Davis: One villain, two comedies
Maleficent is a live-action re-imagining of Disney’s 1959 animated classic Sleeping Beauty. Probably the most well known Disney villain, the movie is told from the point of view of Maleficent herself and how she changed from a beautiful young woman with an idyllic life in a peaceful forest kingdom into the vengeful witch that placed the curse on Princess Aurora.
Angelina Jolie is perfectly cast as Maleficent and Elle Fanning is Aurora. Disney has had a lot of success re-imagining classic fairy tales like Alice in Wonderland and Oz the Great and Powerful plus their successful TV series Once Upon a Time.
Although this is the first movie Robert Stromberg has directed, he was the Oscar-winning production designer for both Avatar and Alice in Wonderland as well as Oz the Great and Powerful. Apparently, Stromberg and his team have been able to recreate the look of the animated film in a live-action setting. Another consistency with the original is the use of the song Once Upon a Dream performed by Lana Del Rey.
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane follows up the success of Ted with A Million Ways to Die in the West. He not only writes, produces and directs but he stars in this story as a cowardly sheep farmer who backs out of a gunfight. But he begins to find his courage when a mysterious and beautiful woman (Charlize Theron) rides into town and they begin to fall in love. The only problem is her ex is a notorious outlaw.
Expect many laughs and shocks with co-stars Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman and Liam Neeson.
Former Kelowna resident Taylor Kitsch stars in Don McKellar’s The Grand Seduction, a comedy set in a small Newfoundland fishing village whose residents must conspire to charm a big-city doctor into become the town’s full-time physician.
Irish-born actor Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges) leads the townspeople in this comedy that looks both sweet and funny. It is a remake of the award-winning French-language film Seducing Doctor Lewis.