I’m painting the roses red.

March 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

Reasons why I love Burton’s version of Alice

1. It has an actual storyline.  Carroll’s original story is more about a dream sequence with little plot and more attention on the absurdities.  Burton creates a structure, a plotline, for the story to follow.  Not only is the plot centered around Alice and her marriage proposal, but there is a plotline within Wonderland, of destroying the Jabberwocky.

2.  I know it has been said that the animation was not as good as his other films, but I rather liked it.  It was dark without being too gothic.

3.  Johnny Depp.  I mean, c’mon.  His ability to make himself look completely different in every movie makes him a great Mad Hatter.

4.  That besides Anne Hathaway, you couldn’t really tell who any of the characters were.  I hate it when you’re talking about a movie and all you can say is, “You know, when Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson get that dog…” or “Well see, Brad Pitt was really Edward Norton’s alter ego.”  I’m tired of Actors’ names getting substituted for the characters they’re portraying.  At least in this movie, you’re going to call her Alice, him the Mad Hatter, and her the Queen of Hearts.  Although, you might call the Good Queen, “Anne Hathaway with bad posture and hairy eyebrows.”

5. The movement of the story.  It was about 2 hours I believe, and it was a good, solid pace.  I didn’t squirm, wondering when it was going to be over.  Nor did I feel like I blinked and the movie ended.

Reasons why I do not like Burton’s version of Alice.

1.  The storyline was pretty Hollywood.  I mean, it was your basic I-can’t-live-my-life-for-anyone-but-myself revelation.  The cause and effect that moved the plotline was as simple as any boy-meets-girl, boy-gets-girl kind of movie.  I think if you’re going to give Alice a plotline, it deserves a little more intricacy and detail and attention than what it was given.  Almost as if he was more concerned about how it was going to look onscreen.  That also goes for the plot centered around the Jabberwocky.  Great use of a second Carroll poem, but also a very simple plot of the-least-likely-becomes-a-champion.  And when the Queen of Hearts yells, “I’m the Eldest!” at the end.  Why wasn’t that discovered sooner in the storyline?  And the father plotline was sort of weak and cliche.  I think more could’ve been done with that.  If Wonderland is more than a dreamland, why not make it more of an alternate reality?  Alice and the Mad Hatter takes on the earlier father-daughter role when he says, “Am I mad?” and she repeats, “All the best people are.”  Why not give that more depth?  It was easily the best line.

2.  The animation was dark.  And when I say that I’m not referring to dark humor or gothicism.  I mean, somebody could’ve definitely turned on some lights when they filmed it.  And the actress that played Alice could’ve done without the dark shadows around her eyes.

3.  Did Helena Bonham Carter’s performance steal the show?  No.  But the Queen of Hearts was by far the most interesting character, a disappointment when you think about the Mad Hatter, or the White Rabbit, or even Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum.  Johnny Depp looked like the Mad Hatter, but I felt like he could’ve done a much better job.  Not only that, I could barely understand half of what he was saying.  A word that starts with M:  Mumbling Mumbler.

4.  The title.  As pointed out by a friend, I think the movie was disappointing simply because the title Alice in Wonderland already coined preconceived notions about what you’re going to see onscreen.  Not only that, the characters don’t even call it Wonderland, they call it Underland.  So why not title it something else, too?  Something that lets the viewer know this isn’t the ordinary story you’ve heard for years.

So props to Tim Burton for creating something very different and out of the ordinary, but two thumbs down on successfully integrating all the hanging plotlines.
Still, it was a pretty good movie.

I guess.

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