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Carried Away With Alice

Alice in WonderlandYou probably remember Alice. Long yellow hair, blue dress, white apron… tends to go chasing after rabbits.  She fell down a strange hole somewhere around 1865, and had her first adventure in Wonderland.

In 2010, she’s no longer a child, and she’s headed back to a CGI-rendered Wonderland, now called Underland.

Before you start thinking sequel, this is the same story. It’s just a different Alice. Or not. That’s the question. It will explain itself.

This Tim Burton movie was a whimsical return to a place I remembered from childhood, with all the familiar characters included. There couldn’t have been a story without a wispy Cheshire Cat, the indispensable White Rabbit, the dotish Twiddle Dee Dee and Twiddle Dee Dum, and two queens – White and Red.

All of the characters, good and evil, are somehow lovingly rendered, with even Helena Bonham Carter superbly adorable as she yells, “Off with their heads!”

There’s also a quirkily attractive integration of special effects on otherwise normal-looking characters. The Mad Hatter’s green eyes are enormous, while the Red Queen’s head is impossibly bulbous. It left the non-altered actors just oh-so-lacking.

The movie was rated PG-13 for a hookah-puffing caterpillar who’s been smoking since back in 1865, along with some images that might be scary for littler ones. With that in mind I kept an eye on my six-year-old son, who didn’t flinch once. He absolutely loved the movie, and was doing his version of the “fuderwack” when we got outside.



Speaking of fuderwacking, Johnny Depp was a standout as the Mad Hatter, not surprising given the character’s nutty nature. Who else could they have gotten to play this role?

I didn’t recognize Bonham-Carter at first, but she acted alongside Depp in The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and The Corpse Bride (both worth seeing).

The reviews of this movie have been very mixed, with one critic even ascribing sexual inappropriateness to the fact that Alice’s outfits didn’t grow and shrink with her. (rolling my eyes here)


The movie is also playing in 3D, where available, although the critics have not been too kind to that version either.

I found this movie absolutely cute, with appropriately silly dialogue and amusing special effects. It’s nothing like Avatar in term of detailed scenery, but it works. I’m actually considering watching it again.

After all, I do have to keep my son up-to-date on his fuderwacking lessons.


My favourite quote (by Depp of course): “What’s happened to you? You were much more… muchier. You’ve lost your muchness.”

 

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#1 jump'n'wave » 2010-03-14 09:00

"Underland", I think that's the hole in Cooledge where the Stanford investors money went!
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