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Film Review - Maleficent

MALEFICENT Angelina Jolie

2010’s billion-dollar blockbuster “Alice in Wonderland” is the reason why we’re being inundated with fairy tale and fantasy revivals. 2012’s “Snow White and the Huntsman” continued the trend, last year’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” sustained it, and now there’s “Maleficent,” which returns to Disney’s animated classic, 1959’s “Sleeping Beauty,” for inspiration (a live-action “Cinderella” is due for release in 2015). However, this is no remake or reboot, but a reheating of known elements, with a few changes in motivation and an extension of backstory working to turn all attention to the villain of the tale. Only now, she’s no villain at all. Draining wickedness out of Maleficent, the production has defanged the character, and in their quest to recycle a brand name in the pursuit of big money, they’ve sucked the joy and danger out of the material, though, ever the plucky studio, Disney flails desperately to keep the feature candied and approachable. Read the rest at Blu-ray.com

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