Saturday, March 6, 2010

Don't believe the Critics...

Or why "Alice in Wonderland" wasn't as bad as 'everyone' claims it is.

I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about this film. Some are valid; some are people looking for something to bitch about. "Burton isn't Burton." "It didn't follow the books' story-lines." "It was horrible!" "What's up with Depp's accent changes?"

Can someone honestly tell me what is "Burton?" His films span to so many genres that to place him within that "gothic, must be dark like 'Sleepy Hallow' or 'Nightmare Before Christmas' type of movie" is really unfair. Okay, my favorite film of his is "Vincent" which has those very dark, lovely qualities. But to think "Alice" was going to be like this, is folly. As to the story lines, it's Burton's movie! And be honest, when was the last time you read Lewis Carroll? The books are written more to the lines of vignettes so to adapt a film to these would be a little difficult. Didn't anyone notice Depp changed his accent with the subject of the conversation? OH! That's why he used different accents! I actually think Depp did that change too seamlessly so people didn't pick up on it.

It was far from horrible. Stephen Fry (the Chesire Cat) and Alan Rickman (the Catepillar) did superb jobs as usual. Depp (really?) and Crispin Glover (the Knave) played off each other very well. Michael Gough only had two lines (Dodo). Christopher Lee only had ONE (as the Jabberwocky). He should have had at least three more with a voice like his. It was fitting that him and Gough were billed together. The fangirl in me was delighted. Imelda Stauton was lost as a flower. I loved how I recognized Lindsay Duncan (also known for her Adelaide Brooke in "Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars [side note: My favorite special]) as Alice's Mum. I have to say Helena Bonham Carter did steal the movie. The characterization was perfect! Since Burton is working on "Dark Shadows" I'm hoping she's cast as Aunt Abigail, if they are doing a "1795" film (a very Red Queen/Bellatrix-like character). She needs to be another evil character. In the words of Craig Ferguson, she does "bat-shit" crazy well.

I liked the movie. I enjoyed it and was entertained so it was worth the ticket price. Its certainly better than three-quarters of the films out there.