June 3, 2014
Maleficent, 2014. A powerful fairy curses a princess.
Directed by Robert Stromberg. Written by Linda Woolverton, based on various sources. Starring Angelina Jolie, with Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, & Sam Riley.
Concept: A movie about Maleficent: great idea. Making her the hero: terrible idea. B
Characters: They go through all that trouble (ie, the first half of the movie) effectively establishing why she's evil. Then she just stops being evil for no apparent reason. The original Maleficent is one of the most awesome villains of all time, and seeing a version of her that so easily softens is extremely disappointing. D
Special effects/design: A
Acting: Jolie is great. The narrator is bad enough to make me cringe. C
Enjoyment: It's entertaining, but there isn't anything that wasn't much better in Sleeping Beauty. Still, movie producers without ideas of their own could do a lot worse for a source of material to mine. C