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DISNEY

MOVIE INFO
Director:
Joachim Rønning
Cast:
Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer
Screenplay:
Linda Woolverton, Noah Harpster, Micah Fitzerman-Blue

Synopsis:
Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies, and dark new forces at play.

Box Office:
Budget
$185 million.
Opening Weekend
$36,948,713. on 3790 screens.
Domestic Gross
$113,532,745.

MPAA:
Rated PG.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 2.0
French Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish

Runtime: 118 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 1/14/2020

Bonus:
• “Origins of the Fey” Featurette
• “Aurora’s Wedding” Featurette
• “If You Had Wings” Featurette
• VFX Reel
• Extended Scenes/Outtakes
• Music Video
• Sneak Peeks
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


RELATED REVIEWS


Maleficent: Mistress of Evil [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 12, 2020)

Back in 2014, Maleficent offered a live-action reworking of 1959’s Sleeping Beauty. With a worldwide gross of $758 million, a sequel seemed inevitable, and that second chapter arrived via 2019’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.

Aurora (Elle Fanning) acts as the Queen of the Moors, and her godmother Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) helps protect the magical creatures who live there. After a long courtship, Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson) of the neighboring kingdom Ulstead proposes to her, and the pair plan to wed.

Bad feelings exist between the Moors and Ulstead, and that extends to Maleficent as well as Philip’s parents King John (Robert Lindsay) and Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer). However, the betrothed couple get the parents to meet, and this leads to a formal dinner party at the Ulstead castle.

This goes poorly, and Maleficent reacts angrily. She appears to place a sleeping curse on King John, and tensions increase mightily between the two lands. Aurora works to resolve the problems and keep the peace, a factor that becomes a bigger challenge when she learns of a devious plot enacted by one side of the bargain.

Some movies practically beg to continue via a sequel, whereas others seem much more self-contained, and I think the first Maleficent fell into that last category. Like the original Sleeping Beauty, the film appeared to wrap up the characters and situations in a satisfying manner that didn’t exhibit much need for additional adventures.

When a movie rakes in the bucks ala Maleficent, however, a sequel becomes more inevitable. Whether or not the tale demands an extension, potential profits cannot be ignored!

Don’t expect a third Maleficent, however. Evil fell far short of its predecessor’s grosses, with about half the first flick’s take worldwide.

Why did audiences relatively reject Evil? I suspect they simply lacked much interest in a continuation of the story/characters and felt the first film covered matters.

In terms of movie quality, I see little to differentiate the two. Maleficent brought a watchable but erratic adventure, and Evil follows suit.

Evil loses some points because it seems to forget its title character too much of the time. Jolie largely carried the original flick, and the choice to leave her off-screen for substantial periods of the sequel becomes a mistake.

The film fills these spaces with Aurora and a mix of new supporting characters, none of whom compensate for Maleficent’s absence. Actually, I take that back, as Queen Ingrith adds some intrigue, mainly due to the actor who plays her.

When Jolie and Pfeiffer face off, the movie almost lives up to expectations. Both remain terrific on-screen presences, and their interactions bring enjoyable sparks.

Otherwise, the participants tend to feel anonymous. Fanning can’t make Aurora more than a bland figurehead, and Dickinson defines “milquetoast”.

As with the first movie, dodgy computer-generated creatures also damage the production. Even the humanoid fairies fail to convince and look consistently phony. Given how many CG characters we find, this becomes a real concern.

In the positive side, Evil boasts some good battles, and the big action climax manages a reasonable level of excitement. Director Joachim Rønning gives these elements a decent sense of coherence amid the mayhem and brings some zing to the fights.

All of this seems enough to turn Evil into a spotty but moderately entertaining movie. Nothing about it seems likely to impress the viewer, but it brings a painless 118 minutes of adventure.


The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B+/ Bonus D+

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. For the most part, this became a pleasing presentation.

Sharpness worked very well, with virtually no softness on display. Instead, the image offered nice delineation and accuracy, even in wider shots.

I saw no signs of jaggies or moiré effects, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws also remained absent.

With its fantasy setting, I hoped for a broad, bold palette from Evil. Though some more vivid hues emerged on occasion, I found a largely orange and teal affair. Trite as that might be, the colors looked well-rendered for their intentions.

Though blacks could be a little crushed, they usually showed nice depth. Shadows became a minor weakness, as low-light shots tended to seem a bit too dark. I thought the image still merited a “B”, but the issues with darker scenes made it less appealing than anticipated.

As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack, it made pretty good use of the soundscape, especially in the film’s various action/fantasy moments. Those placed material around the room in a logical manner and blended the material in a smooth way.

Music showed good stereo presence and spread to the surrounds naturally. Environmental material felt logical and well-located.

Audio quality matched expectations. Music appeared lush and full, with good clarity and range.

Dialogue came across as concise and distinctive, while effects appeared accurate and bold. Those components boasted deep low-end. This became a more than satisfactory mix.

A smattering of extras fill out the disc, and we get three featurettes. Origins of the Fey runs three minutes, two seconds and offers notes from actor Angelina Jolie.

She offers some notes about the movie’s fairy characters. This becomes more of an environmental message than anything about the movie.

Aurora’s Wedding goes for two minutes, 31 seconds and includes comments from and actors Elle Fanning and Harris Dickinson. They offer fluffy comments about the title subject in this forgettable reel.

Finally, If You Had Wings spans four minutes, 15 seconds and features Jolie, 2nd unit director Simon Crane, and visual effects supervisor Gary Brozenich.

“Wings” brings some notes about how they executed flying scenes. While more informative than the first two featurettes, it doesn’t deliver much substance.

A VFX Reel lasts two minutes, 11 seconds and adds notes from Fanning, Brozenich and producer Jeff Kirschenbaum. Mainly we see before/after shots that show the impact of CG imagery. It’s a decent comparison compilation.

In addition to a collection of Outtakes (1:55), we find two Extended Scenes. We get “The Queen Comforts Aurora” (2:00) and “Philip and Aurora Dance” (1:32).

The two extended scenes add a little to the Aurora/Queen Ingrith dynamic, but they don’t give us much. The “Outtakes” acts as a standard blooper reel and seems typical for the genre.

A music videofor Bebe Rexha’s “You Can’t Stop the Girl” also appears. It mixes movie clips with Rexha and others as they convey a female empowerment message.

I guess. Rexha also frolics in a fairy tale setting, so the social meaning becomes muddled. Still, I’ve seen worse videos for songs from movies, even if the melody reminds me strongly of another tune I can’t identify right now.

The disc opens with ads for Onward and Mulan (2020). No trailer for Mistress appears here.

A second disc brings a DVD copy. It includes none of the Blu-ray’s extras.

As far as action/fantasy movies go, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil proves perfectly watchable. Though it never turns into anything special, it manages to give us moderate entertainment. The Blu-ray boasts strong audio, generally good visuals and a disappointing set of supplements. Fans of the prior film should continue to enjoy the sequel.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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