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MALEFICENT - A Review

Deb's Digest Blog

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I go to movies to be entertained, not to analyze and critique. There are certainly plenty of movie critics online if you want that take on a movie.

Maleficent is not great but it certainly was entertaining from my perspective. The film takes place in a fantasy world so events and people don't always behave how you might expect.

This is the untold story of one of Disney's popular villains, Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. We watch her as a young child explore her world with an open, pure, heart - welcoming, trusting, and loving.

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The story progresses into a very familiar one of - young love, a woman scorned, anger hardens the heart, retribution and then the movie evolves with an unexpected twist. However, if you are going to see the movie thinking it is the Disney animation story we grew up with, it is not. The story of the cursed princess has once again been reinvented.

Maleficent

Angelina Jolie is the heart and soul of this film and her vulnerability as well as her evil intensity, makes this movie come to life. Perhaps the best scene is when she arrives uninvited at Aurora's christening and everyone, save the King, is mesmerized and speechless. Maleficent is full-on evil and casts the well known spell on the child Aurora.

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SYNOPSIS: "Maleficent" explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty" and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever.

The film stars Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville.

“Maleficent” is produced by Joe Roth and directed by Robert Stromberg, with Angelina Jolie, Don Hahn, Palak Patel, Matt Smith and Sarah Bradshaw serving as executive producers. Linda Woolverton wrote the screenplay.

As part of the publicity for MALEFICENT, she appeared last week at Walt Disney World's Rock Your Disney Side 24 hour event. I was able to meet her :)

I give the movie 3 stars out of 5 and yes, I'd like to see it again.

The previous post in this blog was A preview of Harambe Nights at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

The next post in this blog is Harambe Nights - Snapshot.

Comments (19)

Maggie Sun:

I can barely stand to sit through Hollywood movies anymore. The anti-male propaganda is everywhere today. Do NOT take boys to see films where men are all portrayed as useless. And please stop with the anti-male message! The way to make a pro-female movie is not to be anti-male!!!

Gene:

I thought it was a terrific movie! I am not a big fan of Angelina Jolie yet thought she did a great job, [credit to the director], of not over shadowing the character. Jolie's facial expressions spoke volumes and cast a subtle brilliance. The lack of dialogue was noticeable and welcomed. Too often producers and writers of films, and other media attempt to "wow" us with their seemingly never ending "back and forth" between characters. The narration was perfect and felt as though someone was telling a fairy-tale, as it should be in a fairy-tale. Live action is certainly the way to go, no big eyed-goons to freak me out. The fairies, or pixies, as they are referred to in the film were the only down side. I'm sure many have always thought of Maleficent having received a raw deal. I mean really, even in SB, she wasn't evil, just hurt... The question now is: How does Disney rectify the image of Maleficent in this film with the "traditional" character?

Steven Acevedo:

I haven't seen the movie yet. I may this weekend depending on how I feel.

I will say however that expecting Disney or any other company for that matter to produce something "Original" and completely from scratch doesn't always work. The reason is that no matter how many times I've seen a show or film chances some part of thew plot is something I've seen a thouand times before.

I WILL go in to be entertained which is all that really matters anyway.

Cathy M:

Myself and my daughter went to see it on opening night. Who would have thought that within the first fifteen minutes I would have tears in my eyes over Maleficent??

It was so amazing! I immediately came home and started telling people about it. It is a twist on the classic, and a lot of the details were re-routed, but it was done fabulously! I loved the twists! I loved seeing Maleficent with a heart!

No, its not Disney-purist, but it is Disney and was done with the same wow-factor that we Disney-ites have come to expect. We are actually thinking about going again this weekend to see it!

Parents be aware that very young children, even those who know the original story well, may be frightened by some of the action and beasts.

Janet Harry:

My husband and I enjoyed "Maleficent". It was a different and fun version of the fairy tale!

Jessica:

I saw the movie Maleficent on opening day. I thought it was outstanding!! I came into the movie knowing that would NOT be the cartoon version made into live action. With that mind set, I loved it. It tells the story in a new and more detailed way with some variations and twists!! Two big thumbs way up!!

cathy mullen:

Hi Deb,
At first I did not want to see this movie but I knew my husband was curious so we went this weekend and I'm glad I did! It was good but not for the very young child though.

I thought this movie was fabulous....great... 4 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed Angelina's portrayal of male facet. I can't wait for the DVD or blu ray.

I wouldn't be surprised if they made a movie for all the disney villains... I was not a huge sleepiness beAuty fan but I am a fan of this movie.

Tricia:

Really enjoyed this movie. It was not Sleeping Beauty it was Maleficent so I enjoyed that point of view as well.

Heather Hynes:

I saw the movie and it was good. I agree with some posts that I think the movie could have been better.I love Angelina but I couldnt get over how she yelled the curse... I will buy it on blu ray when it comes out:)

Laureen:

I went into the movie really not expecting much, only that it was going to be an alternate history. I was so pleasantly surprised that i enjoyed the movie so much, was it the greatest movie ever-- no but it was good and enjoyable.

Carolyn:

We took our 4 grandchildren to see this movie.
We all absolutely loved it! Angelina Jolie was the perfect choice to play Maleficent! Kudos Disney!

Noreen Nixon:

I am not a fan of this movie . I find the destruction of the classic film appalling (and yes , I am a dedicated fan of Once Upon a Time) . The dialogue is terrible (dramatic peak -" it is over ") , the ending is predictable and I think well over 70% of the film is based on Angelina Jolie close-ups( I think she is an amazing actress ). It is visually beautiful -with no substance. Frozen made the point of instant true love being a bit , well , obsolete with humor and gentle heart . Maleficent seemed anti -male ( oh I dread the news radio speeches ). I am a pixie-dusted Disney fan -no one will convince me Walt would have appreciated this movie at all .

Amy K:

I saw the movie this weekend and agree with the reviews. I think it's a great movie!

However, I can't help but think that Disney is capable of so much more, and that they could focus on new stories instead of rehashing the classic ones. Let the old stories be what they are. Am I alone in feeling that Disney is hitting the archives with profit in mind, instead of delighting audiences?

Nancy:

I go to movies to be entertained also, and to enjoy imagination and creativity. I've certainly seen a share of movies I would like to "unsee" and have my favorite types of movies. The fantasy realm is one of my favorites. I think the movie was really great, I loved the storyline twist and the world that was created was magical and intriguing. Angelina was amazing! I loved rooting for Maleficent! I would see it again also.

E-ticket-lizabeth:

We saw it in 3D this past weekend, and I'm with you, Deb. I purposely suspend disbelief and turn off my critical brain as much as possible when seeing a movie. My whole family was charmed by "Maleficent," so we've already made plans to buy it when it comes out on Blu-ray.

Margaret:

I do not read reviews before I see a movie. I want to decide for myself if it was worth the price of admission. I liked Maleficent. We all know the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty and I liked the different spin Disney put on this storyline. It was entertaining for me without being too long. I just love going to the movies and yes, I think I would see again also..

Anna Burch:

I thought the movie was very good. We saw it in 3D, which was ok. I don't think there were any particularly WOW 3D effects, but it added depth and interest. I think the song "Once Upon a Dream" certainly takes on a new context after seeing this movie. My favorite Disney Princess song - but it won't be quite the same after "Maleficent". Not a fan of the three fairies in this version, however. Didn't help that I kept thinking of the pink fairy as Professor Umbridge from Harry Potter. (she's so easy to hate in Harry Potter!)

Anthony Barreras:

I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars and would definitely see it again. A job well done.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 3, 2014 10:48 AM.

The previous post in this blog was A preview of Harambe Nights at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

The next post in this blog is Harambe Nights - Snapshot.

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