I-know-you. Welcome back to another MOVIE REVIEW!!! Glad that I’ve managed to go to the cinema for the first time in ages and do another review. You’re about to travel to another dimension; a dimension I like to call, the SPOILER ZONE! You have been warned!
The malevolent MALEFICENT! Once upon a time there was a young fairy who met a boy called Stefan. They spent their childhoods together and when she turned sixteen, he made her believe that he was her true love. But this was a lie. He cut off her wings and presented them to the dying king, in order to become the King’s successor. Aurora, the King Stefan’s daughter, was born and Maleficent placed a curse on the newborn as an act of revenge on King Stefan. For sixteen years, three fairies were entrusted to look after Aurora, but they turned out to be neglectful idiots, so Maleficent kept Aurora safe from harm as she grew up. Maleficent started to show affection for Aurora and began to realise that Aurora could be the key to restoring peace between her kingdom and the human kingdom, so she began searching for a way to break the curse, awaken Aurora and end the hostility between the two kingdoms. And as always with Disney films, or indeed the Beatles, we learn that all you need is love.
A different cinema AND a different location. Finally! My girlfriend and I were in Edinburgh so we decided to visit the OMNI Centre Vue Cinema. It is no comparison to Odeon; the leg space was brilliant. I found myself sliding off my seat to try and touch the seats in front with my feet. The standard seats were comfy and I tried the VIP seats (which are about £2 more) to quickly see the comparison; there’s not much difference except the leather seats and wooden armrests. I think it’s more for the seats appearance than for comfort. The sound was terrific during the film; I could feel the vibrations through the room and it had great surround sound, but unfortunately I couldn’t get fully immersed in the film because the screen was a wee bit smaller than usual and the green exit lights were very vivid which they should be, but still. The one thing that really let the cinema down were the rubbish children trailers. Sure it’s Disney and kid trailers are to be expected, but it was a 12-rated film and all trailers with a small exception for ‘Earth to Echo’, looked like really bad films: ‘Pudsey: The Movie’, ‘The Nut Job’. I wasn’t expecting an Inbetweeners trailer, but something like ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ or I even would have settled for ‘Paddington’.
The main concern anyone will have seeing this film is its relation to the original ‘Sleeping Beauty’ film. My general expectations were for it to have clever connections, but to not be completely identical and I personally think they did a great job relating it to the original film while still keeping it fresh and original. Because it is such an iconic moment in the original film, I appreciate how Maleficent’s christening speech is almost word for word identical, and Angelina Jolie re-enacted it beautifully. The dragon was one of my favourite surprises; the dragon was a crucial part in the original film, so I was really hoping it’d be in this, but had no idea how. Should have saw it coming with the shape-shifting crow. And I especially love the thorns connection; instead of Prince Phillip, it’s Maleficent who has to get through the king’s iron ‘thorns’ to save Aurora. It was very subtle, but very effective showing how much Maleficent is willing to save Aurora.
A small problem with the storyline is the main twist. I had my suspicions when Prince Phillip first appears in the film that he wouldn’t be the one to save Aurora; one because it’s too obvious, and two, it wouldn’t make sense since Maleficent isn’t the villain in this. In the end it was Maleficent’s motherly concern and the convenient kiss on Aurora’s forehead, which acted as the true love that awakens her. It was an acceptable twist; slightly predictable and very similar to the twist in Frozen, but a twist nether-the-less. But that’s not what I have problem with. Unlike “Sleeping Beauty’ Maleficent curses Aurora because she wants vengeance on the King. Maleficent is arguably the best Disney villain because she is so…malevolent. Her. The “MISTRESS OF ALL EVIL!” She does what she does for no particular reason other than she relishes it. But in this film apart from the curse (which she does out of revenge, tries to revoke, and is the act of true love that awakens Aurora from her slumber), anything ‘evil’ she does is either in self-defence, protecting someone else or her just being mischievous. I guess I was hoping she would have been more evil and I didn’t want the king to be the main villain, even although he was deranged, greedy (all men ARE supposedly!) and in the end was so obsessed in killing Maleficent he didn’t care that his daughter got pricked…PRICK!
Film companies in the last few years have started to use classic films, and ‘vamp’ them up for the modern day viewers like “Oz: the Great and Powerful” and “Alice in Wonderland.” It’s a good idea; use the themes, stories, worlds of the most popular films to create versatile, fresh films, but it almost seems like a Plan B strategy when Plan A – think of new stuff – fails. But to be fair, Disney have the rights to Marvel Avengers and Star Wars now, and their animation films have picked up again so I don’t see them failing drastically anytime soon. We recently got a teaser for another of these films, set to release on March 2015 and only showing a sparkling glass slipper; hmm, I wonder what that could mean? Yes of course, a Cinderella film, but as the teaser was just a slipper spinning about, there’s nothing yet about the actual storyline/twists of this adaption. My prediction is Cinderelly and man-sized mice and birds will have to step forth and battle the evil that is in fact the Fairy Godmother who throws pumpkins at her and her friends while Prince Charming will chop off the heads of the ugly sisters and wicked step-mother. I’m sure it won’t be as bad as that. I’d be curious to see how it relates, but my one proviso, which I hope they will keep, is that they don’t bring back the mice as squeaky-voiced, cringe-infested CGI monstrosities!
Maleficent was an alright film! I was curious about it and it honestly wasn’t my number one film to see, but I wasn’t disappointed with it. Loved the relations to ‘Sleeping Beauty’, special effects were great, Angelina Jolie was brilliant as always and I did like the twists of this adaption. Though, I think that once is enough with it; it wouldn’t be a film I would ask to watch specifically again. As for the cinema, it was superb! Apart from terrible trailers, the seats were spacious, the screen was no bad and the sound was brilliantly loud that the floor vibrated. General cinemas have quietened a bit I think; the Glasgow Film Theatre and IMAX have spine-tingling loud sound, and the Vue is just as good. And there was not a ‘Pics Prick’ either; not one! Overall, an exceptional experience; I would definitely recommend the Vue cinema. That’s it for another film review, so until next time: THE END.
EDINBURGH OMNI CENTRE VUE: 7/10
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