Ten reasons why you should see the magnificent “Maleficent”

Published 10:23 am Wednesday, June 4, 2014

by Lauren Bradshaw

I saw a really entertaining, funny (at times), kick-ass movie this week… and no, I’m not talking about the horrendous “A Million Ways To Die In The West.” I am, of course, talking about “Maleficent.” Based off of the fairy tale-turned-Disney film “Sleeping Beauty,” “Maleficent” tells the story from the villain’s perspective, shifting the mythos into a totally different direction.

Of course, the memorable moments are still in there, such as the christening and the spinning wheel, but expect surprises and twists on these classic scenes as well. In one of her best performances yet, Angelina Jolie shows that maybe Maleficent isn’t as evil as we once thought; maybe there are two sides to this story.

To celebrate this enchanting film, here are the 10 reasons I think you should make a trip to the theater to see “Maleficent” this weekend:

1) Fools! Maleficent is obviously the best Disney villain. If anyone deserves his/her own movie, it’s her. While watching “Sleeping Beauty” as a kid, I was much more fascinated by Maleficent than the one-dimensional Aurora. Bleh. Who needs birds and an operatic singing voice when you are the queen of shade and curses.

2) The cast is phenomenal. Elle Fanning is perfect as the ethereal, innocent Aurora, but the real magic lies in Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent. She is going to be THE poster child of perfect casting for the next decade, if not longer. Jolie isn’t the perfect choice because of her “darker” past; she is perfect because she gets the character through and through. She understands that her Maleficent is both villain and hero and as a fantastic actress, she plays to both. Unsurprisingly, she elevates the entire movie; absolutely no other actress could have played this part and the movie would be nothing without her. Angelina is dramatic (but not annoyingly over-the-top), devious, equal parts sweet and sour, and most importantly, QUEEN! This is easily one of Angie’s (I can call her this since we are obviously best friends) best roles and certainly one of my favorites!

3) It’s flat out fun and nostalgic. Pretty much any revamping of a classic movie from childhood, starring one of the best actresses working today, is a win. “Maleficent” conjured up many memories of my favorite scenes from the animated film. It was really fun seeing them acted out in live-action. Plus, it’s always so much more enjoyable to watch a film when you can tell the actor is having fun in the role. Angelina looked like she was having the time of her life as Maleficent; even in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” she didn’t seem to be having THIS much fun!

4) Vivienne Jolie-Pitt is featured in her first movie role and has the cutest scene EVER with her mom. Need I say more?

5) “Maleficent” answers some of the plot holes I’ve always noticed in the Sleeping Beauty story…such as, why in the world did the fairies bring Aurora back to the castle ON HER BIRTHDAY. Shouldn’t they have waited one more day?

6) My new favorite word “beastie” is featured prominently in the film. Maleficent calls Aurora “beastie” for most of the movie and now I am calling everyone that… endearingly, of course.

7) The CGI is good (not perfect, but I also blame that on the 3D)! Note: Don’t see this film in 3D, it darkens the picture and really takes away from the experience. Not to mention, the 3D basically does NOTHING for the movie.

8) The costumes/makeup are to die for. I absolutely loved what they envisioned Maleficent would look like as a real person. From her horns to the collar of her dress, her look was phenomenal.

9) The classic “Sleeping Beauty” story is re-imagined in the same vein as “Wicked.” Who wouldn’t like that? All that was missing was a cameo from Adele Dazeem.

10) Girl power! I love this new Disney theme of featuring girl power instead of damsels in distress. Maleficent is the real hero of this movie, no ifs ands or buts about it.

My Review: B+