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Archive for the tag “Alice in Wonderland”


Here be spoilers… if you haven’t seen the film, avert your eyes….

I went to see Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland  in 3D.  Let me preface all my comments by saying I enjoyed the film and wish to see it again but it is as others have stated “a bit uneven.”  I won’t even begin to compare this movie with the book because really, it is not Lewis Carroll’s story but a sort of sequel to that story.   The film starts up slow, telegraphing what is soon to be coming up in the not-so real-world, and with scenes coming off slightly awkward and forced, jumping from one foreshadowed event to another.  But once Alice falls down the rabbit hole, the movie opens up and becomes spectacularly beautiful.  I’d like to see it again without the dimming effect of the 3D glasses (if you see it in 3D, occasionally peek around the glasses to get a sense of the true color of the film).  I am a fan of the visual world of Tim Burton and in that respect this movie does not disappoint.

Once in Wonderland, we are introduced to the familiar characters that Mr. Burton has re-interpreted with a less childish perspective. The 1951 Disney animated Alice portrayed Wonderland through a child’s perspective and this, what we are seeing now, is Wonderland seen through a young adult’s perspective… which leaves me wondering what Wonderland would look when Alice hits forty (or fifty) and falls down the rabbit hole once more…. hmmm, the mind reels… perhaps we don’t really want to go there….

As for the performances, well, Mia Wasikowska is truly Alice but Helena Bonham Carter is over the top as the Red Queen — the woman plays crazy exceedingly well.  She blasts her way through the role yet let’s you feel a little sorry for old Red, too.  My favorite line from the film is “I need a pig here.” I joked that I was going to use that as my new ringtone and look – you can get it as your ringtone:  Here Piggy… now if they only had a proper Cheshire Cat clip.  Stephen Fry is magnificent as the Cat – ubiquitously delicious.  I read somewhere that he supposedly based his vocal stylings for the Cheshire Cat on George Sanders.  I have been an admirer of Stephen Fry for some time and wish I had access to his vocal talents reading the Harry Potter series (UK audio books).  Don’t get me wrong – love Jim Dale (U.S. Potter audio book narrator) but not when he is reading the Potter series.  Absalom, the caterpillar is voiced by Alan Rickman.  Of course, we all know I have a very strong bias when it comes to Mr. Rickman’s voice.  I’ll just say his caterpillar is mesmerizing and reminds me of how much I would love hear more narration, poetry reading, etc. from Mr. Rickman … Er…. excuse me, I seemed to have digressed… where was I… oh Alice.

As to Johnny Depp’s Hatter – yes, I enjoyed his performance but was rather confused by the lisp or affectation that he used some of the time (it was almost a Boris Karloff meets Ralphie from Christmas Story type lisp) and then, all of sudden, in once scene in particular, where he is reciting Jabberwocky, the lisp disappears completely, the crazy goes away and we see a darker side to the Hatter – an almost political militant Hatter.  This is where the film gets that whole uneven quality, trying to find motivation for actions where there should be none.  At times, too much logic is cast over the sheer lunacy that Wonderland is supposed to be and succeeds only in slowing down the pace.  I believe the movie finds its full strength when Alice stops wandering around Wonderland insisting she doesn’t belong, proclaiming that all is a dream and decides to go with the flow and play along with the insanity.

Bottom line – visually beautiful, inventive, magnificent vocal performances – but this generation’s Wizard of Oz?  I’d say no, but then who really knows – it took the Wizard of Oz a few years before it became the celebrated film it is today (interesting WoO article here).  Let me be clear that I will be purchasing the dvd and single framing and screencapping so that I can take a long and detailed look at the wonderful images, the flowers, and frogs and furniture holding monkeys that Tim Burton has produced for us as well as making audio clips of the caterpillar and the Cheshire cat for my own amusement.  Oh and stay for the end titles – they are neo-Victorian gorgeousness….


Feliz Navidad

A Christmas present new photos from Tim Burton’s Wonderland available on line – here’s the Caterpillar:

Go here Alice in Wonderland to see the whole schmeer (banner) or here to read about it:  Alice

Merry Christmas to all!

Curiouser and curiouser…

The latest trailer is available for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.  I didn’t realize the plot is not that of Alice in Wonderland but tells the tale of an older Alice returning to Wonderland.  I’m not sure how I feel about the liberties taken but it does look rather magnificent.  Tim Burton’s artistic sensibilities suit the subject well.  The film has the look of a slightly faded Victorian valentine illustration.  I can almost smell the powdery odor of old books and roses past their prime when I watch the trailer…. or perhaps that’s just me …. you decide, take a look:

By the way, I think the phrase “I need a pig here” maybe my new favorite quote to repeat endlessly to people that don’t have a clue what I’m talking about.  It may even eventually take its place along side …”Better.  Better get a bucket” and “Don’t call me Shirley”

Smoking caterpillars

Here is another wonderful clip from Katie Benedict of Alan Rickman at the Hudson Union Society talk.  In this clip, he is talking about Tim Burton, Alice in Wonderland and his character the smoking caterpillar.  Once again thank you so much Katie and to Ben who puts these together.  Click here please:  One Scheme of Happiness

I wish the Tim Burton exhibit at the MoMA would last just a little bit longer so I could see it on my annual pilgrimage to NYC (or I may have to move up my annual pilgrimage so as to see it).  I’ve been a fan of Burton’s since Vincent and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.  I think the only Burton film I’ve not seen is, believe it or not, Sweeney Todd – I’m a big baby, I know – I get scared easily and really can’t take much blood and gore.  Some day I’ll work up the nerve to watch it (maybe).

Mad you say?

Mad as a hatter perhaps…

I am very much looking forward to Tim Burton’s next cinematic outing – Alice in Wonderland.  These pictures have been all over the net since yesterday and I post them here so I may enjoy them (and you can have a look if you’d like too).  I just love the details, the hat pins, fabric textures used for the hat, the over-the-top use of color.  Its almost as if you took Edward Scissorhands and colored him using the palette Burton used for the suburbanites in that movie.   Click on the foto to go to Johnny-Depp.org if you want more Johnny Depp info.  The illustration below is just so gorgeous – it makes me wish I had the talent to produce work like this:

Go here to USA Today for a upclose, interactive, hi-res version to get the full effect.

Nerd alert: Star Wars Personality Test

Well, I took the Star Wars Personality test… apparently, I’m no Princess Leia (altho’ only by one point) and thank god I’m not that annoying C3P0 but I am deeply disturbed by the fact that Jar-Jar even showed up at all (see below).  All in all I’m pretty happy with the results – R2-D2 was fun, got to fly with Luke and really saved the day on more than one occasion.  This quote is from the Wookipediea (yes that’s right, the Wookipedia):

When asked in an interview, “Is there a character you are going to miss?” George Lucas replied, “Well, R2-D2, because he’s the hero of the whole thing. He’s the one that always comes through and saves everybody. I’d like to have a pal like that that would come and save me once in a while.”

To quote a certain caterpillar* in Alice in Wonderland…”Whooooo are youuuuuuu?”  Take the test – link is at the bottom and let me know (unless you come up Darth Vader – then I’d really prefer not to know)

Your results:
You are R2-D2

Princess Leia
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Luke Skywalker
Qui-Gon Jinn
Han Solo
Jar Jar Binks
What you lack in height
and communication skills,
you make up for in industriousness,
technical know-how and being there
when others need you most.    

(This list displays the top 10 results out of a possible 21 characters)

Click here to take the Star Wars Personality Test


*The IMDB has Alan Rickman signed on to portray the caterpillar in Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland… here take a look: Alice.

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