Sunday, March 7, 2010

POPped Review: Alice in Wonderland

Tim Burton has put his unique vision on the Lewis Carroll stories of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It's a vision that shows us a version of this world that we've never experienced. But that's not really a bad thing. Tim's touch compliments this story. There was only one moment of WTF for me, and we'll touch on this later..

Tim Burton has created Wonderland in a way we've never seen before, but one has to wonder if Carroll would think, "Yup, this is what I was thinking when I was high." While Alice in Wonderland does not push the boundaries of film making or 3D, it uses the tools to create a depth that immerses you into the world. From the moment Alice spots the White Rabbit, until the moment she faces off against the Jabberwocky. (Sidenote: It was great of Tim Burton to use hints of original book art work of Alice facing the Jabberwocky as the drawing in the scroll.) You can feel the danger around the corner but at the same time have the desire to explore more of this land. Luckily we do get to see quite a bit of it.

Everyone's performances in the movie were great. Crispon Glover as the Knave of Hearts treads close to campy but kept it from being over the top. Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen had the right touch of mean to make it work. Anne Hathaway as the White Queen had a perfect blend of silliness and sincerity to bring off the compassion. Mia Wasikowski had an innocence to her performance that made her naivety as Alice believable. Of course Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter brings us a performance that has a good balance of madness, sorrow and cleverness. However it is something with his character that brought the movie to a screeching halt towards the end of the movie. **SPOILER ALERT** He and other characters comment on how they can't wait to see him do his "futterwacken" dance once the White Queen is back. They keep mentioning this throughout the movie and we expect a silly little jig. Instead we get an out of place hip-hop number complete with lame attempt at hip-hop music from the composer. Alice then later attempts to show this dance in an act of defiance against those that try to arrange her in marriage. What was supposed to be a strong moment just comes off as dumb. This was really the only downfall of the movie, but it was enough to bring me out of the story and think, "WTF?!?"

Aside from those that we mentioned, the voice casting is excellent as well. Steven Fry as the Cheshire Cat, Steve Lucas as TweedleDee and TweedleDum and Alan Rickman as the Caterpillar are fantastic.

Tim Burton has redeemed himself from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and brought to life the world of Lewis Carroll in a way only he could. Do yourself a favor and be sure to see this movie in 3D. While 3D is now becoming a gimmick (sadly), this is a movie whose world has to be seen this way in order to really experience it. It's a journey you'll love.

Review POPped by Jungle Jesse

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review, Jesse. I look forward to seeing it soon.