Stars: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning
Plot: The untold story of how Maleficent came to be and the story behind the story of Sleeping Beauty is finally revealed.
Clint Says: Buy this DVD now
Unlike many film critics, I am a sucker for a good Disney flick, so walking in to see MALEFICENT I had high hopes that it would live up to the incredible trailers and that the story they chose for her would be worthy of a film of this magnitude. My high hopes were met with an astoundingly epic movie that was suspenseful, charming, and funny.
Kudos to the special effects team. If they aren't nominated for an OSCAR there is something wrong in Hollywood. The creatures' texture and movement is as close to real as I have ever seen in a movie. Their attention to detail was so precise that you almost feel like you can reach out and touch the scenery.
Angelina Jolie puts the entire cast and crew on her back and carries them all to the finish. She is Maleficent, and if you aren't completely enamored with her by the end of the film we probably need to break up. As for the secondary characters (read: everybody but Angelina), they do a fine job of supporting Jolie without getting in the way of her stellar performance.
My only beef with this film are two gaping plot holes near the end that are obvious enough that even casual movie-goers will most-likely notice them. Aside from that though, MALEFICENT is one of the best movies of the year.
Rated - PG-13
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane
Plot: A mercenary fights alongside a small band of warriors while trying to live up to the legend of Hercules
Clint Says: Rent this DVD as soon as you can
This film really surprised me. I'm typically not a fan of Greek legend movies because they are either over the top with violence or long and plodding. HERCULES is neither. It is action-packed, fast-paced, thrilling, humorous, and the story is compelling and well done.
This is a new take on the legend and myth of Hercules that will satisfy fans of the classic Hercules story as well as fans of good action flicks.
Dwayne Johnson does a marvelous job of portraying Hercules, but in a way that doesn't make the demi-god too serious. Ian McShane is a scene stealer throughout, and the rest of Hercules's team round out a fun cast with great on-screen chemistry.
The special effects are well done and not overbearing. You'll want to see this on as big a screen with the best sound system possible.
It's nice to see that someone finally made a movie about Hercules that is worth seeing and is not only entertaining, but fun and exciting as well.
PLANES: FIRE AND RESCUE
Rated - PG
Stars: Dane Cook, Ed Harris
Plot: Dusty becomes a firefighter after pushing his engine too hard while racing.
Clint Says: Rent this DVD for the kids and leave the room
This movie has a lot of action and adventure for the younger crowd, but parents will not be amused. The plot has potential but the execution is fair at best. It feels like the honchos on this film just went through the motions knowing that no matter how good or bad it is it will still draw crowds and make a nice profit.
I will say that the animation in PLANES is spectacular. In fact, there are a couple of scenes that I thought might be real. If incredible, true-to-life animation is your motivation then this movie will blow your mind.
One aspect of the film that some movie-goers will not appreciate is the seemingly constant use of plays on words to make it sound like the characters are cursing. One example being when Dusty says, "I kicked As...ton Martin." I'm really not sure why the creators of films for kids do this. It adds nothing to the movie and offends a portion of the crowd.
The movie does have a few good lessons on listening, patience and perseverance, but I wouldn't say that it is worth the price of buying the DVD. A single viewing will be satisfactory for most people.