Into The Woods (2014) Review


Into The Woods (2014)

Directed by Rob Marshall

Based on Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine

Meryl Streep
Emily Blunt
James Corden
Anna Kendrick
Chris Pine
Tracey Ullman
Christine Baranski
Johnny Depp

Running time: 124 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales of “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Cinderella”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, and “Rapunzel”, the film is a fantasy genre crossover centered on a childless couple, who set out to end a curse placed on them by a vengeful witch. Ultimately though, the characters are forced to rectify the consequences of their actions.


My Opinion:

I hated Into The Woods. I don’t want to do one of my bitchy reviews, though, so I’ll keep this short because I don’t need some crazy person telling me I’m on drugs for hating something (this happened recently on my review of Oz The Great And Powerful – gotta love those trolls). 😉


I know nothing whatsoever of the Into The Woods musical. I didn’t know the story in the slightest or any of the songs before watching the movie. And, after seeing the movie, I STILL don’t know any of the songs. Why? Because they’re boring! Usually you get at least one song stuck in your head after a musical. Honestly – I couldn’t tell you how even one of them goes now & I only saw this two days ago. At least a couple of the songs in Les Misérables were catchy even if I just wanted that damn movie to end (and for Anne Hathaway’s character to just shut up and die).


Speaking of just wanting a movie to end, I felt that way through the second half of Into The Woods. It’s just over 2 hours long but it really did feel like I’d been sitting there twice that long. For anyone who knows the story, there’s an “end” about three quarters of the way through. I was SO happy it seemed to be ending. But then it just went on. And on. And on. Then, when it finally ended, I didn’t feel like we actually got a good resolution for anyone. The story seemed to have no clear point. What was the “moral” of the whole thing?? Some people learned their lessons (sort of) and some didn’t. So many loose ends were left. I just felt like the whole story was messy, confusing and, well, quite stupid. THAT’S the best they could do with a bunch of Grimms’ fairy tales?! It’s pretty bad when Shrek kicks your sorry fairy tale ass and is far more clever (and I’m not really a fan of Shrek – I think those movies are highly overrated).


Did I say this would be short & non-bitchy? Damn. Well, a few things weren’t bad. James Corden, Anna Kendrick & especially Emily Blunt were all pretty good & felt right for their roles. They almost made up for how much Johnny Depp & Chris Pine sucked, I suppose. Meryl Streep was fine, but, come on – an Oscar nomination for THAT? What a joke. (I’m writing this before the Oscars – hopefully she didn’t win). I like her, though – it’s just funny how the Academy feels the need to nominate her every year for whatever she happened to be in. God I hated that Little Red Riding Hood bitch! And Jack (of Beanstalk fame) felt about as pointless as Little Red Riding Hood’s character. The Big Bad Wolf pedophile thing went a little too far over the line and, seriously – who were we meant to actually care about in this movie as the characters are all pretty hateful? I guess the baker & his wife, which makes the ending even more ridiculous. Shit – this was meant to be the paragraph where I wasn’t bitchy. I suppose the costumes were nice? What we could see of them, at least, as it’s so dark in those stupid woods.



Unlike Into The Woods, I know it’s time to finish as I’m just going on & on in the same way the film did. I didn’t go into this with high or low expectations so it can’t be blamed on that and I’m also not anti-musical as there are plenty that I do like. However, when it’s a musical I do expect at least a couple good songs that I’ll be humming afterwards. Being a movie fan first, though, I’d have at least liked a story & characters that I cared about since the songs were so bland. I wasn’t expecting to not like either element of Into The Woods.

My Rating: 4.5/10



My Top Ten Actors’ Eyes


Err… Would this actually be a Top 20???

Abbi of Where The Wild Things Are once again did a couple Top Tens that I’d like to rip off. 😉 Her lists of her Top Ten Most Annoying Actors & Actresses (as well as the actors & actresses she’d watch in most everything) have now been copied by pretty much every one of us movie bloggers on WordPress. Well, a while ago Abbi got the idea from Cindy Bruchman’s Mr Bright Eyes Top Ten list of blue-eyed actors to then do her own list of Top Ten Blue Eyed Actors followed by her Top Ten Brown Eyed Actors.

Well, I’m mixing it up a bit! If I had to pick, I’d say brown eyes are what do it for me the most but I do love some sexy blue eyes as well (hello Chris Hemsworth!). So I’m putting both in one list.

Here are My Top Ten (Twenty!) Actors’ Eyes:

10. Jesse Williams

Whenever I’m not watching Grey’s Anatomy because it’s full of moany wankers, I always think “Damn! That guy has some lovely eyes.” But then I think “Not that I would know, since I totally don’t watch that annoying Grey’s Anatomy bullshit. Umm. It must be The Cabin In The Woods I’m thinking of. Yep, that’s where I saw him. Not Grey’s Anatomy. I don’t watch that shit. Honest!”


9. Orlando Bloom

I wouldn’t say I have a big crush on Bloom but his brown eyes are perfect. I could have put either Orlando Bloom or Andrew Garfield at number nine as they both have the perfect type of brown eyes that make me melt but I went with Bloom as, well, he’s definitely the more attractive of the two.


8. David Bowie

That’s me – once again using any excuse to get David Bowie into a post. 😉 I’ve always been quite fascinated by people who have eyes of different colors (even though, in Bowie’s case, it’s down to a childhood accident). It’s just another quirk that makes him unique.


7. Paul Walker

Aww – poor Paul Walker. I wasn’t a fan of those silly testosterone-fueled Fast & Furious movies but I loved Walker’s baby blues. It was a shame he’d done so many of those movies – I’d have liked to see him in other things. You know what movie of his I really liked? Roadkill! (Called Joy Ride in the US. Isn’t it weird when they change movie titles??)


6. Johnny Depp

Another crush from my teen years who had beautiful brown eyes. I can’t help it… the majority of guys I had crushes on through my teens just always seemed to have brown eyes! Holy shit, though – look at the size of that collar.


5. Paul Rudd

Sweet, funny, adorable Paul Rudd. I’ve loved him since Clueless. Cute AND funny – that’s how I like ’em! Love his slightly unusual greenish eye color.


4. Chris Hemsworth

Those who know me know that I kind of have the hots for The Hems. He’s gorgeous from top to bottom anyway but having eyes that are such a perfect shade of blue certainly doesn’t hurt either.


3. Jim Sturgess

I told you I liked brown! Don’t get me wrong – Hemsworth is still my number one crush. Jim Sturgess, however, has THE most perfect puppy dog brown eyes. This is the type of boy I’d have fallen desperately in love with as a teenager (and who would’ve broken my heart, of course. the bastard!).


2. Paul Newman

Back to blue! Okay, Chris Hemsworth is gorgeous but Paul Newman beat him to “baby-blue-eyed sex symbol” fame. What a legend! What a face. What a hottie!


1. Michael Schoeffling

Ha! Yes, Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles. What can I say? Jake Ryan topped my list HERE of My Top Ten Movie Crushes. As your biggest crushes are when you’re in your teens, a lot of the guys on that list are of course from my teenage years. Jake Ryan was the perfect guy to me back then (in a totally shallow looks-wise way). So I have to put the lovely Michael Schoeffling’s beautiful brown eyes at number one.


Green Eyes & The Ladies:

It feels like I should mention some actresses as well, such as Elizabeth Taylor, whose eyes were a deep shade of blue that sometimes appeared violet and who was lucky enough to be born with a “mutation” of a double row of eyelashes!! (I had never heard that until I looked people up when putting this list together). Also, seeing as I have neither blue nor brown eyes, I felt like I should give a shout-out to all the AWESOME green and hazel-eyed people out there. There are lots of beautiful green-eyed actresses but not actors for some reason. I read that green eyes are more common in women but that was somewhere on the Internet and the Internet is full of LIES, so… Who knows! Anyway, here are a few actresses with lovely eyes (yeah, mostly green as green-eyed girls rock):

Evangeline Lilly
Scarlett Johansson
Angelina Jolie
Emily Browning
Charlize Theron
Melanie Laurent

And the most amazing eyes I’ve ever seen belong to actress Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, who was specifically hired for the (great) movie I Origins, a film in which the plot revolves around the eyes and their mysteries. I wondered throughout the movie if they were faked but they’re indeed her actual eyes with the unusual markings and different colors. Gorgeous!


Platoon (1986) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review


Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from John of 501 Must See Movies Project . He also reviewed Amadeus HERE. Thanks for the reviews, John! 🙂 Now let’s hear his thoughts on Platoon, IMDB rank 144 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list of remaining films HERE. See the full list & links to all the reviews that have already been done HERE. I’ve stopped receiving so many guest reviews now so if you send yours soon, it should post soon. I only have enough for the next month.


The first casualty of war is innocence.

Charlie Taylor (Charlie Sheen) is a green, fresh to arrive recruit in Vietnam.  Platoon follows Taylor and his company as they cope with the hardships of war, and the film brings back the reality of what went on over there to the big screen for the first time since Apocalypse Now (1979).

The unit breaks into two contrasting camps: one with Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger), who believes in total war and winning at any cost, and Sgt. Elias (Willem Dafoe), who is battle-tested but gracious in contrast to Barnes.  Each side as plenty of support, and they battle,  as Taylor puts it, “for possession of my soul.”

Platoon features a whole slew of familiar faces (Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David, Johnny Depp, Forest Whitaker, John C. McGinley, Tony Todd, Mark Moses), many of which were at the beginning of their careers.

A couple of things added to the authenticity of this film.  Oliver Stone’s experience in Vietnam, woven throughout the characters Taylor encounters, and the preparation the actors went through in making this film.  They trained for two weeks before filming began, building camaraderie as a unit, digging foxholes, encountering “night attacks” to get used to the special effects that would be used.  The familiarity these actors had with their weapons made the actions and emotion seem genuine.

The acting in this film is top-notch.  The characters evoke strong emotions in the audience: you either really like or really hate what a person says or does.  I found myself completely disgusted with some of the men in the Barnes camp as they abused and mistreated both Vietnamese peasants and their fellow soldiers.  An interesting commentary on this came from Taylor as he was airlifted out at the end of the film.  He describes that the Vietnamese weren’t the enemy, instead we were our own enemy.  There is a lot of killing, granted, but more of it being American killing American than one would expect.

I believe I’ve said it before, but Willem Dafoe is probably one of my favorite actors.  This film is one of the reasons for that opinion.  He is a strong, committed character whose performance I felt stood above all the others. I also found it interesting that he never wear a helmet.  Ever.  Tom Berenger, though I don’t agree with his characters outlook and way of carrying himself, brings that type of soldier to life and it fully committed to his character.

Charlie Sheen does very well in this movie as well.  The contrast and how quickly his idealized or unaware outlook at the beginning of the film is quickly shredded and almost gone by the end of the film.  He quickly loses the label of ‘new meat’ and becomes one of the guys.  His judgement and discernment remain, though, which is refreshing and relieving.

It’s interesting seeing John C. McGinley in a role like this after watching him at Dr. Cox on Scrubs, but hey that might just be me.

Platoon is considered one of the best films of the 1980s, it won the Best Picture Oscar in 1987.  It’s authenticity and superb acting both contribute largely to its success.  It’s one I enjoyed, and I’d definitely recommend seeing.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.



Question Of The Month At Oracle Of Film

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It’s that time again! Time for another Question Of The Month from Luke over at Oracle Of Film. (Sorry I’m slow to link to this, Luke. Having a very hectic week!). His question this month was “What’s the worst performance from your favorite actor?”. Have a look at all the great replies HERE. I’ll give you a hint on what my choice was: Johnny Depp in that picture at the top! 😉


Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl (2003) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

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For today’s IMDB Top 250 guest review, we have the wonderful Abbi of Where The Wild Things Are AGAIN! That’s right – Abbi has already gone & done two IMDB Top 250 reviews for me (you can read her Kill Bill Vol 1 review HERE). So a huge thanks to Abbi getting these reviews over to me so quickly – I love how enthusiastic she (and lots of you!) has been about this project. 🙂

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list HERE.

Abbi loves Kill Bill – let’s see how she feels about Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl, IMDB rank 216 out of 250…

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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

On her voyage from England to Port Royal, Jamaica, governor’s daughter, Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) spots young Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) floating on a piece of wood. When he is brought aboard she notices that he is wearing a gold pirate medallion. Worried that the boy will be tried for piracy she takes the medallion before anyone can see it and keeps it for herself.
Years later Port Royal is flourishing, Will has become a blacksmith and Elizabeth has grown into a beautiful, if not spoiled, young woman, who has caught not only Will’s eye but also that of Commodore Norrington (Jack Davenport).
On the day of Norrington’s promotion Elizabeth faints and falls over the side of a cliff into the sea, where she is saved by Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), an infamous pirate known just as much for his terrible reputation as his rather eccentric behaviour. Sparrow is arrested for his efforts but as he languishes in the cells the terrifying pirate crew of The Black Pearl descends on Port Royal, sacking it and kidnapping Elizabeth in the process. Will is distraught and decides reluctantly to turn to the one person he is sure can help him rescue Elizabeth, Captain Jack.
Now the two will set off on a swashbuckling adventure where they’ll have to face off against not only a group of pirates with a disturbing secret but also the pride of the Royal Navy. But can Jack be trusted and is Will really who he thinks he is?
To truly appreciate The Curse of The Black Pearl, you have to try and pretend that you haven’t seen any of the progressively more dire sequels and hark back to a time when Captain Jack was a fresh new character rather than a pitiful, overused, annoying caricature of himself, because essentially, this is the Johnny Depp show. Captain Jack is a brilliant creation – devious, cunning, gorgeous and utterly hilarious… a pirate captain played out like a drug addled rock star. Basically you either want to sleep with Captain Jack or be him or maybe both (how would that work?)
Curse of the Black Pearl looks amazing, is packed with action and provides more than its fair share of laughs making it one of those very rare films that really is perfect for the whole family. If only they had stopped after the first one! 4.5/5 (and really bad eggs)

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They see me rollin. They hate it. Patrollin, tryin to catch me sailing dirty.


My Top Ten Johnny Depp Movies

Because… Why not? I couldn’t think of another topic & was in the mood to do a top ten! Johnny Depp used to be my favorite actor by far. Unfortunately, he’s been in a lot of bad movies in recent years. 😦

Anyway – here are My Top Ten Johnny Depp Movies, counting down from ten. (Ranked by favorite film, not role):

10. TIE: Blow & Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (does that one count?)

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9. Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl

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8. Donnie Brasco

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7. Corpse Bride

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6. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street

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5. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

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4. Benny & Joon

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3. Ed Wood

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2. A Nightmare On Elm Street

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1. Edward Scissorhands

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**Edit to add:

I did like Platoon and it would make this list if I could actually remember Johnny in it! It was a very small role, right?

Also want to give a shout out to one of my favorite TV shows ever: 21 Jump Street. I know Johnny grew to hate being in that show but I loved it! No, I’ve not seen that movie that doesn’t appear to have anything in common with the TV show…

And, before you all ask: No, I’ve not seen Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. 😉


The Rum Diary

Okay – I watched this because of Johnny Depp. I’ve loved him since his 21 Jump Street & A Nightmare On Elm Street days.

I was bored out of my mind! It’s one of those movies where I fell asleep halfway through and could barely be bothered to finish it the next day. Sorry!

And I’m less in love with Johnny Depp these days. Too many dodgy movies in recent years, I think. Gotta say I’m more into Amber Heard now. 😉 I can’t be bothered to really review this movie – Let’s just look at a few pictures of her in The Rum Diary…

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My Rum Diary Haiku:

Johnny Depp is old
I don’t know what’s going on
Amber Heard is hot

My Rating: 5/10