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Archive for the ‘Alice in Wonderland – 2010’ Category

Alice in Wonderland (2010) – review

Alice in Wonderland – Viewed 3/6/10


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“Alice in Wonderland” was hands down my favorite book as a child, and to this day I am still enthralled by the complex, wonder-ous, compelling story. When I first heard Tim Burton was going to make his version of the book I could not friggin wait, and to me it seemed like a no brainer.

The film has all of the trademarks of a Tim Burton film. Visually it is quite stunning in every aspect, and he has created his vision of Wonderland, somewhat dark and disturbing, yet bright and colorful at the same time. I saw the film in 3-D and I have to say I just don’t think I am a fan of 3-D pictures. The idea of 3-D is to make everything seem more lifelike and engross you more in the film. I honestly think the opposite is true. I think 3-D is very limiting. To much focus is attached to the Z-Axis of the film, and in actuality squeezes the Y and X axis of the film making it much smaller than it would be watching it in 2-D. If you don’t believe me take your glasses of during a part that doesn’t have much depth of field and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. It is because of this that the picture suffers at times, and more importantly the story. Burton is more worried about throwing things at the screen than he is about a solid story. I wish I would have just seen the 2-D version of the film, also because I walked out of there with a massive headache.

Now I must say overall I enjoyed the film from a visual standpoint. It was entertaining, had great visuals, and good characters…however….here is my biggest problem with the film, and ultimately why I think the film failed….

 

SPOILER ALERT!!
“Alice in Wonderland” is not Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” it is a sequel to his beloved classic. It is 13 years after Alice first fell down the rabbit hole, and on the day of her engagement to an uptight Lord, she once again falls down the rabbit hole back into the on-goings of Wonderland. Now I find this interesting that she would re-visit Wonderland, having no knowledge of her first visit. This is actual the concept for a video game created in the late 90’s, that was in production to be a film itself. This version is an extreme dark tale of Alice’s return to Wonderland. This is nowhere near Burton’s film. In Burton’s return, she does everything exactly the same way, and everything folds out exactly the same way. So does Wonderland, (oh and by the way it’s not called Wonderland it’s called Underland this time…huh?), just run on some infinite loop in which she defeats the Jabberwocky only to return to her world, to fall back down the hole, in attempt to do it again in the EXACT SAME WAY?

So she goes through all of the same motions of drinking the potion, and eating the cake, and meeting the rabbit, except it becomes a hyper-shortened version of her first events, and we don’t come close to meeting half of the wonderful characters we met the first time. The film almost basterdizes (is that a word?) Carroll’s classic tale of events. If you are going to make a sequel to the events of “Alice in Wonderland”, and “Through the Looking Glass” then MAKE A SEQUEL! The film confuses itself in this regard and actually pisses me off. Instead it sounds to me like a studio wanted to cash in on some quick plot devices, dumb the film down, and crank out this 3-D cash cow. Also the whole point of Alice going to Wonderland is that she grows up from a stubborn little child to a girl with substance and ideas about life and the world in general. The book is a metaphor for putting away childish things. If this is a sequel did she forget all about this and go back to being a snobby little bitch? “Oh Alice is a little brat again, let’s send her back to Wonderland, sorry Underland or whatever the fuck it’s called now, to snap some sense in to her.”

SPOILER END

If you read that little bit you will understand why I was pretty disappointed in the film overall. That being said it does have some great visual moments, and also Depp as always is fantastic, as is Mia Wasikowska in the title role. Hathaway as the White Queen though…I’m not sure what was going on there. I think she was strung out on crack or something. This does more than make up for the GIGANTIC mis-cue of the plot, and make the film worth watching in the theater.

Grade: C-