Directed by: Rob Marshall
Screenplay: James Lapine
Release Date: December 25, 2014
Okay, I’m going to start by saying that I did not expect that. Did not expect that at all. When I saw the previews for it, little did I know that it was going to be a musical. I mean, from start to finish, mainly singing. Very similar to Les Miserables, with just a touch more dialogue (but not by much). Knowing it was a Disney production, I expected singing. But from beginning to end? Nope. And not that I don’t like musicals, because I really enjoyed Les Miserables, just that … ah, well. Let me get on with it.
Plot summary: The story is focused on four main threads. You’ve got Jack and the Giant Beanstalk, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and a Baker and his wife. At the heart of these threads is a wicked witch and a curse and a side story of Rapunzel. The backdrop to these storylines is the woods, which is where each storyline crosses into each other and the fun starts … and ends.
So, my thoughts on the plot? Honestly, a bit confusing and well, interesting at the same time. I think I’ll have to watch this again to full grasp the story line. At first viewing it seems confusing. The fairy tales that we know of are kind of skewed in this one. While I don’t mind varying points of view on treasured fairy tales, I have to say, this one was harder to grasp. Cinderella was probably the most different, and I liked it. It was a three-day ball and she kept running from the Prince when on the third night the Prince threw tar on the steps to ensnare her and she decides to give it a shot and marries him. Of course, other things transpire in the woods and well, I’m just going to leave it at that. Jack and the Beanstalk is probably the one fairytale that more or less stays true to what we know. The side story with Rapunzel also stayed true to the Grimm version.
So what’s the problem? I don’t know. I guess it’s what happens after each fairy tale supposedly gets there happy ending. The wife of the giant Jack slays comes down a beanstalk and enters the woods and everything gets weird. It’s different. I’m not entirely sure I like it. And that’s not to say I won’t eventually like it, just for right now, I’m not so sure. My brother brought up a good point though. With Disney movies things seem to be black and white. There is a good guy, a bad guy, and a moral to the story. In this one, everything is relative. And while I think that’s a good thing on one level, because it’s not always black and white as we wish it to be, I don’t know if it’s a good thing on this level, you know? Again, I think it’s one of those movies I just have to watch again to see if it settles on me.
The cast was excellent though. You’ve got Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine, and other actors and actresses that did an excellent job. I’m not too familiar with James Corden, who played the Baker, but I think he did great! He stood his ground against actress Emily Blunt, who played his wife.
The CG wasn’t too bad either. It’s fantasy so there’s not much you could do wrong with CG in this genre. The visuals were awesome!
So, overall? Well, I don’t think this is one I’d add to my DVD collection. I think I’d watch it again and possible a few more times after, but I’d wait for it to load on Netflix. If you love musicals I’d recommend it. Other than that, it’s probably something you should pass up on.
Favorite Scene: It’s got to be when Prince Charming and Rapunzel’s Prince cross paths with each other and start singing about their respective love interests. It was a fun and hilarious scene.
And I still can’t believe how far Chris Pine has come. Seriously, I’ve more or less followed his career since Princess Diaries 2 simply because I thought he was pretty good in that one and I figured he’d go places. Not disappointed.