INTO THE WOODS
Desperate to reverse a curse placed on their childless family, a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) must find magical fairy tale items for a witch (Meryl Streep). Their search takes them deep into the woods where they cross paths with Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), The Prince (Chris Pine), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Beanstalk climber Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) and Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy). "Into the Woods" is a magical tune-filled treat that's sure to please fans of Stephen Sondheim. Based on the Broadway musical by James Lapine and Sondheim, director Rob Marshall ("Nine") brings the world of the Brothers Grimm to life on the big screen with one of the finest ensemble casts this year. Meryl Streep earns her status as a contender for Best Supporting Actress as she wickedly steals the show in every scene she's in. Johnny Depp is delightfully creepy in his all-too-brief role as The Wolf. This film also gives audiences an opportunity to see the multi-talented James Corden before taking over for Craig Ferguson as host of "The Late Late Show" on CBS. Magnificent performances and lavish sets compliment Sondheim's lyrical music. A word of caution: the happy ever after feeling takes a dark and more adult turn near the end. Even with some fractured elements, "Into the Woods" is more charming than grim.
Disney's Blu-ray + Digital HD edition of "Into the Woods" (released on March 24, 2015) is nothing short of perfection. Absolutely stunning video and audio highlight this widescreen presentation. But for fans of Stephen Sondheim, this Blu-ray goes beyond the theatrical experience. For starters, there's the deleted song "She'll Be Back". Written to flesh out the relationship between the Witch and Rapunzel, Meryl Streep provides the vocals. "Deeper Into the Woods", "The Cast as Good as Gold" and "There's Something About the Woods" are among the extras that delve into the background of this epic musical. Film commentary from director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca along with the ability to add on-screen lyrics to either all or individual musical numbers are also included. This must-own release for the legions of Sondheim followers delivers much more than just a little night music.