Maleficent

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Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#51
More of the previous trailers re-cut together, but more new stuff with the king, and a fire-breathing creature may make an appearance at the end of the trailer...






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Ami

Playing All The Stuff!
AKA
Amizon, Commander Shepard, Ellie, Rinoa Heartilly, Xena, Clara Oswald, Gamora, Lana Kane, Tifa Lockhart, Jodie Holmes, Chloe Price.
#56
Lucky me, I got to see it on release day. :awesome:

This might seriously be one of my favourite films of the year so far.

Angelina Jolie practically stole the show. I know she's the main character, but every time the camera panned onto someone for a short while, she'd go ahead and steal their thunder. I loved this version of the story more than the traditional one. It had heart and darkness everywhere.

It's a nice twist of events, as opposed to what we truly perceive Maleficent to be. The fact that we see her only "friend" tear off her wings for greed and see how she became to be the epic villain is truly magnificent. At this point, I was pretty sure everyone was cheering her on to take vengeance against the bastard when Aurora was born.

On a quick side note, I liked the vague relationship she had with Diaval. I had a feeling that he'd almost be the one to kiss Aurora when Philip failed to. In fact, it surprised me even more to see it was Maleficent herself instead after all the years she spent watching her grow up, to only bond with her recently.

Stefan was a dick. Like, I'm so glad when he died. :monster:

Maleficent actually regaining her wings thanks to Aurora was a stroke of genius, too. The boundaries between hero and villain were really drawn for her. It's weird because she's meant to be this evil presence, but you can really see how she often reverts back to her old caring self very briefly.

I'll be honest here: if it weren't for Angelina Jolie, this film wouldn't be as amazing. Go see it now. It's right up there with Frozen for me.
 

Ami

Playing All The Stuff!
AKA
Amizon, Commander Shepard, Ellie, Rinoa Heartilly, Xena, Clara Oswald, Gamora, Lana Kane, Tifa Lockhart, Jodie Holmes, Chloe Price.
#58
DON'T CLICK IT.

Honestly, I enjoyed it so much spoiler-free. I was genuinely surprised and moved by it.
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#59
This movie is hands down my favourite portrayal of Fey ever. I'll write more about this tomorrow when I'm not in my phone, but oh mans. Yes. Not at ALL what I expected, but really enjoyed it.



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X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#60
So, as an initial disclaimer, I remember next to nothing about Disney's Sleeping Beauty so whatever I'm writing here has little to no reflection upon this film as being a reinterpretation of that as source material. What I am covering is it as a new fairytale (in a literal sense in this case, since this is a tale about the Fey & Humans as seen from the perspective of the Fey, rather than the Humans) within the trappings of Sleeping Beauty, and why it works.

Now, the film isn't perfect. It gets a little jumpy at times in terms of the pacing being inconsistent, and some of the final fights are a bit choppy (sort of the way that the fights are in the LotR films after you've seen the extended editions and then go back to watch the shortened versions - a bad analogy but the first thing that came to mind). However, absolutely NONE of that even comes close to overshadowing all of the things that I loved about the film.

The Basic Narrative: At its core, the story is really about the Fey vs. the Humans. They live separately and are completely and fundamentally different. The story is about many things, but is ultimately always some form of that story. It's also a story about revenge and hatred (or in the terms that my roommate so eloquently put it, "Proof that Jesus really CAN microwave a burrito so hot that even he can't eat it."), and the issues that that causes. Additionally there is a message about relationships and true love that I really enjoyed as well.

The Fey: Oh my. Where to even begin. They have everything. There are little water faeries who dance across the water's surface with perfect elegance and grace, there are odd, shy little mushroom-covered fey, there are the three main short-attention and self-focused little fairies, there are the large and almost weightlessly majestic draconic fairies, the cute little glowing firefly-like sprites, the completely insectoid little fairyfolk, the mischievously playful elephan-frog fey, the imposing and old tree-guardians like Balthazar, and the exceptionally majestic and powerful Maleficent. They manage to have the full range of Fey that encompass everything about how very much NOT human they are, and that's important. You immediately understand why the humans aren't allowed in the Moors, and not just because the iron burns the faeries' skin - it's the most simple point that the basic worldview of the two is completely different as shown when Maleficent drops the gemstone into the lake, and Stefan sees it as, "Throwing it away." whereas Maleficent sees it as, "Returning it back to where it belongs."

Maleficent: First of all, Angeline Jolie is an absolute goddess and is the central pillar upon which the ENTIRE film is held up. She brings all the mystery and fear that she has as Grendel's Mother in Beowulf but with far more, since the story here is being told from the Fey's point of view. She's the powerful protector of the Moors, and all of the fey stand behind her, since - as fey are want to do - they often squabble amongst themselves and don't see eye to eye, but they always respect her. You can see her young curiosity towards the outside world the way that she falls for Stefan because he does a little thing like casting away his iron ring so as not to hurt her, and that memory grows with her, so that she always remembers it, and doesn't notice that he doesn't see her the way that she sees him. After he takes her wings from her, even the act of needing to walk is a painful reminder of what was taken from her. We also see that when she is using her magic that is coming from the seething hatred that she has for Stefan, it is the malevolent green that we associate with Maleficent from the human version of Sleeping Beauty, but here we get to see that her natural magic is a golden hue. It's this change that brings the shadow over the Moors and turns her into a much darker protector - raising up her thorn walls.

Her relationship that she forges with Diaval is exceptionally grand. She's curt with him, because he reminds her of all the things that she can't do on her own - especially flying, so she is often dismissive of him, but they have a really honest friendship in that they bicker amongst each other over little things like being turned into a dog, or her telling him not to come into the castle, which makes him feel less important, or even snapping at him dismissively when she saves Aurora from tumbling off a cliff, which makes the idea of their friendship afterwards even better. This is especially important, because the three fairies who "raise" Aurora don't listen to anyone - especially not each other, so it's of NO surprise that they arrive at the christening, despite knowing that Maleficent wouldn't approve. They are just incompetent at raising a child as you'd expect from the fey like them, and SO much worse as soon as they're forced to be 'humans.' It's even better, because they're the sort of caretakers who really wouldn't notice if Aurora wandered off for huge lengths of time, and would be entirely oblivious to Maleficent's frequent presence. What this does is open up an unexpected door:

Aurora: Aurora is everything that the fairies blessed her with. While she is initially the source of Maleficent's revenge, and quite the, "curious little beastie" to the queen of the fey, she's utterly endearing. Since Maleficent initially starts by micromanaging for the utter incompetence of the three fairies, it slowly builds up something important. Aurora loves the Fey and their world. It isn't the sort of perceived love that came from the treacherous relationship that Maleficent experienced. As Aurora spends time with the Fey, you get to see the qualities return to them, as well as those things comes back to Maleficent herself. There's the elegance and beauty of the water faeries that she sits and admires, the way she pets the snout of the draconic fey with gentle care, and even plays in the mud with the little elephant-frogs. Each time she seems fey and interacts with them, a little bit of the shadow that fell over the fey of the Moors and made them subservient to her will when they all bowed to her, slowly peels away to the light that Aurora brings. That's why the love that Maleficent has for her grows into something true, because Aurora is literally all the little things that she missed and that vanished from her life after Stefan betrayed her.

The Curse: This is where it becomes even more important. The curse is born of the utter seething hatred that Maleficent has for humans, for lust for power, and most of all over the lie that is "true love" - which she uses as the one, single exception to her curse as the perfect "fuck you" to Stefan. It's a long and slow lesson that shows her that she CAN really love someone, even if she doesn't recognize it herself initially, because she is still thinking in terms of romantic love being the only true love - which it isn't. This is exacerbated even more because she's the one who brings the prince into the castle in an attempt to save Aurora (which was handled fantastically when he feels awkward about kissing her even though he would like to, and the three fairies still think that they're managing all on their own). All of the little actions that Maleficent made over the years, and the ways that Aurora brought back the light into her life is why it's important that Maleficent's love breaks the curse - especially after her own magic failed to be strong enough. What's exceptionally meaningful is that after that, Aurora brings back LITERALLY everything Maleficent lost when she frees Maleficent's wings - finally finishing in undoing everything that Stefan did to cause pain and darkness to fall over the Moors. In this story, Maleficent doesn't need to transform into the dragon to overcome and finally defeat Stefan, because she already WAS as powerful as she ever needed to be from the start (plus, it let Diaval actually transform into something amazing).

Then you round out with the happily ever after, and Aurora became queen of the Moors because there was a real peace and understanding built out of a mutual love, and not out of something dependent on pure romance - and THAT is probably every single reason that I absolutely loved Maleficent.



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Ami

Playing All The Stuff!
AKA
Amizon, Commander Shepard, Ellie, Rinoa Heartilly, Xena, Clara Oswald, Gamora, Lana Kane, Tifa Lockhart, Jodie Holmes, Chloe Price.
#61
^ I can't thank you enough for that post. It absolutely summed up how beautiful it was.
 

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Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#62
I'm so glad you liked it. I wrote half if it, and accidentally refreshed my page and had to start over, but I really wanted to gush about it to everyone, so I'm really glad to know that it was worth it. *^^*;


Also, can we talk about the fact that THIS is how you make a movie with opposite gender balance? Like, there's Diaval, Phillip, & Stefan… aaaaaand that's it, and all of them are essentially secondary to the female characters. It makes me 98% certain that there's a thinly veiled gender message about the disparity between the two interpretations of the story, but I didn't really think about it until now.



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Tennyo

Paladin of Voltron
#64
Saw it last night. There were a lot of things about this movie that I liked, yet at the same time, I didn't quite love it as much as I thought I would.

I will say this, though: the movie is total eye candy. Probably one of the most visually stunning movies I have ever seen. The CGI and special effects were very well done, and the art direction was magnificent. This is like, Brian Froud levels of epic in terms of fantasy art. Above and beyond, even (it feels slightly blasphemous to say that).

I saw it in Imax 3D which probably did a lot to enhance the beauty of the visuals. Just the little things such as the sunlight popping out of the screen at you made everything all the more stunning. I like that they didn't resort to standard 3D movie gimmicks of throwing things at the screen to make it look like it's flying at your face. I enjoy 3D movies more when it is used simply to enhance.

Angelina Jolie was pitch-perfect in this role. I've never really been into her ever, to be honest, but she was fabulous in this movie.

That all being said though, visuals are nice, but can only carry a story so far. Angelina Jolie was really what made this movie. She carried the entire thing, from her first appearance to her last, and I really don't think I would have liked it at all if anyone else had been cast.

As for the plot, this movie definitely garners points for deviating from the norm. So many movies can be rehashes of tropes I've seen a million times. This movie did not fall into that, and it was refreshing to know I wasn't paying nearly $20 (my ticket was $16.25 plus a $2 handling fee from Fandango, ouch) to see standard, predictable Disney fare. There was, however, one exception, that I will cover behind the spoiler tag.

I liked that Maleficent wasn't really 100% evil. Stefan screwed her over, so her anger and hatred was believable, rather than her being a villain just because. I liked that her anger and hatred didn't permanently change her, either. She was still the protector of the Moors above all.

I like that she also regretted her curse after she started to get to know Aurora. I like that the two of them bonded and wanted to spend the rest of their lives hanging out in the Moors together. I like the message this movie sent about how true love doesn't have to be romantic love.

I really liked how Philip wasn't the one to break the spell. He had only met Aurora once, so it makes perfect sense. How can you truly love someone you only spoke to in the forest for five minutes? Thank you Disney, for following in a trend you already set forth in Frozen.

However, speaking of Frozen, I felt a bit like they may have come dangerously close to rehashing themes from that movie. I actually spent a good chunk of the movie thinking that Diaval was going to be the one to break the spell. Not in a romantic way, mind you. I was just thinking of the scene where he brought the baby the flower bottle and rocked her to sleep. It would have been in maybe an older brother, even fatherly type way. Maybe because I just think it would be nice to see more male/female relationships that didn't revolve around one trying to get into the pants of the other?

It almost seemed a bit more of the natural choice from how it was written for it to have been Diaval, but when Maleficent was standing over Aurora near tears, I knew then that she was going to be the one to do it and break her own spell. I liked the idea of it quite a lot actually, I'm just not sure if it felt natural. I know that Maleficent had been spying on Aurora for years, but they hadn't really been hanging out together for very long. I just wasn't sure if I believed that Maleficent really loved Aurora so much that it would be true love. Would she maybe have felt bad about the curse? Sure, why wouldn't she? But true love? I don't know if I buy it. Maybe if they had spent more time together through the years it would have been different. I think I just felt as though Disney was trying too hard to make this like Frozen and forgetting along the way what it was that actually made Frozen work. Elsa and Anna's bond was anchored in their childhood. Maleficent and Aurora don't have that.

It's not just that relationship that didn't feel natural, either. I never for a second felt that it was believable that Maleficent and Stefan were once in love, either. It was very much, "They've in love because the writers say so," rather than them actually being in love.

A lot of the plot in this movie felt very unnatural in its presentation. I very much got the impression that the writer's themselves were holding my hand and leading me along rather than the story itself leading me along by unfolding naturally. Everything that happened in this story happened because the writers decided for it to be so rather than events being a logical progression resulting from what came before.

I feel like I'm being a lot harsher than what I intend to be. I actually did like this movie, but didn't love it. If my roommate buys it on Blu-Ray when it comes out (which I'm sure she will because she has been raving all day about how much she loved it) I wouldn't say no if she asked me if I wanted to watch it. I just don't know if I would go out of my way to purchase it myself to see it again. Maybe my opinion will change in time, who knows.
 
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X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#65
Haven't seen Frozen, so I can't speak to any similarities there at all. I think I did a fairly good job of explaining in my tl;dr why Maleficent truly loves Aurora. Additionally, while Maleficent was enamoured with Stefan and he liked her, I think that the story was pretty clear that they weren't in love -- especially because romantic feelings =/= true love is kind of the central theme of the film.



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Tennyo

Paladin of Voltron
#66
I just simply don't agree.
I don't think they were given enough time for form a strong enough bond for what Maleficent felt to have been true love. It was certainly enough for Maleficent to regret what she had done, yes. But that really speaks more to Maleficent's character than anything else. She's not truly evil at her core. She was once a loving and caring individual. Aurora was a sweet, innocent girl that did not deserve the fate that was coming for her. For Maleficent to have not regretted her actions would have been wrong.

I just don't buy that it was true love.
 
AKA
Noctis
#67
I love how Maleficent is truly the focus in this movie and how a sappy love story didn't ruin ANY OF IT. I loved the story of revenge and betrayal, I love the way they tied her to King Stephan. And how both of them claim that love does not exist. I also like how they made love about family rather than about romantic love. IT'S EXTREMELY RARE WHEN ROMANTIC LOVE IS NOT A PART OF PLOTS LIKE THESE, ESPECIALLY IN DISNEY and that made it so heart warming to me. It's so sweet how she DID raise Aurora and how Aurora said she saw her shadow following her. That was a huge AWWW moment for me.

What makes it sweeter is apparently the child that says "up up" is Angelina's daughter. :')

Eeh, I kind of thought they were going to go to the whole Diaval being the true love thing too and i'm SO GLAD THEY DIDN'T. Because 1 - he'd know her since she was little and that would have been kind of creepy, and 2 - I really liked him being the quirky loyal friend of Maleficent so I didn't want him tied to another girl. I'M GLAD PRINCE PHILLIP WASN'T SHIT IN THIS MOVIE. I'm glad the true heroine AND villian remained to be Maleficent the entire time. And I'm also glad this movie had such a feel - good ending.

I feel like this story about Maleficent fits well with the Maleficent we see in the original Disney Sleeping Beauty. Because to me it always seemed hinted that she wasn't always a terror. They even made her shift sides a bit in Kingdom Hearts which always led me to believe that something happened to her. So when people complain about this movie erasing a truly villanious character I think... nah I can definitely see Maleficent being twisted by revenge or another tragedy.

I'd also have to disagree with tenny because I felt the love was real, but they didn't show much of it because it is not the main focus. The fact that they showed them together as kids growing together and then how they had grown apart and lived seperate lives... tugged on a heartstring for me. How Stephan was consumed by greed and how he actually COULDNT kill her before he became king showed me that their relationship was really strong. But because of his greed he still took her wings. And then once he became king the greed as well as the dementia were too strong for any feelings for her to remain.

I honestly don't see the connection with Frozen. Frozen was about sisters, this was more an interesting spin on a mother and daughter relationship. Except in this instance Maleficent is called her Godmother and though she didn't birth Aurora she still raised her and nutured her. There are other mother-daugher movies in disney (see brave) but this one really puts a cool twist on it and makes it something else. Actually if Diaval had been the one to wake Aurora then I would have seen the connection with Frozen.

that's my opinion though :>
 

Abortedj

The Crawling Chaos
AKA
Abortedj, The Offender, Abortedjesus, Testicules,
#68
Saw it. Not bad. Not great. Enjoy her looking like a fetish hooker during the movie.
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#71
Haven't seen the movie, but I've heard she doesn't turn into a dragon. Is that true? Because that's some grade-A bullshit if so.
Well yeah, this is technically true, but it's not as bullshit as you'd think given the way that everything happens. It was one of the moments in the film that I was exceptionally looking forward to, and I loved how it ended up playing out.


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Carlie

CltrAltDelicious
AKA
Chloe Frazer
#72
Haven't seen the movie, but I've heard she doesn't turn into a dragon. Is that true? Because that's some grade-A bullshit if so.
Heard the same, absolute bullshit indeed. Just in case I read the plot and then saw this article(article has spoilers). Whatever interest I had in watching the movie went down to a big fat 0. I'll probably catch when it hits HBO and there's nothing else on tv at the time.
 
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Tennyo

Paladin of Voltron
#73
Nah, it's worth it to watch it at least once. Visually it is probably one of the most stunning movies you will ever see, so 3D is encouraged.

And to be honest,
I was also disappointed that she didn't turn into a dragon, but that's not a make or break point, really.

For me I really think it is the pacing of the plot. Threw everything off.
 

Animexcel

Pro Adventurer
#74
It almost seemed a bit more of the natural choice from how it was written for it to have been Diaval, but when Maleficent was standing over Aurora near tears, I knew then that she was going to be the one to do it and break her own spell. I liked the idea of it quite a lot actually, I'm just not sure if it felt natural. I know that Maleficent had been spying on Aurora for years, but they hadn't really been hanging out together for very long. I just wasn't sure if I believed that Maleficent really loved Aurora so much that it would be true love. Would she maybe have felt bad about the curse? Sure, why wouldn't she? But true love? I don't know if I buy it. Maybe if they had spent more time together through the years it would have been different. I think I just felt as though Disney was trying too hard to make this like Frozen and forgetting along the way what it was that actually made Frozen work. Elsa and Anna's bond was anchored in their childhood. Maleficent and Aurora don't have that.

It's not just that relationship that didn't feel natural, either. I never for a second felt that it was believable that Maleficent and Stefan were once in love, either. It was very much, "They've in love because the writers say so," rather than them actually being in love.

A lot of the plot in this movie felt very unnatural in its presentation. I very much got the impression that the writer's themselves were holding my hand and leading me along rather than the story itself leading me along by unfolding naturally. Everything that happened in this story happened because the writers decided for it to be so rather than events being a logical progression resulting from what came before.

I dunno, Elsa and Anna barely spoken to each other for years since the accident in the beginning of the movie, so I don't think their bond felt genuine by that point either.

I actually think Maleficent was a lot better than Frozen :)
 

Carlie

CltrAltDelicious
AKA
Chloe Frazer
#75
Nah, it's worth it to watch it at least once. Visually it is probably one of the most stunning movies you will ever see, so 3D is encouraged.

And to be honest,
I was also disappointed that she didn't turn into a dragon, but that's not a make or break point, really.

For me I really think it is the pacing of the plot. Threw everything off.
If the movie is that visually stunning then
her not turning into a dragon is even more stupid.


That's not the only break point for me,
I hate the backstory she was given, it's absolute shitty movie cliche that has been overused to death and does not do one of the greatest villains of all time any sort of justice.
 
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