‘Maleficent’ Review

photo for Maleficent Finally, a mean and nasty villain to yearn for. The folks at Disney have twisted around the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty” by putting the whole fairy tale — in which an evil fairy, Maleficent, slighted at not being welcome at the christening of princess Aurora, casts a spell on her — into a larger context of greed and exploitation. Angelina Jolie is sexy, serene and ultimately mean as Maleficent, a winged fairy savior who saves her peaceable animal forest kingdom from being invaded by a nearby human king intent on subjugating her land. However, a childhood human friend, Stefan, betrays her when the dying king offers his crown — and daughter’s hand — to whomever can kill Maleficent; he doesn’t kill her but cuts off her wings as proof for the king. Later, when Stefan and the kimg’s daughter give birth to Aurora, Maleficent casts her evil sleeping spell. Without giving away any more of the surprisingly intelligent plot, suffice it to say that there’s more than a kiss of “true love” needed here to end the curse and bring happiness all around. Extras: “Aurora: Becoming a Beauty” in which Elle Fanning reveals her lifelong love of Disney’s original animated classic. Blu-ray adds “From Fairy Tale to Feature Film”: Reimagining Maleficent for a new generation, “Building an Epic Battle”: Creating the clash between Maleficent and King Henry’s forces, “Classic Couture” examines Maleficent’s head wraps and jewelry, “Maleficent Revealed” explore the layers of extraordinary special effects, deleted scenes. Vitals: Director: Robert Stromberg. Stars: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Juno Temple, Sharlto Copley, Peter Capaldi, Brenton Thwaites, Ella Purnell, Imelda Staunton, Sam Riley. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 97 min., Fantasy Adventure, Box office gross: $230.339 million, Disney. 3 stars

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