Malef­i­cent

Fairy­tale pro­pa­ganda ex­posed

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Dvd & blu- ray -

Re­lease Date: 27 Oc­to­ber

2014 | PG | 97 min­utes | £ 29.99 ( 3D Blu- ray)/£ 24.99 ( Blu­ray)/£ 19.99 ( DVD) Distrib­u­tor: Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios Home En­ter­tain­ment Di­rec­tor: Robert Stromberg Cast: An­gelina Jolie, Elle Fan­ning, Sharlto Co­p­ley, Sam Ri­ley, Imelda Staunton

Malef­i­cent

wasn’t evil, just mis­un­der­stood. The venge­ful vil­lain at the heart of Dis­ney’s 1959 Sleep­ing Beauty isn’t even a witch, even though that’s how she’s of­ten re­mem­bered; she was a pissed- off fairy. Malef­i­cent has suf­fered over half a cen­tury of bad pub­lic­ity and this fairy­tale re­vi­sion aims to re­dress the bal­ance.

An­gelina Jolie is mag­nif­i­cent as Malef­i­cent, a goth Joan Craw­ford with ar­chi­tec­tural cheek­bones; el­e­gant, scary and sym­pa­thetic. The in­ver­sion of the clas­sic tale is clev­erly wo­ven into the plot, while the cin­e­matog­ra­phy and ef­fects are of­ten breath­tak­ingly beau­ti­ful.

But the film is also lum­ber­ingly episodic and emotionally cold. It’s a good 30 min­utes be­fore there’s any­thing you could call a real character- build­ing di­a­logue scene. Malef­i­cent is the only character ex­panded from the an­i­mated film ver­sion; ev­ery­one else seems even more two- di­men­sional than usual.

Oh, and Malef­i­cent doesn’t trans­form into a dragon. There is a dragon, but it ain’t her. You can’t help feel­ing short- changed.

Ex­tras: On DVD, just fea­turette “Aurora: Be­com­ing A Beauty” ( five min­utes). The Blu- ray ( rated) adds five deleted scenes and four mak­ing- of fea­turettes: “From Fairy Tale To Fea­ture Film” ( eight min­utes), “Build­ing An Epic Bat­tle” ( six min­utes), “Clas­sic Cou­ture” ( 90 seconds of cos­tume close- ups) and “Malef­i­cent Re­vealed” ( five min­utes of ef­fects shots). Dave Golder Malef­i­cent’s make- up was par­tially in­spired by Lady Gaga: Jolie liked the way she used pros­thet­ics to cre­ate pointy cheek­bones.

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