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21 January 2015 @ 12:59 pm
Into the Woods  
We went to see the Into the Woods movie with thumbie and shamiksan on saturday. Avalyn has seen the musical before, but i think just once or twice, and it's been years since then. Thumbie knew it had been a musical but had never seen it. Shamiksan didn't even know it was based on a musical until we mentioned it to him.

I on the other hand saw it once or twice as a kid on PBS. Then got the DVD while i was in college and must have watched it at least four or five more times since then. And then i got the soundtrack CD, ripped it, and made it a part of my regular music rotation.

They all liked the movie. I liked it _but_ every time they changed a line or skipped something my brain immediately latched onto it. Trying to put aside the constant distraction of that, i think it was reasonably good, but still not as good as the original musical.

One part they did do very will was the "Agony" duet, which really played up the one-upmanship between the princes in a hilarious way. Of course that makes me doubly sad that they never did the reprise of that song in the second half.

I also really miss the Narrator character. I presume he just got cut for time, because i can't think of any plot specific reasons why they got rid of him. They also left out the death of one of the characters. I'm not sure if that's because they wanted to lighten it up a little, because it let them save some more time, or both.

So yeah, all in all not ideal, but not as bad as i feared. If you haven't seen the musical, or haven't seen it in a long time, definitely go see this. (And then watch the musical.) If you've already seen the musical recently or are very familiar with it... your call.
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Steuardsteuard on January 22nd, 2015 12:55 am (UTC)
I've heard the suggestion that the Narrator character works better in a stage play than on screen. It's not entirely uncommon for a stage play to have a narrator off to the side (which is part of what makes it so amusing when he suddenly gets pulled into the story), but the only narrator I can think of actually standing on screen in a movie is the Famous Historian in the Holy Grail (which is pretty silly from the start). Narrators off screen are common in movies, and here they actually used the Baker for that (which tied in to his storytelling to his children at the end).

I did miss the Mysterious Man (who is often played by the same actor as the Narrator). Kim suggested that removing him helped to give the Witch more to do, but I love his final song exchange with the Baker and missed it in the movie. (That's one of the bits we found ourselves singing in the car on the way home.)
DonAithnendonaithnen on January 23rd, 2015 05:58 am (UTC)
Damn! I forgot to mention the fact that the Mysterious Man was also missing! I just kind of conflated him together with the Narrator for obvious reasons =P

I haven't watched a lot of musical adaptions, but obviously they do a lot of things differently in such movies, so i'm not entirely convinced that paying attention to normal conventions about film narrators is really necessary.
Auryanne: musicals: into the woodsauryanne on January 23rd, 2015 12:30 am (UTC)
I haven't seen it yet, but had heard they cut the Narrator. I'm curious how that affects act 2, with regards to his father -- or is he a separate character?

(Hey this icon is relevant again!)
DonAithnendonaithnen on January 23rd, 2015 06:02 am (UTC)
The Baker's father only appears in two scenes if i remember correctly, once in a flashback in the witch's tale at the beginning, and once, very briefly, as a ghost at the end to give some advice to the Baker. He doesn't participate in any songs in either instance =/

(As i mentioned in my response to steuard i really should have listed that as one of the peeves in my post, except i kinda forgot that he and the Narrator are different characters =P)

Also, that icon is awesome as well as being relevant!
Auryanne: musicals: into the woods logoauryanne on January 23rd, 2015 12:23 pm (UTC)
How strange, seems like a lot of the stuff in act 2 is cut then? I mean, to me, that was the entire center of the ending. It's playing at the cafe theater here so hopefully I can find time to go soon!
Steuardsteuard on January 25th, 2015 08:06 pm (UTC)
It's still the center of the ending, in a way, it's just that the Baker goes through those thoughts more or less on his own. His father's ghost(?) shows up for a few moments, just as the background music plays a snippet from "No More". It's not as powerful as the original (not by a longshot), but it still pretty much works in context.