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Comment Archives: stories: Movies

Re: “Film Review: "Maleficent"

Hi Clark, I appreciate you taking the time to write in and respond to my review. I always appreciate the feedback, However, I have to disagree with your belief that I went into this film with the expectation that I'd be seeing the exact same story told in Disney's original "Sleeping Beauty." Of course I didn't. My only expectations for "Maleficent" were that I'd see a movie that told a compelling story and honored a character who has long been been one of my favorites. Simply put, I felt the film failed to deliver on either account.

As for the idea that I couldn't accept the "dismembering of her person" or the "betrayal for the sake of power gain" as reason enough for Maleficent's rage, of course those are perfectly valid reasons. But the point remains (and perhaps I was unclear on this) that her transition was completely reactionary, based on her treatment by the man she loved. If the loss of her wings was to be the ultimate result, why couldn't it have been in a way that more befitted such a powerful and capable character? Say, losing them in battle? Wouldn't that have been an equally valid reason for her anger toward those that took them from her?

A simple search of the internet will tell you that I'm hardly the only person that interpreted the scene of Stefan taking Maleficent's wings as a metaphor for rape. Intentional or not (and I'd argue it is) the fact is that those connotations are there, and the idea that I'm simply trying to sexualize the scene for my readers is insulting.

Regardless, the fundamental reason for my disappointment with the film is that the decision was made to alter one of the most memorable Disney villains of all time in order to make her more likeable. The fact that the film was made in the first place shows that Disney knows how beloved the character of Maleficent is to many people. So why change her most defining characteristic? She's evil. Giving her a backstory and motivation for her villainy doesn't have to change that fact. By doing so, it seems to say that audiences won't accept a film whose protagonist is "bad." You only have to look at the popularity of television shows like "Breaking Bad" or "The Sopranos," both centered around male antiheroes, to see that's not true.

It was my hope that in "Maleficent," I'd see a film that found imaginative ways to flesh out an already great character in ways that made her even better and more interesting. In my mind, the film failed to do that.

Hopefully that clears things up. Thanks for reading!

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Adam Lubitow on 06/07/2014 at 5:27 PM

Re: “Film Review: "Maleficent"

Is it really that radical to go into a movie like Maleficent with expectations that some esteem for the original story would be upheld? It's Disney working off it's own property—it's not like another studio is making the film where they'd have to carefully toe the line of what's legally safe to use and what belongs to Disney.

Disney went out to the public with the message "Hey! Remember this thing you loved? We're going to give you more of it! More! Hold on to your butts, you're going to get more and it's going to be awesome!"

Granted, we all should have learned a lesson based on the terrible experience of George Lucas bringing us more Star Wars and then having the steaming pile of the prequels shoveled into our collective laps.

11 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Kara Austin on 06/05/2014 at 9:13 AM

Re: “Film Review: "Maleficent"

" the only possible explanation for why a powerful woman might turn evil is to get back at a boy."

In the retelling she had already forgave him the first time. Did it not occur to you the the dismembering of her person (regardless of the gender of the person dismembering her) was the cause of her rage. Or perhaps that betrayal for the sake of power gain was a motivator. Apparently you are too narrow minded to see those aspects of her turning evil.

" Instead, in a disturbing scene, Stefan drugs her, lies with her, and cuts off her wings while she sleeps, leaving Maleficent to wake up the next morning horrified to discover her body has been violated. It's a thinly veiled rape metaphor, which is a rather questionable choice for what's ostensibly a family film,"

There was no sexuality presented in this scene. and to add in your review that he "lies with her" implies they had sex which they didn't. It was a scene of him waiting for the drug to take effect. I think your more interested in attempting to sexualize the scene for your readers just to make your point. Bad show friend, bad show

"For years, Maleficent apparently has nothing better to do than skulk around the forest watching Aurora age, allowing the young girl to come to think of her as a fairy godmother."

What else would she do, she focused her rage and hatred into cursing the girl, so at first naturally she would want to watch her to suffer, to observe her handy work. In the beginning she kept her a live with the knowledge that if she died to soon she would not be able to revel in the misery that she would cause the king (like killing the torture victim too soon)

Aurora thought of her as her fairy godmother because she didn't know any better, and the scene where she explains it is the beginning of the villain understanding that her rage was misdirected.

" Plus, she doesn't even turn into an effin' dragon! Becoming a dragon is Maleficent's coolest power and she doesn't even get to do it -- instead her shape-shifting companion Diaval (Sam Riley) gets that ability."

A little fixated are we? He didn't have the ability she changed him into it. She's a dragon, He's a dragon its a minor deviation in what is obviously an alternate telling where deviations are EXPECTED. Are you so much of a traditionalist that your upset about the dragons fire not being green as well?

"Disney's "Maleficent" emerges as a fundamentally misguided interpretation of the title character, one that seems to misunderstand what drew people to her in the first place. As a fan myself, it's hard to imagine another film this summer being as overwhelmingly disappointing a viewing experience."

Piecing together your review its obvious you went into this movie expecting a replay of the original production. Your too fixated on the original telling and too much of a traditionalist to give the movie a fair review. Honestly you should not have reviewed a movie that you went into with specific expectations based on the previous telling.

25 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Clark Noone on 06/05/2014 at 12:43 AM

Re: “"Belle"

"the women dress in colorful gowns that push their breasts up as if they were selling fruit"

Really? How did the male actors' junk look in those knee breeches?

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kara Austin on 05/28/2014 at 11:18 AM

Re: “Film Review: "Godzilla"

Much of the fun of the old horror movies was the anticipation of finally seeing the monster. Pictures like the original "The Thing" had you wait an eternity before the appearance. The classic "Incredible Shrinking Man" did not trot out the giant cat and spider until well into the movie. And how long did we wait before we saw King Kong? There's nothing wrong with using your imagination for a while.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Katherine Lubitow on 05/23/2014 at 9:47 PM

Re: “Film Review: "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"

And we're back with the sexist assumptions about what comic book characters appeal most to what gender.

6 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Kara Austin on 05/06/2014 at 1:05 PM

Re: “"Dallas Buyers Club"

Rayon was neither a "gay transvestite" nor a "crossdressing homosexual." Rayon was a heterosexual transwoman played by Jared Leto.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by have a seat on 05/06/2014 at 1:35 AM

Re: “"Dallas Buyers Club"

Rayon was not a "gay transvestite". Rayon was a transsexual woman. I see you throwing all kinds of shade.

Posted by have a seat on 05/06/2014 at 1:05 AM

Re: “"Jodorowsky's Dune"

I loved this film. I did wonder, though, how the producer ever thought he could sell Hollywood on such a wild film & wild director -- & why they couldn't turn to European sources for funding. But the project of the planning itself was worthwhile.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jerome James O'Neill on 04/27/2014 at 7:21 PM

Re: “Film Review: "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"

Also, I wish CITY would allow another reviewer to tackle comic book hero movies, just for a change. Especially, considering this writer has demonstrated his disdain for them, and their audience, time after time.

Based on his wrap up of both his assumptions of the intended audience for both comic books and this movie (the tired jab about 15 year old boys), he's clearly not up to date with either the movie genre or the source material and the diversity of people who enjoy both.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kara Austin on 04/15/2014 at 1:20 PM

Re: “Film Review: "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"

You ought to try enjoying something before you die. You might find it suits you.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kara Austin on 04/15/2014 at 9:49 AM

Re: “Film Review: "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"

Superhero movies are entertainment, not art. And I find positives and negatives in both the Hollywood blockbuster films and the indie films. But as a summer popcorn film, "Captain America" did its job quite well. It is by far the most mature MCU film to date and evolves the character from a WWII propaganda piece to reflection of contemporary political espionage.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Matt Marshall on 04/13/2014 at 11:48 AM

Re: “Film Review: "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"

Maybe you're not the right person to review this movie.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rich Ruscio on 04/09/2014 at 6:17 PM

Re: “Rochester International Film Festival 2014

Thank you City for the great preview of 16 short films to be screened Th-Sat, April 10-12 at Rochester International Film Festival- Dryden Theatre.. I like 'Shoestring tied together' on front page!

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by JMB on 04/09/2014 at 12:15 PM

Re: “Film Review: "Noah"

Noah a vegetarian? Really? Seems kind of silly to me, God gave man dominion over plants and animals . Humans are omnivores and we need animal protein for brain development..

Also, Noah (a recorded toolmaker.) and family were farmers and built the ark to preserve and continue life. If anything, Noah should have killed sociopathic Ham, after the flood, not his unborn grandchild on an ark where nobody was pregnant.

Aronofsky should be reassured Noah existed and his sons and their descendants be traced through Chronicles in the Bible and archaeology to people and places today. In 2002, Holocaust survivors asked an artist to “Find Noah”, and in three internet days, he found all the grandchildren and where they lived. Why are the 7 Noahide laws, for Jews and Gentiles alike, still the basis for law on earth? I don’t think Darren knows, but he WANTS to know.

Please experience…. , a four part interactive essay where Noah’s descendants are traced through architecture, art history and the 3 style of hats, each son of Noah’s families wore (each had their own head covering style), the meteor that struck earth in 3123 bce and “messed things up” until this day…and more

1 like, 6 dislikes
Posted by Jeffrey Rose on 03/31/2014 at 1:35 PM

Re: “Film Review: "Non-Stop"

Am I the only person in Rochester who knows this movie was written by a writing team that included a native Rochesterian? Chris Roach went to high school with me in Rush-Henrietta, and we discussed this movie AND HIS HAVING WRITTEN IT at our 15th high school reunion in November 2012. Consider yourselves informed!

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris Fields on 03/06/2014 at 12:16 PM

Re: “Film Review: "RoboCop"

I had hopes for this film, they were crushed by a hapless mess, This will not compare well to the original. Like so many remakes , it lacks soul, storytelling and acting. Save your money for flowers to put in the kitchen, to heal the soul torn asunder by this disaster.

Posted by El Marko on 03/02/2014 at 2:53 PM

Re: “Film Review: "Pompeii"

A definite miss.
Bad script and bad acting with a splash of 3D does not a movie make

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Simoneo333 on 02/24/2014 at 9:46 PM

Re: “Film Review: "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"

Ben might play same sort of character, but seriously this movie was awesome. This movie was so relatable. I dunno what you critic sees in movie, i see soul and i found. It brought me more near to the nature, this movie was for preservative person, it will definitely help all the person who had preserve themselves in boring routine day to day exactly same day things. I loved every moment of this movie. And i am sure that Ben never made this movie to earn him Oscar(thats why it was not boring). You can't chop every movie to prove your critic sharpness. Some movies are made to Enjoy, and i've enjoyed it.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Salman Hoque on 02/10/2014 at 5:13 PM

Re: “Film Review: "Labor Day"

I just read your review & watched the movie trailer at now I can't wait to actually watch this!
Nicely written review +

Posted by Alexander Fuglistahler on 02/06/2014 at 11:46 AM

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