Into the Woods

Director: Rob Marshall
Year Released: 2014
Rating: 2.0

Stephen Sondheim's musical fairy-tale mash-up gets the big screen adaptation by Marshall (to mixed effect): a barren couple (Emily Blunt and James Corden) make a deal with the local Witch (Meryl Streep) that if they collect four objects for her she will grant them a child (elsewhere, there's Jack and his Beanstalk, little Red Riding Hood and her Wolf, Rapunzel, Cinderella and so forth). The songs and pleasantness of the (admittedly strong) cast can only take it so far, however - it's not only neutered of its original haughtiness, but the second half is a photographically dark and muddled disaster, actually destroying the nuances and deeper meanings behind the original Sondheim/James Lapine collaboration (this is even more irksome considering Lapine worked on the script). In news that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone: Streep not only steals the movie but can sing like a dream.