Alice in Wonderland

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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds


Weak and Uneven, A Disappointment From Burton

Alice returns to that wonderful world of wonder she visited when she was a child. This time with no memory of being there before. It is written that she will overthrow the evil Red Queen and return peace to the land.

The pairing of Tim Burton and Alice in Wonderland had a lot of people smile with big grins. It seems like a perfect match. Burton's visual flair would seem to perfectly fit this weird and wonderful world. People were right, Burton's vision is indeed what one would expect and it's the highlight of an otherwise uninspiring film that feels flat and weak.

As a Depp/Burton film, it lacks the originality and freshness of their prior works. Depp is wonderful in the role of the Mad Hatter, but at the same time it feels like we've seen this performance before. Depp usually seems to disappear into his roles, but his mannerism are really apparent here. It felt like he took bits of Jack Sparrow and Willy Wonka, then made it a little bit more insane. It works, but at the same time it feels old.

As for Alice, the relatively unknown actress Mia Wasikowska is boring, bland, emotionless and the wrong choice for Alice. It was hurtful to have her try and carry the film, she couldn't. On the opposite side of the spectrum. Helena Bonham Carter is outstanding as the Red Queen. She stands out in the film, which is full of hit or miss performances.

The CGI fits the fantasy element of the story, but at times they feel a bit too cartoony. This takes away from the weight of the characters and you immediately know that it's too fake, even for this fantasy world. While the film is visually pleasing, the story is severely lacking. I found myself wanting the film to end a bit sooner than it did.

The 3-D in this film was pretty bad. My experience with 3-D films in theatres have been G- Force, Avatar and now Alice in Wonderland. Out of all three of those films, this one comes in dead last. I found it hard to concentrate on certain things, as others had motion blur and it hurt my eyes a bit. Avatar is 3-D done right, Alice is 3-D to sell tickets.

Fans of the original story might find this one a bit lacking. To equate this film to another one in Burton's catalogue, it would be around the same level of Mars Attacks! or Planet of the Apes. A mediocre film with a few good elements. As a whole the film will please the young teenage target audience that will gush over Depp and love the visual style. But those looking for a good entertaining story, you'll be disappointed.

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Suspect's Reviews



I am burdened with glorious purpose
Hmmmm...UsualSuspect, I can't disagree with your review at all, yet I had a great time at the movies watching this, and when it was over, wanted to see it again. The reviews are mixed... and so are my feelings.

I agree about Mia as Alice. I was so surprised with how bland she was. I had seen her on HBO's In Treatment and I thought she was wonderful. I also agree about Depp, but that doesn't matter since I adore him so much, I was still delighted to watch him. I rather liked the Scottish warrior part of his personality, lol.

My problem with the film was the fact that I felt Burton rushed the story a bit, not giving us enough to care about. There wasn't enough to make us care about the White Queen's mission to restore her kingdom to her; the Red Queen wasn't "evil" enough for me; and the only real moment of true emotion existed in a scene on a balcony between the Mad Hatter and Alice. I wanted more of that.

Ann Hathaway's performance was just terrible. Awful. I kept waiting to find out that she wasn't a "good" character after all! What was Burton thinking? What was Ann thinking? The tone of her character was so off.

Loved Tweedledee and Tweedledum. The many characters were rather entertaining. There was a lot to like. I really enjoyed it and recommend people to see it yet it's clear Burton made a few mistakes. His strength in the past has been with a heartwarming story mixing with the visuals -- Edward Scissorhands, Big Fish come to mind -- yet, here, he goes in the Willy Wonka direction. (But even there, I thought Freddie Highmore gave us someone to care about). Where was the heart in this film? I couldn't find anywhere that Burton cared about his characters. It was like he phoned in his direction here.

Also, when Alice first entered Wonderland, I was waiting to be mesmerized. The photos of Wonderland had vibrant colors, etc... yet the film seemed so dull. I don't know what happened.. I was rather underwhelmed. Dorothy's entrance to Oz in 1939 was more spectacular than Alice's entrance to Wonderland in 2010.

Was it better in 3D?

EDITED TO ADD:

Another few points I want to make:

-- the relationship between the Hatter and Alice worked, imo.

-- as to seeing a bit of Sparrow in the Hatter, well, it seems to me that Depp loves that character so much, it's actually a part of him.

-- the rabbit hole was amazing

-- the costumes were wonderful, especially that dress Alice wore at the Red Queen's castle and Depp's creation (take notice of the Scottish kilt at the end)

-- the "dance" at the end by the Hatter seemed weird and out of place

-- taking Carroll's story and turning it into a three act structure was necessary, I think



--



Registered User
Nice reviews, I have heard the same from a number of sources now. Just wondering whether anyone would recommend the 3D viewing over the standard? Or is it so poor that it detracts from what good the movie has to offer?



Go to the theater with zero expectations and you wont get disappointed.
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Comedy Movies - 2010



Alice returns to that wonderful world of wonder she visited when she was a child. This time with no memory of being there before. It is written that she will overthrow the evil Red Queen and return peace to the land.

The pairing of Tim Burton and Alice in Wonderland had a lot of people smile with big grins. It seems like a perfect match. Burton's visual flair would seem to perfectly fit this weird and wonderful world. People were right, Burton's vision is indeed what one would expect and it's the highlight of an otherwise uninspiring film that feels flat and weak.

As a Depp/Burton film, it lacks the originality and freshness of their prior works. Depp is wonderful in the role of the Mad Hatter, but at the same time it feels like we've seen this performance before. Depp usually seems to disappear into his roles, but his mannerism are really apparent here. It felt like he took bits of Jack Sparrow and Willy Wonka, then made it a little bit more insane. It works, but at the same time it feels old.

As for Alice, the relatively unknown actress Mia Wasikowska is boring, bland, emotionless and the wrong choice for Alice. It was hurtful to have her try and carry the film, she couldn't. On the opposite side of the spectrum. Helena Bonham Carter is outstanding as the Red Queen. She stands out in the film, which is full of hit or miss performances.

The CGI fits the fantasy element of the story, but at times they feel a bit too cartoony. This takes away from the weight of the characters and you immediately know that it's too fake, even for this fantasy world. While the film is visually pleasing, the story is severely lacking. I found myself wanting the film to end a bit sooner than it did.

The 3-D in this film was pretty bad. My experience with 3-D films in theatres have been G- Force, Avatar and now Alice in Wonderland. Out of all three of those films, this one comes in dead last. I found it hard to concentrate on certain things, as others had motion blur and it hurt my eyes a bit. Avatar is 3-D done right, Alice is 3-D to sell tickets.

Fans of the original story might find this one a bit lacking. To equate this film to another one in Burton's catalogue, it would be around the same level of Mars Attacks! or Planet of the Apes. A mediocre film with a few good elements. As a whole the film will please the young teenage target audience that will gush over Depp and love the visual style. But those looking for a good entertaining story, you'll be disappointed.
I never cared for the Alice in Wonderland story, not even in the book although it does a wonderful job of recreating the nature of a person's odd and mixed-up dream sequence.

The trouble is I can't find anyone to sympathize with in the story--even Alice is something of a brat at times. However, some of her failings are more easily overlooked as a child, but jacking her age up to nearly a 20-something just makes her seem more bitchy and whiney and indecisive.

Maybe that's why the bland actress in this version is so easily upstaged by Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter who is of course mad as a hatter but at least has a purpose and quicker reactions that Alice lacks. Depp and Helena Bonham Carter were the only interesting actors and characters on screen.

My 10-year-old granddaughter picked this film to go to this past weekend; otherwise, I'd never have seen it. She thought it was "awesome," although she insisted on the 2D version because she doesn't like 3D images jumping out from the screen. Likely the trip down the rabbit hole would have been more enteraining in 3D with all the things flashing by, but otherwise it was easy to spot the scenes designed especially for 3D, like a thrown hat sailing out over the audience and the whole Jabberwocky thing, of course.

Anyway, my granddaughter told her parents the movie was great when they came to collect her, but the night before when I was trying to find out what she liked about it, she couldn't cite many specifics. My wife and I didn't care for the film although we've enjoyed such things as Edward Sissorhands, Mars Attacks, the first Jack Sparrow film, Rocky Horror Picture Show, the LOTR series, Harry Potter and other imaginative works. Guess I'm just never gonna cotton to Alice, but she and Burton are laughing all the way to the bank from the boffo box office the film has commanded.



will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
I never cared for the Alice in Wonderland story, not even in the book although it does a wonderful job of recreating the nature of a person's odd and mixed-up dream sequence.

The trouble is I can't find anyone to sympathize with in the story--even Alice is something of a brat at times. However, some of her failings are more easily overlooked as a child, but jacking her age up to nearly a 20-something just makes her seem more bitchy and whiney and indecisive.

Maybe that's why the bland actress in this version is so easily upstaged by Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter who is of course mad as a hatter but at least has a purpose and quicker reactions that Alice lacks. Depp and Helena Bonham Carter were the only interesting actors and characters on screen.

My 10-year-old daughter picked this film to go to this past weekend; otherwise, I'd never have seen it. She thought it was "awesome," although she insisted on the 2D version because she doesn't like 3D images jumping out from the screen. Likely the trip down the rabbit hole would have been more enteraining in 3D with all the things flashing by, but otherwise it was easy to spot the scenes designed especially for 3D, like a thrown hat sailing out over the audience and the whole Jabberwocky thing, of course.

Anyway, my granddaughter told her parents the movie was great when they came to collect her, but the night before when I was trying to find out what she liked about it, she couldn't cite many specifics. My wife and I didn't care for the film although we've enjoyed such things as Edward Sissorhands, Mars Attacks, the first Jack Sparrow film, Rocky Horror Picture Show, the LOTR series, Harry Potter and other imaginative works. Guess I'm just never gonna cotton to Alice, but she and Burton are laughing all the way to the bank from the boffo box office the film has commanded.
I liked the Alice books as a kid, but they're not really stories. It's literary nonsense. The characters are unsympathetic because Carroll isn't interested in characterization. It's the work of an academic using his intellect to be humorous.



XxSCaRFaCExX's Avatar
Registered User
Cool make-ups! A little bit scary though



This is a sequel and often sequel are not as good as the first . Alice in wonderland is also not an exception. But 3D effect is excellent. But the flavor was missing. This time Alice forgot every thing about past when she came first time there. But the animal and creature remembered her.



I was SOOOOOOOOOO excited when I heard Tim Burton/Johnny Depp were doing this movie!! I thought yes! finally!

I was soo disappointed.

The movie in itself I enjoyed but, I thought Depp could have done so much more with this role...I mean..Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter? How could you go wrong? But I really wasn't impressed at all with his character. Helena Bonham Carter was EXCELLENT as the red queen! She does insane sooo well! I actually liked Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, I found her comical and a bit nutty (which i think is a requirement to living in wonderland). I would have liked to seen her character/storyline fleshed out a bit more actually.

I adored all of the other side characters, chesire cat, the tweedles, Stayne, March hare, and dormouse. They were all delightful and quirky and exactly what I was expecting.

They really should have looked harder for their alice tho. I found Mia blah blah blah. I couldn't empathize/sympathize with her character in anyway at all. They should have put Dakota Fanning in this role..she would have owned it!

That being said, they did leave it wide open for sequels, so I'm waiting and hoping.
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Much looked films... It nothing a smog will cause a stir. It is unique that only the history has turned out in more simplified sense. But I would not tell that it madly was pleasant to me. A normal film. The second time to reconsider there is no desire.



will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
Much looked films... It nothing a smog will cause a stir. It is unique that only the history has turned out in more simplified sense. But I would not tell that it madly was pleasant to me. A normal film. The second time to reconsider there is no desire.
Thank you for your insightful commentary, Cheshire Cat.



Alice in Wonderland is the best movie with a female lead character that Disney has ever produced. For the first time we see girl as hero/champion rather than it being all about her fighting with her father re: her marriage choice. In this movie, Alice must go through the trials and tribulations all heroes must face she must make the impossible, possible, she must subdue her internal passions (represented by the The Bandersnatch), conquer her fears, create her own path and transform into the "right" Alice. In the end she must make her own choices, not the ones that others set out for her, even if they are different choices. Touche to Linda Woolverton for a great screenplay, Tim Burton for wonderful direction and Mia Wasikowska for a great acting job. I highly recommend this movie in Imax 3-D.
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Alice in Wonderland

This is probably one of the most disappointing movies I have seen in a few years. Alice in Wonderland should have been something up Tim Burton's alley, and instead he turned it into something it wasn't. He should have taken over the screenplay from Linda Woolverton (whoever that is) and created darker, more dimensional characters; instead, what we get is Tim Burton for kids. I would have preferred his take on Lewis Carroll's novel rather than a rehash of every Hollywood fantasy film. I thought the younger Alice in the film looked the part of the original illustrations and would have been perfect for the role. Depp ruined the Mad Hatter with his accent and incoherent speech, Burton ruined the Mad Hatter with his ugly costume design.

I was disappointed to not hear Hatter shout "Change places!" I understand he is saddened by recent events, but even a mumbled, sad, "Change places" would have been nice to hear and keep his character intact through a simple and effective effort.



The charm behind Carroll's novel is that there really isn't much of a story, but rather a series of random and always bizarre events that are colorful and imaginative. You start to gain the sense that Alice really is in a peculiar land and at times you even often pity her. With her return to Wonderland the life behind everything the novel created almost evaporated. I say almost because the Cheshire Cat steals the show and truly did save the the film. Regardless, I would have much preferred a stop-motion attempt (The Nightmare Before Christmas) from Tim Burton rather than the use of actors and actresses to portray Carroll's characters. What we're left with because of this is unnecessary, though beautiful, CGI and a lot of it. At the very least the mood atmosphere of Edward Scissorhands would have been a delightful treat.

In a sentence: If Tim Burton would have made this film eight to ten years ago, it would have been a masterpiece, instead it's another trite film based on a delightful and well-read novel.

Verdict: 50/100



When I watched this film I basically saw the same old Tim Burton film with the same old make-up, scenery, and actors. All in all I didn't think the movie was horrible, but I think most people are getting tired of seeing the same sort of film from him. It remined me so much with the make-up and scenery and the darkness of it all as Sweeney Todd which was suppose to be dark.



I hated the film coz it didn't seem like a Tim Burton film at all..
He has lost his style... The guy could create wonderlands/cities/towns with little budget..
Now he spends so much money making ordinary films like these...

Whenever Burton adapts anything I expect him to deviate from the original source material (except for PoTA)... Sleepy Hollow was far better than the original material
.
But Sweeny Todd was a lot like the original play.. didn't see anything new there..
Same goes for Alice.. it was just another adaptation..

Tim Burton is no longer the man I used to admire.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Why did the movie make so much money then? You guys sound the opposite of the people paying out the money, but it certainly isn't the first time. This page is mostly full of moaning. I wrote up what I thought of it but since it's in Movie Tab II, you guys don't even know it exists.
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will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
Eveyrbody is entitled to their opinion. And I never thought much of the argument it made a lot of money so it must be good.