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Maleficent – Mistress of all Evil (Review)

So, I am a HUGE Disney fan. I think it’s an osmosis thing as my father is also a huge Disney buff and, in fact has a Disney room in my parent home. Oddly enough, however, I was never into the Princesses or Fairies or anything like that. Granted, I had a soft spot for Ariel cause, well, a red-headed mermaid that LOVES to sing? Yeah, that one’s right up my alley.

ariel_little_mermaid_high_quality_wallpaper

But ultimately, I was a Disney Villains girl through and through – to include Stitch.

 

 

 

But always, ALWAYS my favorites were the Evil Queen (lesser known as Queen Grimhilde; it’s no wonder she was so obsessed with vanity with a name that would cause me to be sour too!)

 

However, my heart tried and true always went to Maleficent. Yes, she’s an evil fairy. Yes, she curses a baby to die on her 16th birthday for nothing more than just being born and spiting the King and Queen to whom she was born. But there was something about the woman that just resonated with me. Not sure what that says about ME per se, but c’est la vie!

I was thrilled when Once Upon A Time mentioned that they would indeed have Maleficent in the show, as I fell in love with Lana Parrilla playing Regina/Evil Queen to counter Ginnifer Goodwin‘s Snow White. But I wasn’t at all happy with the work up that Maleficent got in the show and was duly disappointed in how she was portrayed.

Though played by Kristen Bauer van Straten (the infamous Pam from True Blood; so there was promise at least), OUaT’s Maleficent not only looked horrible, but lacked everything that she was supposed to be – wicked, delightful, elegant and menacing. Instead OUaT’s take on her was a cast off character who paled in ability next to the Evil Queen (which, as much as I LOVE Regina in the show, c’mon!) and who was at best fodder. Even in her dragon form, she was no match for, well, anyone. That is nothing against Mrs. Bauer van Straten at all. It’s simply how OUaT’s writers developed (or better, didn’t develop) the character. She had no OOMPH and even a solid actress in evil roles like Kristen couldn’t salvage her. I was ultimately disappointed at the loss of opportunity and potential for a good, solid, antagonist in the show to play off against Lana Parrilla. (Think of the triangle that would have made!) But I get it, with Regina and the formidable Robert Carlyle as devious, witty, insane and  twisty Rumpelstiltskin, there would have been far too many villains for one show.

Needless to say, when I saw the initial teasers of Angelina Jolie portraying Maleficent in a full length movie, I was cautiously optimistic. I LOVE Angie, for a whole slew of reasons but also cause knowing her past, I knew she’d have to have to have some idea how Maleficent should be. Then when I started to see the trailers for the actual movie, I got really, really excited. She looked correct. She had the poise, grace, elegance and dripped in wicked from the scenes that they showed us. Now, lets just hope that the story and direction held up to the aesthetic.

Could I be optimistic? The more I saw the more anticipation grew.

Now,  I haven’t been to an actual theater in over three years now. Its generally not worth the costs anymore and with a 52 inch flat screen and premium sound system at home with over 500 channels available to me, going to the movies and paying the exorbitant prices for them just isn’t my cup of tea anymore. I used the be the person that would boundfully take in at least one movie a weekend, if not more, and would gladly stand in lines for over an hour on opening night to be among the first to see a much-anticipated film. Not so much anymore. But Maleficent, she got me out of the house and into my local AMC on opening night no less. (Though apparently, no one goes to the movies anymore either as the 9:45 showing on a Friday was practically empty.)

Worse, as I sat down I prepared myself for the possibility that my expectations would not be lived up to (as is the case in far too many instances when it comes to retellings or reconstructions of much beloved characters) and settled in with my $11 cherry coke and popcorn.

I wont go into too many details with the story line itself because, ultimately, it’s rewriting that we thought we knew about the Mistress of All Evil. Jolie is a little too over the top in spots and I think there was some footage left on the cutting room floor which could have been added (the movie clocked in at an hour and 38 minutes, so they had a little room for additions) BUT the camp fits and isn’t over done so much that it turns the drama of the important moments into a comedy. There are, of course, the endearing moments and Maleficent is more than just a wickedly delicious evil fairy. Far more than that in fact.

Visually the movie is stunning and The Moors are someplace I would love to be able to live myself. Action fares well, and they dont scrimp on it. Magic, of course, abounds, and though the movie is quick there is decent character development in everyone except Aurora, who rightfully so is more an afterthought in this movie than in the original animated feature of her own name. Elle Fanning is somewhat annoying as Aurora actually as Aurora in the animated film comes across far more mature and intelligent than Fanning’s portrayal.

None the less, I enjoyed it and would gladly see it again, though I’m not sure I’m willing to shell out another $22 to see it. Maybe next time I’ll skip the soda and popcorn. Its a good film to take children over 6 to as some of the creatures may scary them just in their visage, but though the violence is well done, there is no blood that I saw and death was implied. Either way, it will be one I add to my collection when it becomes available on Blu-Ray and ultimately, I wasn’t at all upset with the retelling and was quite pleased with the work up that my favorite Disney character received. It makes me love her all the moor…

 

get it?

 

See what I did there?

Tummy Troubles

Went home early from work because I had a serious case of tummy yuck and the sincere feeling like a MAC truck had hit me. I was falling asleep at my desk so thankfully work understood and let me head home to rest. I should be good for work tomorrow which would be of great benefit. I hate missing out on a few hours pay, but I certainly needed the rest. Came home and slept for close to four hours!

Made the mistake of getting McDonald’s for dinner. Ugh. Tummy is icky again. I REALLY have to break this McDonald’s habit I have. That and soda. Soft drinks are going to be the death of me. Some people it’s gambling, alcohol, drugs, coffee (namely Starbucks) etc. For me, it’s soda pop..primarily McDonald’s coke and Cherry Coke. OMG yum.

Needless to say, coming home early meant no walking for me today and I’ll need to make up some hours during lunch the next few days so I’m going to have to find creative ways to get my exercise in for the week. I’ll manage.

Life is hectic, insane and rather uncertain right now. Lots going on and not quite ready to talk about it all just yet.

 

Been A Bit…

And I promised myself I would try to update this blog at least once a week, but for some reason the last few weeks that has gotten away from me. Maybe it’s work, school, training and general family stress across the board. Maybe its just that I simply haven’t had time.

I know everyone goes through that. I just don’t want this to become one of those things I start and never ‘finish.’ Course, it’s a blog so when is it every really done, right?

My training is going well, though I would like to do more and I certainly need to start adding more strength training to the mix. This week, my intention is to do my distance run tomorrow (Sunday); the training schedule says to do 7 miles, but that was if I were training for the 10-miler. I am going to do 4. I’ve done 5 in the past, but I’m running the 5K this go round for my first official race, so I figure 4 should take the car. I’ve been averaging 2.4 in the 30 minute timed runs during the week. My other intention is to also run the first mile without stopping. THAT I should be able to do. Will keep you posted for tomorrow on that one!

I also need to work more on my nutrition. What I have been finding is that I truly want to eat cleaner. Granted, I give myself the leeway to have junk every now and again. But the McDonald’s and what not needs to be cut out completely. Even on the few occasions I’ve ‘indulged’ in the Golden Arches, I haven’t felt very good after and its impacted my running.

I’ve also slowly started to incorporate protein powder (non-creatine variety) into my regime to help fuel my runs and burn off some of the extra fat I have that I want to get rid of. I’ll write more on that later.

To quote Walt Disney “Keep Moving Forward….”

 

F&*K Cancer!

There was an interesting thing that happened to me today. I found out that our new HR person is dealing with a family member in the late stages of cancer. We talked a lot about it and I am glad that they entrusted me enough to confide in me that information.

I then came home to be informed that my uncle, who has been battling cancer himself, has been told today that all they can do now is make him as comfortable as possible. That’s it, so sorry, we are going to give up on you.

I’ve lot too many people to this disease, and all young, vibrant and happy people who didnt deserve it. No one deserves it. (Okay, well Hitler deserved it) But here I am watching my father deal with the knowledge that his youngest brother will likely pass before he does and that another member of my family will likely become another statistic.

All I can say is that I hope he, and everyone else dealing with this insidious disease, fights. Fight like hell. Fight like your life, and those of your family, depends on it because it does and there is SOOO much to live for. Attitude is that ultimate life saver and I can only hope that in spite of the news my uncle was provided today, he soldiers through it. I pray for that to whatever Powers That Be will listen.

Love is…

choosing to stay even when things aren’t ideal. In this day and age when kids are looking for instant gratification, when you can access anything online and the next best thing is just around the corner, it’s no wonder that the divorce rate in America is so high. Gone is the generation that knows, needs and understands you have to work at things. Those are the folks that find love and stay married for 20, 30, 40+ years. 

Why is that? What makes that love? Love isn’t a Disney movie, though there are things in Disney movies which are realistic and what one should work towards. (If you’re curious what I mean, just go to Pinterest!) Love isnt a fairy tale. Once the honeymoon is over and the chemicals are settled down, you have to decide every day is this where you want to be? Is this who you want to be with? Can you imagine living another day without that voice, that face, that smile, that being next to you? 

You may not like that person RIGHT NOW. You may wake up and something happens and you’re angry and upset with that person. But just because in this moment you are unhappy, either with them, or with yourself, that doesnt mean that the next moment things may change. 

Just because TODAY was tough doesnt mean that tomorrow will be. 

And that’s where I think that this generation coming up is missing the mark and doesnt understand what previous generations, the ones that made it 30+ years together, understands. If you wake up and EVERY DAY is miserable, then yes, get out. If the relationship is abusive then you had BETTER get out. But if its just today, then stick with it if you love this person. Life isn’t ideal, its not a fairy tale and that high you feel in the beginning wont always be. To believe that is to be unrealistic and to set yourself up for disaster. 

Love is perseverance, understanding, empathy, communication, patience, and most importantly….WORK. 

5 Miles DOWN!

So yesterday I decided to take my first outside run. Of course, I planned this on a day where training wise, I should be running 5 miles. Not a 5k, but -5 miles-.

I wasnt sure in which direction around my home I was going to go, but I somehow managed it. Around the 5K mark I considered calling it a day since I was close enough to home that I could, but I really wanted to see if I could go the goal and in what time.

I’m rather stubborn that way.

I pushed on through the heat and sweat and soreness I felt setting in to my legs.

AND I DID IT! Even more importantly to me, I did it while still maintaining an average page of 12.57 minutes per mile. If I can do this at 5 miles, I can certainly do it at a 5k!

Thanks to my trusty Nike App, I knew where I was and how I was doing.

Thanks to my trusty Nike App, I knew where I was and how I was doing.

Then it was off to EPCOT center to visit with some family that’s in town and beat my body up some more.  Plus, it was some good testing for how race day is likely to be once it rolls around. 🙂

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