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Maleficent

Year: 2014
Studio: Walt Disney
Director: Robert Stromberg
Writer: Linda Woolverton/Charles Perrault
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple

The revisionist fairy tale has been in full swing for awhile, and it's mostly generated some good ideas and entertaining movies. It's also a long time since we've seen Angelina Jolie on screen, and it's easy to forget that she's pretty good – she's one of those actresses whose off screen life tends to overshadow her work.

Maleficent does a pretty good job at setting up the world that led to Sleeping Beauty. It starts by giving the evil witch (who's horned profile we all know so well) a name, Maleficent.

She's a fairy-type creature in a magical realm away from the humans, who are mired in greed and lust for power. When a young boy who'll grow up to be Sharlto Copley stumbles into her land and they fall in love.

But he falls victim to the human curse while she grows up to be the fairy queen she was destined to be, and when he betrays her in order to become king it sends her down the path to anguish and rage that creates the figure we know from the cartoon, complete with the curse that will befall Sleeping Beauty (Fanning).

It rewrites the tale in some inventive ways, but it's more a kids' movie than other entries in the burgeoning genre like Snow White and the Huntsman. Despite Jolie's commanding presence in the role, everything around her is family movie 101 complete with CGI monsters and fantastial worlds.

In fact she's so engaging and full of passion at times it's almost too raw for the rest of the movie – wait for the sequence when she wakes up to find the man who loves her has cut her wings off.

She'll remind you why she's a star, but not much else about it is destined to be remembered long term.

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