Sunday, October 31, 2010

Movie Review - Alice in Wonderland (2010)

by Alex Popp

Fantastic fun for the whole family.

Not really.

In "Alice in Wonderland," directed by Tim Burton, now 19-year-old Alice is welcomed back to the fantastical land that she went through 13 years earlier. There she meets up with the Mad Hatter, played by Johnny Depp, and encounters random creatures and objects including a floating, ghostly cat and a smoking caterpillar. Alice realizes that she is there to conquer the horrific Jabberwocky and restore the rightful queen to her throne.

How this film made over $1 billion, I will never know. Maybe everyone just wanted to see another performance by Johnny Depp. He isn't a bad actor at all, but his role as the Mad Hatter doesn't come close to the charming wittiness of Jack Sparrow.

I felt like I was on speed or something watching this movie. I guess it's supposed to be kind of a sequel to the hand-drawn version from the fifties and I actually remember being seven and liking it. But this one was just plain weird. The effects are pleasant to the eye, though nothing like "Avatar." I'll tell you when we saw trailers for it, my brother said it looked to him like a children's horror flick.

Rated PG for intense violence and perilous situations, far out of anything that young kids could view. But it was also PG for something that no other movie has been before: a smoking caterpillar. Yes, it literally says that in the MPAA rating! I guess they had to tell you some way that it isn't a human smoking.

Two stars (out of four) for the weird and vaguely unsatisfying, "Alice in Wonderland."

Review by Alex Popp for The Animation Empire blog.


Emperor's thoughts... I think there was a little more to it. I really enjoyed Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. Johnny Depp's performance was great, but it did seem similar to his Willie Wonka.

And the movie had a fun story with good action and effects. I could tell, though, that Burton was having a lot of fun with creepy things like having Alice jump onto floating decapitated heads.

Overall, I have to agree that it was a tad too creepy for Disney. Was it strange and seem like a bad trip? Sure, a little, but then again, so do the books. Disney originally painted the weirdness with a fun and light perspective. But Burton views the weirdness with a haunting and violent perspective.

- The Emperor

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