Tag Archives: Angelina Jolie

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Movie Review

Fairy tales have a way of reaching across time and cultures. They may seem frivolous and fantastical, but they tell human stories about human characters.

The new movie, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, takes place five years after the first movie ends. Aurora (Elle Fanning) and Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson) are newly engaged. The hope is that this marriage will bring peace to the land. But hope often springs eternal.

Before Aurora and Philip can walk down the aisle as newlyweds, Aurora and Maleficent are invited to have dinner with King John (Robert Lindsay) and Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer). The dinner is supposed to be a “getting to know you” for the future in laws. But in true Meet the Parents fashion, the dinner does not go as planned.

The bond between Aurora and Maleficent begins to weaken as their relationship changes and the drums of war are heard in the distance. Will Aurora and Philip say “I do” and more importantly, will her relationship with Maleficent return to what it was?

I liked this movie. There are some sequels that for any number of reasons, feel unnecessary or feel like they are not adding to the reputation of their predecessor. This film is neither. Without spoiling the movie, there are themes of growing up, respecting diversity in the face of persecution and what happens in the mind of a parent when their child grows up. None of which are easy to deal with on an emotional level.

This film is well written and well acted. Though it may seem to be the predictable fairy tale, it is not.

I recommend it.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is presently in theaters.

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Flashback Friday-Changeling (2008)

The strongest love in the world is from a mother to her child.

In the 2008 movie Changeling, Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) is a phone operator living in Los Angeles in 1928. Christine is a single mother who is raising her son alone. She returns from work one day to find that her son has disappeared. As any mother would do, Christine calls the police. Five months later, the police bring a boy home to Christine. She says that he is not her son, but the police ignore her. Did the police bring back her son or has Christine lost control of her mental facilities?

The quote that comes to mind in this movie is as follows:

“Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.”

While I am not a huge Angelina Jolie fan, I appreciate this film mainly because female characters like Christine are still too rare in Hollywood. It’s also a well acted film with a compelling narrative.

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday-Alexander (2004)

Alexander The Great is one of the most revered politicians/military leaders in the history of the human species. Even today, thousands of years after his lifetime,  many in leadership positions look to him for inspiration and strength.

In 2004, the film Alexander told the story of his brief, but history making life. Starring Colin Farrell in the title role and Angelina Jolie as Olympias, his snake loving mother, the film attempts to blend fact and fiction, while replicating the imagery and narrative of the biblical/historical epics of old Hollywood.

I have a problem with this movie. It’s long (about three hours), boring and while tries to entertain the audience/tell the story of the title character, it fails miserably on all accounts.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely not.

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Thoughts On The Harvey Weinstein Scandal Part II

Since I last wrote about the Harvey Weinstein scandal last week, the floodgates have opened.

He was fired from Miramax, the production company he founded with his brother. His wife will soon be his ex-wife and the many women he took advantage of or tried to take advantage of have come forward. Kate Beckinsale, Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan (whose twitter account was locked) and Mira Sorvino are some of the bold-faced names who claim to have met the former movie mogul under less than honest and moral circumstances.

The problem is that what Harvey Weinstein has been accused of is not limited to just the entertainment industry. This heinous act is repeated every day in every corner of the globe. It could be a male teacher with a female student, a male boss with a female employee, etc. It’s just so disgustingly pervasive that we don’t have to read about or hear about a similar story.

The one small nugget of hope that I have in all of this, is that there is light at the end of the tunnel. The men who commit these horrible acts will get the message that what they are doing is wrong and will think twice about doing it.

Perhaps then, we will be one step closer to being truly equal.

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Brangelina Divorce-Who Cares?

Yesterday, the world was rocked by news. It was not an earthquake, it was not the assassination of a politician and it was certainly not a major financial meltdown that could impact the economy and millions of jobs.

It was a divorce. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, aka Brangelina are divorcing.

Am I the only one who sees that this is non-news? It’s a divorce, couples divorcing is not news and not front page worthy (well, that depends on which newspaper you read. I read the New York Post, it was a questionable cover to say the least).

It is sad? Yes, divorce is sad and heartbreaking. But is also part of every day life.

Am I sorry that it happened? Of course. I can only hope the soon to be former Mr. and Mrs. Pitt can be amicable and mature, especially when it comes to their children.

But I wish the media would focus on what is really important and not another Hollywood divorce.

Happy Wednesday.

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Maleficent The Magnificent: Maleficent Movie Review

*-This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the movie.

Maleficent is magnificent.

The 1959 animated Sleeping Beauty movie, the source material from which the screen play is taken from is twisted in a delightful and intricate manner.

Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is a fairy, who develops a friendship and then a teenage romance with a human called Stefan (Sharlto Copley). But Stefan is ambitious. The dying king announces that the man who kills Maleficent will crowned king upon his death.  Using their relationship to his advantage, Stefan cuts off Maleficent’s wings to gain the throne.

Years later, Stefan is now king and parent to a brand new baby girl. At her christening, she is being blessed by the three fairies Flittle (Lesley Manvile), Knotgrass (Imelda Staunton) and Thistlewit (Juno Temple). Seeking revenge, Maleficent curses the new princess. After the curse, the princess (played as a teenager by Elle Fanning) is taken away from the castle, Maleficent watches over the child with a strange maternal instinct with the help of her servant Diaval (Sam Riley).

I loved this movie.  While I find the Disney princess movies from that era of Sleeping Beauty to be one note, black and white and not how I want to spend my movie watching time, this movie takes these characters from one dimension to three dimensions.  Maleficent is not just a villain just to be a villain, she is hurting from Stefan’s betrayal and uses that hurt to justify her actions. I’m not normally a fan of Angelina Jolie, but she is magnificent and perfectly cast in this role. The special effects were just enough to enhance the story, not used to cover up a hole in the screenplay.

I highly recommend this movie.

 

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