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Angelina Jolie rocks “Maleficent”

Quite honestly, I didn’t think she could pull it off. Angelina Jolie is an Academy Award-winning actress that comprises a full half of perhaps one of the most influential Hollywood power couples in the history of motion pictures. She is breathtakingly beautiful, and is a proven great humanitarian. But let’s face it…she hasn’t had a huge hit in a number of years. In fact, outside of her voice work for a bunch of animated kid flicks(“Shark Tale”, the Kung Fu Panda” series), her prestige releases have sported unimpressive numbers(“Changeling”, “A Mighty Heart”), while her string of worldwide action blockbuster offerings have delivered diminishing returns(the bar of 478 million set with “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” in 2005, then 341 million for 2008’s “Wanted”, and 294 million for 2010’s “Salt”). And, despite some intriguing trailers, “Maleficent” had the makings of an uphill battle. A somewhat troubled production, involving re-shoots and the presence of a first-time director(Robert Stromberg, Oscar-winning art director for 2009’s “Avatar” and 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland”), it was all falling on Jolie’s shoulders to make this thing sing. And despite some mixed notices, Angelina pulled the audiences in for a huge opening weekend. Bolstered by the images of A.J. sporting the costume and make-up of the iconic Disney villain, “Maleficent” ruled the domestic box office this past weekend to the tune of 70 million and raked in another 100 million overseas. It’s her biggest opening ever. And just enough of the top critics have praised it to possibly get me to the multiplex to see it. If anything, it’s going to look absolutely fantastic. Plus, I’d like to show my support for the impressively charitable Ms. Jolie. She deserves it…bravo Angelina!

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2 comments on “Angelina Jolie rocks “Maleficent”

  1. Jolie is good and does what she can with this script, however, there’s just not much of a story here at all to begin with. Shame too, because it seems like everything else is working just fine.

    • Yeah, that seems to be the consensus of quite a few notable reviewers, Dan. What got me enthusiastic though, was the borderline rave from my most trusted critic, Walter Chaw from http://www.filmfreakcentral.net. It’s not that I follow him lockstep—for instance we disagreed on the recent “Godzilla” film—but no one is as consistently on the money as Mr. Chaw in my estimation. I’ve been reading Walter for over a decade, and I’ve mentioned him often and even reviewed his first book here on the blog. Sorry, “Maleficent” was a mixed bag for you, but still hoping I enjoy it more. Thanks for checking in with your thoughts! ML

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