Monday, November 17, 2014

Maleficent (2014)

I am trying something new here. I'm not technically a movie critic, but I do know how to pay attention to a movie and think about it. Which sounds like a movie review to me. Plus, I was really curious about this one. I had heard what a great casting Angelina Jolie was, so I got super excited when my best homie rented it for the weekend. We ended up watching it twice, which is when I got the idea to write a review. So here goes nothing.

Guys. This is a good movie. The more I think about it, the more I like it. It's funny, sad, sweet and nostalgic, and it really turns the old story on its cheery little head. Not that it's all dreary, or evil wins, or anything like that. It just makes you second-guess everything you thought you knew about Sleeping Beauty.

The set design and costumes are gorgeous. (Okay, honestly, I can't tell the differences among the various types of animation or CGI or live-action.) But it was all perfect in my books. Aurora had some of my favorite costumes.

 [this is the only shot I could find of this one.]

However, I also thought Maleficent's brown gown was elegant, in its own simply way.

 [there's a shot of it at the end that makes it look much prettier.)

The score was very good. Lana del Rey's "Once Upon a Dream" was weird and creepy and odd and ugly. But the rest of the music was beautiful, and you could hear multiple nods to the original movie's soundtrack. Part of me wanted a sing-over of a cheery "Once" for when Phillip and Aurora meet, but I suppose it didn't matter, because as soon as Phillip came onscreen, the best homie and I busted out singing it ourselves.

Drat. I just got a fresh coffee, and it completely derailed my train of thought.

Ah. Storyline. Plot. Thing. Right. The whole story was amazing. In short, Maleficent is to Sleeping Beauty as Wicked is to The Wizard of Oz. I won't spoil anything, but the events of Maleficent's past really kinda justify the rest of her actions. There's a couple of interesting plot twists, too.

And then we have the characters. There are wooden balrogs here, folks. Not even joking.

See? Totally balrogs.

Prince Philip: Awh, he's a cute little baby. And he looks like he belongs in a boy band.

I really liked that, in this movie, Philip and Aurora look their ages: innocent 16 year olds. Totes adorbs.

The 3 fairies: Basically, every time you see them, LOL.

They made me a bit sad, because the original fairies were silly, but they didn't seem that dumb. These seemed flat-out stupid. But maybe it's because they didn't get many lines or much screen time. They were pretty hilarious in spite of this, though. Oh, and look, Maria Hale has blue hair....

Diaval: WHAT a surprise. I wanted more Diaval. He's a sidekick who is more than a sidekick.

I love how he roots for Philip and Aurora, and I want a Maleficent 2, where Diaval becomes Queen Aurora's Prime Minister or something.

Aurora: She was very sweet and pretty, just like Aurora should be.

My brothers couldn't get over the fact that she looked like Danielle Bradbery (from The Voice, season 4).

Her character wasn't super fleshed-out, but then she wasn't really the point of this movie.

King Stefan: Well, the casting director gets 1000 accurate points, because he looked a whole lot like the cartoon king.

But his character was quite interesting. I think he was inspired by Lady MacBeth, for reasons I can't explain without spoilers. The actor made him very believable.

Maleficent: Spoiler: She isn't evil. Haha. Maybe you suspected that.

Really, Angelina nailed her. Her performance during the christening scene was uncanny. Every other sentence or facial expression during that, I thought, "Wow. That is exactly Maleficent." And her acting was more than believable. In both scenes where she had to be heartbroken, she broke my heart. And, again, no spoilers, but I was rooting for her in the end.

Oh, and there's nothing inappropriate in the whole thing. No language, no sensuality, no was a nice change of pace.

Well, did my review miss anything? You guys really ought to go rent this. It's amazing. Like I said, I want Maleficent 2.


  1. So... even though I've seen Sleeping Beauty like twice and didn't care about it a whole lot, would I like this? Would I get it, or would I be missing lots of stuff and should just wait until I've seen the animated version again?

    1. I think you would like it. Do you know anything about Wicked? It's the same style. It has just enough reference points to be related to the original story, but it's totally its own story. The last time I watched Sleeping Beauty, I was 5, and I barely remembered the original, but I enjoyed Maleficent SO MUCH. (obviously) It really adds so much more to the original story. And it's gorgeous.

    2. Well, looks like the library has this, and has 158 holds on it! So I'll try to get it next year some time. I'm happy to hear it works even if you're not 100% familiar with the animated version!

    3. Wow....that's a lot of holds. I'll read your review whenever you get to it then! :-)