Seth MacFarlane finally appears in the flesh in A Million Ways to Die in the West. Unfortunately, the flesh is weak. As he has demonstrated in the long-running Family Guy and his phenomenally successful 2012 film Ted, MacFarlane is an overflowingly talented comic writer and voice actor. Kurt Loder writes that here, though, stepping into the spotlight and directing himself in a parody western he cowrote, MacFarlane's anachronistic joke-cracking persona seems too small-screen to anchor a full-scale movie. Loder writes that Maleficent—a live-action take on the studio's 1959 animated classic Sleeping Beauty—is an honorable enterprise, an often-gorgeous kids' movie featuring two strong female characters and dominated by Angelina Jolie in a performance of wonderfully silky restraint.
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