“Maleficent” Movie Review

Released on May 30th, 2014, this children fantasy film fails to deliver anything new or note worthy to the silver screen. It was visually stunning and well-acted, but Disney ultimately rehashed  and twisted the “Sleeping Beauty” tale with a touch of “Frozen”. The always beautiful Angelina Jolie shines a light on the character that longtime fans had not expected. With the narrative through her eyes, we get to see that King Stefan, malevolently played by Sharlto Copley, is the true bad guy. Maleficent is just a faerie who had been betrayed and turned dark by the greedy Stefan. Newcomer Elle Fanning phones it in as the iconic Princess Aurora in a somewhat shallow and drab performance. While she can show the Princess’s sense of hope and happiness, there is little other emotion the actress can capture in the Disney character. James Newton Howard gives a subtle and uplifting score, but it rarely stands out. The overall movie and main plot are good, but it resembles way too much of past Disney animated films. However, a live-action fantasy by Disney is a new turn for the company. With all it’s stunning visual effects, subtle dialogue, and stellar performances, “Maleficent” is one of Disney’s finest live-action films to date. This can easily be a re-watchable experience, whether or not you’ve actually seen the original “Sleeping Beauty” film. Image

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