Re-Imaginings of Two Well-Known Stories: Maleficent & Ghostbusters

Maleficent (2014)

Disney's "MALEFICENT"..Maleficent (Angelina Jolie)..Photo Credit: Film Frame..?Disney 2014
Disney’s “MALEFICENT” Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) Photo Credit: Film Frame Disney 2014

If you liked Disney’s Sleeping Beauty (1959), then this may or may NOT be up your alley.  In that animated movie, I liked the different personalities and caring displayed by the 3 good fairies (Flora, Fauna, and Meriweather).  BUT in this tale, they are portrayed as clueless (esp. re taking care of a baby) and bickering among themselves- I didn’t enjoy that.  These fairies are Flittle (Leslie Manville from BBC’s North & South), Knotgrass (veteran actress Imelda Staunton), and Thisletwit (Juno Temple, all grown-up from Atonement).  These actresses are underused and in certain scenes- just annoying!  

The first third of the story, which focuses on the child, then teenaged Maleficent, is VERY well-done.  We see the fairy as happy, flying (she was born w/ wings), and becoming friends w/ Stefan, a human boy (who accidentally strays into her forest kingdom).  Maleficent falls deeply in love w/ Stefan, and we think that he feels the same way.  However, he betrays her trust in order to fulfill his ambition one night.

maleficent_spell

Angelina Jolie (who I haven’t seen in MANY things) does a really good job w/ the main role.  And I can definitely see how little girls would think her costume was a cool choice for Halloween.  Diaval (Sam Riley) is a refreshing new twist on the sidekick.  However, Maleficent is NOT a black and white villain in this story.

Ghostbusters (2016)  

ghostbusters-2016-trailers-tv-spots-posters1

I FINALLY saw this film, which was much talked about this Spring/Summer, last week On Demand!  I esp. liked the special effects, as well as Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon (BOTH ladies are SO naturally funny).  The hate that was thrown toward the all-female lead cast is even addressed in one scene (clever move). 

The cameos by the earlier Ghostbusters were pretty cool; wait for the end credits to see Sigourney Weaver.  This is an alternate universe film, so it exists in a world of its own (NOT a sequel).  Yet another reason that some fanboys were pissed off!   

ghostbusters-2016-car

As MANY critics noted, Kristen Wiig’s outfits seem like out of another era (and NOT in a cool, retro way).  Chris Hemsworth plays it straight as a Kevin, the himbo secretary.  This actually makes him seem VERY natural and funny!  Overall, it was an enjoyable film, and there is a sequel planned.        

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