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INTO THE WOODS


HoldenIsHere
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My sentiments exactly Polecat.

 

I recently watched POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE and was amazed at Meryl Streep's voice-man she's got a great set of pipes! I find it encouraging she's in this while Johnny Depp's participation discouraging. The poster makes it look like a Tim Burton cartoon, oy.

Fingers crossed it'll be worthwhile....

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I'm very much looking forward to the release of this movie next month . . . although Johnny Depp's Wolf looks more like a cat (at least in this trailer.)

 

 

 

This movie is a bit Tangled, Johnny Depp as the wolf? The character shouldn't be a metaphor.

 

little_red_riding_hood_by_thrivis-d55mlj

 

At least Disney didn't went this route.

 

fairy-tales-redux-oh-my-what-a-big-uhm-t

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I saw INTO THE WOODS  Saturday night at a theater that was filled almost to capacity with an audience that very demonstratively enjoyed it.

The Princes' duet "Agony"  was a particular favorite (based on the audience's response to it).

 

The film does justice to the stage musical without being stagey.

The fantasy elements of course lend themselves to a cinematic narrative. 

My date was not familar with the stage version but loved the movie, being a fan of animated fantasy films with music.

 

A couple of songs from the score were cut (perhaps they will end up as deleted scenes on a DVD release), but perhaps more interesting, there was no new song written specifically for the movie . You usually find at least one new song in film adaptations of stage musicals in order to have a potential Best Original Song Oscar nominee. 

 

And, yes, the movie retains the play's ending (despite some earlier rumors to the contrary).

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Loved it! Phew! So relieved it was good. Maybe its success will prompt Hollywood to make more movie musicals with good singers, eh? :)

 

The only problem I had with changes from the play was Rapunzel not dying. Didn't work. But it's a minor thing in comparison with how much I loved everything else. Didn't mind any of the music that was cut, except I was sad not to hear "Maybe They're Magic", but, whatever, minor song, not a big deal.

 

Loved Jack and Red actually played by kids! What a concept! Loved Meryl Streep's amazing voice and the cool way they did "The Last Midnight" (crazy orchestrations, fun lighting, wind, etc). Yeah, I loved it.

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I liked it, although the gang I worked with were mixed opinion.  Some were what I would call "musical snobs" and disturbed by the cuts of song or reprise and story line.   Sondheim remained intact to me, so I liked it.  

 

Well, I'm not a "musical snob", although, full disclosure: I am a "music snob".

 

I'm also, for lack of a better term, a fairy tale snob.

I've heard a lot about "Into the Woods" over the years, I guess ever since the original musical production opened. It was staged a few years ago at the Stratford Festival (in Stratford, Ontario.)

But, although I love the Stratford Festival and go to several productions every year, I had no desire to see "Into the Woods".

This is because I am a folk/fairy tale snob. I love the original stories from long ago, and dislike messing with them. I went into some detail about this on a thread that appeared here in the summer, about "Maleficent".

 

Yes, yes, I know, folk tales have their origin in the oral tradition of storytelling, which means, almost by definition, they are going to be "messed with", changed a little with every telling, and altered over the years.

Still, I believe that each and every one of the stories mashed into "Into the Woods" has a worth and meaning of its own, and that meaning is diluted, trashed even, when blended in this way into one big overwhelming fairy tale extravaganza.

 

So I never had any interest in the stage production of "Into the Woods", nor have I any for the film version.

 

By the way, at least half of the tales borrowed for "Into the Woods" , specifically "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Cinderella", are not from the Grimm brothers' collection, but from the French annotator of fairy tales, Charles Perrault.

 

Apologies to all the people who've posted here, whom I like and respect. I guess I'm just a fairy tale crank.

 

ps: For a fascinating and useful analysis of traditional folk and fairy tales, read Bruno Bettelheim's "The Uses of Enchantment".

 

ps2: The music snob in me suspects that the songs from "Into the Woods" are sub-par, melodically speaking. However, this is an unfair assumption, since I must confess I've never actually heard them. But most latter-day musicals (and, yup, the '80s count as latter-day when it comes to musical productions) are very much lacking in the quality of their songs. (Like "Wicked". Oh dear, what rubbish...) There are a few exceptions to this, such as some of the works by Webber and Rice.

 

ps3: I read the plot synopsis for both the film and stage versions of "Into the Woods". Holy witch's teat, could it get any more complicated? Way too much plot, as far as I can tell.

 

I know this is all snooty and sniffy, and I'm sorry to sound that way. But I dislike what I feel is the "hijacking" of traditional fairy tales, a deplorable trend in recent Hollywood movie-making. I always get the feeling that the vast majority of the audience for these films, and even the filmmakers themselves, are unfamiliar with the real thing.

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I read the plot synopsis for both the film and stage versions of "Into the Woods". Holy witch's teat, could it get any more complicated? Way too much plot, as far as I can tell.

 

 

Good point here, misswonderly.

In writing the plot of INTO THE WOODS does seem very hard to follow, but when beautifully executed (as I believe the film adapation was) the story flows wonderfully.

I think that the story of the childless Baker and and his Wife (which is the emotional center of the play and film) was an element that Lapine introduced into the mix (that is, it is not a fairy tale borrowed from the Grimm brothers or other sources).

 

While I do enjoy Sondheim's melodies, his great genius is as a lyricist. It is no fluke that two of the greatest American musical scores of all-time have lyrics by Sondheim. (I'm speaking of WEST SIDE STORY and GYPSY.)

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Holden, baby, it's very insightful of you to single out the "childless couple" story as the most significant narrative thread in "ITW".

However, I will say, that theme is not original with "Into the Woods". In fact, the couple who yearn for a child, but (seemingly) cannot have one until an encounter with some magical being, is a common trope in folk tales.

Just two for example that  come to mind: Rapunzel (which in a bizarre altered form does of course appear in "ITW"), and Tom Thumb ( a "fairy" tale I've never liked all that much.)

But there are many others.

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I'm with you MissW on that point....all my friends lurve that TV series about Fairy Tale charactors while I find it a bore.

 

Now I don't necessarily mind updated stories, like all the Christmas Carol versions - for example- a female Scrooge or a modern day Scrooge- just as long as the story is faithful to the original. If done well, it can be a stepping stone for the uninitiated to seek out the original version.

 

But I do find it rather tedious and lazy when so called play writers can't come up with anything new. The entire WICKED thing leaves me cold. Maybe if I saw it, I'd like it, but it just smacks of coattail riding.

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...But I do find it rather tedious and lazy when so called play writers can't come up with anything new. The entire WICKED thing leaves me cold. Maybe if I saw it, I'd like it, but it just smacks of coattail riding.

 

I must be honest: I've only heard the soundtrack music to Wicked, not seen the stage production.

 

However, I did purchase the book "Wicked", (by Gregory Maguire), on the vague assumption that I'd find it interesting. But that was 8 years ago ! (that I bought the book) and I still haven't read it ! At various times I've opened it up and read the first page, altogether about three times, and I never had any desire to read any further.

I should donate it to a used book store or something, I don't think I'm ever going to want to read it.

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Well, I'm not a "musical snob", although, full disclosure: I am a "music snob".

 

I'm also, for lack of a better term, a fairy tale snob.

I've heard a lot about "Into the Woods" over the years, I guess ever since the original musical production opened. It was staged a few years ago at the Stratford Festival (in Stratford, Ontario.)

But, although I love the Stratford Festival and go to several productions every year, I had no desire to see "Into the Woods".

This is because I am a folk/fairy tale snob. I love the original stories from long ago, and dislike messing with them. I went into some detail about this on a thread that appeared here in the summer, about "Maleficent".

 

Yes, yes, I know, folk tales have their origin in the oral tradition of storytelling, which means, almost by definition, they are going to be "messed with", changed a little with every telling, and altered over the years.

Still, I believe that each and every one of the stories mashed into "Into the Woods" has a worth and meaning of its own, and that meaning is diluted, trashed even, when blended in this way into one big overwhelming fairy tale extravaganza.

 

So I never had any interest in the stage production of "Into the Woods", nor have I any for the film version.

 

By the way, at least half of the tales borrowed for "Into the Woods" , specifically "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Cinderella", are not from the Grimm brothers' collection, but from the French annotator of fairy tales, Charles Perrault.

 

Apologies to all the people who've posted here, whom I like and respect. I guess I'm just a fairy tale crank.

 

ps: For a fascinating and useful analysis of traditional folk and fairy tales, read Bruno Bettelheim's "The Uses of Enchantment".

 

ps2: The music snob in me suspects that the songs from "Into the Woods" are sub-par, melodically speaking. However, this is an unfair assumption, since I must confess I've never actually heard them. But most latter-day musicals (and, yup, the '80s count as latter-day when it comes to musical productions) are very much lacking in the quality of their songs. (Like "Wicked". Oh dear, what rubbish...) There are a few exceptions to this, such as some of the works by Webber and Rice.

 

ps3: I read the plot synopsis for both the film and stage versions of "Into the Woods". Holy witch's teat, could it get any more complicated? Way too much plot, as far as I can tell.

 

I know this is all snooty and sniffy, and I'm sorry to sound that way. But I dislike what I feel is the "hijacking" of traditional fairy tales, a deplorable trend in recent Hollywood movie-making. I always get the feeling that the vast majority of the audience for these films, and even the filmmakers themselves, are unfamiliar with the real thing.

I have always liked Sondheim, not because of the music originality or scoring excellence (maybe I should have characterized my co-workers as "Broadway purists" rather than musical snobs) but his poetry of word play in the song.  

 

To each his own.. 

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I must be honest: I've only heard the soundtrack music to Wicked, not seen the stage production.

 

However, I did purchase the book "Wicked", (by Gregory Maguire), on the vague assumption that I'd find it interesting. But that was 8 years ago ! (that I bought the book) and I still haven't read it ! At various times I've opened it up and read the first page, altogether about three times, and I never had any desire to read any further.

I should donate it to a used book store or something, I don't think I'm ever going to want to read it.

 

I love Gregory Maguire's book Wicked.

The musical adaptation has some good songs, but many of the changes made for the musical were very disappointing, particularly the musical's pseudo happy ending and the additon of a silly  love triangle that did not exist in the book.

No pressure, misswonderly, but I think you should give the book a chance.

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I have to admit that my knowledge of Musical theatuh is really, really lacking. I know smatterings, but not lots. I do like sweeney todd a lot, i think i even know a lot of the lyrics to a little priest, so maybe i'd like into the woods, i dunno. (Sondheim and all.)

 

i just...

 

Meryl. 

 

Or "F***ing Meryl" as I guarantee you Faye Dunaway calls her. It's like, okay, I respect the fact that she's eighty and she's a bigger box office draw than a lot of MEN HALF HER AGE and all the other women in the business right now, I do. but it's like, HOLLYWOOD: WHEN A GOOD ROLE FOR AN ACTRESS OVER SIXTY (OR EVEN FIFTY) COMES UP, CALL SOMEONE OTHER THAN DIANE KEATON WHEN MERYL SAYS NO. 

 

i did not know the caps lock was stuck on that last part, but i leave it in for emphasis anyway. 

 

it's like, give susan sarandon a call. see what she's doing. jessica lange is still out there, she'd behave herself i bet if it's a good part. can't say the same for Debra wINGER, BUT PUT HER IN SOMETHING, SOMENE.

 

Damn caps lock. i'm "ee cummingsing" this from hereon out...

 

michelle pfeiffer looks great, and she's fun to watch and she SURE AS S*** deserves better stuff than "dark shadows" UGH! ; i still remain in the "sharon stone is a legitimate actress" camp; and i bow at the altar of Kim Basinger still and hope she someday finds something good to do; because she's capable (sue me.). Emma Thompson is still in the mortal coil, ditto Angela Bassett, if you can get her to take that intensity thing of hers down to like a seven. 

 

as i write this, goldie hawn is lying in a cryogenically-sealed, deep-freeze coffin, waiting for someone to thaw her out for either this year's oscars or kate's next premiere, call her someone. she can even sing: look up her version of "i'm thru with love" from "everyone says 'i love you' "

 

But time and again, it's F***ing meryl getting the parts and getting the nominations that another less honored actress would perhaps benefit from a bit more than she. (although every young thing that's been nominated in the last ten years has pretty much crapped out at making return trips.) and i get the sense sometimes that the accolades maybe matter a bit more to meryl than they should...i watch her sometimes and i think that she thinks of that while she does her thing....and that is not to say i don't respect the fact that she's a brilliant actress and probably a lovely person and can sing quite well and etc. etc.

 

ps- a lot of the actresses I mentioned are not ones i WOULD THINK OF FOR THIS ROLE in "INTO THE WOODS" i'm just saying, i pine for the glamour girls of yesteryear to make a comeback. 

 

pss- i am on a friend's computer and it is an apple and it is frustrating, so i have made all sorts of mistakes with the capitalizing of letter and such in this. 

 

psss- that picture of Meryl in into the woods from the youtube clip Holden posted looks like something that should be on the bow of a goth cruise ship. 

 

pssss- i do think Truman Capote was kinda right when he said Meryl Streep looked like a chicken. 

 

psssss- Merly also did an interview with time where she called harvey weinstein "God" and it was like ew. 

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Or "F***ing Meryl" as I guarantee you Faye Dunaway calls her.

 

smiley-laughing004.gif

 

You bring up a great point. Have you ever seen the movie SEARCHING FOR DEBRA WINGER? It's along those lines.

 

I was shocked at how fantastic Streep's singing voice was in POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE and figured that's why she was asked for ITW. But I bet like Johnny Depp, Streep is just guaranteed big box office- remember how H'wood operates.

 

Susan Sarandon & Goldie Hawn and even Diane Keaton are all great, talented & yes, bee-u-tiful actresses. And they sure have more talent (maybe experience?) and star power than the new younger set of pretty bland faces. 

 

How about stellar Shirley MacLaine? She's even older and now getting those "still pretty old lady" type roles Jessica Tandy enjoyed in her later years.

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I was shocked at how fantastic Streep's singing voice was in POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE and figured that's why she was asked for ITW.

 

 

Yes, and she also sounds good singing "Amazing Grace" a capella in SILKWOOD.

 

I overheard a conversation on New Year's Day while waiting for an el train where a man was insisting to his female companion that Meryl Streep's singing voice in INTO THE WOODS was too good to be her and had to be dubbed.  I almost broke my rule about interjecting myself into the private conversations of strangers  to correct him.

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