reviews

review: tim burton's alice in wonderland

So, just finished watching Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, and it's about what I expected: rather flimsy story with a feel-good ending. Um. Not quite write-by-number, but pretty close, which makes me sad. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't already seen Alice, which is long enough to tell its story a bit more thoroughly, and which plays with various tropes and audience expectations a bit. And which hangs together as a world a whole lot better.

I dunno. My reaction to the movie is pretty much "Meh", whereas my reaction to Alice was to watch it again immediately (with the director's commentary on), and then a third time the next day. Make of that what you will.

Other people who have seen it/them/whatever, what did you think? My sister's favorite part was the bandersnatch, and I much agree, although even that was rather...obvious, I suppose. And convenient. Actually, that sums up the whole movie pretty well: convenience for the plot and a lack of negative consequences. And prettiness. It was pretty, I will give it that.
I loved it. And thus far I seem to be the only one who does :P My sister couldn't wait to see it, but she came out of the theater feeling disappointed, but mostly because it didn't end quite how she wanted - with Alice going back to Wonderland. Which, yes, would have been cool if she'd dropped by for a visit sometime after the credits or something, but I felt it would have ruined the point of movie. The point, to me, being about Alice coming to accept herself as she is and making up her own mind rather than doing what everyone wants her to. To me, it had this sort-of message that growing up doesn't mean having to change everything about yourself, and that she accepted Wonderland and how strange it is also meant she accepted herself. Not the usual "it's time to grow up" message you usually get with stories about kids who go to magical lands IMO, and I liked that. But that was my personal interpretation of the movie. My only nit was that it was hard to understand what the characters were saying at times.

I loved Alice, but if I had to choose between the two I would have to say I love Alice in Wonderland more. Alice is hip and interesting and creative but Alice in Wonderland struck more of a chord with me.
Maybe that's why the story didn't work for me: I've never had to fight to be who I am (except inside my own head, against the massed forces of sloth and gluttony), so there wasn't any chord for the movie to strike in me. Or something.

Or maybe not. Possibly it's just me being hyper-critical of someone else's story-telling style, which is something I struggle with now. Can't seem to turn off the inner editor/writer and simply sit back to enjoy the show. I'm glad you enjoyed it, though.
Possibly it's just me being hyper-critical of someone else's story-telling style, which is something I struggle with now. Can't seem to turn off the inner editor/writer and simply sit back to enjoy the show.

I've found that I'm the same way with books. These days most of what I read I either have to force myself to read or I end up quitting after only one chapter. Movies and shows I'm a lot more lenient toward, I'm not sure why.
Different medium than what you work in, perhaps? I find certain authors I can still read with great delight, but most of them time I have the same problem you do.
Yeah, there were bits that worked well, but overall it just didn't hold together. And the end--yeah. Lame-o.

I did like the Cheshire cat. Johnny Depp's split-personality or whatever it was supposed to be didn't work at all.

The "Um. From Umbridge." thing was funny.
I must agree with you about the plot, but I think what made me still like the movie in the end was the amount of effort spent on characterization. What has always bothered me about Lewis Carroll is the flatness of the characters - the plot happens to them, rather than the other way round. Obviously, he was making fun political points and all that, but I couldn't help but wish for Alice to be something more than a priggish and narrow-minded Victorian child, the Hatter more than Mad... And the Burton movie gave me it. Granted, I won't be pondering the metaphysical repercussions of their existence anytime soon, but, at least in the case of the Hatter (who apparently gets a name, even), I get to wonder what it would be like to watch yourself slowly going Mad as a result of your own profession...

What do you think?

Also, which Alice is this? The czech flick? The recent Nick Willing flick? There's lots that I've been meaning to see.
Yes, there was a bit more to the characters, although they still felt incomplete or something. Or maybe it's simply that their backdrop was too distracting (in a bad way) for me to be able to fully appreciate them. The holes in the plot and the contradictions in how the world was presented made it hard for me to focus on the characters themselves.

Syfy's Alice (that is, the Nick Willing flick) does a better job of putting the characters front and center, and of at least glossing over the holes well enough for me to pretend I don't see them. (It's becoming increasingly difficult for me to keep myself from MST3K-ing my way through movies & TV shows, which is probably why I don't watch much anymore.) Also, the photography & set design is absolutely gorgeous at points.

Grr. Now I want to go watch it again, but I can't.