13 March, 2010

Film Review #5 'Alice in Wonderland'

"From Walt Disney Pictures and visionary director Tim Burton comes an epic 3D fantasy adventure "Alice in Wonderland," a magical and imaginative twist on some of the most beloved stories of all time. Johnny Depp stars as the Mad Hatter and Mia Wasikowska as 19-year-old Alice, who returns to the whimsical world she first encountered as a young girl, reuniting with her childhood friends: the White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Dormouse, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, and of course, the Mad Hatter. Alice embarks on a fantastical journey to find her true destiny and end the Red Queen's reign of terror. The all-star cast also includes Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Crispin Glover; Linda Woolverton wrote the screenplay. Capturing the wonder of Lewis Carroll's beloved "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" (1865) and "Through the Looking-Glass" (1871) with stunning, avant-garde visuals and the most charismatic characters in literary history, "Alice in Wonderland" comes to the big screen in Disney Digital 3D™ on March 5, 2010." - plot taken from movieweb

As promised by the boy, three months back when we were waiting for Avatar to begin and we very first saw the trailer for this, last night we returned to the new IMAX cinema to watch Alice in Wonderland. This was sort of a birthday treat for me but I'm sure had it not come out in March I'd of still tried to persuade the boy to pay the extra to see it at the IMAX, it wouldn't of been very hard since he is an avid cinema goer and movie lover (he studied TV & Movie Practice at University) plus who can really pass up a Disney & Tim Burton collaboration in 3D? For me, personally this is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, I have been excitedly waiting for this since reading about it early last year and I was not disappointed in anyway. I loved ever second of it, maybe it's because I'm completely biased to Alice in Wonderland? Probably not since I was a little anxious that Tim Burton was directing it, I love his old stuff dearly but Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remake is a thing of nightmares (much like Johnny Depps plastic-y look at Willie Wonka).

Starting with the plot line without giving anything away, I was so happy to hear this was not a live action remake of the 1951 Disney film, or any previous Wonderland films for that matter and I was even happier to hear that it wasn't going to be a straight make of the book instead it would be a whole new plot line set thirteen years after Alice's visit to Wonderland. Basically again, without giving anything away too much, Alice finds her way back to Wonderland to find it a mess, the Red Queen has taken the crown and is reigning with an iron fist and taking Alice's friends as slaves. As you may of guessed, Alice is here to stop all that. I felt that the story ran smoothly and I didn't feel bored or that it dragged at any point. Burton's spin on Wonderland was surprisingly not too weird, instead it was rather beautiful in an abstract way. His take on the characters was excellent and I really loved how many of the old favourite lines from Lewis Carrolls novels turned up such as the Jabberwoky poem, curiouser and curiouser and the quote about thinking up six impossible things before breakfast, it really tied the original stories and this new one together. There was also some touching moments and of course some dark humour that can only be expected in a Burton movie, the kind of humour that goes right of children's heads.

The characters themselves were excellently casted and I was very proud to recognise the faces and voices of quite a few British stars Matt Lucas as Tweedle Dum/Dee, Michael Sheen as the White Rabbit, Christopher Lee as the Jabberwocky, Alan Rickman as the Catapillar and Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat who was by far one of my favourite characters. Johnny Depp was quite an excellent but still sort of creepy Mad Hatter, very clever and Helena Bonham Carter was made for the role of the Queen of Hearts, opposite the quite funny Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. For me, Mia Wasikowska made the film, she was quite an excellent Alice, one of the best I've ever seen and I've watched a lot of Wonderland movies. She was perfect in looks, attitudes and the way she spoke. I don't there could of been a better Alice.

It was the little things that made it for me, it was quite obvious that Burton had paid a lot of attention to the small details of Wonderland and then turned it on its head which would of been possible since the Red Queen had destroyed the place. As I've mentioned before the lines that are used, singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat at the Tea Party, that even though the Red Queens cards looked like soilders so when they're knocked down they fold like a pack of cards, the battle field being a chess board. All these little things are what made the movie for me as they were all the things that were worrying me.

I could infact write so much more but I wouldn't want to ruin it for anyone else planning on going to see it as it really is that good. I recommend it to anyone, because it's surprisingly mainstream for Tim Burton. In a way I do feel that is sad, Tim Burton was always a visionary director who liked to do things a bit different pushing the bounderies of fantasy and this is very normal. However if you don't think of it as a down turn for Burton, it is a wonderful fantasy film.

Best Moment: When Alice is tumbling down the rabbit hole, amazing in 3D.
Best Line: "
I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are." - Alice
Would Recommend For: Anyone who loves Burton's fantasy worlds, Wonderland fans, Fantasy fans, children of 3 + (I didn't think there was anything particularly scary)
Rating: 9/10


  1. Checked your blod this morning to see if you'd written a review and was disappointed when you hadn't. Glad you found time this morning though!!

  2. ahh great review! I still havent seen it! x

  3. I'm so glad to read such a great review of this. We're going to see it on Wednesday, hopefully at the IMAX too - now I can't wait!

  4. I was so happy with this movie. I think Tim Burton did a great job :)


  5. Thanks so much for the review, can't believe I STILL haven't seen it!