Movie Reviews

Published on May 30th, 2014 | by Jennifer Fiduccia

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Maleficent

I was quite apprehensive headed into the new Disney movie ‘Maleficent’

(Starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley,  and Sam Riley), because all the ‘official’ reviews said it wasn’t any good.

 

I thoroughly disagree.

Maleficent made me laugh, it made me cry and it had me holding my breath in anticipation in some parts.

It takes a ‘Wicked’ type look at the age old story of Sleeping Beauty.

 

While the narration is from the point of view of a much older Aurora, the story focuses on the point of view of Maleficent.

The young Maleficent (played by Isobelle Molloy) meets a young orphaned peasant boy with aspirations to live in the neighboring kingdoms castle.

Through the years they bond and grow close and share what is supposed to be ‘true loves kiss’.

 

Time moves on. The  king in the adjoining kingdom is greedy and wants the lands that are ruled over by Maleficent. There is a battle, he is soundly defeated, and the King is injured mortally in battle. He pronounces that he will make whoever avenges him and kills Maleficent the next ruler.

 

Stefan, still being ambitious,  finds Maleficent, and while pretending to still be her friend, drugs her. He can’t bring himself to actually kill her and steals her wings instead, to present to the king as proof of her demise.

Stefan is crowned king. Time passes.

 

Maleficent’s pain and anger and betrayal do not dissipate. They grow and coalesce to the point that at the celebration to celebrate the birth of King Stefan’s daughter Aurora, she curses the child, sealing her fate that naught but ‘true loves kiss’ will break the curse.

 

The story follows the child’s growth, with Maleficent watching her every move, and getting closer and closer to her with every passing year.

Maleficent dubs Aurora ‘Beastie’, and Aurora calls Maleficent ‘Godmother’.

 

As Aurora’s 16th birthday draws near, Maleficent grows desperate to break the very curse that she had cast many years before.

It does not work.

 

I won’t ruin it by telling the ending, but it was action packed, and heart wrenching, and (at least to me) marginally unpredictable…. (I thought one person would break it, but another did…. I did figure it out before it happened, but mostly because I’ve been watching Once Upon A Time).

I really enjoyed the film, I loved the 3D of it, and I would most assuredly see it again. I wouldn’t recommend it for very young children, and I don’t feel like I can bring my almost 6 year old to it, but I would consider letting him see it by age 8 or 9.

 

I would give this film 4 out of 5 stars!

 

 

Second Review by Tracey Barrientos

In January of 1959, Walt Disney brought Sleeping Beauty to the big screen. While the film only told the story of Princess Aurora and her happily ever after, we never were able to truly understand how or why Maleficent became evil and now we finally get the chance to see what really happened. Had she been born from evil or was something trigger her? With the help of Angelina Jolie and her amazing acting skills we finally get the whole story and are able to look through the villains eyes. She takes us on a journey where she looses her humanity and has to somehow find it in the end.

Honestly, I couldn’t picture anybody else in this role. Jolie brings such a unique yet not over the top performance that will leave a soft spot in your heart for this iconic villain rather than a fear. The rest of the films cast was perfectly put together which becomes apparent within the energy that is shared between the cast on screen. Not only in my opinion willthat add to the success of this film but the fact that for a total of 98 minutes, audiences are transported into a completely different world full of vibrant colors and magical little creatures.

Recently I have read that others have thought that the film lacks continuity from the 1959 version which is true however keep in mind this is not your run of the mill animated fairytale that we are familiar with. Besides audiences wouldn’t want to see the same story retold in live action without there being some kind of differences or twists and turns that you weren’t expecting.

As most Disney movies now days are filmed in 3D I usually will say skip the 3D option and save yourself a couple dollars. With this film you won’t want to do that. Pay the extra and you will be immersed and made to feel that you too are a character in the film. This time it’s worth it guys!

This one is not to be missed regardless if your a fan or not of the original Sleeping Beauty film. I wouldn’t however bring small children to this as with some things they might frighten small children. As for the future of live action Disney remakes I would have to say that after Maleficent, we will be happy with Disney’s next project, Cinderella. All I can do is hope that it’s just as good.

4.5 out of 5 True loves kisses!


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