Emily Blunt

Film Review: Into the Woods

by Carrie Kahn on December 25, 2014

The cast is great/The film is good/Into the woods/To go to the movies!

The Baker (James Corden) and his Wife (Emily Blunt) venture Into the Woods.

The Baker (James Corden) and his Wife (Emily Blunt) venture Into the Woods.

Director Rob Marshall, who was nominated for an Oscar for his film version of the musical “Chicago” back in 2003, returns this holiday season with another big screen adaptation of a Broadway hit musical. This time he takes on Steven Sondheim’s storied (pun intended) 1987 mega-hit Into the Woods, an extraordinarily entertaining mishmash of several of the Grimm Brothers classic fairy tales. Produced by Disney, the film had been the subject of widespread speculation that the darker edges of the Sondheim/James Lapine fantasy might be smoothed too much. Purists need not worry, however; Marshall’s version retains the mature themes and disquieting tone of the original, and has the added benefit of a terrific cast.

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More like… ‘Edge of your seat’.

Saving Private Ryan meets Aliens

Groundhog D-Day

With films like The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith under his belt (as well as Swingers and Go), director Doug Liman is no stranger to directing top notch action sequences that simultaneously contribute to clever storytelling.  Edge of Tomorrow has some of the most gripping battle scenes in quite some time, but also clever humor, solid action, and a surprisingly engaging yet quasi-familiar plot.  All the pieces work together.  Tom Cruise, one of the last remaining movie stars (in the traditional sense of the term), is terrific as usual, but he doesn’t carry the film.  Neither does a strong co-lead in Emily Blunt. Nor do the insanely gripping action sequences and phenomenal effects.  No, Edge of Tomorrow is carried proudly on the shoulders of everyone involved.  It’s a fast-paced A-grade blockbuster through and through, one that provides the intense action, clever plot twists, and smart sense of fun that most blockbusters fail to deliver.

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I’ve warned you. Put this post down! Don’t you dare read it before seeing the movie!

Please don’t read this post until you’ve already seen Rian Johnson’s excellent film, Looper. I’m about to spoil the heck out of it. There are some lingering questions about this movie (most of them crazy theories) that I want to discuss with someone, so I’m asking you, the Internet, to discuss it with me. If you click to read more, I’m going to assume you’ve seen it. Click below to reveal spoilers. [read the whole post]


Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis in LOOPER

Looper, the ingenious new sci-fi drama from writer/director Rian Johnson (Brick), has one hell of a setup. The year is 2044, and time travel hasn’t been invented yet — but it will be. And when it is, it immediately becomes illegal. But in the bombed-out dystopian American future of Johnson’s imagining, time travel’s illegality just means powerful crime syndicates are the only ones with access to it. Due to implanted tracking devices, disposing of bodies in the future is impossible. So the mobsters dispatch their targets back to 2044, bound and hooded, where they are immediately shot and killed by assassins known as “loopers,” who then incinerate the remains. But a new crime boss known as The Rainmaker has risen to power, and he is determined to “close the loops” by finding the future versions of the assassins from 2044, sending them back in time and having them killed — by the younger versions of themselves. Got that? The loopers are understandably perturbed by this, and a moment’s hesitation can lead to the older version of themselves escaping and creating quite a time-space conundrum. Such is the case with Joe, played in 2044 by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and in the future by Bruce Willis.

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Emily Blunt and Jason Segel on what looks suspiciously like the roof-top patio at 2 Folsom in THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT

starring: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Jacki Weaver, Chris Parnell, Rhys Ifans, Brian Posehn, Mindy Kaling, Mimi Kennedy, David Paymer, Dakota Johnson

written by: Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller

directed by: Nicholas Stoller

MPAA: Rated R for sexual content, and language throughout

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