Category: Musical and Dance Films

Into the Woods

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Into the Woods Movie - Anna Kendrick

Taglines: Be careful what you wish for.

Into the Woods is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales in a musical format that follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel-all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.

Set in an alternate world of various Grimm fairy tales, the film intertwines the plots of several Grimm fairy tales and follows them to explore the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. The main characters are taken from “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Rapunzel”, and “Cinderella”, as well as several others. When a Baker and his Wife learn they’ve been cursed childless by a Witch, they must embark into the woods to find the objects required to break the spell and begin a family.

The film is tied together to the original story of the baker and his wife and, their interaction with the Witch who has placed a curse on them, and their interaction with other storybook characters during their journey. What begins as a lively irreverent fantasy musical eventually becomes a meaningful tale about responsibility, the problems that come from wishes, and the legacy that we leave our children.

Into the Woods Movie

Into the Woods is an American fantasy musical drama film directed by Rob Marshall, and adapted to the screen by James Lapine from his and Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning Broadway musical of the same name. It features an ensemble cast that includes Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, MacKenzie Mauzy, Billy Magnussen, and Johnny Depp. Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales of “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Cinderella”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, and “Rapunzel”

About the Story

A Baker (James Corden) and his Wife (Emily Blunt) wish for a child but suffer under a curse laid upon the Baker’s family by a Witch (Meryl Streep) who found the Baker’s father (Simon Russell Beale) robbing her garden to appease his pregnant wife’s insatiable cravings. The Baker’s father also stole some beans which caused the Witch’s mother to punish her with the curse of ugliness. The Witch offers to lift the curse, but only if the Baker and his Wife obtain four critical items for her to make a certain potion: 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 Witch later tells the Baker that she asked him to do this task for her because she is not allowed to touch any of the objects.

Into the Woods Movie

The Witch’s demands eventually bring the Baker and his Wife into contact with Jack (Daniel Huttlestone), who is selling his beloved cow Milky White and to whom the Baker offers five magic beans left him by his father (the same ones stolen from the Witch) which grow into a large beanstalk when Jack’s mother angrily discards them in her garden; with Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), whose ruby cape the couple notices when she stops to buy sweets on her way to her grandmother’s house; with Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy), the Witch’s adopted daughter (the child that she took from the Baker’s parents in exchange for the greens stolen by the Baker’s father), whose tower the Baker’s Wife passes in the woods; and with Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), whose beautiful golden slippers catch the eye of the Baker’s Wife as she flees past pursued by a handsome Prince (Chris Pine) who danced with her at the King’s festival.

After a series of failed attempts and misadventures, the Baker and his Wife finally are able to gather the items necessary to break the spell. Meanwhile, each of the other characters receive their “happy endings”: Cinderella and Rapunzel marry their Princes; Jack provides for his mother (Tracey Ullman) by stealing riches from the Giant in the sky, and kills the pursuing Giant by cutting down the beanstalk; The Baker saves Little Red Riding Hood and her Grandmother (Annette Crosbie) from the Big Bad Wolf (Johnny Depp) by killing him; and the Witch regains her youth and beauty after drinking the potion.

Into the Woods Movie Poster

Into the Woods

Directed by: Rob Marshall
Starring: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, Johnny Depp, Lucy Punch
Screenplay by: James Lapine
Production Design by: Dennis Gassner
Cinematography by: Dion Beebe
Film Editing by: Wyatt Smith
Costume Design by: Colleen Atwood
Set Decoration by: Anna Pinnock
Art Direction by: Andrew Bennett, Ben Collins, Chris Lowe, Mary Mackenzie
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements, fantasy action and peril, and some suggestive material.
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Release Date: December 25, 2014

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Annie

Annie Movie

Taglines: It’s a hard knock life.

In Harlem, 10-year-old Annie Bennett lives in foster care with several other girls in the care of the cruel Colleen Hannigan. She spends each Friday waiting outside the restaurant where she believes her parents will return to collect her.

She is rescued from being run down by a truck by William Stacks, a cell phone mogul running for mayor. Stacks is a germaphobe who doesn’t connect to commoners well, and is losing badly. The rescue goes viral on the internet and Stack’s numbers spike. Stacks’ campaign manager Guy Danlily suggests that he invite Annie to live with him as means to further boost his poll numbers. Stacks reluctantly agrees, but over time, develops true affection for Annie and his assistant Grace Farrell, and plans to adopt Annie.

After a disastrous public appearance, Guy Danlily (with the help of Miss Hannigan) arranges to have Annie claimed by impostors pretending to be her parents. But as they enact their plan, Guy betrays Miss Hannigan, who starts having second thoughts. Around the same time, Annie soon learns that the impostors are not her parents, and she is being kidnapped. Hannigan confesses Guy’s scheme to Stacks, who then fires Guy.

Annie is an American musical comedy-drama film directed by Will Gluck and produced by Village Roadshow Pictures and Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment for Sony Pictures’ Columbia Pictures. A contemporary adaptation of the 1977 Broadway musical of the same name, the film stars Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Cameron Diaz.

The third film adaptation of the 1924 comic strip Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray, following Columbia’s 1982 theatrical film and Disney’s 1999 television film, Annie began production in August 2013 and opened on December 19, 2014 to generally negative reviews, but was a box-office success, grossing over $133 million.

Annie Movie Poster

Annie

Directed by: Director: Will Gluck
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Cameron Diaz, Eden Duncan-Smith, Amanda Troya, Zoe Margaret Colletti, Tracie Thoms
Screenplay by: Will Gluck, Aline Brosh McKenna
Production Design by: Marcia Hinds
Cinematography by: Michael Grady
Film Editing by: Tia Nolan
Costume Design by: Renee Ehrlich Kalfus
Set Decoration by: David Schlesinger
Art Direction by: Patricia Woodbridge
Music by: Greg Kurstin
MPAA Rating: PG for some mild language and rude humor.
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: December 19, 2014

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Step Up All In

Step Up All In Movie

Taglines: Every step has led to this.

Sean brings his dance crew known as The Mob to Los Angeles to try and make it. But they haven’t had much luck, eventually the Mob decides it’s time to go back to Miami but Sean decides to stay. He learns of a dance competition is Las Vegas wherein the winner will get a three year contract. Sean needs a new crew so he asks fellow dancer Moose for help. And Moose introduces him to Andie, another friend and dancer who got injured a few years ago and is now ready to get back in. He recruits some other friends and they head Las Vegas as Lmmental. When they get there, they discover that the Mob too is also there, which is very touchy for Sean.

Step Up: All In (also known as Step Up 5: All In) is a 2014 American 3D dance film directed by Trish Sie and the fifth installment in the Step Up film series. The film was released on August 8, 2014.

About the Story

Sean (Ryan Guzman) and his crew the Mob from the previous film are in Los Angeles trying to make a living from dancing, but are turned down at every audition. After being refused at another audition, the Mob visit a club where they are noticed and challenged to a dance battle by another crew, the Grim Knights. The Grim Knights win the battle and the Mob decides to pack up and leave Los Angeles and return to Miami, thinking there is nothing left for them and that they aren’t ready for Los Angeles.

Step Up All In Movie

Sean decides to stay and while there, he notices a dance competition called The Vortex taking place, inspiring him to put together a new crew with help from Moose (Adam Sevani, from the previous Step Up films). Moose gets Sean a job working as a janitor in a dance center owned by Moose’s grandparents, where Sean takes up residence in a janitor’s closet. Sean and Moose recruit Andie West (Briana Evigan, from Step Up 2: The Streets) and later, Vladd (Chadd Smith), Violet (Paris Goebel), the Santiago Twins (Facundo and Martin Lombard), Monster (Luis Rosado), Hair (Christopher Scott), Gauge (Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer), Jenny Kido (Mari Koda), and Chad (David “Kid David” Shreibman) to the crew. The group soon makes an audition video as the LMNTRIX and are accepted into the competition a few weeks later.

The crew heads to Las Vegas to compete. Upon arriving, Sean finds out that both the Grim Knights and the Mob are also in the competition, motivating the LMNTRIX to practice extra hard. While the rest of the crew are at a bar, Sean and Andie reveal they have broken up with their respective partners. Moose kisses another girl while freestyle dancing at the bar, which his girlfriend Camille (Alyson Stoner) witnesses. She runs off, prompting Moose to leave the crew and return to Los Angeles to make up with her.

The LMNTRIX battle the Mob in a Vortex exhibition match; during the battle, Sean tries to force Andie to perform a trick they tried during one of their practices but Andie refuses and leaves. The LMNTRIX, however, still win the battle and the Mob leave, angry at Sean. Sean finds Andie outside, where she confronts him about his actions. Sean realize that he has made a lot of mistakes; he apologizes to the Mob and later makes up with Andie and the crew.

Step Up All In Movie

Moose goes home and finds Camille on the patio, where she reveals that she wasn’t actually upset at him, but was jealous when she saw his dancing and realized that she hasn’t committed herself to it, despite being a talented dancer; they later make up. Hair and Kido overhear Alexxa Brava (Izabella Miko), the host of The Vortex, and Jasper (Steven “Stevo” Jones), the leader of the Grim Knights making out, realizing that Alexxa is rigging the competition. Once the whole crew finds out, they come up with a plan to teach Alexxa and the Grim Knights a lesson.

Moose returns and rejoins the crew (bringing Camille along), and the Mob join forces with the LMNTRIX for the competition. When the finals of The Vortex approach (the Grim Knights vs. the LMNTRIX), the Grim Knights give a great performance, which the host remarks will be hard to beat. Before LMNTRIX perform, Sean takes the stage and discusses with the crowd that his experiences have taught him what really matters.

He then persuades the crowd to forget about winning or losing and just enjoy the show. The rest of the crew then take the stage and give an amazing performance. Andie and Sean decide to end the dance by performing the trick Sean wanted her to do earlier in the film (but Andie worried that she may fall and injure herself), which they successfully complete, followed by a passionate kiss between the two, leaving the crowd amazed.

Step Up All In Movie Poster

Step Up All In

Directed by: Trish Sie
Starring: Ryan Guzman, Briana Evigan, Misha Gabriel, Adam Sevani, Alyson Stoner, Mari Koda, Christopher Scott, Luis Rosado
Screenplay by: John Swetnam
Production Design by: Devorah Herbert
Cinematography by: Brian Pearson
Film Editing by: Niven Howie
Costume Design by: Soyon An
Set Decoration by: Hamish Purdy
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some language and suggestive material.
Studio: Summit Entertainment
Release Date: August 8, 2014

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Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys Movie

Taglines: Everybody remembers it how they need to.

Clint Eastwood’s big screen version of the Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of the four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic `60s rock group The Four Seasons. Their trials and triumphs are accompanied by the hit songs that influenced a generation, and are now being embraced by a new generation of fans through the stage musical.

In 1951, in Belleville, New Jersey, Tommy DeVito, narrating the story, introduces the audience to himself, Tommy’s brother Nicky, and their friend Nick Massi, who perform together as The Variety Trio, and to a barber’s son, 16-year-old Frankie, already well known in the neighborhood for his singing voice. Frankie has the admiration of gangster Gyp DeCarlo, who takes a personal interest in him.

One night, the group attempts a robbery of a safe, for which the police later arrest them. In court, Frankie is let off with a warning but Tommy is sentenced to six months in prison. After his release, Tommy reunites the group and adds Frankie as lead singer. Frankie changes his professional name to Frankie Valli. At a performance, Frankie is entranced by a woman named Mary Delgado. He takes her to dinner, and they are soon married.

The group, now called “The Four Lovers,” is in need of a songwriter after Nicky leaves. Tommy’s friend Joe Pesci tells him about a talented singer-songwriter, Bob Gaudio, and invites him to hear the group perform. Gaudio, now narrating, is impressed with Valli’s vocals and agrees to join.

The band, having recorded several demos, attempts to attract interest, with little success. One day in New York City, producer Bob Crewe signs them to a contract. However, they quickly realize that it only allows them to perform back-up vocals for other acts (as The Romans and The Topix). Crewe says that the group does not have a distinctive image or sound yet. Inspired by a bowling alley sign, the guys rename themselves “The Four Seasons,” and sing a new song Gaudio has written, “Sherry”, to Crewe, who agrees to record it.

Jersey Boys Movie Poster

Jersey Boys

Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Christopher Walken, Francesca Eastwood, Freya Tingley, Mike Doyle, James Madio, Kathrine Narducci
Screenplay by: Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice
Production Design by: James J. Murakami
Cinematography by: Tom Stern
Film Editing by: Joel Cox, Gary Roach
Costume Design by: Deborah Hopper
Set Decoration by: Ronald R. Reiss
MPAA Rating: R for language throughout.
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: June 20, 2014

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