Alice in Wonderland

2010-03-05 11:29
 
Alice in Wonderland

What it's about:
 
An epic 3D fantasy adventure with a magical and imaginative twist on some of the most beloved stories of all time. Nineteen-year-old Alice returns to the whimsical world she first encountered as a young girl, reuniting with her childhood friends: The White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Dormouse, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, and, of course, the Mad Hatter. Alice embarks on a fantastical journey to find her true destiny and end the Red Queen’s reign of terror.

What we thought:

Many things can be replaced. But death to the filmmaker who messes with our childhood memories. Alice in Wonderland is a memory a lot of us share. The original story is so vivid in my mind that it could be my own dream. I even remember wishing desperately that the special potions that made Alice bigger and smaller really existed… and I would have to wait 'til I was 18 for proof that wishes do come true. 

Luckily, the movie is different to the book. Linda Woolverton (who also wrote, among other kids stuff, two episodes of My Little Pony, eight episodes of Teen Wolf, and The Lion King) combines Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with the sequel Through the Looking Glass in her screenplay, and laces it with Joan of Arc-ish feminism.

The 3D film makes free with the characters, too. In the movie, Alice is nearly 20 years old. Rather than being in a dream, she finds that a childhood dream has become an alternate reality, in which the characters in Wonderland - the world down the rabbit hole - mirror those in her real life. Her battle to save Wonderland from the rule of the evil red queen is clearly a battle to, in fact, save herself and her family.

Alice significantly alters or omits many of the trippiest plot details and nonsensical moments, such as the flood of Alice’s tears, that sweeps all the animals away in the book version, the circular race that nobody can win, the chess game meets life, and Alice herself being crowned queen shortly before she wakes. 

Some purists might not like the changes, but they have their benefits; allowing the characters from the two books to interact within a more stable setting. Given how insanely trippy this movie is anyway, perhaps that’s a good thing!

Alice is incredibly – magically – three dimensional. When she falls down the rabbit hole, it feels like you’re falling too. When a butterfly flies towards you it’s almost like its wings tickle your face. Rather than choosing the focal point, good 3D allows you to look at the screen as if it were the real world. As one viewer commented, "it’s much more 3D than Avatar”.

Technology doesn’t get in the way of good acting though. Mia Wasikowska is likeable and believable as the sceptical, older Alice. Johnny Depp shows why he scores all the cool roles Jim Carrey used to get, as the Mad Hatter. Helena Bonham Carter (the Red Queen a la Maggie Thatcher) makes the perfect antidote to Anne Hathaway’s screechingly sweet-but-odd White Queen. Steven Fry camps it up as the Cheshire Cat.

The film is packed with genuinely scary scenes, as well as moments of true wonder (be careful if your kids are easily scared – this isn't for them). It's also just the right length. The integration of live action and animation is pretty seamless. Unfortunately the ending lacks magic, simply because it’s just a bit too neat. For a story that celebrates madness to suddenly tie up its loose ends this perfectly in the last five minutes simply doesn’t make sense.


Save your drugs for your family's next visit. You don't need them to trip on this adaptation of Lewis Carroll's kids' classic.

James 2010/03/05 8:20 AM
I'm definitely, definitely watching this this weekend! I've been waiting for freaking months!
cuba 2010/03/05 8:37 AM
must watch this movie... it looks kind of similar to American Mcgee's Alice, which was one of the most porno games ever :D
Sarusha 2010/03/05 9:19 AM
watching this movie in 3D 2nyt, can't wait :)
Md abul ahsan 2010/03/05 10:40 AM
Good
hippy guy 2010/03/05 1:56 PM
was told to trip on some acid while watching this movie as its the coolest thing ever, so i'll be trippin on this one for sure
Corporate Guy 2010/03/05 4:48 PM
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Im with Hippy Guy
Wesley 2010/03/05 10:28 PM
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Definitely gonna watch this on some acid, can't wait!
Ben 2010/03/08 8:08 AM
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@Cuba Watched it last night. Nah. Nothing like American Mcgee's Alice. Was brought out by Disney so no chance of that. Would have been nice though.
preshen govender 2010/03/09 7:18 AM
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great movie to watch hammered
Sheldon 2010/03/09 10:51 AM
It is rubbish.
tommo 2010/03/11 10:35 AM
seen it... 3D definitely awesome, but flip I was bored stiff by the end.
Valerie 2010/03/15 2:35 AM
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i loved that movie raelyn jess jimmy kris and i went to see it. <3
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