Maleficent flies into theatres May 30th, setting itself up as the family friendly alternative to just about everything else currently in theaters. Boasting a notable leading lady, a universe chalk full of CGI and a story we all know and love, Maleficent is a fun movie that is perfect for the summer.
Starring Angelina Jolie, [Maleficent](movie:39352) is a film that “sets the record straight” on what really happened during the “Sleeping Beauty” story. As a magical fairy that peacefully lived in the forest as a child, Maleficent becomes the villain we all know and love after a series of unfortunate circumstances that stem from a boy she falls in love with, named Stefan.
Stefan, played by Sharlto Copley, is an orphan with big aspirations, who works his way up to the position of King through some royally miserable deeds, chief among them, wronging Maleficent in the most horrible way one could imagine (if they’re a fairy). In retribution for what Stephan has done to Maleficent, she casts a curse upon his newborn daughter, Aurora. It is at this point the familiar story of Sleeping Beauty begins. Cursed to fall into a death-like sleep on her sixteenth birthday upon pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel, Aurora is sent far away to be raised in safety by three fairies. But maybe the story really is a little different than you thought . . . I guess you will just have to watch to find out.
Believe it or not, I would highly recommend this movie. I’ll be the first to admit that this type of picture does not usually grab my attention, but this movie had a feel that was very reminiscent of the 2010 retelling of “Alice in Wonderland” directed by Tim Burton, that I loved. Like “Alice,” the movie is rated PG, but is jam packed with dark themes and situations , that make it great for those of us who are a little older. On the same note however, those darker themes and situations would most definitely be frightening to younger children, so if you’re thinking about taking kids, just be cautious. Considering that, I think this movie is a fantastic alternative to everything else out in theaters right now. Matched up against Seth MacFarlane’s [A Million Ways to Die in the West](movie:774008), “Maleficent” should give the funny-man a run for his money this weekend. Having seen both already, I’d recommend seeing “Maleficent.” The story was more enjoyable, it was visually attractive, and Angelina Jolie was a fantastic anti-hero.
Like I always say though, no movie is perfect, and like I always do, I save the bad stuff for last. That though, is another thing that surprised me about this movie. There really wasn’t that much I didn’t like about it. My biggest problem would have to be the three fairies. They don’t go by the names Flora, Fauna and Meriwether, and they’re kind of idiots in this retelling. Albeit, they were always a little quirky, but this incantation of the fairies goes beyond quirky to just plain stupid. I wouldn’t change the casting, I do believe the actresses picked were right for the part, but their story didn’t quite live up to the potential that could have been tapped by the talent.
The only other thing that bothered me was Angelina Jolie’s costume at the very end. Throughout the whole movie, Jolie looks impeccable. Her lips are blood red, her teeth are a brilliant white, her cheekbones could cut steel, and her horns are bad-ass, but at the very end of the movie, she sports an outfit that reminded me of something Cat Woman would wear. The skintight leather is a minor, perhaps even unnoticeable element to most, but there was something about it that just didn’t sit right with me.
Other than that though, I have to say I was pleased with the movie. Is it life changing good? No. Will it make you rethink film, as you know it? No. Will it even be the best movie of the summer? No. But it is perfectly enjoyable in just about every way. If you’ve got a free hour and a half this weekend, go check it out. The shorter runtime and the one-off story with no pressure of a sequel makes it a refreshing treat in comparison to just about everything else in theaters right now.
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