Colleen Houck


“Chapped rats and bats' wings, brandied worms and adders' stings, Goat's wool and owl's hoot, fish's tongue and dog's foot. Into the potion, all you go, add clockwork hearts, positioned so…" The Lantern's Ember

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  • Movie Review: Into The Woods

    January 10, 2015


    Into The Woods

    I always give spoilers so consider yourself warned. =)

    Colleen’s Movie Review

    Romance: I liked the sweet relationship between the baker and his wife and seeing Rapunzel and her prince and Cinderella with Prince Charming (Chris Pine) was fun but the parts where they fall in love was missing from the film. In fact, all the fun bits like the ball or the prince climbing the tower and meeting Rapunzel weren’t shown.

     

    Special Effects: I loved the change from ugly to pretty when the witch broke the curse. Stared at her hair a lot after that and the costumes were really lovely. The giant was silly as was the damage she did. Loved the leaves changing into Cinderella’s gold dress.

    What I Liked: The costumes, the cast, the music, the creativity of tying the fairy tales together. The singing was fantastic.

    What I’d Change: The plot. The story was vague. If the point of the whole thing was “be careful what you wish for” then there needed to be a moral compass binding the whole thing together. Maybe the witch’s mother could have been a part of it and could have met each character giving them a little warning about the possible consequences should they choose unwisely. Then she could have been the one singing the great song at the end and it would have felt like at least someone in the film knew what they were doing. I ended up feeling frustrated with all the characters because of this.

    Killing the giantess right after they sang about how she had friends and/or needed friends, too, felt wrong, and being able to kill her with a pebble to the brain was silly and too much like David and Goliath.

    I don’t understand why, after the blame song, the witch killed herself. There was no purpose to her death. It seemed like someone decided that all the characters had to lose something to learn a lesson and thus random deaths and pain happened for no reason.

    The Tagline:

    I’m not sure if there is an official tagline but I supposed it would be, “Be Careful What You Wish For.”

    Hunky Hero: Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, Billy Magnussen, and James Cordon were all the heroes of the tale with Chris Pine being the obvious eye candy. The sad part was that I didn’t end up liking any of them. They were flawed jerks with the exception of James Cordon who was a sweet baker but less than hunky.

     

     

    The Villain: Meryl Streep did a great job though her endgame was confusing and pointless. Really liked Johnny Depp as the wolf but he didn’t get to do too much.

    Best Line: Cinderella’s Prince: I was raised to be charming, not sincere.

    This line fits the entire movie actually. Someone should have said the movie was raised to show off a winning musical score, not to make sense.

    Charm without sincerity is not charm in my opinion. It’s a con.

    Best Scene: Hands down it was when the two princes were singing about the agony of not getting their women and ripping their shirts open in a strutting prince contest trying to outdo/outwhine one another. Laughed. Out. Loud.

    Recommended for YA Fans: If you like music and staring at Chris Pine then yes.

    Compared to the Book: I wish I’d seen the play so I could compare it.


     

    Trailer:


    A Guy’s Perspective

    2014-02-01 22.54.02

    Bio: I’m Colleen’s husband, Brad. I’m the youngest of four kids. I’ve been Deaf since I was five so I watch every movie with caption glasses. I love sports and reading (I’ll admit I’ve read Twilight but prefer thrillers like Jack Reacher). My favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip. I’ll never turn down a taco. I write poetry. My man credentials include: a high school career in wrestling, watching sports every time my wife is too busy to notice, a receding hairline, two repaired ACL’s, and a stockpile of Axe body wash.

    Review: 

    Into the Woods

    Knowing this was a fairy tale musical with some serious star power, I hoped to be blown away but I emerged from the theater feeling somewhat dissatisfied. The movie began well as various fairy tale characters–the Baker and his wife, Cinderella, Jack, and Red Riding Hood–expressed their wishes and longings. An ugly witch (Meryl Streep) informs the Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) that their childlessness is a result of a curse she placed on the baker’s father many years ago for stealing food from her garden. In order to break the curse, the couple agrees to supply the witch the elements she requires. A thick and dark woods is the common denominator that eventually brings all the fairy tale characters and the elements together, but not without tragedy and sacrifice.

    While the acting was fine, I was not awed by the music or the lyrics. Music and lyrics in a musical are supposed to push a story along, but these were served like fillers without a specific aim or purpose. I did laugh when the two princes (Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen) sang “Agony” but again, this song did not seem to fulfill any purpose other than comic relief. Perhaps I was not as awed because the story lacked a logical cohesion and a rewarding closure. The writers attempted to unite the fairy tale characters, including the witch, in a common cause by defeating the Giant’s Giant wife, but this was not well executed and sort of fell flat, like the Giant sort of did. Neither did the writers attempt to explore the connections between the characters. For instance, the fact that Rapunzel (who was tangential to the plot) and the Baker were brother and sister was an interesting premise but never explored at all. Rapunzel simply disappears with her prince.

    For a Disney film, I was a bit surprised by the lack of clear-cut morals. Johnny Depp seemed to be a disturbed pedophile who recently emerged from prison, the Baker’s wife makes out with Cinderella’s prince playboy, and Cinderella exacts vengeance on her stepsisters and stepmother by unleashing birds to gouge their eyes out. Really? The CGI effects were not impressive. This review is actually turning out to be more negative than I expected to give the impression that I hated it. But I didn’t hate it, I was just left confused. I love a movie that makes you feel intelligent and like you were taken for a ride, and this was not it.

    I give this film 4 Hulk Smash Fists.

    Brad

     


     

    This entry was posted in A Guy's Perspective, Movie Review.

    4 Responses to Movie Review: Into The Woods


    1. Veray Carter says:

      I think you may be missing the deeper meaning of Into the Woods. It isn’t about the fairy tales, it is about life. Going out into the world that is both scary and exciting. Red Riding Hood sings “stick to the path and don’t be distracted.” Its about doing things you don’t want to do. Jack sings “into the woods to sell a friend” The Baker and his wife have to do something difficult so they can have a child, but he wants to do it by himself. He wants to protect her from the woods. But they discover they need to do it together as they sing the number song about it taking 2. Cinderella’s life is a mess and the castle is a dream, but life (the woods) isn’t like she thought it would be. The Prince wants her when she is hard to get, but looses interest when she is finally caught. The witch wants to protect Rapunzel from the woods and keeps her in a tower. She sings “stay with me and be a child.” Rapunzel and Prince go through so much to be together that their relationship lasts and produces and miracle. The Baker’s wife leaves her husband and child and goes into the woods alone to do something she thinks is important, but ends up having a fling with the prince and then comes to her senses and sings about what is important in life. “Is it the moment or her husband and child” Then tragedy happens before she can return to them. They sing about everyone needs and friend and how everyone deserves to live, but then they are forced to defend themselves against the giant. In the end everyone has suffered and lost something, but No one is alone and they have each other. Be careful what you wish for was only the surface story in my opinion.

    2. Thanks Veray. You’re very likely right. It’s all about life and life isn’t always pretty. Still, I am a happily ever after girl. When I watch movies or television I want to escape. I want a hero. I agree with you that Rapunzel and her prince were the most heroic. We didn’t get to see them enough to contrast them with everyone else. This movie left me feeling sad and a little depressed. Into The Woods was just not what I was hoping for. (I was looking forward to a Fairy Tale slash Princess Bride kind of thing). I usually gravitate towards science fiction and fantasy rather than reality shows or contemporary, specifically because I need a happily ever after. Thanks for your insight!

      • Veray Carter says:

        I agree with you on the escape part. I like the same kind of movies and stories you do. And I need a happy ending too, so the movie left me feeling the same. It was too true to life. I can’t wait to read your next series. I hope it will take me away like your last one did and I am glad I can trust you to give me that happy ending. Raising 10 kids makes life all too real and books are my escape. 🙂

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    Colleen Houck
    Colleen Houck

    New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she's not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.