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My review of Alice in Wonderland (Spoiler Free)

I’m not sure what to say about this movie. I’ll start with the visuals. It was beautiful. A perfect Tim Burton world, realized down to every little detail. I could watch full scenes without paying attention to the dialogue and just enjoy how damn pretty it looked, all with its own skewed twist.

The story, however, needed a lot of work. It was written like someone read Lewis Carroll’s work, pulled out some key phrases, and tried to write a script around them. It didn’t have the feel of Carroll, of his illogical logic and random strangeness. Rather than expand on the universe, using the same rules set forth by Carroll, it was a poorly made Xerox of Wonderland, with some smudges right where the important parts were.

I don’t know what genius decided to name this “Alice in Wonderland” but make a Hook-like return to Wonderland. I don’t know why anyone thought that watching Tim Burton work his mad genius on the original works would be a poor idea. I don’t know why this movie existed other than to give Johnny Depp a ridiculous Scottish accent and a bigger role than he really needed.

I liked it, but it should have been named something different. And the dialogue should have been rewritten by someone with a brain. And the gorgeous actress who played Alice, Mia Wasikowska, should have done some full frontal nudity.

I give it three out of five vorpal blades.

(And for those of you who haven’t read the original works, the poem I posted yesterday is verbatim from Carroll’s works.)

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21 Replies to “My review of Alice in Wonderland (Spoiler Free)”

    • zach

      @Amanda, TOTALLY agree. it’s like there’s some secret deal in hollywood: “ok, from now on, all ‘weird’ flics include both johnny AND helena, deal?” really? it’s impossible to make a flic that is both kinda weird and very entertaining and NOT include one or both? i grieve for hollywood, deeply.

  1. melissa

    i’m going to reread this with my 3D glasses on. then i won’t have to see it at all. i love tim burton so i’m going to see it. and i hear the make up is amazing. but i’m bummed by what you say regarding the dialog.

  2. Faiqa

    Why did you have to clarify that you posted Carroll’s poem verbatim? I’m off to read the comments on yesterday’s post, now.

    And, I still can’t wait to see this movie!! But, sadly, I must.

  3. JD at I Do Things

    When I saw the (awesome) preview, I thought, Oh, this must not be titled “Alice in Wonderland,” but it WAS. You’re right. It’s obvious from the trailer that it’s not “Alice in Wonderland.” Still, I would rather have seen that than “Valentine’s Day,” which my friend insisted on yesterday.

  4. Elizabeth Kaylene

    I haven’t seen it yet, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to; it looks like Tim Burton tried too hard to be weird. I know weird is his thing, and I’ve always liked that about him, but this movie just seems forced to me.

    I probably won’t go see it after reading your review.

  5. alice in wonderland site

    Kudos to Depp, then, that he still generates another memorable, albeit this time one-dimensional, on screen persona. He provides his Hatter with plenty of lovable eccentricities and rough edges, all the more noteworthy considering the non-existent depth to which the material affords him. He’ll certainly be a hit with the kids. The rest of the cast are unpredictable in their output: Aussie newcomer Wasikowska overdoes it as the titular protagonist, Hathaway’s saccharine White Queen grates on the nerves and the opaque Glover is unbearably boring as Stayne; whilst Carter’s malevolent Red Queen is a hoot, Lucas induces a laugh or two as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Rickman oozes noble charisma as the Blue Caterpillar and Paul Whitehouse’s March Hare steals every single scene he is in.

  6. Laurie

    I pretty much agree with you. I kept thinking of Mike Myers every time Johnny Depp opened his mouth. It was super pretty to look at, but the story was lacking. I was excited to hear Alan Rickman because he is my favorite.

  7. Katie

    I havne’t read any of the other comments in case of spoilers – I’m going to see this movie next week and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve heard mixed reviews though.

  8. Jason

    I’m going to see this next weekend. I hope I like it better than you did.

    And the only reason I agreed to go was that I heard Johnny Depp was doing some full frontal nudity.

  9. Stacy

    Saw it last night and wasn’t sure I would like it, but am glad I went. Maybe because I saw it in IMAX 3D, I was just dazzled by the larger than life stuff 🙂

  10. rose the rad sugar

    i reviewed _alice_ for and i tore it apart too. i called it a “disasterpiece” and i think the multi-text mash-up made for a bizarre, confusing plot. and seriously, the last thing hollywood needs is more 3-D. i could live a happy life never sitting through a 3-D shitshow again in my life.

    i agree w/ the avitable though. if you could mute out the forced dialogue some scenes were cool looking. and mia as alice made this mostly-straight girl swoon.

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