June 17, 2014

MALEFICENT--A Movie Review

This movie is my newest movie-crush (ok, that's probably NOT a thing lol :-P )! I've seen it twice (once alone, once w/hubby), & would probably see it 5 more times if I could afford it!

CONTAINS SPOILERS! Sorry, I just talk a lot :-) 

Um. Here's the imdb page for it, for stats & such: MALEFICENT!
This is one of the coolest pictures of her I've found :-)!

Where to start....Well, I loved how the previews before it started actually showing showed you just enough to make you be like 'whoa, this looks awesome, I wonder...', but not enough to reveal anything of the story.

Of course, I stupidly made the mistake of reading a few articles online as I saw them, so I knew SOME things before I saw it, but because this movie is great, & I love/d it, the articles didn't take away from the movie, they added.

THIS ARTICLE from yahoo.com compares some of the differences between the movie "Maleficent" & the Disney classic cartoon, "Sleeping Beauty". Read ONLY if you don't care about spoilers, or have seen the movie!

Some thoughts...
1. They couldn't have made this movie without Angelina Jolie. Like, she IS Maleficent. Much like Robert Downy Jr IS Iron Man.
She does a great job portraying her character as far as acting, but also as a persona. She hits the attitude, voice, feelings right on the head.
The movie Maleficent isn't quite as dark/hateful/bitter/mean as the cartoon version, but--as the back story shows--there is a reason for this.
Besides, she has the mouth/voice/cheekbones :-P!

2. The score (James Newton Howard), is really good. Haunting when it needs to be, dramatic when called for, & funny/sweet at some points, even. I like the music a lot.
& of COURSE, the release of Lana Del Ray's "Once Upon A Dream" with the preview before the movie came out, set the tone. Actually, before I saw it, I figured the movie would be a lot darker, because of her rendition. It is so beautiful, though, & so very unlike the way Aurora sang it in the classic Disney movie, "Sleeping Beauty."
Lana's version is very ethereal. Love it :-) Angelina Jolie actually picked Lana Del Ray for the singing (or at least had a hand in it). Nifty.

I LOVE her wings.
& they're awesome :-)

3. Apparently the (SPOILER!) cutting off of Maleficent's wings is an allusion to rape. Something I didn't even think of till I read the boards/reviews, & they said that even Angelina commented on it. NOW I see it (she's given a drug to fall asleep, she's violated, wakes up bleeding/crying in pain). But it's a thing, I guess raising awareness in some way?

4. The movie had the largest budget for a 1st time director, I believe (180 mil.), & made a good use of the money, I think. The graphics are great fun, & the movie has lots of different settings & moods.
It hasn't seemed to make NEARLY as much as it cost, but I don't know why. I guess it's cause so many movies are coming out, it couldn't hold the top spot for long enough. But it's done pretty well.

5. Diaval, played by Sam Riley, is a fun character. He's a raven Maleficent rescues from being killed, so he becomes her servant. Then I think he becomes her friend as well :-) He also transforms into various animals by her hand (including the awesome dragon!), & so that's a fun skill he picked up from his benefactor! I wasn't familiar with Sam Riley, but he's a pretty neat character.

6. The beautiful girl who plays young Maleficent does a good job. She's uber cute :-)

7. Elle Fanning doesn't quite live up to her older Sister's (Dakota Fanning) skill as an actress, at least not yet, but I guess since she's playing opposite Angelina Jolie--she had a hard act to match :-) She's not the main character in this version of the story, so she plays ok as a secondary character.
And the guy who plays King Stephan does well as an aspiring youth turned madman paranoid king! I'm glad they didn't pick Jude Law to play him (as they were looking into). Jude wouldn't have been as easy to hate, I don't think :-) 

Overall, this movie is really good. At least I think so.
It was cool to hear the tale told differently than we had been told/seen before, & to hear Maleficent's back story :-)
I also really liked this ending/version of the story better!
It's got drama, lots of beautiful imagery, good music, a really interesting cast of characters, good acting (for the most part!), it doesn't have too many things you wouldn't let your kids watch (unless you're not a fan of magic in fairy tales, which there is lots of-as expected)
No Power...Can Change It!

...It has a bit of a scare for them, maybe, but not enough that it isn't right later on :-)

If you haven't seen 'Maleficent' yet--you should!
Did you? What did you think?! Let me know!

As a random added thing, I'm including a pic of the awesome shoes that were custom made for Angelina to wear at the premiere of the movie all over! Love them!
Maleficent shoes! Love :-)

June 11, 2014

NEIGHBORS--A Movie Review (Unfortunately)-sort of

Ok. This isn't going to be a normal movie review. Mostly because I made a couple of observations while watching this movie:
1. I should've walked out. I didn't, & feel horrible about it. In fact, it's been a long time since I've seen a movie I felt worthy of walking out of. This was one.
2. The preview made it seem like this movie would be more back/forth between the parents & the frat boys as far as 'fighting'--but it really was more of a promotion of vulgarity, swearing, drugs, sex, & irresponsibility.
3. I normally don't even want to see comedies, especially ones rated 'R'. I should stick to this thought process...

So yes. This movie DOES star Zac Efron (who I normally like) & Seth Rogan (who I'm not really all that familiar with). Oh, & Rose Byrne (who I'm kinda indifferent to). But if you're looking for these guys to make you laugh-there are other movie choices out there, trust me.

I'm not gonna say much more--except even WITH the premise of "frat boys move next to boring parents & a battle ensues" this movie didn't need to have so much junk. I'm not sure if frat parties are this bad (I've read comments/forums where some people said they are, some said they are not), but there is not much else other than language, sexual jokes, etc. & so on.

So....don't see this movie. There's nothing redeeming in it.
I stayed only for 2 reasons, really. First-I had time to kill before I had to be somewhere, & second, I didn't want to waste the money, lol.

Besides all the crap, there were 3 points I remembered.

1. The baby girl (played by twins Elise & Zoey Vargas) was one of the cutest babies I've seen on/off film! She was adorable. Or, uh...they were :-) I felt bad, cause if she decides to keep up w/acting when she's older (or THEY DO, rather), or not--she's going to look back & be like "wait...WHY did my parents put me in THAT?!" or at least...I would hope so...But yeah, she's adorable.

2. The scene where the frat boys (with no explanation of HOW) stole all the air bags out of the parents' car & hid them all about the house & the guy's workplace is the only scene where I was laughing my head off. I'm sure an edited clip will pop up on Youtube or something someday, but yeah. The first one goes on when someone sits on it, & you just aren't expecting it at all :-) Then, even though you THINK you expect the others--you don't, & you're just laughing like crazy. There's a lot of language in this scene, mostly because of what's happening, but...still...it was funny.

3. The end clip, where Zac's character & Seth's character are outside the clothing store is also extremely funny. It was made more so by the fact that I guess it wasn't scripted, & so was improv, so it makes it more funny. Zac's character is all fit, & trying to lure people into the clothing store by having his shirt off...Seth decides to join him, but is totally NOT fit & is pasty is chubby & saying all kinds of ridiculous things :-) It was pretty funny.

But....yeah. This movie is full of waaay too much bad stuff to make seeing it worthwhile. That is all.