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'Maleficent' disappoints, 'Godzilla' breathes life into an old hit

Caitlin Glasscock

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Summer brought us all the opportunity to unwind after a year of school and a chance to hit the theaters for summer films. Some movies were overhyped and could not live up to their hype while others just went above and beyond expectations.

“Maleficent” is a movie that was hyped and built up for months leading up to the premiere and that drew crowds of devoted Disney fans. Much like a movie remake of a favorite book, the plot should have been left alone. The film played into Disney’s recent female empowerment emphasis; for this film, it worked with the plot well.

“Maleficent” is Hollywood’s newest and darkest spin of the classic “Sleeping Beauty.” With names like Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning and Sharlto Copley gracing the screen, the film should have been destined for success. However, Jolie (Maleficent) is the only saving grace for the cast. Fanning, playing Aurora, was too awkward and erratic to be taken seriously throughout the film, and Copley – King Stefan – is obnoxious and exaggerated.

The visuals were the highlight of the film. Graphically and anesthetically, the film was incredible. Rob Goodwin, who has done costuming work in “Sherlock Holmes,” did an incredible job on Jolie’s costumingfor the majority of the film. In one scene, Jolie’s Maleficent dons tight leather pants and high heels, completely out of context for the character and film.

When “The Purge” came out last year, the idea seemed to be genius for the next series of horror movies but completely crashed and burned, as it was cheesy and had a weak plot. Director James DeMonaco portrayed the grisly depiction of the 12 law-free hours that Americans are granted in the movie.

Many have avoided “The Purge: Anarchy” because of the reputation of the first movie. The second movie has a much more complex plot and character development. Rather than focusing on one family and situation for the entire plot, the movie switches around and shows insight into the complex adventures that connect multiple groups people and scenarios. Despite being remarkably better than its predecessor, the film was still not strong or as powerful as the filmmakers tried to make it seem.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller left everyone laughing with the antics of two drug-busting cops, portrayed by Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. “22 Jump Street” built upon the its predecessor by furthering the relationship of Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum).

Somehow, the film defied movie logic and actually improves upon the first of the series. “22 Jump Street” is an easy-to-watch goofy comedy that creates hilarious situations between the two leads as they go back to a college to work on an undercover drug bust.

“Godzilla” turned a series of cheesy, old-fashioned movies into an emotional action film that, through the utilization of imaginary science and history, brings believability to the existence of a giant lizard. Part of what has made the movie so successful is the constant explanation of how things could happen rather than having everyone in the movie simply accept that giant destructive monsters are just a normal part of their day.

Director Gareth Edwards was able to build up enough human drama to complement the constant action of prehistoric monsters rising from the earth and attacking each other and everything else in sight. The film was definitely a success at bringing the massive “Godzilla” franchise back to life.

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'Maleficent' disappoints, 'Godzilla' breathes life into an old hit