Go to the wood!

As we enter into the holiday season, the movie studios begin to ramp up their pitches to have the most popular movie of the holiday season.    There are endless commercials already for the newest Hunger Games movie, and we’re about five minutes from the next blast of Hobbit-related advertising.  Neither of these are what I’m most looking forward to, though.  The movie I’m most looking forward to over the holidays?   Into The Woods.

Here’s the trailer, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the story.

Most of my friends know that I’m a musical theater geek.   I’ve seen a ton of them live.  I went out of my way to see both the Little Shop Of Horrors and Starlight Express auf Deutsch.  I’ve seen Wicked six times now (in four different cities), and I’m two weeks away from seeing Book Of Mormon again when the tour hits Miami.

I love musicals, and I love movie adaptations of them… usually.  When they come out well, you get movies like Mamma Mia, West Side Story, Bells Are Ringing, Little Shop of Horrors- all excellent translations of the source material onto the silver screen.    The single best movie adaptation of a musical that I have ever seen is Sweeney Todd.  But then I’m predisposed to like that one; it’s long been one of my favorite musicals.

On the flip side, you have movies that come out a little flat-  Rent, for example-  it was good, but it felt like an MTV video version of the stage show, rather than a movie.  And some movies that are all style with no substance, like the movie version of Phantom Of The Opera-  that was gorgeous to look at, but every time Gerard Butler opened his mouth to sing, I wanted to shove icepicks into my ears.

With every new adaptation from stage to screen, I approach the theater with cautious optimism.    Into The Woods has a lot of potential, and a great cast. If they don’t let Meryl Streep get away with too much talking through her songs instead of singing, there’s a lot of potential here.

On Christmas Day, I’ll be in line to see this one.

What movie are you most looking forward to this holiday season?

3 thoughts on “Go to the wood!

  1. Into the Woods can be a looooong production to sit through. Amazing concept, gorgeous music, amazing scenery. But long. I wonder how long the movie is? And what did they cut to make it fit in a neat 2 1/2 hour package?

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  2. Amelie

    I have high hopes for this this one, and as long as they don’t chicken out on the music, I think it will be awesome. I was going to mention that the 1991 American Playhouse version with Bernadette Peters as the witch has been on Netflix forever, but it has recently disappeared. I kinda expected it to, but I wanted to watch it again (even if I’ve seen it a zillion times), because it’s such a wonderful version. Let’s see how the movie compares.

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  3. bunny42

    I, too, adore musicals. I must respectfully disagree about Phantom, though. I loved the movie version, almost as much as the two times I’ve seen the stage production. What was your problem with Gerard Butler? After all, Johnny Depp is no songbird, either. (Sweeney Todd is soooo great!) Everybody can’t be Pavarotti… 😎 Maybe I’m a poor judge, though, since pretty much my favorite musical movie (besides, Fantasia, of course) is Mary Poppins…

    Looking forward to Into the Woods. Can’t go far wrong with Sondheim.

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