what I'd just seen and complaining that it wasn't a musical with songs that you could go around humming absently. I thought it was a confused mess of themes and songs that frankly felt half baked and short and incomplete and wondering why the hell Sondheim had such a great reputation. The movie does a better job of streamlining the plot but it's still a confused mess when it comes to themes - it's very unclear what message it thinks it's sending, there's more than one choice - and the second half is painfully slow. Although to be fair, a lot of musicals have that problem, "Wicked" comes to mind here. So while it's a perfectly good movie that I'm glad I saw for the cast, it's not a good musical. And while I don't despise Sondheim quite as much as I did, I'm still not sold on him. Give me a Rice/Lloyd Weber show any day!
Mood:: 'contemplative' contemplative
mitchy: (Evil Penguin)
posted by [personal profile] mitchy at 11:41pm on 26/01/2015 under ,
Thanks to my Cineworld Unlimited membership, I got to see this movie tonight. I loved it but I must confess I have absolutely no idea how to describe what I just watched.

It stars Colin Firth as a very British spy (the headquarters is based on Saville Row) along with a host of stars and up and comers. Samuel L Jackson plays a very different kind of role and does it brilliantly, as usual, but if you'd ever told me he could play a convincing villain who talks with a lisp, I'd have laughed at you :) (Not a spoiler, it gets revealed in the first 10 minutes). The premise is the usual Big Bad Wants To Rule The World plot, with action sequences that you'd expect in a Bourne or a Salt movie and gadgets from the Roger Moore Bond era. At first you're sitting there thinking you're watching a very clever British spy movie with the sort of humour mixed in that only us Brits can do, and you are. And then you get into the last third and the plot goes places I wasn't expecting at all!

I can't really go into details without honking great spoilers, which is a shame, but I will say that there is a long-ish sequence that would rival Tarantino yet they've managed to somehow do it and keep a 15 certificate. Also it really isn't as gory as it should be even when people are dying in various gruesome ways. No, I don't know how they did it either, but they did. There's a least one "OMFG THEY WENT THERE!!" moment which shocked my cinema into silence. And there are some fantastic lines that had everyone hooting with laughter. Also there's an end credit sequence that didn't make people cheer so much as cacklefit :D

And you will never be able to hear "Land of Hope and Glory" the same way again. Trust me. Actually, I will spoil that, go peek under the cut below for details if you must.

All the performances are rock solid but I was very taken with young lead, Taron Egerton. I just looked him up on IMDb and I thought he looked familiar; turns out I have seen him in a few episodes of UK drama "The Smoke", which I gave up watching because it was shite. But he was good in that and he's brilliant here, so hopefully I'll be able to see him in more non-shite things :)

Do I recommend this? You probably need a certain type of humour, I think, because yeh, it does get a little weird in a "what the fuck did I just watch?" kind of way, but it's a fun movie, probably worth seeing for the fight scenes and the humour alone. And Colin Firth and Sam L Jackson are always worth the admission :)

Honking Great Spoiler )
Mood:: 'amused' amused

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