Quick Reviews: ‘Theory of Everything’ (2014) & ‘Into the Woods’ (2014)

theory of everything  into the woods malaysia

It’s the awards season, where Hollywood release mostly shitty blockbusters while the Malaysian film distributors do their utmost to harness the free marketing and awareness of nominated pictures. It’s the rare awesome time of every year where general audiences in Malaysia will get to choose to watch really great movies at the cinemas if the tickets of their first option (typical January garbage) have been sold out. Forgive me, I’m usually either busier or lazier in January after the holiday season hence quick reviews like this one.


The Theory of Everything

Malaysia Release Date: 8 January 2015

Verdict: You’d be at least a bit disappointed if you thought you would learn a lot about Stephen Hawking’s genius scientific works and be mind blown by his innovative theories. This movie was based on a memoir by his first wife Jane Wilde Hawking, which focuses mostly about their relationship and struggles. So the film’s more like a romantic drama. Beautifully filmed and emotionally engaging for most parts but the script and narratives are not very innovative (ironically).

Incredible performance by Eddie Redmayne who portrays Stephen from before he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease (you should be ashamed of yourself if you did the ASL Bucket Challenge and not know what this is) until more recent years. Felicity Jones did very well too playing the gentle but strong Jane. Here, the audience may somewhat feel that she’s more inspiring and likable than Stephen, which is not an ideal way to do a biopic about one of the most brilliant minds in the world.

Malaysia censorship: Didn’t watch this at the local cinema but I don’t remember any scene that requires to be cut at all. But knowing our beloved film censorship board, they might have requested for the mild kissing sequences and vulgarities to be chopped.

What I would’ve named the film: “We Can Still Be Friends Right?”

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Theory of Everything Stephen Hawking meme


Into the Woods

Malaysia Release Date: 15 January 2015

Verdict: It’s fair to say that there wasn’t any better musical films released in 2014, which was why this one was the only musical nominated for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical category in the Golden Globe Awards. I’ve never seen the actual stage musical that it’s based on but it does seem that the slight plot, scene and arrangement changes by Disney (to make it more “family-friend”) may have reduced the impact of some elements.

However, that doesn’t mean that the film does not entertain before it begins to bore and rush in the third act. The 4 fairy tales are well intertwined and twisted. The songs are enjoyable, funny and convenient to understand. The performances are good, particularly Meryl Streep as the Witch, Emily Blunt as The Baker’s Wife and Chris Pine as Cinderella’s Prince. The unusual humour coming from a Disney musical, with major mocking on the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale characters, is hugely appreciated. Most importantly, despite the fact that Disney did not exactly improve anything from the source material, the film is at least faithful enough to its core and most of its morals.

Malaysia censorship: Didn’t watch this one at the local cinema either but despite being a slightly more different than the usual Disney musical picture, it’s still pretty much the same family-friendly. Unless the local film censorship board demanded to have the kissing scenes skipped, I doubt any scene would be censored.

What I would’ve named the film: “Into Your Bush” or “The Wood Into You”

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Red Riding Hood Into the Woods meme

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