Movie Review: Into the Woods


Into the woods


Now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD is the film Into the Woods. The film features an all star cast including Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Tracy Ullman, the devilishly handsome Chris Pine and Johnny Depp – although Depp only makes a brief appearance.

I have a confession to make – until now I never knew what Into the Woods was about. It wasn’t until I saw the trailer for this film last year and read about it that I knew it was about fairy tale characters whose lives intertwine in the woods that surround a small town.

Emily Blunt and James Corden are Mr. and Mrs. baker. They long to have a child of their own but they have never been able to conceive. It turns out that there was a curse put on their home by a witch, Meryl Streep. She tells the couple that they can have a child if they help her to collect four specific items which she will use to break the curse – a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, a gold shoe and hair as yellow as corn.

Wishing to have a child the baker heads off into the woods to collect the items the witch has asked for. His wife follows him, against his wishes.

Just before they set off on their journey Little Red Riding Hood (or a young girl who wears a red cape and wants to bring food to her sick grandmother who lives in the woods). It’s on he way to her grandmother’s house in the woods that she crosses paths with the wolf (Johnny Depp).

Meanwhile in another part of town a young boy is sent off by his mother (Tracy Ullman) to sell his best friend – a cow that conveniently is as white as milk.

In another part of town a young maiden lives with her stepmother and stepsisters and dreams of attending a 3 day party that the prince is hosting. This young maiden of course is Cinderella (Anna Kendrick).

Although none of these characters have ever met before, their lives cross paths all while in the deep, dark woods that surround their town. Oh yeah… and there are giants too!


Into the Woods is a musical – a true musical. They sign pretty much the entire movie. The opening number alone (the song “Into the Woods”) much go on for a good 10+ minutes. Because of this my husband wasn’t overly thrilled with the film. He liked the story line were good and liked the movie – he just wasn’t too keen on all the singing.

As for me, I enjoy musicals. I’m a big fan of films like The Music Man, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Doctor Dolittle (the original – not the Eddie Murphy version). I was impressed with the some of the songs too – especially the opening number. I like how their stories – in song – intertwined with one another. And who knew Chris Pine could sing.

Speaking of Chris Pine, there is a scene by a waterfall where Chris Pine’s character, the prince, signs to his friend about how his heart aches because he can’t find the women of his dreams (Cinderella – Anna Kendrick). At one point his shirt flies open revealing his chiseled abs and pecs. Not to be out done his friend rips open his shirt too. I thought that as funny.

Johnny Depp has top billing on the movie’s cover art, however he’s only seen in the film for about 5 minutes at best. I think Tracy Ullman should have been on the cover instead. She’s seen throughout the film.


It’s a fun film. It might not be good for very little children. It’s a bit of a “dark” film which includes giants (could be scary for little ones), a wolf eating a child and grandmother (they don’t show it but they elude to it) and infidelity (making out with someone other than your spouse). The film is rated PG.

There are A LOT of bonus features on the Blu-ray version (the version I have). If you have the chance to watch them you won’t be disappointed. They include a deleted scene/song by composer Stephen Sondheim, sung by Meryl Streep, a behind the scenes look at how they created the woods (it’s not real woods! It’s all man made), interviews with the cast, a look at how they created the costumes and so much more. I found a lot of the things revealed in the bonus features very interesting. For example, each of the main characters has a different costume from a different time period. I didn’t realize that when I watched the film. I also didn’t notice that Johnny Depps character had “toes” on his shoes.

Look for Into the Woods where ever movies are sold.

Here is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment. The trailer says in theaters this Christmas, but this is a trailer from last year. The film is now available for purchase (Blu-ray…).



*I received a free screener in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 


Related Posts:

Movie Review: Something Wicked


Something Wicked

Available today on DVD is the supernatural thriller Something Wicked. The film stars Shantel Vansanten, John Robinson, Julian Morris and the late Brittany Murphy in her final film.

Vansaten plays the role of Christine. She is a young women with her whole life ahead of her. She was recently accepted to a great college and she is very excited about her future may bring. She also has a wonderful boyfriend James (Robinson).

One night after dinner with her parents, James is asked to drive home because Christine’s father had too much to drink. On their way home they are struck by a train at a train crossing. Christine’s parents are killed, but Christine and James some how survive.

A year later Christine and James are happy and healthy and decide to get married. Christine is still dealing with the grief of losing her parents, but is excited to start a new life with James.

As the wedding day approaches, more and more strange things start happening. Christine is being stalked by an unknown person who wears a creepy mask. Other strange things happen like her clothes being stolen from her gym locker, lights going out in the home she lives in and strange messages being written on the windows.

Christine is fearful for her life but her sister in law Susan (Murphy), who is a psychologist, insists that it’s all in her head and that she is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the loss of her parents and her approaching wedding which should be a happy family event except Christine is wrought with grief.

What is really going on? Is Christine really being stalked by some kind of psycho, or is she the one who is coming unglued? To find out you need to pick up a copy of Something Wicked, available today where most movies are sold. 

Here is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.


I thought this film might start off slow then work up to the “creepiness” but it surprised me. The gruesome train accident happened quickly in the film.

I wouldn’t classify this as a horror film (even if the masked person is very creepy). This is more of a psychological thriller with an ending your might not anticipate. I was surprised by the ending. Let’s just say I never saw it coming.

There are some sexual scenes in this film. It’s not a “family friendly” title. I would consider this Rated R.

Brittany Murphy did an excellent job for her last movie role. She’s very intense in this film and has a bit of fearsome quality to her.

It took me a while to figure out who Christine’s brother Bill was (James Patrick Stewart). He looked familiar but I couldn’t place where I saw him before. If you recall the comedy series Still Standing (Jamie Gertz, Mark Addy, Jennifer Irwin), Stewart played the part of Perry – Linda’s British boyfriend.

I always watch movies with an opened mind because even though it might not be a well known, popular film doesn’t mean that it won’t be a truly entertaining one.

I was pleasantly surprised at just how good this film was. It’s one of those “gem” films that you come across that some people might not have heard about, but they are really good.

If you have a chance to pick up a copy of the film, or catch it On Demand or another viewing source, I don’t think you will be disappointed.



*I received a free screener copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The options expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 


Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

The Divergent Series: Insurgent in theaters this Friday – March 20, 2015

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Summit Entertainment. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

INSURGENT - Final Poster

Coming to theaters on March 20, 2015 is the second installment to the widely popular Divergent series called The Divergent Series: Insurgent.

The movies are based on the three-book best selling Divergent series written by Veronica Roth. I have never read any of the books yet. I have only seen the film (Divergent). One day I’d like to read all three books to see how they compare to the movies. Sometimes movies are exactly like the books they are based on. Other times they deviate from the book. I am curious to see how the Divergent series of movies compares the Divergent books.

The Divergent Series: Insurgent will  be released in 2D, IMAX 3D, Digital 3D and RealD™ 3D. I would LOVE to see this film in 3D. Normally we go for the regular 2D films, but this is one of those films where 3D would really enhance the viewing experience. I’m sure it will make you feel immersed into the film – as if you are right there next to Tris and the other Insurgent characters.

Some people might think that The Divergent Series is aimed more towards ‘tweens and teens. I don’t think that is the case at all. I’m a forty-something-year-old adult and I am excited to see the films. Ever since the first film I have been hooked on the series. I think that the film series has something for everyone, both young and old.

The films do have some intense and violent scenes, but they are not that bad. I’m sure a child 10+ could easily watch and understand these films.

For younger viewers there is a lot of cool special effects and plenty of action.

For ‘tweens and teens there are good looking characters (crushes), romance, action, adventure and a strong heroine (Tris).

For older viewers they will enjoy the political nature of the film, action, special effects and suspense.

This film is geared towards all viewers, not just young adults. I enjoyed the first film just as much as my teenagers did.

Check out the trailer and let me know what you think.


I saw the first film on my television when I picked up a copy to watch (I didn’t see it in theaters). For the second film I plan on seeing it in the movie theater because this type of movie is a “must see” in theaters on the big screen. I can’t see it opening weekend (we have to go away for a relative’s memorial service) but I am looking forward to seeing it the following weekend.

If you would like to learn more about The Divergent Series you can visit the official website, www.DivergentSeries.com. You can also check out the series on Facebook and on Twitter (@Divergent).

For ticket information please visit www.TheDivergentSeries.com/Tickets.

Are you excited for the new film? Are you a fan of the Divergent series? Have you read any (or all) of the books? Feel free to share your thoughts.



Related Posts:

Nickelodeon DVD Collections Giveaway (ends 3/25/15)



Are you looking for extra goodies to put in your child or grandchild’s Easter basket?

Are you looking for something to do on rainy Spring days?

If you answered “yes” to either question, I have a fun giveaway for you from Nickelodeon and Paramount Home Media Distribution.

This great giveaway includes the following titles – all of which are currently available where DVDs are sold.

PAW Patrol Marshall and Chase on the Case

PAW Patrol: Marshall and Chase on the Case!

The PAW Patrol rescue pups, Marshall and Chase, take fans on eight exciting rescue missions.

Bubble Guppies Fin-tastic Collection DVD

Bubble Guppies: Fin-tastic Collection

Dive into this two-disc Bubble Guppies collection featuring eight episodes and tons of special features!

Nickelodeon Favorites Springtime Adventure

Nickelodeon Favorites: Springtime Adventure

Spring has officially arrived with this special collection featuring Wallykazam!, Bubble Guppies and more!

Max & Ruby Sweet Siblings

Max & Ruby: Sweet Siblings

Share the love this Easter with the sweetest siblings around– Max and Ruby!

Blues Clues Get Clued Into School Pack

Blues Clues: Get Clued Into School Pack
This three-disc collection makes learning the alphabet, colors and shapes more fun than ever before!

This is an $83.95 value!

Your child or grandchild can enjoy them all now, or you can save them and give them out throughout the year (birthday, Christmas, end-of-school gift…).

One winner will receive all of the tiles mentioned above. 

Thank you Nickelodeon and Paramount!

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on March 25, 2015 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me which DVD set your child/grandchild would be most excited to win?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries wont’ qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this giveaway for the enjoyment of my site readers. 

Related Posts:

The Breakfast Club 30th Anniversary Edition


The Breakfast Club 30th Anniversray

Can you believe that it’s been 30 years since the release of the classic John Hughes film The Breakfast Club? THIRTY YEARS! I saw the film in the movie theater. I feel so old now.

About a year or so ago my teenage daughter discovered films like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink. I think it’s great that the films I enjoyed as a teenager had “staying power” and are now popular with my teenage daughter. It just truly amazes me.

What is there not to love about The Breakfast Club? It’s a fun movie with an awesome soundtrack.

For those of you who some how managed not to see this classic film, The Breakfast Club is the story about five teens who come together one Saturday for detention. None of the students knew each other before they came together in detention.


The group includes;

Andrew (Emilio Estevez) – “The Athlete”

Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) – “The Brain”

John (Judd Nelson) – “The Criminal”

Claire (Molly Ringwald) – “The Princess”

Alison (Ally Sheedy) – “The Basketcase”

Mr. Vernon (Paul Gleason) – The school’s principal

Carl (John Kapelos) – The school’s janitor

Each of the students represents a kind of label that is put on us by our classmates. For example, Brain, aka “The Brain” is a nerdy little dweeb who gets pushed around by thugs like John or the popular students like Claire and Andrew. I’m sure many of us know people like that from high school. Perhaps you were considered “The Nerd” in your school.

I think I would identify most with “The Nerd” that most, although maybe with a touch of “The Basketcase” mixed in. I was mostly a shy and quiet person who stood off in the background (like a “wallflower”), but behind the scenes I was wild and crazy with my friends.

Me in high school (I'm the blonde)

Me in high school (I’m the blonde)

In the beginning they were all strangers. By the time they left school that day they became not only friends but also had a better understanding about the people they go to school with and how you shouldn’t judge or label people because when it comes right down to it we all face the same problems and fears.

The Breakfast Club is funny, thoroughly entertaining and it has an awesome sound track. Not only that it has remained popular for thirty years. I can see this film celebrating it’s 50th anniversary too. The Breakfast Club is not going anywhere. It will continue to touch people for generations to come.

Because this is an anniversary edition there are some great bonus features worth checking out.

  • Accepting the Facts: The Breakfast Club Trivia Track
  • Sincerely Yours
  • The Most Convenient Definitions: The Origins of the Brat Pack
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Feature Commentary with Judd Nelson and Anthony Michael Hall

Sincerely Yours is actually a collection of brief bonus features that cover a lot of topics such as John Hughes, the music, the casting of the film and more. The cast (Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall and Judd Nelson) are interviewed along with other people in the movie industry like Diabo Cody.


I liked the feature about the origins of The Brat Pack. I never knew how they came up with that title and who exactly was part of The Brat Pack. I tend to think of the people in St. Elmo’s Fire as the Brat Pack, but apparently it extended past that film. This was a very interesting bonus feature.

Accepting the Facts: The Breakfast Club Trivia Track is a lot like “Pop Up Video.” It’s the movie but with text that pops up with facts and trivia about the film. I didn’t watch this all the way through. I only watched the first few minutes (I find pop up stuff distracting). I opted to watch the un-interupted version of the film.

I did learn that Anthony Michael Hall’s real life mother and sister played his mother and sister in the film. That was interesting to know.

As far as the over all quality of the film I feel like it was sharper, clearer and more vibrant. A lot of that has to do with being on the Blu-ray format. I also found the sound quality to be excellent.

If you are a fan of The Breakfast Club, or would like to introduce this film to a whole new generation, you’ll want to add The Breakfast Club 30th Anniversary Edition to your family movie collection. Look for it where ever movies are sold.

Are you a fan of the film? Which was your favorite character? Who did you identify most with?

The Breakfast Club Group Shot


*I received a free screener copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 


Related Posts:

Family Movie Night with Russell Madness


Russell Madness

I always look forward to Family Movie Night with my family. We try and do it every Saturday night, or at least every other Saturday. Now that my kids are older they would rather hang out with their friends on Saturday night. That is what happened last Saturday. We had planned on Family Movie Night but our daughter opted to go to the mall with her friends to look for prom gowns. Sigh… they grow up too quickly.

Last night we watched, Russell Madness, which is now available.

Russell Madness tells the story of Russell, an undersized but big-hearted terrier who dreams of having a family of his own. After running away from his pet store, Russell gets taken in by The Ferraros, a family desperate to revive their grandfather’s pro wrestling arena. That’s when they discover their new pet pooch has incredible wrestling skills. With help from his coach, Hunk, a savvy and hilarious monkey, Russell rockets to the top of the pro wrestling world and becomes a famous sports superstar. But when a dishonest promoter double-crosses the Ferraros, Russell will face his biggest challenge and discover that the strongest tag team is family. Russell Madness is rated ‘PG’ by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

This is such a cute movie. Who doesn’t love films with talking dogs and a mischievous monkey.

Here’s a fun fact – the monkey in Russell Madness is named Crystal. She is the same monkey from the Night at the Museum movies (Dexter) as well as We Bought a Zoo, Zookeeper and The Hangover Part II. I knew that cute little face looked familiar.

My family enjoyed the film. Even my hard to impress teenagers like it. It was a bit corny at times, but I think that is what added to the fun of the movie. It’s meant to be silly and fun.

RussellMadness_4-High Five!

Russell Madness is part of the Air Bud movie franchise. We have several Air Bud films in our movie collection. They are great family films.

Russell Madness is one of those films that can appeal to both young and old alike. Kids will love the slapstick comedy and cute talking animals. Adults will enjoy the overall entertainment of the film and how it has a lot of heart. As an adult I can appreciate the cute animals too.

Look for Russell Madness where ever films are sold. You can also connect with the film online and on social media.

Official website – www.AirBud.com/RussellMadness.

On social media you can check out the film on Facebook, YouTube and on Twitter (@AirBud and/or @FoxHomeEnt). You can also check out the hashtag #RussellInsiders to see what other bloggers have to say about this fun film.

I have some cute Russell Madness activity sheets you might enjoy with your family. Simply click on the image for a larger view that you can save and print out.

Russell Madness-connect dots

Russell Madness-maze (1)

Russell Madness-puzzler

Russell Madness-word search

What do you think about the film? Do you think you’ll pick up a copy to watch with your family?



*I received a free screener copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts