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Maleficent Sequel

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May 17th 2019 at 8:30:16 AM

She isn't worthy of the dragon.

dRoy Ready to Rant from The Happy Place Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ready to Rant
Jul 8th 2019 at 6:22:46 AM

Oh my. At the very least this looks very entertaining and visually spectacular.

The queen actually just might turn out much more of a badass than the king.

Also, there are more kinds of Maleficent...which seem like tacked on.

Mother of god...You turned one of the hardest and best Champions into an absolute joke. - Zelenal
Tuckerscreator from Traveling through the Multiverse Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Oct 26th 2019 at 9:46:40 PM

Went to see this today. I was pretty "eh" about the first film, but I actually liked this one way more than I thought I would.

Assorted thoughts, with spoilers:

  • Elle Fanning's Aurora is way better than in the prior movie. In the first one it felt like she wasn't given much to do besides stare at greenscreen looking awed, compared to the animated Aurora who had an amicably bossy rapport with the woodland creatures. In this one she's introduced being more assertive with the magical critters and much of the second and third act focuses on her efforts against the evil queen. Arguably she's more the protagonist of this film than Maleficent is.

  • Michelle Pfeiffer as the wicked queen is awesome. It's kinda hilarious how openly evil she is from the start, with her very first scenes having her nearly kill a servant or waltz into her dungeon of evil. Didn't know before this movie that someone could sinisterly blow dandelions. Anyone who was disappointed the first film didn't have Maleficent be vile enough, Queen Ingrith more than provides. Her nastiness kinda screws up one of the themes from the first film, (Maleficent 1 implied the legend of Maleficent being a villain were spread through misogyny, but this film claims Ingrith was the one responsible for spreading them) but she's so entertaining it really doesn't matter.

  • The Dark Fae are really cool, and their environment feels more creative and alive compared to the Moors and its too many CGI 'cutesy blobs'. Their history raises several questions about Maleficent and her upbringing in the first film, (it's never explained how her parents died, or why she grew up so far from other Dark Fae, or why she's the only one with magic) but given the numerous continuity issues with the first film, that'll probably never be answered.

  • The tone between the movie's climax and its resolution is so weird. The climax is pretty vicious, including a scene best described as "the Disney Red Wedding". Then, fifteen minutes later, everything's all patched up, friends are made while the corpses of fellow soldiers are still lying fresh in the sun, the bad guys have their bad deeds forgotten about or get fates right out of 101 Dalmatians. I will give it this, though, it actually pulls off a Disney Death that is shocking enough that it feels like it'll stick, but foreshadowed enough that the resurrection doesn't feel like out-of-nowhere BS.

  • MALEFICENT FINALLY TURNS INTO A DRAGON. ...okay, way more phoenix-y than the classic deal, but big enough that it counts.

  • People made Girl-on-Girl Is Hot jokes about the first Maleficent's curse and perhaps because of that the movie is loath to show two men kiss in a familial way for the exact same curse. tongue

  • If I were to ask for anything else, it would be for more Maleficent vs Ingrith interactions; they actually only have two scenes together and we deserve seeing the best actors in the film spitefully trade words.

  • There’s a very confusingly straight example of Black Dude Dies First that makes no sense later with whatever was going on with that phoenix energy he seemed to be giving Maleficent.

  • Saying this with no context because it's funnier: Orgasmic death piano.

Edited by Tuckerscreator on Oct 27th 2019 at 12:38:17 PM

“If your good mood was ruined because you got into an accident with a car...”
Ookamikun Wolves, wolves, wolves! from the lupine den
Wolves, wolves, wolves!
Oct 26th 2019 at 10:42:01 PM

Yeah, I like this way more than the first film.

Lone wolf? Hah! "Lone" wolves die out of hunger and loneliness. The wolf needs the pack, and the pack needs the wolf.
Oct 27th 2019 at 12:19:13 AM

Fundamentally it is not botching the specific Disney Cinderella story (yes, make the three fairies ineffectual morons, that's a smart move) and actually tries to make its own thing. I can't say it's all that good, but it does try to tell its own story and the fae culture's relationship with the human world is made a lot more interesting. The Dark Fae themselves are visually spectacular, but they seem to be thriving just fine on that island and the movie ignores the utter massacre they suffered when up against the super iron.

I also usually cringe at the "Woke Disney" stuff (proto-feminism in a historically contextualized 17th century France!) but I actually kind of liked how they mention the castle of King Stephan was "given back to the people" because it didn't feel like a throwaway moment that contributes nothing to the character arc. Instead it is given a lot of emphasis on Aurora's reaction to being asked about her other castle, and revealing that she has very little personal investment in the kingdom that was her natural birthright.

InkDagger Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Oct 30th 2019 at 5:18:14 PM

Saw it with my dad today because he wanted to see a movie and little else was playing. Had the whole large theater to ourselves.

It was... not as bad as the first one. But I wouldn't say it's good either. The sets are stunning as are the costumes. But the concepts and execution are very mixed to the point that the script feels like a very rough first draft. Its bad in different ways. Where the first was maligned in concept; "Let's take our badass wickedest villain and give her her own film... and make her straight up good and "misunderstood", defeating all the appeal the character had in the first place!", this one feels bad in that it doesn't seem sure of itself, feels half-baked in several places, and just doesn't know what to say.

  • Between this film and the first, I am ever confused how a 90-120 min film with such great actors can have characters with such little personality or depth.
  • The film has a really bad crutch of either not explaining a lot of things adequately ( Maleficent Phoenix Resurrection? The curse? That weird pixie guy?) or relying on a lot of exposition dumps ( A few things with the Dark Fae like the 'Phoenix Descendant' thing. The arguments for vs. against war. Ingreth's Motives?).
  • Of all things... it kind of felt like Jolie had nothing really to do all movie. Half way through, she just doesn't get many lines or anything to do besides go places, see things, and hear exposition dumped. So passive.
  • The attack that ultimately kills Conall didn't feel like a meaningful climax? Like... I kind of thought that was supposed to be the midpoint development to muddy the rest of act 2. But... No, I guess it's the climax of act 2. We barely get any dialogue between Maleficent, Conall, and... Borra? I guess? A lot of characters didn't seemingly get named. It felt strangely flaccid.
  • The climax gets... weirdly dark. Not that I'm not ok with it, but, wow, that got dark out of nowhere. And then we have a strangely esoteric happy ending all of a sudden??? And the evil genocidal facist queen WHO WAS A SERIOUS THREAT, gets a joke take out? Turned into a goat that, lazily, I'm pretty sure is a male goat? Uhhhhh....
  • Honestly, the ending feels like a rewrite. Maybe not from production stage, but probably in drafting. I feel like they probably had something more dark and in-tone in the first draft, but the Genocide Climax was dark enough that execs probably said no. Hence we get joke ending for an otherwise evil villain when the first one let the hero basically kill the villain off, this one holds back for... no reason? And we just rush into a wedding very very quickly.

  • I think one of the harder things about the dark genocide climax is that it wants to be the Red Wedding, and it has a lot of feel and visual down pat. But... It doesn't know why the Red Wedding worked. Damn it, I don't care about these characters enough to feel something. I didn't know Conall enough besides he's more temperate than Borra and, also, smoking fucking hot, but I didn't feel anything when he died. Not even sure why he did both from a story and in-universe stand point. As for the faries, while I would have felt something if it were the animated film's version... These characters both are barely in this film and were annoying as all hell from the previous film to the point that this one starts with an unsubtle 'shoo out the clowns' moment. How she stopped the organ was cool and dark, but I couldn't care less about the character we lost.
  • Small point, but I kind of wonder if the Red Headed Mook had a different death? Her body is conspicuously absent when the faeries are running out of the chapel which screams Editing and Reshoots to me.
  • The fuck was with the pixie guy. Just... wtf? I didn't get it and, wow, Warwick Davis deserves so much better.
  • Pretty sure the best scene in the film, at least from writing, is the dinner with the in-laws. It has some funny moments, the tension is rising, there's questions on what will happen next, I liked it. And the actors are free to chew the scenery. I think the film frames Ingreth as evil a little too early and relies a bit on Maleficent not communicating to drive the conflict, but it's a good scene.
  • Also, THE SCENE IS WELL LIT! Jesus, this film wasn't just dark in content, it was dark as in poorly lit. Even in a theater alone and suitably dark, the frames were so goddamn dark I was squinting to figure out some of what I was looking at more than a few times.

  • The blatant retcon at the ending about the curse pissed me off. Fuck you and your No Homo, movie. Maleficent being unable to end the curse was a major plot point of the first film. Either explain why she can suddenly do it now, or go the more obvious route and HAVE THE SON WAKE HIS FATHER UP! Hell, he could have been the one to figure out Ingreth's machinations once he woke up rather than Aurora just getting exposition visions out of nowhere.

  • I think what also hinders the film is how it's building it's argument. Because... by the end, yeah, the humans are awful. They're terrible. But suddenly we just go into Happy Ending mode because we don't have time to deal with that shit. I guess the red head and the Queen are the only ones culpable for their actions and we'll just move on. Especially awkward is the Dark Fae tending to the humans when... 15 mins ago we watched them screaming and crying as they were watched friends and family getting horrifically turned to dust by these same people? But the film just. keeps. falling. back. on. "Humans are good because Aurora isn't bad. Oh, and Phillip is good... I guess..." without really doing anything with it. It's there from page one as humanity's one redeeming quality and it's really not enough.
  • Like the first film, it fundamentally has a problem with showing the heroes (or side we're supposed to empathize with) doing anything morally ambiguous. If it was going for some 'Both sides have issues' thing, it failed because the Dark Fae never do anything evil. We see them attack (and kill) some humans who come to the woods, but they're there to kidnap faeries who will be used to experiment a Final Solution so... I really don't blame them for defending themselves. Then Ingreth gets a motive rant about a bother who got murdered, but all Aurora can say is 'That's not true' and it never comes up again and I really don't know what it's trying to say there? Or we're supposed to see Borra's charging off against the humans as bad, but considering the humans are just executing a mass Red Wedding Genocide at that moment... I feel like the film is trying to Both Sides this, but whatever the Dark Fae have done, the humans have done and are doing is so far far worse that those of the Dark Fae really aren't evil.
  • The film wants to have a 'Put down your weapons! Use words! Talk and there's peace!' but never really knows how to handle when... it takes two to talk something out and defending yourself when one side doesn't want to play along IS. NOT. EVIL. It wants to acknowledge how many people are getting hurt and harmed by this conflict, but never examines that far more people than just the Queen and red head are throwing bombs when there's an entire army massacring the Fae.

One last thing, and I don't want to drone on because I feel bad this is already a lengthy post, but I can't unsee it and I'm realizing how often it occurs but I'm getting really, really, really fucking sick of how often Disney (and others) rely on the Good King/Prince/Billionaire/Politician to come in and solve all the problems. House being foreclosed on because you couldn't make payments and the bank is run by a douchebag? No problem, the bank was really being hijacked by one evil person and here's a rich Billionaire to absolve all the problems! Have an army causing genocide against any entire group of people and are perfectly aware of the horrible plan that they're committing? Easy! Here's a Good Prince who just tells them all to lower their weapons and there's no future problems!

Look... I know this is ultimately Disney we're talking about, but they're clearly trying to talk about some pretty loaded subjects sometimes and then clean them all up with a MAKES IT EASY that might as well be a Deus Ex Machina. It's just flat out lazy. It's tired. And most importantly, it's boring.

IndirectActiveTransport You Give Me Fever from Chicago Relationship Status: Coming soon to theaters
You Give Me Fever
Nov 2nd 2019 at 4:27:31 PM

Saw the sequel, wish I hadn't. Should have read the reviews first! I thought Maleficent was turning evil, immediately realized she wasn't and may have just developed an aversion to Disney after Toy Story 4 left a good taste in my mouth.

The friend I went to see it with loved it, she thought the special effects were great, and I'm glad one of us was having fun because they failed to impress me the second time around.

You know how the first movie had wimpy antagonists who could only challenge the lead when the plot said so? This is the opposite, where the villains are simply too competent to defeat, so they make arbitrary mistakes that give the protagonists a chance to win after flawlessly pulling off contrived Batman gambits that had numerous more ways to fail. With a little help from continuity issues and a no way consistent magic system to help things along.

It'd have been really nice to see the victims triumph on their own merits. A couple showed some creativity and daring, but in the end the Esoteric Happy Ending bordered on Deus ex Machina (there was a little foreshadowing but that in of itself was un forshadowed Clash of the Titans level Crossover Cosmology). Or maybe if the villains failed due to established character flaws, exploitable weaknesses, their victims being less predictable with their means... this conflict was more one sided than The Last Jedi.

The acting was good enough, I'll give it that. If only the plot or at least the actions scenes could have lived up to it.

That's why he wants you to have the money. Not so you can buy 14 Cadillacs but so you can help build up the wastes
Ookamikun Wolves, wolves, wolves! from the lupine den
Wolves, wolves, wolves!
Nov 9th 2019 at 11:23:07 PM

Honestly I enjoyed the Malifecent films more than the live action adaptations probably because they're doing their own thing. God I hated Aladdin and I honestly am dreading how Mulan will end up.

Lone wolf? Hah! "Lone" wolves die out of hunger and loneliness. The wolf needs the pack, and the pack needs the wolf.
IndirectActiveTransport You Give Me Fever from Chicago Relationship Status: Coming soon to theaters
You Give Me Fever
Nov 18th 2019 at 5:21:20 AM

For me, it's almost the opposite. Granted Aladdin is the only live action adaptation I've seen, or at least can remember seeing after 101 Dalmatians. But in my estimation, live action Aladdin was no worse than animated Aladdin, no better admittedly, but it was still a good movie.

The second Maleficent was just full of plot contrivances that did not even have satisfactory pay offs with a sprinkling of Trailers Always Lie. If Maleficent isn't turning evil, fine! Market her as an avenging hero or whatnot, try to sell people on that! But they really aren't going to save people on it because they can't even get "avenging hero" right. She should have been dead to rights at least three time before the borderline deus ex machina. Maybe it's just me but I think the heavy hitter of the arc shouldn't be impotent more than twice without thorough justification. And then her "great power", prior to the borderline deus ex machina, is an informed ability anyway. She's shiny and throws adults around, that will surely trump an entire species defended by armies wielding your weakness!

Yeah, in the first movie we did see she can in fact murder entire iron clad armies, but all those superpowers are suddenly absent, and iron hurts her more now. Where before being covered in an iron net underneath several dozen ironclad men stabbing her with iron spears was not enough to stop her from magically roasting them to cinders(seriously, she got dizzy and had a little trouble staying awake), suddenly a simple musket ball or iron tipped crossbow bolt can put her down for days...if these were industrial firearms I'd buy it, maybe, but as is I'm just seeing continuity error after retcon after plot hole.

As said, the acting was fine, but a lot of characters either didn't mesh with what was previously shown of them or just didn't make sense from the start.

The entire concept of Dark Fey. There are fairies beyond the forested hills, that was a given. Some of them are like Maleficent, fine. They literally have the ability to survive anywhere but have been reduced to a single colony because humans have iron? You don't know how the world works! These humans don't have anything as good as a steam engine and are not unified in any common cause, definitely not the cause of Fey hunting. There should still be Dark Fey nests all around the world! Or at least more to the story than humans finding iron. These fools can fly at hundreds of mile per hour for hundreds of miles without getting tired! And they can magically farm as they see fit! Forget how hard they'd be to wipe out, why wouldn't humans keep them around for help with plagues and famine?

All the same, that same friend didn't like Aladdin too much. She thought it wasn't true enough to 1001 Nights. You're not the only one who prefers the Maleficent films. I'd like to think I'd be more forgiving if the ad campaign wasn't so misleading.

That's why he wants you to have the money. Not so you can buy 14 Cadillacs but so you can help build up the wastes
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