Into the Woods

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Re: Into the Woods

Post by Ben » January 3rd, 2015, 6:25 am

Just a quick question: I got the "deluxe" edition CD of the soundtrack for Christmas but wanted to check on the packaging...Disney's deluxe sets usually come in digibook style sleeves but this is a regular CD plastic case with the two discs and an insert.

It may be that this is how the UK offers the set, like they did with Frozen, but does anyone know if the US edition comes in something fancier, like a digibook style? I've looked for images online but most just show the front cover, which doesn't reveal anything...

Thanks! :)

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Re: Into the Woods

Post by Dacey » January 3rd, 2015, 12:17 pm

In the states, the Frozen "deluxe" edition had a boring case and the same cover as the "regular" soundtrack. Actually, it was less appealing than the regular soundtrack, since that one at least at nice artwork of Elsa on the back, and the "deluxe" edition didn't even have that. So I wouldn't at all surprised if Into The Woods is the same way, but then again, since Disney is targeting Oscars with this film, they might've put something "fancy" out just to get attention.
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Re: Into the Woods

Post by Dan » January 3rd, 2015, 1:36 pm

Actually, I think they produce a limited number of those digibook style cases for their deluxe edition soundtracks. I managed to get that one of Frozen before the switch to regular CD cases.

I imagine the same thing is being done for Into the Woods.

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Re: Into the Woods

Post by Ben » January 3rd, 2015, 6:42 pm

Yes, the Frozen I got from the US came in a digibook. I've managed to see some digipak Into The Woods online, so have ordered the US one and will return the "boring" regular UK case one.

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Re: Into the Woods

Post by Dusterian » January 8th, 2015, 7:45 pm

Sondheim didn't defend the changes. The teachers said he and Lapine should have tried to stand up for work, and they said they did, but couldn't change their minds.

This film was very good, but one thing is it's not the true Into the Woods because Rapunzel's fate is drastically changed from the original, and gives less impact to the Witch's character and actions and the whole second act.
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Re: Into the Woods

Post by EricJ » January 9th, 2015, 2:04 pm

Dusterian wrote:This film was very good, but one thing is it's not the true Into the Woods because Rapunzel's fate is drastically changed from the original, and gives less impact to the Witch's character and actions and the whole second act.
I'd always heard Rapunzel's fate was changed in the later stage tours, since S&L thought it got the wrong reaction from the audience.

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Re: Into the Woods

Post by Dan » January 9th, 2015, 9:07 pm

I don't recall them changing Rapunzel's fate that much in the later stage shows (the show I went to see months ago with the group that has since taken it off-Broadway kept the original fate intact). I think what changed more was the addition of moments to flesh out and enhance the Witch and Rapunzel's relationship ("Our Little World" being one of the more well known), giving the later scenes where Rapunzel starts going insane have greater emotional meaning behind them.

Hidden for Spoilers in the film.
I'm still weighing just how much of an impact changing Rapunzel's fate in the film had on the story overall. In a way, how the events played out allowed for the Witch's actions later in the story to have a different meaning, in my opinion. One can interpret her hostility to Jack and wanting to deliver him to the Giantess as an outlet for her anger at being rejected by Rapunzel.

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Re: Into the Woods

Post by Ben » January 14th, 2015, 6:28 am

So Into The Woods came out last Friday here and we saw it last night...

I liked it, but then I'm a Sondheim fan. I'm not sure I liked all the changes (like pretty much everyone, I grew up with the Bernadette Peters version) but I really did like having the Baker be the "narrator" by the end, a great idea that I don't see why it wasn't ever implemented in the past!

The casting was pretty good, and everyone was just this side of right in being theatrical enough while also making it feel it was all happening for real. I still feel there's a much better screen version to be told of this, though, and possibly only in animation. In a big way, this is the first "cinematic universe" type event (even though it first played out on stage!), combining all the characters and situations from various fairytales, mostly Grimm I believe.

So you (or, well, Disney) could really go to town with their animated versions of Cinderella, Rapunzel, etc, all turning up in this and really do the material justice. I thought Rob Marshall (as played by Jamie Kennedy as The Mask) did a great job with his meagre $50m budget, but that this didn't always allow for him to show some real spectacle and make this a real "film" as opposed to a stage translation (like he did so brilliantly with Chicago in opening up the action).

So we don't see Jack's interaction with the Giants (for real, even for just a couple of shots) other than their feet (mainly) and a few shots of the Giant's wife at the end, which didn't really feel big enough to lift the film from its bogged down second half (even on the stage, act two can be a bit of a slog to get through as there's not a lot of variety). I did like how they took the lighting effects, though, and carried that into the dark and gloomy second half as opposed to the bright and sunlit first.

I didn't really mind the Rapunzel changes...for me that all got a bit random and odd in the stage play anyway, so this wraps things up (a bit) better, even though it didn't really happen with any significance. Maybe this does give the Witch more reason towards the end, but I never really understood how her power was gone one moment, back the next. Overall, the streamlining (removing the Baker's father, the princes' subplot) worked, although afterward I kind of wished they'd left the princes' second act subplot (with Snow White and Sleeping Beauty) in since it just emphasises how silly they are and also squeezes in two more fairytale icons into the mix.

I also didn't think the Baker's wife's fate was too clearly done, in an attempt to keep it light, and I wonder if Disney had just put this out under Touchstone we could have had something more true to the original, even if at its original length and tone it could have been box-office poison, which Disney is obviously more than aware of, hence the changes. Ultimately it doesn't affect the story or what happens to most of the characters, and I did enjoy Marshall's direction and handling of the material for the studio he was making it for.

I don't think this will win over any new fans, or those that can't get a hook on Sondheim, but I dont think it alienates those that like the original. It may not satisfy them completely, but it's well done, pretty well cast, looks great and is just about as big a screen version as one would hope for the budget (even if I do think there's an even bigger, more faithful and potentially awesome "cinematic universe" version to be had).

:)

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Re: Into the Woods

Post by Dusterian » January 18th, 2015, 9:17 pm

Ben wrote:... combining all the characters and situations from various fairytales, mostly Grimm I believe.
All are Grimm's except Jack and the Beanstalk which is British.
Ben wrote:Maybe this does give the Witch more reason towards the end, but I never really understood how her power was gone one moment, back the next.
Spoilers:
You mean Rapunzel's fate change gives her more reason for what she does in the end? If so, I think the opposite, as I don't think the Witch would leave the world while Rapunzel still lived in it. As for her losing her magic, then getting it back, her powers return because she chooses to throw the beans and become ugly again and live with her mother. It could even be her mother who is doing the magic.

Ben wrote:I also didn't think the Baker's wife's fate was too clearly done...
I completely agree.
Ben wrote:(even if I do think there's an even bigger, more faithful and potentially awesome "cinematic universe" version to be had).
I agree with this and a lot of the rest of your post.
Last edited by Dusterian on January 24th, 2015, 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Into the Woods

Post by Dacey » January 18th, 2015, 10:39 pm

Annnnd....looks like I should've left this topic a long time ago. ;) Might be best to hide those spoilers, Dust.
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Re: Into the Woods

Post by Dusterian » January 24th, 2015, 3:46 pm

Whoops sorry.
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Re: Into the Woods

Post by Ben » January 24th, 2015, 9:09 pm

Just as an aside...I did return the standard CD box UK edition to Amazon, and got the deluxe digipak style release from the US, so copies of the movie soundtrack are available in that format. :)

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Re: Into the Woods

Post by Randall » March 29th, 2015, 11:07 am

We watched this last night, On Demand from our local TV provider. I liked it, but was satisfied I'd gone with a rental rather than a purchase (though I might still cave later when I see it on sale!).

The casting mostly worked for me. The kids were fantastic, and the Hollywood casting worked. Chris Pine was the biggest surprise, in a good way. I'm afraid, though, that I had to agree with my wife, who said a "homely" Cinderella didn't work for her. While I thought she was being overly unkind to Kendrick, I have to admit the thought had crossed my mind that Kendrick's talent may be better suited to the stage.

A couple of the songs may have gone on a wee bit too long (my wife got restless), and the inherent nature of the piece meant that the act break was patently obvious and almost made for two different films. You could certainly tell this came from a stage play, given the "non-Hollywood" aspects (i.e. actions and fates of certain characters), but overall I enjoyed myself.

I was not familiar with the stage play (how did that happen?), so I have no comments to make about the changes. However, I liked this enough to want to see the play and therefore the full story. As everyone raves about Bernadette Peters (and yes, I adore her too), today I sought out the new Blu-ray edition of the play (I do know of its technical limitations), only to find it had quickly gone out of print and was demanding big prices. Fortunately, I managed to snag a copy off eBay still being offered at retail price.

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Re: Into the Woods

Post by Ben » March 29th, 2015, 1:47 pm

Be prepared for a *much* longer second act, Rand...there's a reason a lot of revivals and school shows end their presentations with the "happily ever after" of Act One. If Tess got restless in this, as did Jen, she'll be moribund during the original stage version...!

And the BD is OOP already? Darn it...


Update: phew...not OOP after all. Amazon's getting more in. Then again, I may go DVD on this. The TV showing, which I still have off-air on VHS (!), was never that great due to using the old smeary tube cameras and it certainly wasn't shot on film or HD video, so I can't imagine the BD being any better than an upscaled DVD. According to reviews, the BD has interlacing artefacts resulting from this whereas the DVD just presents a solid version of the SD broadcast.

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Re: Into the Woods

Post by EricJ » March 29th, 2015, 2:39 pm

Randall wrote:We watched this last night, On Demand from our local TV provider. I liked it, but was satisfied I'd gone with a rental rather than a purchase (though I might still cave later when I see it on sale!).
The casting mostly worked for me. The kids were fantastic, and the Hollywood casting worked. Chris Pine was the biggest surprise, in a good way. I'm afraid, though, that I had to agree with my wife, who said a "homely" Cinderella didn't work for her. While I thought she was being overly unkind to Kendrick, I have to admit the thought had crossed my mind that Kendrick's talent may be better suited to the stage.
As one who saw the 80's play on stage and PBS, I've only VOD'ed the first act of the movie (weather was too bad to see it in the theaters), and the movie's pretty darn good so far.
Lapine wildly overplayed the humor to almost burlesque levels in the stage version, and Marshall plays it back down to normal, more intuitive levels, but seems like Meryl Streep is the only one who's keeping that gagged-up overplayed edge. (Frankly, I think we'll be starting to lose Meryl after that Disney incident, she's beginning to get that flip-off-the-industry look in her eyes...) Lilla Crawford manages to make Red a more natural brat, rather than the comic-relief hellion in the play, and Daniel Huttlestone's Jack is a more sympathetic naif when played by an actual kid.

Out of the four movie adaptations of Sondheim, I'm ready to say this takes the crown away from Sweeney Todd as best--which is not hard to do--but I'll have to check in on those nasty second-act changes I've heard such tell about. And actually, I'm less worried about Marshall's changes than I was about Burton's.

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