in Review

Alice in Wonderbland

Alice in Wonderland

I’ll finish off this weekend with my feelings about the latest from Tim Burton. It seems to me that some film fanatics fearlessly stick by their directors or “autuers” as if they can do no wrong. I’ve seen all of Burton’s films, though I’ll be the first one to tell you if one sucks. Sure he always has an exciting artistic vision, but in other categories he’s become more and more inconsistent. Alice in Wonderland is his latest, I’m not a big fan of the source material, but I was intrigued with Burton at the helm. Hey, maybe he’ll finally turn it into a good story instead of a pointless series of events? Well I’m sorry to say that it still feels like style without substance.

The new spin here is that Alice has dreamt of this “Wonderland” for years almost as if she’s been there already. Why this is in the story I’m not sure, I must of missed something. So after escaping a dreadful pre-planned engagement, Alice spots the White Rabbit and chases him down a hole to Wonderland or “Underland” I guess only Alice calls it the former.

Surprisingly, we meet practically the whole cast in the first ten minutes. Going in I figured they’d spread it out, but we meet all of them right off the bat. I don’t care for most of the CGI characters with the possible exception of the Cheshire Cat (played by Stephen Fry). I don’t care much for this interpretation of the Mad Hatter either. I like Depp and he obviously has fun with the role, but I wasn’t digging his clown-like appearance and bizarre off and on Scottish accent. Helena Bonham Carter and Crispin Glover (who I always enjoy seeing) are mildly amusing as the Queen and Knave of Hearts, but Anne Hathaway as the White Queen was completely uninspired and Alice herself was just meh.

The attempt to come up with a new story here never really took off. In this adaptation Alice has been lured to Underland to slay the Jabberwocky (this dragon thing voiced by Christopher Lee) as it has been prophesied. I don’t understand why they felt this was more interesting then simply retelling the original story with a little more direction. So it’s your typical fantasy adventure story that we’ve already seen about a million times. Yeah it’s got fancy schmany effects, but all in all I’d of preferred Burton to come up with something meaningful. Maybe he should try and actually make a movie that’s neither a remake or an adaptation of something, he needs to sink his teeth into something new.