Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Alice In Wonderland (2010)

Dir: Tim Burton
Theater in 3-D

My first reaction to seeing Burton's idea of Wonderland was to presume that he was embarrassed to make a movie about it. It takes far too long to get there and when we do, it's a drab depressing place where no one is fun, colorful, absurd, or amusing. They're not mad cuckoo, they're mad pissed off. My presumption was validated when we learn sometime after the half-way point that we are in "Underland" and Alice had the name wrong all this time. Pass. This version of Alice has her at the age of twenty and betrothed to some bore of a lord. For no good reason she follows a rabbit down a hole and we see the cast of familiar characters mentioned in Lewis Carroll's books. But as I mentioned, these guys hate being alive and all shop at Hot Topic and listen to Fall Out Boy. It seems some war is going on between the two queens of "Underland" (puke again) and Alice is prophesied to kill the Jabberwocky and end the Red Queen's reign, this is more Narnia than Alice. Depp, as the Mad Hatter, tries to occasionally channel Ed Wynn's lisp from the animated film by Disney but at other times sounds like a character from Trainspotting, Anne Hathaway does her best to annoy the crap out of you with grand hand gestures, and Crispin Glover is in it but his head looks strange attached to a computer generated body, or at least I think that's what was happening. By the time the end comes I was already rooting for the Jabberwocky to eat everyone, but when I heard Christopher Lee's voice come out of him, I thought my dream would come to fruition. Alas, nope. While the film can be seen as pro-woman, Alice leads the battle in armor and vorpal sword in hand, it's still boring and depressing. Disney just recently had success with a pro-female take on the fairy tale (see: Enchanted) that was both fun and exciting. As a big Wonderland fan, I was hugely disappointed.


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