Tag Archives: Maleficent

Vidding Projects Completed in 2014

Since November 2012, I have returned to a more regular vidding practice. I can’t believe that in August 2015, it will mark a decade indulging in this hobby! So, here is the result of the videos completed last year. If they are online, I include the link, but not all are already posted, especially the five I made for my parents as a Christmas gift set.

Photo Credit: Jeff Sheldon.

Photo Credit: Jeff Sheldon.

Movie Review: Maleficent

Since the first time I heard about the project of the movie Maleficent, I had been looking forward to watching it. Sleeping Beauty has been my favorite Disney movie since I was a child; and Maleficent one of my all time favorite villains, right up there with Darth Vader. I had also believed that Angelina Jolie would be a wonderful actress to portray Maleficent. I was proven right.

I had huge expectations for this movie, so I knew I had the risk to be sorely disappointed. Yet, I was blown away. It went beyond everything I had hoped for. I loved this. It was amazing in every way. Even Elle Fanning who plays Aurora, was great, despite my worries. Neither her nor the actress portraying Aurora in Once Upon A Time are like I picture Aurora in my head, but both of them did a good job.

Source: Disney Wiki.

Source: Disney Wiki.

Starting the narrative when Maleficent was a young girl was a brilliant idea and brought a lot to the story and her personal development. Her friendship with future King Stefan and then his betrayal was horrible and explained a lot of how she got lost in anger and sadness. Seeing her reconsider her choices and want something better not just for her, but for people around her, including Diaval and Aurora, was very powerful.

I loved seeing the relationship between Maleficent and Aurora since she was a baby was one of the best parts of the movie. It was quite a feminist movie and it was positively refreshing. I was particularly sensitive to how Maleficent doesn’t like children and has to get used to Aurora and ends liking her. And the twist of the “true love kiss” was amazing and so powerful. I also had no idea about Maleficent becoming her complete self again at the end of the movie.

There were so many little things, some emotional, some funny, that brought added greatness to the story and the dynamics between the characters. The visuals, costumes and soundtrack were beautifully done. it is a movie that I will rewatch quite many times in the years to come and it wouldn’t surprise me if I end writing papers related to this.

Maleficent New Trailer And Feminism, Writing, Star Wars, Tolkien and Batman Related Links

Over the past couple of days, I have compiled a few links to share here, but having been mostly busy with my book introduction and a couple other things, I don’t have many updates to share. So, I decided to use the excuse of the recent Maleficent trailer to post so I could add my list of links! I can’t wait for Maleficent. At each new bits of promotion, I get more excited about this movie. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

Links: Feminism, Writing, Star Wars, Tolkien, Batman

Star Wars Razor’s Edge, Ender’s Game And Disney Princesses

I finished to read the Star Wars novel Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge by Martha Wells. Leia Organa is the main focus of the story, which takes place a short while before The Empire Strikes Back. I can say this is one of my favorite pieces from the Star Wars Expanded Universe. The tone and story are pure Star Wars. The characters we know are perfectly portrayed. Wells gives true justice to Leia and it is a joy to see her get the spotlight so much.

There are two main things I loved besides Leia as the general center of the narrative. The first is how both Leia and other survivors deal with the aftermath of Alderaan destruction. It was poignant and brought up a lot of things regarding the civil war and the choices people make when grieving. The other element that completely won me over is the interaction between Han and Leia. You can really see the attraction and friendship having grown and how they still get on each other’s nerves. It was the perfect build up for The Empire Strikes Back!

I also got to see Ender’s Game today. I had started to read the book in Fall 2012 and a friend gave me a copy of it back then. Life got in the way and it is still on my to read shelf. Watching the movie adaptation made me very eager to pick up the book and finally read it fully. I enjoyed the movie overall. The execution was well done from the stunning visuals to the powerful original score – one of Steve Jablonsky’s best places.

I was happy to see Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley being the great actors they can be. It is always a treat and in the back of my mind I was all squealing about how I wanted to see Ford return as an aged Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars movies. My big issue with the movie was a good number of the young actors, including the main one. I disliked them a lot and it was hard to engage with the story on a regular basis because I didn’t really buy their performances.

Earlier tonight I reblogged a post by my friend Rose about Disney princesses. I always enjoy reading her point of view, but this post found a strong echo in my own view of the topic discussed. I am not going to repeat everything I agree with, as it would basically be the whole post. I find it important to consider how these movies and characters are much more complex and interesting than they can be given credit for.

I loved how Rose considered Nala from The Lion King as a Disney Princess! I’ve always thought that myself and I find that Nala was a huge moment in the Disney movie history as a female character. The same way it is worthy of pointing out how Sarabi, Simba’s mother, also is an interesting female character.

This post also made me think of how I loved my Barbie dolls when I was a little girl. I played with them as much as with more “boy toys”. Just like Disney Princesses, most Barbie dolls weren’t just skinny but also white. Yet, my parents found it great to get me all the different ones that sometimes came out, like the 1991 Maoni one. I had a collection of not just white and blond dolls. And while I started retelling fairy tales and other stories, I soon began to play Star Wars stories with them. Up to that day, I remember which doll I used for which Star Wars character, including from the Expanded Universe.

So, I watched Disney movies and still have great fondness for some of them, including the female characters, and I played with Barbie dolls when a child, but first of all it wasn’t all I grew up with, and then I was told that it was make believe. I also grew up with heroines as diverse as Leia Organa (Star Wars), Jo March (Little Women), Yoko Tsuno (Yoko Tsuno) to name a few very significant ones.

Finally, I want to address a point that Rose made in her short Cutting Room Floor Tumblr post, in relation to the Disney topic. Maleficent remains one of my favorite villains all media and narrative sources considered. This character was actually the one big disappointment I had so far in Once Upon A Time. I love the show to pieces, and I like the actress who portrays Maleficent, but I find that they completely messed up the character in the show. She was great in her dragon form at least! Maleficent still scares me and is such a finely crafted villain. It is why I am very much looking forward to the movie with Angelina Jolie.

More (Belated?) Spring Cleaning

After my last post about my plans to take a break in December, I realized that my original approach wasn’t going to work, given how my mind tends to be on overload more often than not. If I don’t get everything sorted out and ready for me to truly take a break, if I leave anything that can lure me into working on projects, I know I won’t be able to really take a break.  So, I sat down today, decided not to write more of my chapter today, as to focus on what else I could get done this month.

So, today, I have sent my finished chapter (the extended version of my Sam Worthington paper  (whose original version was published last month) to the volume editor. I have also gone through all my paper folders, reorganizing everything in better folders, so that it is easier to browse. I also cleaned and updated my master list of paper ideas, from essays to full fledged books. In that last case, I also typed up all my notes for the structure of my book idea about Yoko Tsuno. Finally, I have prepared the fully detailed structure of a paper I am planning to write and submit for April next year, about the old Star Wars video game Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight.

Of course, my brain is already inclined to work on that paper this month, but I won’t get sidetracked from my book chapter. If I finish it early, I might give a try to the Jedi Knight paper later this month, but I’m not including it in my writing goal so far. I still have the feeling of burn out lurking quite closely so I am careful not to pile too many things up. So my two goals right now remain the book chapter and the co-editing work on the eBook.

And on a final note, I have to say how excited I am about the upcoming movie Maleficent with Angelia Jolie, which comes out next year. Sleeping Beauty has always been my favorite Disney animated movie and I think that Jolie is the perfect Maleficent. The visuals look stunning and I can’t wait for the movie to come out next summer!