Maleficent. Mistress of Evil. If you listen to the podcast, then you know that I was excited for the release of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. It is a sequel, to Diseny’s 2014 hit, Maleficent. It is a spin on the classic Sleeping Beauty tale, in which Maleficent is the main character and spun to be a sort of anti-hero or just a misunderstood hero. Angelina Jolie plays the title character, with Elle Fanning notably playing the Princess who was destined to be cursed. The 2014 movie was a financial success, it made (if I remember correctly and I refuse to check it right now) about $700 million, which exceeded expectations. Critics and fans alike didn’t love it, even though they saw it. Still, the money and lukewarm reaction was plenty for a sequel. Online, it was (is) commonly referred to as the sequel that no one asked for.
I never asked for a sequel to this film that’s for sure. You know what though? IT doesn't matter whether I wanted a sequel or not because the one that we received is an absolute delight! Angelina Jolie and the newest, biggest cast member, Michelle Pfeiffer, really chew up the scenery with their performances. Angelina Jolie is deliciously evil and funny (even though her character is only not evil,) as well as Peiffer. She really brought her A-game in this one. Neither of them will be up for best actress nominations, but for what this movie is, they really KILLED it. I LOVED the emotions put forth by all of the characters. Well, I only liked some of them. Elle Fanning is good enough, but hr character seems rather flat to me. She has time and some story to work with, but the director never seemed to focus on anything more than her surface level feelings and her role in the story. Prince Phillip was good, but I think that they may have played it safe with him. He was pretty milquetoast. He didn’t have anything important to do, except react to his mom or his fiance, and the performance doesn't seem to transcend the page. I thought the score was fun. They balanced it well because every time there was something that sort of veered into horror or darker territory with Maleficent losing her shit at several points, the score would start pounding and I would get pumped up, expecting a dark fantasy movie to continue… And then they would pull it back. I know this is for kids and it isn't supposed to be a down and drab story full of horror and pain but the times in which they dipped their toes in the water story wise and visually, I loved it!
The effects work was really solid. The artsy side of it (the dinner scene, the forest, the mairs (or whatever they are called, I couldn't understand it all) home cave (especially the outer structure. Felt giger-esque honestly.) It feels normal to watch a movie with lots of effects dominated shots of cities and larger creatures in action and see a few frames or scenes that are just awful. Video game cut scene level stuff. I didn’t notice any, so it was pretty consistent visually. As I wrote in parentheses, a few scenes REALLY stood out. The dinner scene, the final battle, the horned people (forget their names and REFUSE to look it up) were discussing (initially) in their cave to go to war, and the flower cutting scene were all really compelling.
I kind of hated the small porcupine looking thing, but I think I understand it’s purpose. It is understandable, but I didn’t enjoy it. The three main faires (or whatever their names are. I still refuse to look it up) that raised the Princess (or helped) were just annoying this time around, but one again this is something that I just didn’t like. Most or all of my reviews have to do with what I like and don't like. I am not breaking down film theory or trying to analyze and scrutinize the script or how they executed things in production, so you know.Hell, I don;t even go in depth about the things I like! Ma, I suck. I think it is definitely worth watching if you have a kid that might want to or can go on a discount day or something. Go for it, man!
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