Monday, March 22, 2010

Movie Monday - Adventures in Underland

Alice in Wonderland

Released: March 5, 2010

Written by: Linda Woolverton based on the novel by Lewis Carroll

Directed by: Tim Burton

Well, I went to see this movie in 3D – my first 3D movie ever – and boy was that a waste of money. Maybe it’s just my eyes but there were so many parts where things were completely blurry or out of focus that shouldn’t have been. I think that I would have had a much better time if I had just gone for the regular format and saved a few dollars. I did get those cool glasses though…

Anyways, that aside, I really did enjoy this interpretation of the book. I liked how it was made so that Alice was older and had forgotten Wonderland except in her nightmares. It was interesting to see her as a haunted young lady who makes her way back to Wonderland – which is really Underland – and is able to discover her true self and find out how to live her own life. It was a great mixing of concepts from both the original Wonderland and the sequel Through the Looking Glass. How they made the Red Queen more like the Queen of hearts was amazing and the script was able to maintain the key characters (like the Tweedles, the Cheshire Cat, the Jabberwocky, the White Rabbit), while cutting those who really didn’t need to be there (Bill the Lizard, the Mock Turtle, Dinah, the Kings). Also, how they incorporated both the decks of cards from the first book and the chess pieces from the second was genious.

Tim Burton also brought a lot to it. I think that he was able to truly capture the essence of Wonderland and transmit that to the screen. His well-known looks for his films was wonderful, though I think that it could have been a little more.

Something that I didn’t like about this film was the constant Mad Hatter story arcs. While I can see that his character was ideal for the role that he played towards Alice, the amount of time that Johnny Depp spent on-screen was just a bit too much. At times it seemed as though it were a little more about him than Alice, which takes away from the entire point of Alice being there.

The acting was superb, though. I thought that the casting was a perfect fit and there wasn’t a downfall from having such a large star-studded cast like you get with some big budget movies with several Hollywood icons. The cast seemed to be able to work together and flow well. Anne Hathaway was ideal as the White Queen though I did find her characterization a little fluffy at times. And of course, Helena Bonham Carter was phenomenal as usual playing the slightly psychotic Red Queen.

Finally, the make-up; oh god the make-up. It was phenomenal. The colours and the contouring and the elaborations of facial features were so cool to look at while the movie was going on. Also how they made Alice look more alive as the movie neared it end was a nice reflection on how she was changing as a person. It just added another layer to the movie as a whole to make it an artistic masterpiece.

In the end, though, I give this movie a 6/10. I think that had I of seen it in 2D that might be different, but on the whole it was a good interpretation with great visuals, but too much Johnny and too little 3D that worked for me.

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