Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Spurned Horned-Fairy Bitter Ex-Girlfriend

I'm sure they stole contacts off the Twilight set for this.
So I went to see Maleficent (2014) last Friday with dwindling optimism. I'm one of those girls that's not a huge fan of Angelina but that's really due to resentment and jealousy more than anything else. So myself and my hetero life-mate Shannon, parked ourselves in one of the back corners and because we both get dizzy from 3-D prepared for a regular screening of Maleficent. Neither of us had seen the original Disney version since we were this side of 8 years old, but it wasn't too crowded in there and we snuck in yogurt, so how bad could it be? The answer is surprisingly, not at all. I was actually feasibly impressed, and my dead heart fluttered just a tiny bit. Don't get me wrong I rolled my eyes quite a bit and had a few choice sarcastic quips for the growing more and more annoyed person I was with, but I left that theater feeling like that was not time wasted. Shocker.
Angie makes a splendid comeback to the big screen after a four-year hiatus and being publically humiliated at the Golden Globes by Ricky Gervais, and then her weird leg-dress moment at the 2012 Oscars. I mean what was that exactly? Then she reappeared to support her husband’s producing efforts last year at the Oscar and even went up to the stage when 12 Years a Slave (2013) won for Best Picture even though she had nothing to do with it besides being married to the Executive Producer, but that’s H-Wood I guess.
Let’s just admit it female community, we were never fans. She was too intimidating with her long legs, her crisp cheekbones that could cut glass, the most sensual lips ever, and long wavy locks of brunette hair. Fuck her seriously, who’s born like that? So we aren’t exactly itching to bring our boyfriends along to one of her flicks, unless we know we’re going to be prodding them the entire time with asinine questions like ‘do you think she’s prettier than me?’. Poor men, they have to lie and say ‘no not at all sweetie, I enjoy how ‘normal’ and ‘boring’ you look’… or ‘I find tattoos gauche and vulgar’…and my favorite ‘I’m not attracted to perfect-looking women’. UGHHHH!
Just admit it you would cheat on me with Angelina Jolie, and that goes for every man in America ladies, even the blind ones. Moving ooooooooon!
We all (and by we all I mean the women amongst us) remember the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty (1959) like it was yesterday. Don’t know about ya’ll but it used to terrify the everloving shit out of me.
I especially cowered at that part when Princess Aurora is hypnotized and wanders into that old forgotten room full of broken spindles with her eyeballs dilated like she just dropped 8 hits of E. I swear that would haunt my nightmares, also that's a huge hole in the story, seriously. They couldn't just burn the spindles in a giant pire, they have to hide them in a room that no one will ever get into? Really? ...really really? 
But as traumatized as I was and as much as the night light company made off of me, I did not expect the re-imagining of the classic tale to be at all scary. I honestly thought it would a farce and at the very least yield a lot of snarky eye-rolls. But I got distracted by the ridiculous amount of homages or rather pastiches of Lord of the Rings, and the endless who's who parade of marginally famous actors for whom I carry a deep appreciation such as Sharlto Copley who made a huge impression on all of us with his debut film District 9. Then there's Sam Reilly who made HIS debut in the disastrous clusterfuck of a movie On the Road (2011) based on the American Opus by Jack Kerouac where he played the Kerouac-inspired character of Sal. Then there's Dakota Fanning prettier and more talented little sister Elle as Sleeping Beauty herself, with basically the entire Mike Leigh company including Lesley Manville and Imelda Staunton rounding out the cast. I mean, that's pretty effing impressive. You would expect a cast list like to read like the opening credits to a Shakespeare adaptation. But Shakespeare this is not. It was amusing, and at times campy as hell, and in the good way. Angie is definitely not taking herself too seriously which is a feat for her. But she is bringing all of her chops to this rather sparkly and ridiculous parable. She doesn't chew the scenery, and in fact holds back when she has to making her performance enigmatic, emotionally charged, and at times sarcastic. It works, what else can I say? Oh yeah, and Juno Temple is there too so what's not visual masturbation about this film. T&A from Angie, walking and talking trees a la Lord of the Rings for the geek crowd, and enough glammed out costume changes to make David Bowie jealous, it's a sensual feast for the eyes, but don't expect it to warm your heart or anything. It's completely predictable and somewhat banal, but who cares? Angelina has horns and a catsuit. What else do you need exactly, needy! It's a formulaic Disney live-action film with little depth and an actress that should reside nowhere near Disney street, but now that she's a momma to like 45 toddlers, has started to mellow out a bit. It was enjoyable. And don't even get me started on the S&M fetishies that's all over this freakin' film that went flying over the kids' heads. It's a tongue and cheek sexual interpretation of a beloved old classic which is the best kind of interpretation you can have. I mean seriously, who's more sexually explicit than Ang? It's giving a new generation of 12-year-old Disney fans something different to wank to. More power to it.

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