Thursday, August 12, 2010

Title:  Alice in Wonderland
Format:  Netflix
Category:  Fantasy/Coming-of-age/Adaptation
Rating:  B

Description (from  Alice, an unpretentious and individual 19-year-old, is betrothed to a dunce of an English nobleman. At her engagement party, she escapes the crowd to consider whether to go through with the marriage and falls down a hole in the garden after spotting an unusual rabbit. Arriving in a strange and surreal place called "Underland," she finds herself in a world that resembles the nightmares she had as a child, filled with talking animals, villainous queens and knights, and frumious bandersnatches. Alice realizes that she is there for a reason--to conquer the horrific Jabberwocky and restore the rightful queen to her throne.

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I really wasn't as impressed with this movie as so many other people seem to be.  I've read so many reviews that praise this version of the Alice story, and while I didn't hate the movie, I didn't think it lived up to all the hype around it.

I'm very sorry to all the Johnny Depp fans I am about to offend, but I really found nothing amazing about his performance.  My sister said he acted the same way he did in Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, and I have to agree with her.  It was like all they did was change the hair and eyes.  I also don't think Mia Wasikowska is a very good actress.  She was so wooden; her voice and facial expressions never changed.  It just made it impossible to connect with her.  The secondary characters shone over the main ones.  

The portrayal of Wonderland or, as they call it, Underland was very well done.  It looked exactly the way I thought a Tim Burton world should look.  And the music from Danny Elfman was, as always, extremely good, despite the fact that a few spots sounded just like the Charlie soundtrack.  The inclusion of an actual storyline was interesting too.  The real Alice story doesn't have a plot at all; she just wanders and interacts with different characters.  So adding an actual plot was an improvement.  But as a whole, the movie just didn't meet my expectations.  B

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