Tagged: Jackson Bews

Maleficent

Summary: The “Sleeping Beauty” tale is told from the perspective of the villainous Maleficent and looks at the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse young Princess Aurora.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 29th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK, USA

Director: Robert Stromberg

Screenwriter: Linda Woolverton, Charles Perrault (story), Jacob Grimm (story), Wilhelm Grimm (story), Erdmann Penner (story), Joe Rinaldi (story), Winston Hibler (story), Bill Peet (story), Ted Sears (story), Ralph Wright (story), Milt Banta (story)

Cast: Jackson Bews (Teenage Stefan), Charlotte Chatton (Aurora), Sharlto Copley (Stefan), Kenneth Cranham (King Henry), Elle Fanning (Aurora), Michael Higgins (Young Stefan), Angelina Jolie (Maleficent), Vivienne Jolie-Pitt (Aurora 5 Years Old), Lesley Manville (Flittle), Janet McTeer (Narrator (voice)), Isabelle Molloy (Young Maleficent), Hannah New (Princess Leila), Ella Purnell (Teenage Maleficent), Sam Riley (Diaval), Imelda Staunton (Knotgrass), Juno Temple (Thistletwit), Brenton Thwaites (Prince Phillip), Jermaine Tindell (Tactus), Eleanor Worthington-Cox (Aurora 8 Years Old)

Runtime: 97 mins

Classification: M

 

 

OUR MALEFICENT REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s Maleficent review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81

Stars(3.5)

 

David Griffiths:

The Hollywood obsession of rebooting famous fairytales continues with Disney’s Maleficent. The trend over the last few years has resulted in some good films such as Snow White & The Huntsman but also some very ordinary films, anybody else remember Red Riding Hood? Therefore as a film fan you find yourself approaching Maleficent with a little bit of hesitance. The good news is there is no reason to because Disney have released a film that deserves two thumbs up.

Technically Maleficent isn’t a reboot it’s simply telling the ‘other side’s’ story of the famous Sleeping Beauty fairytale. The film looks at Maleficent (Angelina Jolie – Kung-Fu Panda 2, The Tourist) aka the wicked witch who cursed the young Sleeping Beauty, Aurora (Elle Fanning – Low Down, Young Ones).

In Maleficent we see what led to those actions as she is left to protect her land from the advances of the greedy King Henry (Kenneth Cranham – The Legend Of Hercules, Closed Circuit) and the pain she if left with after her lover, Stefan (Sharlto Copley – Oldboy, Open Grave) cruelly turns his back on her. We also see her team up with Diaval (Sam Riley – The Dark Valley, On The Road) to try and get revenge on all at hand but her love for Aurora prevents her from being as ghastly as she would like to.

Director Robert Stromberg, who is a first time director but has worked in visual design on some of the world’s best known films and television shows over the years, is almost asked to do the impossible here – that is to make a character who has always been the villain to the audience become someone that film fan’s will warm to. To his credit, and thanks to some help from talented screenwriter Linda Woolverton (Alice In Wonderland, The Lion King), Stromberg manages to pull of this feat wonderfully well, all while creating a film that also looks amazing as well.

Stromberg pulls off his challenge so well that as an audience member you find yourself changing sides very, very easily. Suddenly Maleficent is the good guy and King Stefan is the character that you want to see suffer. Of course knowing that this has to be watched by children means that Stromberg does also bring in some comedic relief to break up the darkness and that mainly occurs with Aurora’s minders – the bumbling fairies (or is that pixies?) Flittle (Lesley Manville – Mr. Turner, The Christmas Candle), Knotgrass (Imelda Staunton – Pride, The Pirates! Band Of Misfits) and Thistletwit (Juno Temple – Horns, Lovelace). The fact that the film manages to make these characters entertaining and not annoying is a feat upon itself.

Maleficent is a film that also looks amazing. Stromberg has created mythical characters that wouldn’t have looked out of place in something like Pan’s Labyrinth and the special effects team has come on board to make the creatures come to life and look spectacular on the big screen. The battle scenes also show that Stromberg is a very visual director and doesn’t always hold back just because he knows that little eyes are watching.

Despite its brilliance though there are a couple of annoying things that occur during Maleficent. The annoying thing is they are so small and can only be put down to lazy filmmaking and screenwriting. Firstly it is never explained why Maleficent can do great feats of magic, including make a tree grow back a branch but can’t do a spell to give herself wings again, and then there is a fact that at one moment the Narrator (Janet McTeer – Hannah Ardent, The Woman In Black) is calling Flittle, Knotgrass and Thistletwit fairies and the next moment pixies. Surely somebody must have noticed that happening during the filmmaking process somewhere along the line.

You do have to feel a little sorry for Elle Fanning in Maleficent. She seems to float along playing Aurora, and while she is one of the heroes of the film is not really given much to work with, except for the direction of ‘look cute.’ No this is very much an Angelina Jolie film and boy does she step up to the plate. Jolie delivers a full range of acting emotions and more importantly makes Maleficent a likable character while she is still really the ‘villain’ at heart. While it is difficult to compare her work here to what she has done in films such as Girl, Interrupted this is certainly one of the better films in her career. A shout out must also be paid to Sam Riley who also seems to steal a lot of the screen time that he is given.

Dark yet beautiful Maleficent is certainly one of the surprise hits of 2014. While many may have dismissed this as a family film it ends up being a brilliantly made film that once again captures that magic that Disney has been known for in the past.

Stars(4)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(4)

 

IMDB Rating:  Maleficent (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Maleficent′: For our full Maleficent review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81

Trailer:

Vampire Academy

Summary: Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, half human/vampire, guardians of the Moroi, peaceful, mortal vampires living discretely within our world.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 7th March, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, UK, Romania

Director: Mark Waters

Screenwriter: Daniel Waters, Richelle Mead (novel)

Cast: Mai Arwas (Lucy), Jackson Bews (Jered), Harry Bradshaw (Bruno), Gabriel Byrne (Victor Dashkov), Ashley Charles (Jesse), Macy Chipping (Young Rose), Zoey Deutch (Rose Hathaway), Rory Fleck-Byrne (Andre), Claire Foy (Ms. Karp), Lucy Fry (Lissa Dragomir), Sami Gayle (Mia Rinaldi), Nick Gillard (Kenneth), Edward Holcroft (Aaron), Sarah Hyland (Natalie), Danila Kozlovsky (Dimitri Belikov), Olga Kurylenko (Headmistress Kirova), Shelley Longworth (Feeder Norrine), Chris Mason (Ray), Cameron Monaghan (Mason), Bronte Norman-Terrell (Camilla), Ben Peel (Spiridion), Ryan Prescott (Nick), Joely Richardson (Queen Tatiana), Dominic Sherwood (Christian Ozera), Ramon Tikaram (Mr. Meisner), Dominique Tipper (Guardian Gabriela)

Runtime: 105 mins

Classification:M

OUR VAMPIRE ACADEMY REVIEWS & RATINGS:

Nick Gardener: Stars(2)

Please check Nick’s Vampire Academy review of that is available on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #70

David Griffiths:

I’m sure there was a moment at some time when a production team got together to discuss turning Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy novels into a feature film. Someone in that meeting obviously stood up and said “hey the kids all seem to like 2 Broke Girls do you reckon we could incorporate some of the sassy dialogue from that into this?” Well it may have seemed like a good idea at the time, and true it’s worked in films such as Saved and Easy A in the past but sadly screenwriter, Daniel Waters just wasn’t up to the job and as a result Vampire Academy fails in its bid to become the next Harry Potter or Twilight.

The film begins with Dhampir Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutsch) and Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry) the Moroi (peaceful vampire mortal) that she is protecting being rounded up and shipped back to Vampire Academy after twelve months on the run.

While Rose and Lissa are furious at being made return to what is actually a vampire boarding school they are shown show by teachers and trainers there, including Dimitri Belikov (Danila Krozlovsky), Victor Dashkov (Gabriel Byrne) and Headmistress Kirova (Olga Kurylenko), that this was a dangerous exercise due to the fact that it appears that Lissa is very likely to become the next Vampire Queen.

As the pair try to once again fit into a school where it now seems they are very much the outcast Rose soon realises that Lissa’s life is very much in danger, something that Lissa seems very dismissive of. This spurs Rose to team up with Dimitri and Lissa’s love interest Christian Ozera (Dominic Sherwood) and try to work out who is so desperate to have the young royal all to themselves.

The biggest problems facing Vampire Academy is the fact that director Mark Waters (who is best known for delivering the big teenage hit Mean Girls) was given an absolute dog script to work with… oh and of course some pretty average acting talent as well. At times Vampire Academy does show glimpses of being the half-way decent teenage sci-fi flick it could have been but at other times it is let down by some of the worst dialogue and most clichéd moments that audiences have seen on screens since they witnessed the debacle that was Taylor Lautner’s Abduction.

There are times during this film that the dialogue is so bad that the audience bursts out into laughter at just how lame it really is. Yes this one film where the script really didn’t need editing it needed to be ripped up and thrown into a bin before another screenwriter gave it a whirl. And if Daniel Waters’ dialogue isn’t bad enough the audience also has to put up with the fact that he also didn’t know whether he wanted this film to be a serious sci-fi/fantasy film or somewhat of a comedy. Sometimes it seems that Vampire Academy looks like it is going to fit into the Harry Potter vein and then at other times it becomes so cheesy it almost feels like you are re-watching Vampires Suck.

Then there is the acting which can largely described as downright atrocious. It is obvious that the likes of Lucy Fry and Danila Kozlovsky were hired because of their looks rather then their acting abilities because there are times during the film when they both make the cast of The Young And The Restless look like Oscar winners. Even poor Olga Kurylenko and Gabriel Byrne trip up on the script that leaves them with little more to do than just be working clichés… surely some Razzie nominations must be headed their way. In fact the only cast member of Vampire Academy that can hold her head high is Zoey Deutsch. The young actress, who most would know for her appearance in Beautiful Creatures puts in a good acting performance in which she seems to call upon the acting talents of Kat Dennings and Eliza Dushku and actually announces herself as an actress who hopefully has a future ahead of her.

From it’s clichéd poorly written script to the fact that it seems to borrowed little things from every vampire television show or movie from the last twenty years Vampire Academy is one film that seemed to be doomed from the moment its screenwriter put pen to paper.

Stars(2)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(2)

IMDB Rating:  Vampire Academy (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Vampire Academy′: Please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #70 for our full Vampire Academy review.

Trailer: