By Caleb Coggeshall
Every once in a great while, Hollywood comes out with a movie that is brilliant and that the general movie-going audience loves. But most of the time they shuck out duds that they try to disguise as thought-provoking and exciting. This is certainly not a comprehensive list, but these are seven fairly recent motion pictures that fit into this niche. (Possible spoilers ahead).
1. Maleficent (2014)
Nobody wants to know the backstory of a villain (especially a Disney villain) in this much detail. Don’t make more out of a character than they really are. Origin stories are rarely needed—or interesting.
The film centers around our title character and how she became such a nasty person. You see, Maleficent is not evil, she’s misunderstood. She has her wings cut off by a pig-headed boy (who was supposed to kill her), so that gives her every excuse to make everyone as miserable as she is. One major problem is that we don’t know how we’re supposed to feel about Maleficent: should we empathize with her, or ostracize her as the cold hearted fairy she is? In a movie aimed at primarily young people, our attitude towards the villain needs to be clear, cut and dry. Not muddled.
On top of all that, the story plays out as it’s supposed to (for the most part). Most of us are familiar with Sleeping Beauty, so there are really no surprises or revelations along the way. This film is basically Sleeping Beauty with a forty-five minute prologue.