Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Cinema reviews

Post Thumbnail

We look at the week’s top cinema releases

 

INTO THE WOODS (PG)
3 stars
Traditionally in fairytales, the bedraggled heroine wins her dashing prince, evil stepmothers get their comeuppance and abducted children escape the clutches of a witch by pushing the treacherous hag into her oven.

Nothing epitomises Happily Ever After like the heady aroma of roasting human flesh.

Into the Woods keeps turning the pages on these archetypal characters, imagining what might happen as they come to terms with their actions and – in most cases – suffer the repercussions.

Light comedy and heartrending tragedy skip hand in hand in James Lapine’s screenplay and Stephen Sondheim’s music and lyrics, which are ambrosia for director Rob Marshall, who propelled the 2002 film version of Chicago to Oscar glory.

This has nearly as much pizzazz, including gorgeous costumes, picturesque sets and digitally enhanced magical effects.

Thankfully, Marshall tones down the swirling camerawork and snappy editing here, adopting a gentler rhythm, which is less exhausting on our eyes over two hours.

The Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) yearn for a child but cannot conceive.

FILM Film Reviews 09300539035
Meryl Streep as The Witch in Into The Woods

 

The Witch (Meryl Streep) next door promises the couple a family if they bring her four objects before the blue moon: a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn, and a slipper as pure as gold.

The Baker and his wife head into the woods with six magic beans and encounter 12-year-old Jack (Daniel Huttlestone), who is off to market to sell his cow, Milky White, Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), who is fleeing from a ball thrown by a charming Prince (Chris Pine), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), who intends to visit her grannie (Annette Crosbie) but would make a tasty snack for the lascivious Wolf (Johnny Depp), and Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy), who is consigned to a tower which can be accessed only by lowering her flaxen hair to a smitten lover (Billy Magnusson).

As the fated hour approaches, the childless couple resorts to desperate measures to collect the objects for the witch.

Into the Woods establishes its mood with a dazzling overture, I Wish, elegantly introducing the characters before their fates intersect.

Streep is typically spellbinding. Her voice soars and our hearts break in her solo to motherhood, Stay With Me.

Corden and Blunt add to the film’s emotional heft, while Pine and Magnusson are hysterical as regal brothers in their chest-beating, thigh-slapping duet Agony, atop a cascading waterfall.

With such a large cast to juggle, the script occasionally feels disjointed and some gear changes from broad pantomime to heartbreaking grief are jarring.

But Marshall doesn’t shy away from delivering bitter pills in the final act, courtesy of a marauding giant (Frances de la Tour).

Everything has a price, especially your heart’s desire, so be careful what you wish for.

 

FILM Film Reviews 09293881068
Liam Neeson and Maggie Grace star in the final instalment of Taken

 

TAKEN 3 (12A)
3 stars
Liam Neeson reprises his role as no-nonsense former government operative Bryan Mills in the third and concluding instalment of the high-octane action series. Bryan has put the past behind him and is looking forward to a long-overdue reconciliation with ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) and cherished daughter Kim (Maggie Grace). Their happiness is cut short when Lenore is brutally murdered and Bryan is framed for the heinous crime. Determined to clear his name and unmask the real culprit, Bryan goes on the run from the CIA, FBI and police led by Franck Dotzler (Forest Whitaker). Narrowing down the list of suspects, which includes tattooed kingpin Oleg Malankov (Sam Spruell), Bryan risks everything to protect his daughter and exact his bone-crunching brand of justice.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from the Press and Journal News team

More from the Press and Journal