Movie Review: “Into the Woods”

Starring
Meryl Streep, James Corden, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Daniel Huttlestone, Lilla Crawford
Director
Rob Marshall

It is strange to watch a film like “Into the Woods” in a post-“Shrek” world. When “Into the Woods” first debuted in 1987, and turned fairy tales on their heads, it was a truly unique concept. Why should we accept that all princes and princesses have a happy ending? Why should poor children be allowed to steal without consequence? Why shouldn’t terrible parents pay for the sins they committed in the name of “protecting their children”? Those are all fair questions, and many of them have since been addressed in films like “Shrek,” “Tangled,” and “Jack the Giant Slayer,” to name a few of the characters involved here. All of these films owe a debt of gratitude to “Into the Woods,” yes, but when you take 27 years to go from the stage to the screen, all debts have been paid far in advance. We are now at the point where pop culture has passed “Into the Woods” by, stripped it for parts, and left it for dead.

The Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) want a baby, but the witch who lives next door (Meryl Streep) reveals to them that she has cursed the Baker’s bloodline with impotency for a crime that his father committed. But she will undo the curse – which will then restore the witch’s beauty – if the two collect four items from previously separate fairy tales: a cow (the one Jack sells for magic beans), a red cape (yep, Little Red Riding Hood), hair as gold as corn (Rapunzel’s), and the golden slipper worn by runaway bride Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), who leaves the prince (Chris Pine) in a hurry every night of the big festival. As their lives intersect, the characters learn things about themselves. Some of the things they learn are good, while others are lessons like, if you kill a guy, be prepared to kill his vengeful wife as well. Wait, what?

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Your appointment with the Doctor is hereby scheduled

“Doctor Who,” that is. (What, like you were expecting it to be Dr. Pepper?)

At 9 PM on April 17th, everyone’s favorite Time Lord…well, statistically speaking, anyway…is making his return to BBC America in his new guise, which has him looking remarkably like actor Matt Smith. He is the Eleventh Doctor, if you’re keeping count, and he will be accompanied by a new traveling companion: Amy Pond, played by the highly cute Karen Gillan.

According to the publicity department, they will be exploring sixteenth century Venice, France during the 1890s, and the United Kingdom in the far future, where the nation is floating in space, and the new series will feature episodes written by Richard Curtis (“Pirate Radio,” “Love Actually”) and Toby Whithouse (“Being Human,” “Torchwood”) and guest stars including Alex Kingston (“ER,” “Flash Forward”), James Corden (“Gavin & Stacey,” “The History Boys”) and Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo (“The Secret Life of Bees,” “Hotel Rwanda”) and Tony Curran (“24″).

You can get more info by heading over to the “Doctor Who” portion of the BBC America website, but for now, enjoy this trailer for the new season. Is this a Dalek I see before me…? Why, yes, I believe it is…


  

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