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Maleficent (2014)

Dark, magical, beautiful. Angelina Jolie was perfectly cast as the title character in this new interpretation of the classic Disney fairy-tale, and while some of the effects were a little dodgy (but not most of them), the story did bring about some noteworthy character traits and interpretations. Recommended? This movie is better than it looks, but don’t expect too much here.

Photo Credit: IMDb

Photo Credit: IMDb

The movie follows in line with two recent trends: strong and independent female leads and humanizing villains that are otherwise considered despicable. The story puts an alternative spin on the classic story of Sleeping Beauty that holds up in consistency with the original Disney film until the ending. The character of Maleficent had a strong build up and journey throughout the whole film that a darker ending may have added to her character more than the Frozen-esque one that was chosen.

Going into this movie, anyone could guess that Angelina Jolie would be perfect in the lead role and she definitely did not disappoint. Her dark elegance and vengeful but thoughtful approach brought out both the best and worst in Maleficent’s character. Also impressive in the film is Elle Fanning as Aurora. When you factor in that Aurora is given the gifts of beauty and happiness at birth, Fanning plays the young woman with elegance and brings out those qualities with ease. It is, however, a lot like her real life personality, so it is safe to say that she was the perfect actress for the role.

The artistic direction and visual effects were a little scattered in terms of quality. Some of the special effects were really well done and truly brought Maleficent’s world to life. One such example is the constant changes in animal form of one of the characters. The artistic direction, however, left more to be desired. A lot of scenery just looked very fake. It was almost as if the production design was rushed and thrown onto a green screen. It was not particularly bad by any standards, but if Disney had put as much work into this as Pixar or their animation studios do, the end result may have been a little more impressive.

There are a few reasons why someone might be interested in watching this movie, whether it be childhood nostalgia or simply childhood. Maleficent is not a bad movie, but that’s not to say that there are a few alterations which could have made it better. But what couldn’t be made better in hindsight? As it is, Maleficent is an engaging and beautiful movie to watch with real emotions and lessons to be learned.

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World War Z (2013)

Exciting, mysterious, far-fetched. The action kicks in early and the tense nature of the film holds through right until the end. Recommended? This thriller is quite fun to watch.

Photo Credit: IMDb

Photo Credit: IMDb

The story is probably a lot better than many uninformed skeptics might believe it would be. (more…)

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Air Force One (1997)

Predictable, fun, entertaining. This movie offers no more than the average action movie in terms of plot or development, but it still has some exciting moments and is fun to watch. Recommended? This is a movie which viewers should know exactly what they are going to get out of it. (more…)

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The Usual Suspects (1995)

Intriguing, unpredictable, intense. The dialogue and story take some time to become engaging, but once the ball starts rolling, the fascinating and well casted characters take on a life of their own as the film approaches its exciting conclusion. Recommended? This is a movie worth watching twice. (more…)

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50/50 (2011)

Funny, heartfelt, meaningful. The dialogue feels unnatural for more than half of the movie, but the story and character’s journeys are far more genuine to back it up. Recommended? This movie has a lot to offer and deserves a chance. (more…)

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Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

Dramatic, personal, engaging. This story is doubtful in premise, but delivers surprisingly well, playing on emotional and character development and keeping a consistent pace; it also features Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep at the top of their game, along with a powerful debut from child actor Justin Henry. Recommended? A brilliantly written and produced drama well worth the trip back into the vault.  (more…)

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Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)

Violent, slow, satisfying. The overlong sequel to Tarantino’s revenge story picks up where the first left off, and while the final product is artistically pleasing, it falls short in its pacing, exploits both cheesy and drawn out dialogue and sports hateable male characters (and not for the reasons you want to hate them). Recommended? It is good in the context of finding out what happens next and a fair stand-alone film, but it not as engaging as the original. (more…)

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Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) #throwbackthursday

Light, predictable, funny. While there is nothing in the plot outline that hasn’t been done before in other movies about cross-dressing and divorce, a cast consisting of the perfectly cast Robin Williams, Sally Field, Harvey Fierstein and Pierce Brosnan should not be overlooked. Recommended? This movie has many funny moments, and while many of these elements have been done better in the past, it is still a fun movie and worth seeing.  (more…)

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This Is the End (2013)

Light, humorous, fun. This movie does not try to be good in the conventional sense, but appeals to a specific audience who will enjoy watching these big name comedians do their thing in a high-budget, over the top adventure loosely referencing the Book of Revelations. Recommended? This simple-minded comedy is one of a kind and achieves exactly what it sets out to do.  (more…)

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Godzilla (2014)

Intense, entertaining, frightening. In the newest film revival of the classic monster, the writers put some new and unexpected twists on the story, allowing Godzilla to take come to life in a very different way and with modern day level special effects to back him up. Recommended? Those who watch this movie for its fearsome nature and special effects will be pleasantly surprised, but those who believe that this will be anything more will be disappointed.  (more…)