My favorite moment of the Grammys Sunday night was the premiere of the Maleficent trailer set to Lana Del Rey's hypnotically sinister version of Disney's "Once Upon a Dream"! Runner up was Imagine Dragons. Second Runner Up was Madonna resurrecting "Open Your Heart" briefly while people of all persuasions married (awwww) thereby rescuing me from that obnoxious if well-intentioned "Same Love" rap (Keith Urban with his new handsome-lady haircut was also happy to be rescued as he was totally crying. But where was Mrs. Keith Urban Whom We Worship?). Fourth runner up was a tie between Pink and Lorde... but I digress and am running way off track with the tracks.
Let's talk about that "Dream" trailer only we're doing things a smidge differently because we're in a mood. We're going to judge every shot of it with our Yes No Maybe So™ system.
Yes. Start with the awesome silhouette... unless you're a movie poster.
Yes. Candle Blow Out DRAMA
YES. Just the horns. I believe we've met before. Give me the face. Give me the face.
NO. That was not the face I was looking for.
YES. The anticipation is so great. What will she say. Whatever it is. Say it. Say it. SAYYYYY IT.
That'd be a "yes, yes". Love the grin as she moves to the side out of frame
Maybe So. I'm so tired of prequels / remakes / reboots. If you aren't going to tell me anything new...
Maybe So. Flora, Fauna and Merriweather will be hard to pull off. And a lot of these images are super muddy/dark.
YES, get it, Angelina. This frame is like right out of the animated classic, isn't it?
Yes, for the simplicity of the spinning wheel.
Maybe So. I'm tired of all magic being green balls of CGI light.
Yes. Because in the movie's defense, . Disney's original Maleficent imagery does suggest that greenish CGI flames are the way to go.
Yes. Angelina demonstrates my heart exploding while watching this. It's not that I think it's going to be good (the odds are against it, right?) but that my eyeballs want what my eyeballs want.
No. This is not based on a true story.
Maybe So. This shot tells me nothing. Is that a throne of thorns? If so, Yes.
Yes. I love the cheesiness of this shot happening WHILE Lana Del Rey croons...
that look in your eyes is so familiar...
It's like that Literal Music Video craze from some years back.
Yes. Spawn of Jolie-Pitt
No. Who grows up to be Elle Fanning? After Boyhood I want all movies to just film for decades if the actors have to age in them. I'll wait.
YES. I was worried how the thorns might look but love how the thorny enchantments look... at least in teaser and trailer form.
YES. Creepy. Hallucinatory. Not sleepwalking but sleepfloating
Maybe So... back in the palace.
Maybe So. Unless that's Sharlto Copley in which case NO for reasons of overacting in Elysium.
No. slamming a knife into a table. cliche.
No. Armies? Boring.
Yes. Costume change!
Yes. Angelina gives good face.
My film will be called Horses are Pretty. Because horses are pretty."
Maybe So. Nice army shot.
Maybe So. Let the thorn bush growth be not as dumb-fakey as the beanstalk in Jack The Giant Killer
Okay. YES. I was not expecting the thorn to = dragon. Nice one, filmmakers.
NO. it's a pretty shot but it immediately made me think of that very first image in the very first Phantom Menace trailer and how excited we all were and then it all came crashing down once you knew the images in their awful contexts. NO to that memory.
Yes, but did Guillermo Del Toro consult on this or something?
No. The King looks worried and so am I because...
NO Boring battle sequences when what we really want is Prince Charming and the Dragon or the Fairies and their dress-making. I don't want this to be too similar to Snow White and the Huntsman, which, well that movie should've totally been called Ravenna, don'cha know.
NO. I hate the prosthetic cheeks on Angelina. It's like giving a boob job to Dolly Parton.
No. overheard army shot.
NO. This is going to be exactly like Snow White and the Huntsman. Only instead of those glass shard soldiers it's going to be thorn bush soldiers?
NO. The fairies. I'm hating the fairies. Or, rather, I'm worried about the fairies.
YES. What an image even if it's borrowed glories from the impeccable design of the 1959 masterpiece.
Maybe So. More kingdom stuff. Make me care or your movie will die whenever Angelina isn't in close-up.
Maybe So. Oh yeah, Sleeping Beauty is in this story too. But Angelina talks over her.
There is evil in this world - hatred and revenge."
YES. Touch it. It'll only hurt at first.
By now you know this is a yes.
No. This is going to be like when Queen Ravenna sent the soldiers flying up into the air with the glass shard telekinesis in the climax of Show White, right? Although they do look kind of creepy floating up... it's less violent looking than you'd expect.
MAYBE SO. Upgrade to YES if she screams
And all the powers of Hell!
Yes to Angelina Jolie pondering her paycheck looking at Elle
Yes. She is.
YES. Angelina makes a funny, pretending to be upset about the aforementioned "hatred & revenge"
Yes. This is certainly a better pillaging of their animated classic portfoilo than those lousy straight to DVD "sequels"
MAYBE SO. I can't say that any of the names excite me all that much on their own. Let's see what they contribute. I was totally in Sam Riley's corner during Control but since then he's been snoozeville onscreen. "Directed by Robert Stromberg" is nerve-wracking. I hated his Oscar-winning production design on Eyesore in Wonderland so much but this looks comparatively restrained so pluses for that. Maybe he'll make a good director? Crazy that Disney picked a newbie for something this expensive though, right?
YES to Lana Del Rey's "Once Upon a Dream" but if fucking Demi Lovato sings it during the credits I will revolt. (Sorry, I just watched Frozen again and that's such a buzzkill after a great movie. Menzel to Lovato is totally trading down.)
The trailer if you're not already sick of this post and good god, why aren't you?