Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Review: Alice In Wonderland

Grade: A-

This movie, Alice in Wonderland, is not a remake of the classic tale and it is only loosely based on the classic books by Lewis Carroll. In this movie, Alice is now 19 and doesn't feel like she quite fits in the society she is being forced to live in. At a party at a Victorian estate, Alice spots a white rabbit wearing a waistcoat, she chases after the rabbit and falls down a rabbit hole and into Underland, more commonly known as Wonderland. It has been over 10 years since she first went to Wonderland and has since forgotten it and thinks it was all a dream, she is convinced this visit is a dream as well. She is reunited with all the people and creatures in Wonderland and is informed that she has been brought back to Wonderland because she is the only person who can slay the Jabberwocky and end the Red Queen's reign of terror.

Tim Burton (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sleepy Hollow) did a wonderful job directing this movie and I wouldn't have wanted anybody else to do it. The movie looks absolutely extraordinary and spectacular. I will admit, it looks a bit cartoony at times, but I feel that it works for this movie as Wonderland is supposed to be a crazy and rather cartoonesque world. The movie is very enjoyable to watch especially if you are a fan of the stories and characters. This movie really sticks true to the craziness of the story. It was wonderful to see all the classic characters, Mad Hatter was great, the Cheshire Cat was fantastic, the March Hare was hilarious, Tweedledee and Tweedledum were a joy, really, all of the characters were so very fun to watch. Burton really did a great job at bringing an updated version of this classic tale. I really hope that someone convinces Tim Burton to remake The Wizard of Oz.

The cast of the movie was really great. Relative new comer Mia Wasikowska plays the lead role of Alice. She did a fantastic job with the role, portraying Alice's confusion and wonder of being in this world. Johnny Depp (Sleepy Hollow, Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy) plays the role of the Mad Hatter. Depp was a perfect casting choice for this rather eccentric role, and he did it perfectly. It was rather interesting though as half the time, Depp was speaking in the quirky voice you hear in the trailer and the other half of the movie, he is speaking with a Scottish accent. It was bizarre yet interesting, it has been a while since I've read the books so I don't remember if the Hatter is actually Scottish or if that's something Burton decided to add. Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeny Todd, Fight Club) plays the role of the evil Red Queen. She was perfect in this role, I don't know how to describe it but her portrayal of the Red Queen was genius. Anne Hathaway (Get Smart, Valentine's Day) played the role of the White Queen. Hathaway did a great job with this role and really did a great job portraying how nice the White Queen is, who literally won't hurt a fly. Crispin Glover (Charlie's Angels, Back to the Future) played the Knave of Hearts. Glover was truly devilish in this role and did a great job with it. The movie also features the voices of Matt Lucas, Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall and others.

If you are a fan of all the Alice in Wonderland tales and movies, you should definitely go see this movie. It is so much fun to see all of the classic characters and what not, come to life in Tim Burton's beautiful re-imagining, of sorts. This movie is just plain fun to watch. I watched it in IMAX 3D, and while I think that everything is better on IMAX, I wouldn't say it's necessary to watch it this way unless you really want to. The 3D is kind of cool but in general, I am so very over the whole 3D craze.

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