Movie Review: Into the Woods

I love movies.

I love musicals.

I love movie musicals.

Whenever I see one, I envision myself singing one of the main parts and dream of being dressed up and thrown on stage as a star. Reality is I cannot sing alone, and I am too much of a perfectionist to make acting work. (Seriously in the fifth grade I beat my self up for not saying the word “the” in one of my lines for a Christmas pageant. I thought the world was over because I failed so miserably.)

So I go to the show and dream and of course sing along.


image via

I recently saw Into the Woods over the holidays with my SIL and MIL. It was nice for us to take a break without the kids, although I realize my MIL was still with her kid…but I digress.

This was just great. It had been awhile since I sat in a theater with an ICEE in hand. This movie was just delightful.

I love many of the actors, and they did not disappoint. The design, set, costuming, all of it was very pleasing to the eye. Who knew Emily Blunt could sing?

I had never seen a production of Into the Woods before seeing the movie. I had only read the synopsis and heard some of the music. I really enjoyed the satire and humor that is infused into the plot line.

There was a woman behind us who was not pleased with the Chris Pine song. She did not get that it was supposed to be over the top acting, which made it even funnier to me.

The story is about a couple who is trying to reverse a cursed placed on their house. It follows their adventure of collecting these items that intertwine several other fairy tales together.

Seeing that I am a fan of fairy tales and things like Once Upon a Time, clearly I would like this musical.

I don’t think they messed up any fairy tales which I know many people are worried about. I like seeing how people interpret the same story differently. Did I say that I was a fan of Once Upon a Time? The way that the stories are infused are so light that it is ok when they took some liberties with the story line.

The ending kind of caught me off guard, and I was sure that it was all a rouse. (I don’t want to ruin it for you if you haven’t seen it.) I am ok with the ending, but it was just surprising how it wasn’t really your traditional fairy tale ending.

I LOVED the music. I CAN see myself playing in the band, and envision my bass parts accompanying the melody.

I really recommend this movie for any lovers of musicals or fun times. I thought it was upbeat, funny, and hits ya in all the right places.

I will note that both my MIL and SIL said that the theatrical version is better. So I would love to see it on stage sometime. I would agree that a lot of times the theatrical version is better, so I wasn’t surprised with their comments. I did see in an interview though that many parts were shot live as far as singing goes and were not dubbed over from a studio.

Also, this is all my humble opinion. When I was looking for pictures, of course I scrolled to see what others were saying. Many out there thought it was bland and had harsh things to say about it.

Granted, it was no West Side Story, but I think this movie has its place. It was a fun little film that takes a different twist on stories that we think we know. For me, it was funny and refreshing. And again, I am a sucker for all things musical.

This review is my own opinions. I was not contacted by anyone associated with these works or compensated for my review. My review has not been influenced by anything other than my love for entertainment and art.

Did you see any movies over the holidays? Have you seen Into the Woods?

Friday Filter-Action!

“We get the bum rap for not being the ‘money making field,’ but the arts are probably the only kind of unifying thing in our society…Stories are the only thing that tie us all together. I don’t know a physicist from a garbage man who doesn’t like a good story…We are all connected by that. The challenge is to find the stories that the physicist, the garbage man, the ballerina, and the fireman can all sit in the same room and enjoy or find something that speaks to them.”

(This is a quote I clipped a long time ago and put in my planner. I honestly have no idea where it came from or who it was by.)

Growing up, I remember sitting in front of the record player listening to the various musicals my step-mom had on hand. This perhaps persuaded me into my music and theater careers.


Saturdays, it was a ritual to watch Wheel of Fortune, Dr. Quinn, Early Addition, and Walker Texas Ranger with my mom. It still feels wrong to eat chicken nuggets without the mac and cheese and peas combo which we ate pretty much every Saturday in conjunction with our line-up.

Sundays were movie night with my dad. You always hoped it was your week to choose the flick at BlockBuster. Sometimes Dad was nice enough to let Randall and I both pick! Probably just to keep us from throwing a fit or fighting with each other, and I don’t blame him.

I also loved when summer came around because it meant the book reading contests happened at the library. If you read 10 books, you could pick out a free one. Ugh, how many can I get? Reading the entire series of the Boxcar Children, Sweet Valley Twins, and Nancy Drew-game on! Reading got me through so many personal crisis and teenage angst…let’s be honest also adult angst.  A little reading is all the therapy you need sometimes.

Reading.....I LOVE the story telling world. Hmm no surprise why I became a history major. It’s just story telling!

I grew up always wanting to go to these made up places, whether it is in movies, books, or t.v. I am just absolutely fascinated by the stories people can tell. It was an escape from my reality, and I could imagine being anyone I wanted for those brief moments I spent enthralled by these tales.


I even dabbled at my own story making when I was a kid. I “wrote” and “illustrated” many short novels-as I used to call them. I would even bind them with string, who cares if they were only like 5 pages long. Trying to make my own Belle library I guess, but that ended quickly because well, I am just not that good at making up the stories. My parents did a good job supporting my self-acclaimed authorship though for awhile there.

I have a book with me at all times, just call me Rory Gilmore. You think I am kidding, but I am not. Kindle has made it a little easier to do this, but that just means even more books. You never know where you are going to get 5 or 10 minutes of wait time, so why not fill it with some light reading?

Anyway, this infatuation for the art of storytelling has inspired me to do a series called “Friday Filter.” It will be me filtering through what I call entertainment. It is going to be a review of sorts on television, movies, and books. I am no expert at reviewing, and it will strictly be my opinion, reaction, or just plain ramblings. As my husband tells me I am into teeny boppy things, so who knows where this may go or if you will find what I review up your alley. It may end up being more for me than it is for you. My own book club meeting per say.

I hope you come back this Friday when I review the book series of Nikki Heat from the show Castle, which has pretty much consumed my summer.