Alice in Wonderland

When I first heard that Tim Burton was doing an Alice in Wonderland movie, I rejoiced. I thought that Burton would take the strange world of Wonderland and make it his own, giving it a new, darker look, and ushering Alice into this century.
Did Alice In Wonderland live up to my expectations and the hype that surrounded it? Not quite, but it was still a pretty good movie. And really, that is the only way to describe the movie in whole, it was okay, nothing more, nothing less.
Story-wise, the movie is more of a sequel to Through the Looking Glass instead of a straight-up adaptation of the original story. I thought that it plodded along at times, and there was no great twist, but it was not too predictable. I got the impression from this movie it was more of a “Look at the pretty visuals and don’t worry about the story so much” (although it certainly isn’t as bad as Avatar in that area). It might have been the needlessly long panoramas of landscapes that happened at times, instead of focusing on the actors.
The animation was fairly good, except I thought that in a few parts it looked less than perfect. The CGI capture’s Burton’s unique art style perfectly, and it is unmistakably one of his films. All the creatures and environments where completely computer-generated, except for the few scenes that took place in the real world at the beginning and end of the movie. Even Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter had his eyes digitally widened.  I thought that in particular the Red Queen was well done, along with the Chesire Cat.
The acting in the movie was okay, although I have seen much better. Depp was great as the Hatter, and he really stole the show for me. The Red Queen, played by Helena Carter, also had a good performance. I didn’t think that Mia Wasikowska as Alice really was able to hold up when on the screen with Depp; although few actors can do that. I felt that the story was more about the Hatter than about Alice, because of her relatively low-key performance. Unfortunately, Alice had easily the worst performance in the movie. I remember one particular scene that was unintentionally hilarious. During the penultimate battle, she ran up to the very top of an ancient ruin, and when she reached the top and almost fell off the edge, she seemed very surprised that the building ended there, even though it was clearly visible from the ground. I also thought that
Tim Burton did do well directing the movie, it has his signature style and strange characters. This movie is certainly not his best, far from it, but saying something is not one of Tim Burton’s best is not saying a lot. I was hoping for one of Tim Burton’s finest, maybe not equal to The Nightmare Before Christmas but up there. I would place this movie slightly better than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and much better than Planet of the Apes (yes, he directed the remake of the 1968 classic), but below most of his other movies. I am glad I did not spend the extra money to go see it in 3D, since I do not believe that it is worth the $12 that it costs. Same thing when it comes out on DVD and BluRay, I would hold off on it until the price comes down some. It is not a waste of your $9 (or $7 if you are cheap like me and go see it as a matinée) and two hours. You could definitely be spending it it in less entertaining ways. As a final bit of perspective, from the group that I went with, three people (including me) gave it positive reviews, and another gave it a negative review.


1 Response to “Alice in Wonderland”

  1. April 1, 2010 at 6:53 pm



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