Movie Review: Alice In Wonderland 3D 2010
Alice In Wonderland by Tim Burton came out this weekend and we decided to check it out. K wasn’t so sure after some initial reviews that it was going to be worth seeing, but, she is a BIG fan of the Cheshire Cat. My hesitation as you might know from previous reviews of 3D movies was that usually the 3D sucks and it gives me a headache.
Happily though, this was not the case in either of those categories.
Burton’s usual darker spin and use of a particular visual style really won the day for me on this film as well as the new adaptation of the classic story. Of course, this adaptation was only slightly different from the most recent SCIFI version that came out last year which I also liked. However, Burton’s take on this story was closer to the original created by Carroll.
So from this part on, if you haven’t seen the film and do not want to know more, surf away gentle reader.
The new story line adds a dimension of empowerment for Alice and a touch of “Joan de Arc” but, what I really liked was the cyclical nature to the story that was added. The idea that Alice is but the bearer of the Vorpal sword and akin to the idea of “The One” in “The Matrix” was an approach that I first saw in the SCIFI version last year. The idea that there are successive “Alice’s” that must save Wonderland is kinda neat.
Of course, this would be a way into a sequel huh… Go figure.
Overall, the story line that was cooked up for this screenplay makes more sense than the original story ever did at least linearly. This is something that appeals to me greatly even though I did like the book as a child. There is just enough nonsense in this film to carry the old story and blend it with the new.
Finally, the slaying of the addition of the Jabberwocky to the story line of Alice, the bearer of the Vorpal Sword was very well done. This is not only from a CG perspective but also as a key point to the story line. Of course the battle on a vast chess board helped a bit there too. However the choice of Christopher Lee as the voice for the dread Jabberwocky helped a bit too.
I think that the meshing of the story and the poem gives the story much more depth.
On the whole 3D thing, this film really did a great job at presenting a 3D universe that did not jump out at you too too much in a hokey 3D way. It was just enough to give you the dimensionality to all the characters and scenery as they did in Avatar. However, in this case the effects did not give me the usual 3D headache. Perhaps it was the scaled back wayfarer style glasses instead of those Terminator shades that Avatar used. Perhaps instead this was just a bit better done. I am usually loathe to all this 3D stuff now because it is just there as a hook and not so much integral to the story. Here it was complimentary.
The casting for this film was very well done. I have to say though, that the casting of Johnny Depp as Hatter had me wondering at first. I have to say now that he was great. His mania and use of the Scottish accent really added a new dimension to the character for me.
As for the other characters, they were well played but generally pale to some of the CG and voice over work that was done. Perhaps it was just the story line, but the only ones to have more growth were Alice of course, and Hatter. Which is just fine I think.
The most fanciful character though was Cheshire Cat. This film gave me a new appreciation for the cat. I had always been a little put off by him in the book. Now though, I am liking this version as voiced by Stephen Fry. Fry lends a certain stability to the character that I liked.
Well done 3D
Great score by Danny Elfman (listening to it now)
Go see it.