Monday, 5 April 2010

Alice in Wonderland movie review - Go See It!!

Alice in Wonderland is more than I thought it would be. I'd heard many things about it, mixed reviews, mostly talking about it's lack of soul, and how there wasn't much that was good about the movie except what was taken directly from the books. So when my daughter asked what happened to Alice after she chases the rabbit, I thought, why not? And indeed, I was delighted by Alice in Wonderland.

Before you ask, yes, I have read the classic. And before you ask again, I hate the cartoon version of it. I have refused to watch it more than once because I hate my childhood books being turned into animation. I consider them little better than Disney, and I am not a big fan of Disney. So I really wasn't looking forward to this version. I should have remembered it was by Tim Burton, and I should have remembered that he likes the scarily dark fantasy.

I really liked this version. I liked Alice, I liked all the characters, and Johnny Dep's The Mad Hatter had me convinced he had a soul, by the end of the movie. Not only that, when the movie ended, I wanted more. I wanted to see Alice heading off on her next adventure she had chosen. I thought it was an ending that, if Lewis Carroll could have imagined back when he wrote Alice, he might have chosen something like it for his Alice also. Most of all, when the movie ended, I was smiling. I had the biggest smile on my face. I was enchanted.

So why all the naysayers? I don't really know. I think they had already envisioned how Tim was going to do the movie, how the characters were going to be transported from the book, and most of all, all the Alice book fans thought the book itself was going to be recreated. I think Tim took the best parts and left off the boring bits - and the original book did have me confused and wondering what was going on sometimes, and I was greatly annoyed by the preachiness of the characters in the books. Alice is pretty wimpy too, in the book. The best parts - all the fearsomeness of the Red Queen is there - I did miss the crying baby with the face of a pig, though - the caterpillar, the amazing Cheshire cat (I want one like it! Please!!), the rabbits, the costumes, the set design, The Mad Hatter, and most of all, Alice. By the end of the movie I really liked her character. I loved this movie. I think it's a modern retelling of Alice. Even more important, the critic we went with, my 7 year old, also had a smile on her face at the end of it. And just now, I checked again, and she says, 'I LOVED it!" Her favourite bits? when Alice **********SPOILER ALERT***********

takes the head off the jabberwocky, she loves that part. The Mad Hatter - "he loves hats!", "the rabbit was worried about time." And of course, the Cheshire cat: "he can disappear!"

************************end of spoiler alert*****************************

So, if you can bear to let the classic book be retold for our modern age, then go. Go see "Alice". If you can't, then stick with the cartoon. By the way, I did not see it in 3-D. I have progressive lenses, and 3-D doesn't work with my glasses. Plus, I hate the idea of 3-D. I think it's stupid, so I won't go see them. Thankfully, the theatres - and movie makers - are offering these movies in both 3-D and normal viewing. Thank you!!!

Me? I'm going to reread the books again, and read them to my daughter, too. So when the movie comes out on video, we'll be ready - first in line to buy a copy. For the first time, I'd kind of like to go to Wonderland, which the books had me too scared/bored/glad I never went to. Alice In Wonderland the movie makes me think I might like it there after all.

The best lines?

"Am I mad?"
"Completely. It's not so bad. All the best people are, you know."


Kathleen said...

Having never read the book ( a shame I know) I think I can see the movie first and then read the book. It sounds wildly entertaining and I won't have any concept of what bits have been left out!

Susan said...

Kathleen - I hope you do. I really enjoyed it. As for the books, they were kind of dry and odd - I'm not good with nonsense anyway and a great deal of the characters run around spouting nonsense. There's some here, but there is a logic to it too.

Elise said...

I haven't seen this yet Susan, rather appalling! I have heard almost completely 50/50 reviews, but I think regardless of the story or whatever else people consider the downfalls of this film, it is guaranteed to be visually stunning!

Jeane said...

We thought it was great, too. And my five-year-old is frightened by the Disney version and a few other variations we've seen, but she liked this one! (It was hard to convince her to go, she kept saying "I don't like that one!" but she really did enjoy it)

Bybee said...

I thought the movie was magical, entertaining and very well-done. 3-D was the cherry on the banana split.

Eva said...

I can't wait to see this! My mom and I have been wanting to since it came out, but we haven't found the time.

Kailana said...

I really want to see this!!!

Literary Feline said...

I confess I didn't really want to see this until I read your review. And now I'm wondering how I'll talk my husband into it. LOL He's not a fan of 3D either. I haven't read the books and I am not a big fan of the Disney version, although some of the songs are cute.

Memory said...

I loved it too! I did see it in 3D, though, it was pretty well a life-changing experience. I now want to see EVERYTHING in 3D!

Susan said...

Elise: it was visually stunning. I loved the colours too. It was a lot of fun.

Jeane: I'm so glad you went, and even better, that your five year old loved it also! It was fun, wasn't it?

Bybee: I know lots of people love 3 D! One way you and I differ, book-twin! 3 d gives me headaches etc.... I'm glad you saw the movie and loved it too. :-D magical is a good word for it.

Eva: have you seen it yet? I'm a little late getting back here with my comments. I hope you and your mom have.

Kailana: how about you? have you seen it yet? Ladies, if I can see it, you have to be able to!! lol

Literary Feline: fingers crossed you can talk him into it! and I'm really glad my review convinced you to go! I think you might like it also. It was quite amazing. scarily fascinating and beautiful. I hope you do get to see it.

Memory: you and Bybee can see all the 3D movies together then! lol I'll be in the theatre next to you, seeing them in plain old screens :-) quite happily! I'm thrilled you loved it also.

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