Reviews in a Hurry
Directed By: Robert Stromberg
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Sharlto Copley, Elle Famming, Sam Riley, Brenton Thwaites, Juno Temple
Maleficent, by far, is one of the scariest villains in Disney history. As a child, she scared me to death. The dragon, the thorny branches surrounding the castle, the green smoke—she was just creepy and the impact of her evilness is something I always remember even now as an adult.
Now as for Angelina Jolie, I’ve never been a fan of hers. I can’t even tell you the last movie I really liked that she was in. That being said, her performance as Maleficent was the only thing that made this movie watchable. And while the story was well, lame, and the other characters were, well, one-dimensional and boring, Angelina had an over powering presence that was undeniable. She was absolutely mesmerizing as Maleficent, immersing herself into the role completely. She was committed. If only the rest of the movie lived up to her performance.
The movie needed to take more risks, but instead it fell back on the “no one is really bad if you take the time to get to know them” mentality Disney likes to adopt. I’m not saying that message is a bad thing, it’s just you can be evil with a heart and still have a tragic ending. (See Once Upon A Time’s Evil Queen.) Something deeper needed to happen, but instead I felt as if this story negated the entire way I felt about one of my favorite fairy tales Sleeping Beauty, and Maleficent herself. Rating: D+
I like Seth MacFarlane, his dirty humor, his charming good looks, his self-deprecating dialogue…I guess I just understand the man. So his movie about a passive, cowardly sheep farmer, desperate to win his woman back after running from a gunfight, was a winner in my book.
The thing about Seth MacFarlane’s work is that no matter how much you hate the guy, you can’t help but admit that the people who work with him look like they’re having A LOT of fun. And this movie is no different. The cast looked like they were genuinely happy to be there, no matter what ridiculous, hilarious, crude things came out of their mouth. And I have to say Charlize Theron should do more comedy because she was surprisingly on her comedic game, while still managing to class up the movie.
Sure the jokes in this movie were hit or miss, but for every three bad jokes there was one joke that made you laugh so hard you couldn’t breathe. For every cringe worthy moment, there was a moment that literally made you think “yes!” A Million Ways to Die in the West isn’t a movie for the faint of heart. If you don’t like MacFarlane’s type of humor you won’t like this movie. But if you’re in the mood for a good time, jokes that will make you laugh, and a cast that looks like they are having a blast doing ridiculous things, then this movie is for you. And this movie was indeed, for me. Rating: B
X-Men Days of Future Past
Directed By: Bryan Singer
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Peter Dinklage, Shawn Ashmore, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters
I am a fan of the original X-Men series. And while the “reboot” movie was excellent and the cast exciting and new, there was a big part of me that longed for the return of the cast. Thus, when I heard Days of Future Past was going to combine the new with the old, or the “past” with the “future”, I was thoroughly excited. The only problem is, after watching the movie, I was more excited and concerned about the future (original) mutants than I was with this pack of newbies.
Wolverine’s present (technically future) consciousness is beamed into his past self in order to help stop the present/future mutants from being wiped out. He goes back in time to convince the younger Xavier that he needs to make changes in order to fix the future. Oh and also Mystique is the key to everything. While I love Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, the truth is, they aren’t Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. There’s just something about these two that makes me want more. Throw in two key “don’t-want-to-spoil-it” cameos from though-to- be-lost mutants, and all I really want is to see another X-Men movie with the original cast. Enough of this dual timeline crap.
That being said, this movie wasn’t bad, it’s just my focus shifted and I was left unsatisfied. I don’t know how you would make it better. Wait, I do. Continue with both the past and future time lines but as separate movies. More Quicksilver! More Shawn Ashmore! Bring Wolverine to the dark side and have an Avengers vs. X-Men kind of film….I could go on…but I won’t. Rating: B-