Seth MacFarlane wrote, directed and stars in this meager attempt at a spoof on Westerns. He plays a wimpy sheep farmer who hates living in the wild country and is frustrated in relationships. More disappointingly, there’s too much of his quest for love/courage and not enough pursuit of laffs. Some of the gags are clever, but too many fall flat or never even materialize. On top of that, MacFarlane lacks the gift of a comic actor (refer to the film’s funny standout, Neil Patrick Harris to see how it’s done). The rest of the supporting cast is not drawn with sufficient hilarity. While MacFarlane is a likable presence and the film has a good-natured tone, the potential for outrageous farce lands a dud. NOTE: Sit thru the credits for one final lame gag.
GAY ANGLE: Leave it to the openly gay actor (Harris) to bring the funny (and display his moderately muscled torso).
Director: Robert Stromberg
Writers: Linda Woolverton, Charles Perrault (based from the story “La Belle au bois dormant” by)
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley
Angelina Jolie gets crisply chiseled cheeks and a horned headdress as the villainous star of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty legend. This is one of those origins stories that upends expectations and reveals the sad, touching truth behind the wicked profile. Luckily, Jolie is up to the demands. Her commanding performance is the film’s strongest feature. The writing is not special, the visuals tend toward high-end animation and the 3 fairies that are supposed to provide comic relief don’t. Luckily, its short running time (97 minutes), brisk pace and Jolie’s presence help make this a moderately enjoyable film.
Jerry Williams reviewed movies for WTVR-TV for 14 years and for Style Weekly for 10 years. When he launched his own website in 1998 at TVJerry.com, he took his reviews to the Internet. Through those hundreds of reviews, Jerry kept his sexual orientation muted. So, he's excited to be adding "gay angles" to his postings for GayRVA.com.