Movie Review: Unbroken (2014)

This is the story of a man who makes you feel ashamed for taking two trips because the groceries were heavy, a man who makes you feel bad that you do not particularly like talking to your aunt, a man who is without a doubt a better person than you. Or at least me.

This movie felt like one big good moment. They did a good job building something and then keeping it consistent. The script balanced powerful lines, hero moments, and comedy well. Continue reading

Movie Review: Maleficent (2014)

Yes, I did see two movies this weekend. (Take that the one person who answered the poll and said to see neither movie.)

I liked this movie but I will warn you from the start it is definitely more of a kid’s kid movie than other recent options. It is not a kid’s movie like The Lego Movie that adults basically hijacked. And it is not a princess movie like Frozen that united the world in literal harmony. What it is is a large step above the classic Disney princess tale. If I had to compare it to something I would say Mirror Mirror which is based on the tale of Snow White and came out around the same time as Snow White and the Huntsman which is probably why you might not know it.

I will start by addressing the biggest factor in this movie: Angelina Jolie. She was an executive producer as well as the title character. She was heavily featured in advertising. This movie was going to succeed or fail based on her. And I loved her in it. She has a face that is impossible to mistake but they were smart with her makeup. They played up her cheekbones and in the end it wasn’t Angelina I was watching but Maleficent. It helps that even if she was a nobody she looks a lot like the cartoon character. She was fully clothed and did little hand to hand combat which helps as well.

The changes to the story were beautiful. Gone is the good vs. evil, black vs. white, old vs. young flat palate of the original. Instead we have a villain that is also a hero. The characters were dynamic and grew. We had justification for the hate and the war. We had complex relationships and back stories. And we had a strong but relatable female lead. Plus the princess looked her age. Continue reading