Maleficent trailer

It was only yesterday that we got our first look at Angelina Jolie‘s glorious wings, but if the new Maleficent trailer is any indication they play a key role in the movie. She’s doing all sorts of things with them in the promo — flying, fending off enemies, unfurling them for dramatic effect, and, most intriguingly, mourning their loss.

Not that she’s any less intimidating without them. The video also shows Maleficent at her most vengeful, putting a curse on a cute little baby and shoving the well-meaning fairies into a box. Watch the latest Maleficent trailer after the jump.

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Maleficent - Angelina Jolie (1)

With about two and a half months to go until the release, Disney has released two more Maleficent posters — one for the U.S. and one for the overseas market. Both feature Angelina Jolie‘s fairy tale villainess and her piercing gaze, but only one takes pains to point out that this is also a Sleeping Beauty movie. Compare and contrast the two after the jump.

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Maleficent header

The live-action fairy tale craze continues this summer with Maleficent, an origin tale of sorts for one of Disney’s most famous villains. And although star Angelina Jolie laughs that it’s “really funny when people say you’d be obvious for a great villain,” these new Maleficent images prove that she is indeed the perfect choice to play the Mistress of All Evil.

Also featured in this latest batch is Aurora a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty, in two different forms: as a teenager played by Elle Fanning, and as a small child played by Jolie’s daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt. Check out all the photos plus a Maleficent EW cover after the jump.

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Maleficent (header)

In Disney’s original Sleeping Beauty, the divide between good and evil was a pretty clear-cut one. Aurora and her beloved Prince Phillip were good, kind people, and Maleficent was a horrible being who cursed an innocent baby to death. But the studio’s upcoming Maleficent suggests that the “real” story may not be so simplistic.

In the Robert Stromberg-directed film, Maleficent (played by Angelina Jolie) starts out every bit as pure and sweet as any Disney princess, until the destruction of her forest kingdom causes her to turn bitter and hateful. The newest promo contrasts the Mistress of All Evil we know from Sleeping Beauty against the complicated woman that Maleficent shows her to be. Watch it after the jump.

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The Boxtrolls

With only two completed feature films under its belt, Laika’s quickly proving itself to be one of the smartest, most creative animation studios working today. Coraline and ParaNorman were wonderful stop-motion pictures gentle enough for kids, but sharp enough for adults. Now an early teaser indicates that their third release, The Boxtrolls, is shaping up to be the same way.

Based on a book by Alan Snow, the film follows a community of monsters living under the streets of Cheesebridge. Despite their fearsome reputation among humans, the Boxtrolls are actually quite sweet, and are in fact raising abandoned orphan (voiced by Isaac Hempstead-Wright, a.k.a. Bran from Game of Thrones) as one of their own. Watch the first brief teaser after the jump.

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Animation house Laika only has two completed features to its name, but thanks to the strength of those two outings (Coraline and ParaNorman), it’s already earned a reputation for unusually smart, creative family fare. Now they’re joining forces with Focus Features a third time for The Boxtrolls, an adaptation of Alan Snow‘s book Here Be Monsters!

Open Season co-director Anthony Stacchi and Coraline/ParaNorman story artist Graham Annable are teaming to direct, with an excellent voice cast that includes Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette, Elle Fanning, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan, Jared Harris (Mad Men) and Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Game of Thrones). Hit the jump for more details.

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Not all child actors transition easily into more grown-up roles, but Elle Fanning looks like an exception to the rule. The younger Fanning sister has been acting since her toddler years, and in recent years has been a standout presence in films like Somewhere, Super 8, and We Bought a Zoo.

She tackles slightly more mature material in Sally Potter‘s coming-of-age tale Ginger & Rosa, playing a 17-year-old teen in ’60s London. Sincere and serious, Ginger throws herself into the fight for nuclear disarmament. Meanwhile, she’s growing apart from her lifelong best friend Rosa (newcomer Alice Englert) and struggling with the breakdown of her own family. Watch the new trailer after the jump.

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Writer/director Sally Potter takes her time, with only six features released after her 1983 debut, The Gold Diggers. Her 1992 movie Orlando helped push Tilda Swinton from the Derek Jarman coterie into the larger indie movie world, but Potter’s own films since have sat pretty firmly on the fringes of art house territory.

Will Ginger & Rosa (once called Bomb) be at all different? It does features prominent roles for recognizable actors like Christina Hendricks, Oliver Platt, Annette Bening, and a rapidly maturing Elle Fanning, who co-stars along with newcomer Alice Englert. And it has the sort of subject matter that audiences take to well: a girl’s coming of age as social mores evolve and political tensions rise.

If nothing else, the film looks gorgeous, so check out the trailer below. Read More »

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