Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Title:  Alice
Format:  Netflix
Category:  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Miniseries/Book adaptation
Rating:  A+

I think it's amazing that I haven't been disappointed by a miniseries yet.

Description (from Barnes & Noble):  Director Nick Willing puts a new twist on Lewis Carroll's classic tale in this fantasy mini-series depicting Alice as a 21 year old woman who ventures into Wonderland in search of a lost love. Almost immediately after presenting Alice with an ornate family ring, handsome Jack Chase is abducted by a pair of hulking brutes. Approached by a well-dressed man named White Rabbit who claims to know Jack's whereabouts, Alice follows the stranger into a mirror and finds herself in a surreal new world of fantasy and wonder. When the Queen of Hearts discovers her son bestowed a virtual stranger the ring that gives its owner power over the looking glass, it's up to Alice to determine what she should do with it.

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Once again, RHI Entertainment, Syfy, and director Nick Willing put together an amazing miniseries that challenges our perceptions of a well-known, classic story.  When I saw Tin Man, all I could think was how much I hoped Syfy would make another miniseries, and then I heard about AliceAlice is a new spin on the classic Lewis Carroll stories that is exciting, romantic, funny, and just plain awesome.

The characters were phenomenally well-done.  The thought and development that went into creating these memorable characters is evident, especially Alice, Hatter, and the White Knight.  Caterina Scorsone was very different from every other portrayal of Alice I've ever seen.  Rather than a confused blonde, Scorsone's Alice is a kick-butt (brunette) martial arts expert with a lot of courage and intelligence.  The White Knight was definitely the comic relief.  And I was so surprised to learn that the actor playing him was Matt Frewer, or as I always knew him, Big Russ Thompson from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.  His background story as well as his ridiculousness make him a very lovable, believable character.  The best character in the whole movie has to go to Hatter, played by the adorable Andrew Lee Potts.  You instantly fall in love with him.  He's sweet, sarcastic, heroic, fun, and wonderfully flawed.  (He wouldn't be so great if he was perfect; perfect people are annoying.The supporting characters are fantastic too.  Kathy Bates is perfectly evil as the Queen of Hearts, and Colm Meaney plays her blundering husband very well.

The settings are beautiful and definitely worthy of Wonderland.  I think the Knights' kingdom is done the best.  I would actually want to live there.  The plot is exciting, with lots of twists and no slow moments.  It never feels like you're watching a three hour miniseries.  And the sci-fi elements and twists add so much to an already unique and well-done story.  Another thing I loved about this Syfy production is that, unlike Tin Man, my entire family, including my 8-year-old sister, could watch this.  A+

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