Friday, June 6, 2014


I liked Maleficent. It was better than I expected. Starring Angelina Jolie it tells the back story of the evil fairy queen in Sleeping Beauty. I remember enjoying that fairy tale a lot, but in retrospect, it does seem strange that the woman was that full of rage simply because she wasn't invited to a party.

The atmosphere and the effects and visuals were all solid. Angelina Jolie was okay. Very beautiful to look at, but her acting was a bit restrained and I wanted a bit more emotion or dimension. For me the best part of the movie was the surprise ending. It really plays on the idea of villainy, which I've been thinking about since reading I Wear the Black Hat. Adding nuance and complex (or at least a bit more complex) motives to the stock bad guy character is something I always enjoy. As I did in the very different (and superior) Megamind.

With Maleficent, I'm curious how children will respond to this version of the fairy tale. You really are meant to sympathize with three dimensional Maleficent, and the Aurora character is a bit simplistic and even dopey. (I love Elle Fanning, but she was kind of lame in this). So the princess is the least compelling character, and the real bad guy in this story seems to be her father...

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