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Alice in Wonderland

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.