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‘Maleficent’ review; upcoming ‘Apes,’ ‘Tammy’ more

By Staff | Jun 25, 2014

A darkly-themed “Maleficent” casts Angelina Jolie as a powerful fairy overseeing green moors that separate her kind from humans. Filling in the untold blanks of “Sleeping Beauty,” viewers learn that the thimble curse originates from betrayal, pain and a broken heart.

Three awkward pixies raise the lovely Aurora (Elle Fanning) in a thimble free environment. Ironic acquaintances take place as she nears her 18th birthday.

Since the “Sleeping Beauty” tale is well-known, I won’t inject further spoilers. A decision to see or not to see could hinge on interest in family-friendly and “girlhood” perspectives. Much like “Frozen,” the story emancipates the handsome prince, true love vision. Too, it thankfully injects conflicting grays into personalities, avoiding traditional all good and all bad depictions, which inspire yet do not exist in realty.

Jolie harkens well as the anguished heroic villain tortured by conflicting emotions.

Without giving away too much, my “classic” bone to throw involves the original material. It left gaps; so do the moor and castle conflicts, which awaken X Men mutant versus human prejudice in me.


After a mix of family friendly (“Earth to Echo”), a touch of the sinister (“Deliver Us from Evil”) and a chic gathering (“Tammy”) for Independence Day, look for the adult oriented “Sex Tape” in mid-July and the sprawling “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (July 11).

The filthy “Sex Tape” has a married couple facing total devastation — a video made the previous night is missing. “Bad Teacher” Cameron Diaz reunites with her gym teacher beau (Jason Segel). “The Purge: Anarchy,” “Hercules” and “Lucy” are among flicks filling out July before Marvel unleashes “Guardians of the Galaxy.”