The Movie: 8/10
Really, you need a review of Maleficent? You need a review of ANY Disney movie? If you are reading this chances are you already know you are going to watch it. What is it you are looking for, I wonder. I can talk about the story, but if I do that and reveal some of the best aspects, well, that would suck. The story is Sleeping Beauty, including a King, a girl, an evil woman, some faeries, magic spells, a spinning wheel…you get the picture, right?
If you haven’t seen it yet I will tell you two things. First, it’s a fun fantasy, fairy tale movie. Second, it took me to a place and time when I could fully immerse my mind in the fantasy of a fairy tale. These are points that might not tell you more about the movie moment by moment, scene by scene, but think about it. I’m (as of yesterday) 47 years old. I have no children, no Disney fetish, no particularly strong feelings for Angelina Jolie, and yet Maleficent drew me in. I laughed and even shed a tear a couple of times. I’m not sure what more I can ask from a movie on a very superficial level.
Dig a little deeper and the story does open up to make me think about something we don’t all get encouraged to think about much, the origins of a villain. Villains are the bad folks, creatures, entities, whatever, that come along to spoil all the fun. They are either violent and bring bloody confrontation, or they are sneaky and dark and bring inner turmoil, strife, and bring our heroes down from the inside out. Maleficent has the benefit of starting as a very 2 dimensional character in her original tale. She’s terribly jealous and takes wicked fun in hurting others, particularly the princess. She’s vain and self-absorbed. All great fodder for a movie villain. The question we can ask in the 21st century, now that we are enlightened and all that, is….how did she get that way? Yeah.
If you are interested in why someone turns “bad” but don’t think they should be off the hook for all their nasty deeds, you might not be into this kind of story telling. It’s not touchy feely, not exactly, we just get to understand more about this particular character, and I do like that a lot.
The special effects are good about 90% of the time, which means I’m being picky. The performances are all pretty darn good. I’m not a fan of the whole cast, but it all blends enough and the good outweighs the negative stuff and I ended up really enjoying the experience.
Jolie, she’s won me over. There I said it.
Watch it and see for yourself what a good story is like when it’s got some life breathed into it with a more rounded “human” touch.
- Deleted Scenes – Stefan In Kings Chamber, Pixie’s Seek Asylum, Pixie Idiots, Diaval Asks About The Curse and Suitor.
- Aurora: Becoming A Beauty – Elle Fanning discusses her love of Sleeping Beauty and the casting process involved in starring in such a giant movie.
- From Fairy Tale To Feature Film – A look at the screenwriting process and how alterations were made from the original story.
- Building An Epic Battle – Behind the scenes of the films huge battle scene.
- Classic Couture – A look at the costuming of the movie, shame this only lasts about 90 seconds.
- Maleficent Revealed – A montage of shots which shows how much CG work was actually in the movie. It’s quite incredible how we forget CG in movies these days, this film uses about 85% CGI.
- DVD & Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 9/10
I do really like the cover. It is to the point and looks like a poster I would have in my house. The menu is fine. I’m kind of over menus so nothing is going to knock my socks off…challenge put out to Hollywood!
Audio & Video: 10/10
Maleficent is Magnificent on Blu-Ray. Ok puns aside this is a fantastic 1080P AVC encode that will simply knock your socks off. Colors are bold and fleshtones are solid, the introduction where we are introduced to the world is luscious and vivid. During the dark scenes later in the movie everything is still visible with no signs of black crush to be found. Something very impressive here are the layers of fog that cover a lot of the scenes, they almost look 3D and leap off the screen.
Maleficent features a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless track that will make sure the sleeping beauty in your house stays awake. It’s not a boombastic track like the latest Transformers movie, more a subtle classy experience from front to back. Emphasis is placed on the orchestral score while dialog is delivered effortlessly through the center channel. LFE channels are used more often than not and to say your house will rumble when Maleficent starts to get angry is an understatement.
Maleficent is an essential Disney release in High Definition and a superb twist on the Sleeping Beauty story. I highly recommend you pick this one up!!!!
Overall Score 8/10