Escape to the Movies: Maleficent - An Unusual Fairy Tale of Revenge

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The second act here might not be as "weird and clunky" as it is just cliched. It's a familiar sequence of events in which a very powerful not-quite-human character learns about how good mankind can be and decides not to destroy at least part of it.

Ronack:
So, we should never watch your video's again because they're going to contain spoilers every, single time. >_>

Seems like it. I'm getting pretty sick of Bob not being able to actually discuss a movie without spoiling huge plot points. Probably not worth it to watch his stuff anymore.

Uriel_Hayabusa:
Bob's review convinced me to check it out just for the hell of it. This movie sounds like such a crazy idea that I can't help but want to see it with my own eyes.

Oh, and I don't think Jafar would be the ideal candidate for a revisionist retelling; I think it could work for Scar or the villain from Frozen, though. Maybe Gaston as well.

I'm torn regarding the idea of Jafar getting his story rewritten.[1] I do think a Gaston rewrite could be excellent if it turned out that among other things, Beauty gets Stockholm Syndrome during her time with Beast who really is just a dangerous animal, and the 'castle' could either be an abandoned one that the beast moved into or a cave filled with some familiar junk that Beauty decides can talk so that the grim, depressing nature of her situation doesn't drive her insane. Gaston could be someone who has loved her since they were kids, but because of his slight social ineptness he picks on her and comes across as bully because he can't bring himself to admit his feelings.

[1] Saw a great idea but I hate the ideas of either Aladdin being the villain or Jasmine falling for Jafar.

tdylan:
So...take my 6 year old, Disney Princess obsessed daughter to see this, or not?

Considering this is either PG-13 or higher (I have no idea what the US rating is, in Europe it's PEGI 12).
I don't think it's a good idea, unless your daughter is mentally quite mature for her age.
This is a scary, ultra-dark version of a Disney fairy tale, if she's like the average 6-year-old she'll have nightmares for weeks if you're lucky.

bladeofdarkness:
THEY ALREADY DID JAFAR !!!.
__________________________
there is a musical called "Twisted" which wickedfy the story of Aladdin and turns Jafar into the incredibly sympathetic hero, while being a very faithful adaptation of the disney film in terms of events.
you can see the entire on Youtube.

its crazy awesome.

"All I wanted was a coat made out of puppies!"
"WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!"

O... kay, well i'm sure as hell giving it a watch.

Does anyone else cringe when Jolie tries an English accent, or is it just me?

I think I saw a little more nuance in Maleficents time bonding with Aurora, or possibly just a different stock progression.

Her time meeting and bonding with Aurora didn't really seem like redemption through letting go of her revenge so much as narrowing the focus.

The realization that in her quest to spit Stefan's head on a goddamned pike, she dragged a beautiful soul into the mud and blood of her warpath.

Recall that when she goes to Stefan's castle, she refers to it as 'her fight'. I never really got the impression that she was going back just to save Aurora, but instead to visit revenge on Stefan the way she should have to begin with; on him, personally, not striking at him through things he cares about.

Her final confrontation with Stefan felt less like letting him go, and more like she didn't see any point in killing him. She'd already reclaimed her wings, defeated him in his own home and stolen his daughter from him. There was nothing left in him that was worth killing; just a mad, broken shell of a man.

Which is not to say it didn't have problems, but I felt its problems were more a matter of being awkward in places. It could've done with a good deal less narration for certain.

You know, I had my doubts...but this actually sounds like it could be a lot of fun. =D

Moral of the story: All stories are lies, no matter who is telling it.

Here's my problem:

Since when does Maleficent, of all people, need to be sympathetic? She does what she does because she felt like doing it; because she could, not because of some asshole hurt her feelings. Before she was a bold, powerful creature of pure will, completely in control of herself and her destiny (for the most part), and now she's nothing; a victim, her agency completely stripped from her first by a man she thought she loved and then by a child she didn't want. (That "implied rape" goes deeper than onscreen action, does it not? well played, Disney... I think.)

So it's perfectly fine for some men just wanting to watch the world burn, but women? no, that's to much for her. She must have been raped.

Couldn't she have murdered the king and paved the way for her new, unexpected protegé? Revenge claimed, political rival removed and someone she can reason with on the throne. Should be a piece-a piss for a super-witch. But then again, babies might be magic.

Further: Glory to Jafar, the true Sultan!

Soviet Heavy:
A Jafar story in this vein would probably be set in the fucking Crusades.

Lionheart from Robin Hood better make an appearance.

Soviet Heavy:
A Jafar story in this vein would probably be set in the fucking Crusades.

That idea... might not be completely unwatchable.
imageimage

Darth_Payn:
Does anyone else cringe when Jolie tries an English accent, or is it just me?

to be truthful, I tend to cringe when I learn that Jolie is even in a movie. Nothing about her or her acting appeals to me.

Disney has already released a teaser for Cinderella, featuring a minute long circling shot on the glass slipper (which is less a slipper and more a nine inch high heel stripper shoe...)
I'm still very interested in actually seeing this movie, even if it is a bit muddled and bizarre.

Well, the effectiveness of it notwithstanding, it's nice to see Disney try something a little avant-garde and "out there" with one of their tried-and-true franchises. If only we could see more stuff like this and Kingdom Hearts, and fewer direct-to-DVD churned-out sequels.

Also, why is it that everyone assumes Bob wants to see Jafar's origin story? Maybe he wants to see the beginning of Iago's start of darkness ear-destroying unfunny comedic sidekick career.

Diddy_Mao:
Hmm. I've never really understood the appeal of Angelina Jolie as an actor but I'll admit she has a presence in this role that at least intrigues me and I do admit I love the visual style they've gone for.

The review/critique at least gives me hope for an interesting ride if nothing else.

Andrew Siribohdi:
I'm surprised at the whole 'sympathetic villain' backlash movies like Maleficent have been getting.

I thought giving dimension to characters, through backstory and perspective change, was the way to give them depth.

It's a tricky tightrope to walk though. Staging events to make villainous actions relatable or even potentially justified is one thing and when done well they can provide an alternate take on a character that I'm more than prepared to accept.

My primary complaint with the setup to Maleficent was that I don't want to see a complete revisionist story that repaints her as the hero of the story.

What I'm more concerned with is taking an established setting and characters and revising the structure to make the villain into the hero.

Like the overgrimmed fairytales its an idea taken too far and act first had class act reasons (Macguire's output is effectivelly putting gay and nonnormal people BACK into the iconic works they feel disconnected with, Wicked is effectively an oz story for the counterculture kid of the 90s)
Also its.. well not unique anymore so with more examples we get more, embarassing realization its not sophisticated. ITs SOAP OPERA (the big complaint of OUAT, villains aren't just bad people like.. well real life)
That's it. At best you need to dirty up the good guys, which vilifies and detracts from them. And the best way is to not use fairy tales but what inspired them or do a lot of ground work to make a historically consistent context. And that's HARD WORK (to fail act see latter half of ASoIAF)

2xDouble:
Moral of the story: All stories are lies, no matter who is telling it.

Here's my problem:

Since when does Maleficent, of all people, need to be sympathetic? She does what she does because she felt like doing it; because she could, not because of some asshole hurt her feelings. Before she was a bold, powerful creature of pure will, completely in control of herself and her destiny (for the most part), and now she's nothing; a victim, her agency completely stripped from her first by a man she thought she loved and then by a child she didn't want. (That "implied rape" goes deeper than onscreen action, does it not? well played, Disney... I think.)

So it's perfectly fine for some men just wanting to watch the world burn, but women? no, that's to much for her. She must have been raped.

The only traditionally powerful figures of women are villains or chaotic forces, UNLESS they are nurturers or just gals doing guy things. ITs why Artemis is the emblem of girl power of the greek deities NOT Athena who actually got off her ass and did shit. Because artemis is aggressively NOT tied to fulfilling a role for men and defines her boundaries.

This means the villainesses are often women's heroes, they are the ones with power, goal, sexuality, and agency stuff females who are humans have, as to the rather bland shells of heroism even where girls take the lead ala Hansel and Gretel. So if you have a woman with power you kind of have to justify why she's being awful with it and "she was hurt" is something everyone can get onboard with while "just cause" is ALWAYS interpreted as villifying female agency as female with agency is the villain and is evil just out because. ITs the you versus girls suck at math thing.

Azhrarn-101:

tdylan:
So...take my 6 year old, Disney Princess obsessed daughter to see this, or not?

Considering this is either PG-13 or higher (I have no idea what the US rating is, in Europe it's PEGI 12).
I don't think it's a good idea, unless your daughter is mentally quite mature for her age.
This is a scary, ultra-dark version of a Disney fairy tale, if she's like the average 6-year-old she'll have nightmares for weeks if you're lucky.

Is it? it's only PG in the UK which is lower than any of the Marvel films.

I won't go see it in theaters that's for sure, but when it comes up Netflix or something, I'll probably give it a look.

I had similar feelings about it as well, I am not sure if we're supposed to love or hate Maleficent as a character.

So Jolie finally learned how to act? Geez, this woman never got anything right other than looking cool or sexy, at least until real acting and character was required.

So alone for this I am intrigued.

Wow... I actually want to see this now, even though it didn't sound like MovieBob really recommended it all that much. Also, a Jafar movie? ...You know what, fine, let's do it!

So let me get this straight.
They took an old Disney princess movie... and they gave it artistic merit beyond "it's pretty".

Well then.

Jafar? Nah, next has to be Scar. Competent, ruthless politician finally gets a chance at running the country just as an unrelated natural catastrophe makes his approval rates plummet. Cue the return of the slob rich kid who has been wasting his life being high as a kite with his annoying trashy friends and sweeping the country through sheer charisma and family name recognition.

Yeah, this one's a tragedy.

Instead of just Disney animated properties why don't we expand in to anything movie wise. Imagine if the kind of madness they could create. But its just a pipe dream.

Ickabod:
The thing that gets me about this movie is, Who is it's audience?

It's not for kids or families
It's not for teenagers
It's not for males craving CGI transformers type of action
I doubt it's going to appeal towards women (not being one I couldn't say for sure, but wife has no interest).
It's not an art house type of movie

So I'm really asking, who is this movie made for?

Well Disney/ABC currently has there TV show Once Upon a Time which is quite popular that does this sort of subversion all the time... although maybe a little less dramatic (judging by the review) and always on a TV budget. But anyways on the show we've seen things like the Evil Queen (from Snow White) join the 'good' team, and Peter Pan play a major asshole villain while Captain Hook is the good guy.

Considering it's got a 4th season on the way with no signs of stopping and even spawned a spinoff series (haven't watched that one), I'm guessing that's where the inspiration for these 'villain' movies came from, and where the core audience will come from. For some reason the Twilight movies seemed to spawn a string of 'fairy tale' like movies, so that's another massive audience that will probably carry over.

So, after seeing the trailers, I could see that this was probably not going to be more than a 3 star movie, but that if it was just Angelina Jolie as Maleficent kicking butt and being a magnificent bastard for 90 minutes it just might work. Back then I figured that trying to make her symphatetic would defeat the purpose of the character. After hearing this synopsis, I'd say I was wrong about what the film was going to be because it went into places I could not have imagined Disney willing to go.

Honestly, I feel like this might be one of the films that will leave me with a bad ending, but my curiosity is peeked, since Bob is praising the evil segments that I was looking forward to in the first place.

Noelveiga:
Jafar? Nah, next has to be Scar. Competent, ruthless politician finally gets a chance at running the country just as an unrelated natural catastrophe makes his approval rates plummet. Cue the return of the slob rich kid who has been wasting his life being high as a kite with his annoying trashy friends and sweeping the country through sheer charisma and family name recognition.

Yeah, this one's a tragedy.

Don't forget gay.

That's a big thing. Sure all of Disney's male villains are foppish and effete and vain; but with scar is near canonical with him playing the role of the evil uncle in macbeth and the ONLY hand he lays on Sarabi being snapping in rage, his most devoted female follower NOT giving birth to him and the closest thing to his heir is explicitly called out as NOT his biological son...geeh that's. uhm quite a thing there.

It seems like this and Frozen has created a new theme for Dinsey, the idea of debunking or deconstructing some of the very simplistic and, let's face it, misogynist old-world Disney fairy tales into something much more complex and nuanced. True love exists but it doesn't come quickly or easily, some people are pretty bad/evil but they're not evil for no reason and it's all relative.

I'm not entirely convinced this is even the right way to go, the target shouldn't be cynicism, at the same time I can't really say it's a horrible thing that some of the stuff that doesn't look as relevant in a modern context is being put in different contexts.

What's this, Disney completely ruining one of their most badass characters?

Why am I not surprised. *sigh* I fucking called it.

Sounds... very, very interesting.

I was expecting this to be a "Snow White and the Huntsman" style shit-fest. But your description actually sounds like it might be worth checking out. As a rental, obviously, I'm not going to pay full theater price for something like this, but a movie that's bad in an interesting way is certainly more entertaining than a film that's bad because it's just trying to be cookie-cutter blandness personified.

Despite the apparent clunk, this sounds AWESOME. I am down to see this.

Don't listen to this review, while bob is mostly right in his other reviews, he produced a very shallow perspective on this one.

The thing that is so great about this movie is that previous disney movies or princess movies are inherently flawed and naive. They always portrait the kingdoms the princess lived in were perfect with a wise king and kind followers, but we know in history and in reality that's not how things are. Human are greedy self serving bastards, it's a hard thing to admit but we are....which was shown in the first act of the movie. Maleficient wasn't portrait as a hero, or that the humans were the bad guys, the humans were just doing what human does in medieval era and she's just refused to be bullied and defended herself.

The kid she fell in love with didn't kill her and took her wings instead because even if his ambition is more important to him, she's still his childhood friend. Is it really so hard for bob to understand it isn't easy to kill someone you known all your life? And neither can she kill him because of the same reason?

The second act makes perfect sense too, when you spend enough time with someone, even if it's someone you don't initially liked, you will grow fond of them....and Maleficient spend 15-16 years with this child. Is it so hard to grasp that you can bond with someone after spending 15 years with them?

The redemption arc DOES work, Maleficient was portrait as good in the beginning, it is just what her boyfriend did to her that turned her dark, but transformation can go both ways, where her boyfriend turned her dark, the baby she cursed returned her back to the light. For someone who was inherently good, it isn't hard to believe that their experience can reawaken the good inside of them.

This movie isn't for kids, I'm not even sure it's for some adults, it's for someone that HAD a naive view of love and awaken from it. People who never been in love, had their hearts broken or still think that true love is between a man and a woman will not fathom this movie.

In addition, if you watch this movie with too much of a literal eye you wouldn't enjoy it much. Instead try to look at it as a metaphor or poetry.

The first act can be seen as someone falling in love and think the other person is the world, a lot of us have been there and can surly empathize.

Remember how our gf/bf want to breakup with us for whatever reasons but they don't want to hurt us too much because of guilt but it hurt no less after the fact? That's the act of her getting her wings torn.

We then brood and think that life isn't fair and how can the other person be such a bitch and feel that everything is fucked, that's the act of her going dark.

After awhile we find something or someone else to occupy our time, that's the princess arc, and eventually we get over our lost love, that's the "redemption" part but I see it more as self healing act or reawaken old qualities.

The most brilliant of it all is when we realized that there is more to "true love" than lush and infatuation between a man and a woman, and they portrait it perfectly in one act.

If you've been in love and had your heart broken and gained a new perspective on "love" after you gotten over it, then this movie is absolute poetry and it's BEAUTIFUL!

I literally didn't have any interest in this movie until I heard him say that it felt like it had been hijacked by a lunatic. This review right here is why I'm going to go see this.

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