Disney’s Maleficent Review By Matthew Hurley

By: Matthew Hurley @TheDCast

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Let me start with a few things. I am an Angelina Jolie fan. I am a HUGE classic Disney Fan. I adore the creative license the company has taken with many of the original stories and “Disney-fied” them. I have grown up with mostly Disney entertainment. So, for me, Disney canon is everything! If you are like me, this review is for you. If you don’t care about that stuff, just ignore me 🙂
Without spoilers, this will be a hard one to explain…so I’ll be very general and vague.

Here we go…
Visually. This film is pretty well done. Mostly believable CGI throughout (that’s a lot coming from me). The other parts, well, you’ll notice yourself. It’s kinda pretty at times.

Audio…ly? The sound is surreal. Maybe the best surround I’ve heard in a while. Find a good spot in the theater. You’ll be glad you did.

Acting. This one hurts my heart. Jolie totally nails the dark hearted fairy thing. She is stunningly beautiful throughout and gives a stellar performance. The rest of the cast is pretty forgettable sadly. I tried hard to connect, and sympathize, but everyone else was seemingly disposable. I know it’s called “Maleficent”, but there was a spot for other faces to shine, aaaaaaaaaand…the script held them back. Weak dialog. It came across to me as the studio was banking on scenery to tell the tale. It doesn’t. The film highlights Jolie very well, as it should. She is Maleficent.

Story. Wow. Just wow. Fan of Sleeping Beauty much? This has nothing to do with it! (yes it does, I’m exaggerating) I get it. It’s a retelling, or revisionist, or back story or blah blah blah. No it isn’t. It’s a new story. New faces, new names, new reasons, new villains, new locations, shall I continue? No? Good. Remember the canon thing? Yeah, it’s not here. Forget Sleeping Beauty as you knew it. This should have been a whole new tale about other people in another universe. If it had even been done by a different company, maybe an OK movie. I just felt like I was in the Matrix during the 97 minute film. I could not believe Disney was the studio responsible for tearing down their own characters and making a new story from the cutting room floor. I literally yelled out, a few times mind you, “are they serious?” and “please be joking”. Not only that, but it was all too predictable once you got past the first 20 min or so and the actual story began. Too harsh? It’s your money. Maybe it’s just me. I just cannot get a grip that what I saw was a Disney movie. It was not delightful, fun, happy, or memorable save for the fact I’ll remember I don’t want to see it again. Movies are to be entertaining. This one? Not so much. It’s incredibly sad for me to say all of this because my personal fears were confirmed. I doubted this movie upon hearing of it, but wanted it to work so bad. I think Maleficent is a powerful and scary villain not to be made into a “feel sorry for me” kind of character. This so called “version” takes it to a level that should be a direct to video off shoot. As Sheriff Woody would say “somebody poisoned the waterhole!” (Jolie was amazing with what she had to work with though)

Am I taking it too seriously? Maybe I am. I have loved the enchantment of these Disney stories my entire life. Now it seems making a quick buck selling, rehashed, yet nothing like the original story, movies is far more important than reinforcing your brand. Does my opinion matter? Not likely. Do you care what I think? Probably less than I’d like. Why am I typing this review? Because I don’t belong to Hollywood, or Disney and I can say something without being fired 😉

If you go see it, and your into canon, I hope you like it…but I did warn you. If your into alternate universe kind of stuff, totally for you!

2 out of 5 Churros.

Thanks for reading, everyone!

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About thedcast

Podcast, blog and YouTube channel with Dale Wentland and Andy Herndon. We talk all things movies in the Disney universe, including Star Wars (LucasFilm), Marvel & Pixar.

Posted on June 1, 2014, in Disney, Maleficent, movie review, Reviews, The D-Cast, Walt Disney. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Exactly how I felt about it, I couldn’t believe they would disrespect their original movie so much. If there was no original and no fairy tale, it would be OK as a stand alone film.

    • Glad to hear I’m not alone :). Andy was really into it, as I’m sure a lot of people were, I guess I’m too much a purist. I don’t really enjoy revisions or reboots of something as beloved as part of my childhood. It’s hard to like something so different than what made you a fan in the first place! – Matthew

  1. Pingback: Reviews of Disney’s Maleficent | The D-Cast

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