Monday, June 8, 2015

Movie Review: Maleficent [SPOILERS]

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I finally got around to seeing Maleficent, featuring Angelina Jolie. I must say that I still enjoy the cartoon version better. The whole idea of telling a well known story (Sleeping Beauty) from a different point of view or perspective is a bit...boring, quite frankly. We all know the story, and nobody likes the villain, so why bother?

But I will admit that Jolie does make this evil character more likeable. In this version, Maleficent befriends Aurora (played by Elle Fanning) and they become close, whereas in the cartoon they don't even know each other. This film even interprets "true love's kiss" as the kiss Maleficent bestows upon Aurora's forehead while she's under the sleeping spell. So that part was sweet. But there were more negatives than positives in this film.

For one, Jolie is the only well-cast actor. Fanning is no beautiful princess, with those large, dark eyebrows and imperfect smile. King Stefan (played by Sharlto Copley) is quite ugly for being Maleficent's first love, and he has a horrible voice! It's kind of squeaky and meek for a man, especially a man who becomes king (which is preposterous in the whole plot, since he's not royal or part of the nobility at all. It's impossible that he would be heir to the throne, no matter what deeds he committed). Prince Phillip (played by Brenton Thwaites, who is barely in the movie at all) is not very cute, either (kind of Harry Styles-ish, who is just too much of a boy to be considered handsome). And the three fairies don't look right, and they don't even have the same names as they do in the cartoon, which makes no sense since every other character has the same name!

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That's more like it. Image found here:
One of my favorite scenes from Sleeping Beauty is when the fairies are trying to prepare for Aurora's birthday by cleaning the house and making a dress and a cake. It is so funny, and this live version barely has anything like that!

And this live version does not have the charming music from the cartoon, and the remake of "I Know You" by Lana del Ray that plays during the end credits is eery and creepy instead of light and romantic.

Don't get me wrong: I was entertained. But I'd much rather see a new, original movie that's not based on another movie, a book, or a play...

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