Alice in Wonderland
review by Timothy Hogg
This week, the movie theaters announced that (insert bullshit reason here) prices were going up slightly for regular films, but the IMAX and 3-D films were going to skyrocket. We decided to go and catch Alice in Wonderland before these outrageous prices took effect, but sadly, they went into effect on March 25th. Luckily, we had a coupon, which kept the price to $25.00 for two tickets to see Alice in 3D.
As much as I would like to go into some tangent about the outrage I feel toward the greedy people of Hollywood, this post is going to be about how WONDERFUL this film is.
Alice in Wonderland is a well known story, one of those tales that seems to get redone, rehashed every decade or so. It’s one of those stories that seems to get told in cadence with the current vision of reality of the time– the most famous being the tame Disney cartoon version– violence rarely plays out so well in a cartoon.
This does represent Tim Burton’s vision of the original story by Lewis Carroll. Like most films, Burton’s version pays no attention to keeping with the consistency of the original story. Instead, this version of AIW is more Burton’s version of the Disney cartoon mentioned earlier. Instead this is more of a culmination of both Alice in Wonderland and through the looking glass, but regardless of how authentic, the film works amazingly well. I think the main thing that really makes this film shine is Burton’s way of storytelling has finally managed to mitigate its weird/awkwardness to normalcy. Alice’s dream sequence offers Burton an open canvas of his craft and he wields a colourful brush indeed. The visuals of the world offer striking contrasts of red, white and darkness.
Burton’s cast of characters are mostly from his previous arsenal of big name actors: Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Depp and the ever creepy, Cripin Glover. The casting is wonderfully done, Bonham-Carter is nothing short of brilliant as the evil Red Queen, with Glover as her Heart patched heroine horror. The true stars of this film are the anthropomorphous, particularly the Cheshire Cat’s coyness. Depp’s characterization isn’t particularly amazing or astonishing, in fact the bond that Alice and Hatter share almost seems rehearsed.
Regardless, the film is still at the top of the list of a decent year of films thus far. Is it worth the additional cost of admission now? Yes. This is one of those not to be missed films in the theatre–although the 3-D experience is certainly optional.