Alice in Wonderland (2010)

I saw this movie a week or so ago, and it's taken me a while to get a post up because I have mixed feelings. I thought it was well done, but I really wasn't that impressed. It might be because I'm not that big a fan of computer animation, or because I'm too big a fan of Tim Burton's early work (Vincent, anyone?), but while seeing this in theatres, I was actually quite bored. 

Don't get me wrong- I thought the actors did well with the material they were given, but there was nothing behind that material backing it up to make you want to pay attention. Oh, Alice doesn't remember coming as a little girl? No big deal- no one else is trying to convince her that she's the same Alice. Actually, almost every character is convinced she's a different person and wants to leave her. I thought that plotline dragged out way too long and that she should have remembered everything a lot earlier. There was no urgency, and the fact that she was still convinced she was in a dream an hour and a half into the fucking movie made it even less exciting. By that point I was like "Ok, we get it- the magical computer animated world of Wonderland is too whimsical to seem real and Tim Burton's animators are fantastic, blah blah blah. Either fucking wake up already or admit that it's real, but stop pinching yourself. It's getting old."

Also, that whole backstory with the prophecy of Alice slaying the Jabberwocky was not explained well, nor do we ever learn why the Jabberwocky is important to the Red Queen to begin with. It seems to me that she could still be ruthless and rule Wonderland without it, since we don't even see the thing until the very end. And by the very end, I actually mean it. During the battle scene, she releases how many other creatures for Alice and her friends to fight before the fucking Jabberwocky comes out? Honestly. If the Jabberwocky had been used since the beginning instead of that bear-like thing, I might not have been as bored because I would have gotten to see from the start what Alice was up against. Instead, we get backstory from the dog, the bear, and all the Red Queen's workers, but the supposedly most important villain Alice has yet to face? We get a fucking prophecy from Alan Rickman. Yup. 

I thought Helena Bonham Carter was great as the Red Queen, but I didn't find her to be a very oppressing figure as the only human character in the movie to be animated. It was kind of distracting, and I think if she had acted live in the film, she would have been terrifying. She's short enough (especially in comparison to Anne Hathaway). It could have worked. As it was, however, I just couldn't picture her winning against live characters. 

How much more effective would this have been?

On the whole, I just thought this movie was just another washed up, overdone production spit out of the Tim Burton machine. There really wasn't anything that struck me about it and made me say, "Wow." Sure, it was enjoyable, and the graphics were superb, but I want my $10 back. And just because you slay a Jabberwocky, Alice, doesn't mean that the world will suddenly accept you. In fact, you might even be rejected more, because no one in Victorian England knows what the fuck a Jabberwocky is. But Tim Burton, if you want to go all feminist on us, you go right ahead. It doesn't make a lick of sense in the context of the movie, but if it makes all the six-year-old girls going to see Alice in 3-D want to be explorers and business executives instead of princesses when they grow up, I'll let it slide. Until then, I'll just go watch Beetlejuice and hope Tim Burton decides to come back and be original again one day. 


The Movie Mistress


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  2. "...but there was nothing behind that material backing it up to make you want to pay attention." Well said, Movie Mistress. My main problem with the movie -- which I was foaming at the mouth to see for months -- was the lack of character development. Everything LOOKS stunning, but the best characters, like the White Queen and the Red Queen, the Cheshire Cat (LOVE Stephen Fry!) and the Blue Caterpillar get almost no time on screen. And Johnny Depp, whom I did not like in this part, is all over the place.

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