Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cranky at the Movies

I like Tim Burton. His CORPSE BRIDE was funny and inventive. But perhaps that was because he was working with original material, because his adaptation of existing material with ALICE IN WONDERLAND is a disaster. [WARNING: Spoilers Ahead]

The book ALICE IN WONDERLAND is dream material, both when she plops down that hole and when she melts through the looking glass. As such, it is delicate, fanciful, episodic, connected by the logic of the unconscious rather than of the mundane world. Burton has ignored all this to shove the story into the tired Procrustean bed of a quest: Alice must find the vorpal sword and slay the Jabberwocky. As if that weren't enough borrowing from other material, at the end the movie morphs into THE WIZARD OF OZ. Alice gets sent back home by the White Queen, dressed in a Glinda the Good Witch outfit, after saying a tearful good-bye to her allies the Scarecrow -- oops, I mean the Mad Hatter -- a large dog, and others. I half expected someone to say, "Just click the ruby slippers together three times..."

This mess is getting decent reviews in many places. I can't see why (maybe it's me). Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter (as the Mad Hatter and the Red Queen) are both very good. But the movie lacks all of Lewis Carroll's charm. Visually it's garish, in bright primary colors, with nothing of the dream-world delicacy.

In short, I hated it.


José Iriarte said...

Thanks for the warning; I'll do my best to stay away from it.

Lou said...

No, no. See, you sugarcoat stuff so much. What did you *really* think?

Spit it out, Nancy. Let us know.


Actually, the trailer, with the mad yellow eyes, the colors you mentioned...I decided to wait until DVD to watch it. You've saved me the decision-making process. I would also steer you clear of "The Bounty Hunter" for most of the same reasons. Totally predictable, inconsistent characterization and not much of a story.


bluesman miike Lindner said...

How cranky you are, Nancy!

I thought it was a fun movie.

Unknown said...

Hi, dear Nancy.
I'm a science fiction fan from china. My favorite magazine, SCIENCE FICTION WORLD, is in trouble now.

We hope you know this issue and get your support and suggestions. Thank you very much.


Charles K. Bradley said...

I could not agree with you more!!
I was very disappointed in the movie.

Lawrence Person said...

Yep, pretty much:


Rebecca Flys said...

I've always tried to make sure my kids have read a book before they see a movie made from a book... Hence the following list;

~Movies We Hated Because we LOVED the book...
*Bridge to Terebithia
*Percy Jackson
*How To Train A Dragon
*Diary of a Wimpy kid (haven't seen it yet but anticipate hating it due to recent rash of destroyed plots and char's in book to movies)

Book they didn't want to read, but saw the movie, and now want to read the book...

*Alice In Wonderland.

Trying to tear kids away from their cells, DSi's, computers & I Pods can be a challenge. If a movie will lead to reading a book... I guess I have to hope they'll hate the movie AFTER they read the book!

I thought it was worth watching just to watch JD's wierd eyes.

Warm regards,