Thursday, March 4, 2010

Alice in Wonderland is "wonderful!"... except for that certain sequence

Alice in Wonderland, for me, is never a kid's bedtime story. This classic fairytale is a lot more complicated from the typical Cinderella and Snow White story. I admit, the young me who watched the cartoon movie got annoyed with it because all they did was confuse Alice, shrinking her, then enlarging her, and then there was that clockwatcher rabbit, he really drove me nuts. But when I watched it again after I got a little older, I started to appreciate the story. So after learning that Tim Burton will direct a fave classic, Alice in Wonderland, I was stoked. I was curious on how he will embrace the challenge of adapting this novel, and together with his long-time moviemaking partners, Danny Elfman, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter, etc., try to remake a Walt Disney-produced movie without dropping his usual goth and whimsy style of directing.

Actually, I wouldn't call it a remake since he won't redo what Disney has already shown in its animated version. Instead, the story was set when Alice was now in her teens, old enough to be betrothed to the son of his late father's business partner. She doesn't have any memories of her previous trip to wonderland and now, she'll come back with a  mission wherein the fate of wonderland depends on her. (That's it for the story, I won't give any more spoilers.)

Another reason for me to be excited is that I was one of those lucky people who got free tickets to the advance screening of Alice in Wonderland 3D at SM Megamall. We entered the theater at around 7 PM and there was a small program before the screening. And then it started. Lights dimmed, we wore our plastic glasses, the logo of Walt Disney was shown, and there it was.

With his new film, Tim Burton, again, never failed to dazzle me. I was like, "Whoa... Wow... Aaaaaw..." during the first part of the film, when Alice was being introduced to the new world. Seeing the characters, the set, it's like a dream. Colors were popping and yet, you can still see a hint of goth in it - a signature look in all Tim Burton films. You really have to admire the artistry of the guy. It's really WOW.

The standout character for me? Helen Bonham Carter as the Red Queen. I think there's no one better for that role than her. She's the only one who can say "Off with their heads!" with so much conviction and perfect intonation, just right for playing an evil tyrant queen character. As for Johnny Depp, as always, I love him, except the way he delivers his lines. The accent is so heavy, there are some lines that I didn't understand. 

The film is great, except for that itsy-bitsy flaw. Well I wouldn't really call it an itsy-bitsy, let me rephrase myself, it's quite large, in terms of its effect on me, as a viewer. I mean, I love it from start of the film, to the middle, to the great battle scene in the latter part, and then.... Poof! Something happened, something that killed the trance that held me to the movie. Something that the Mad Hatter did with his feet. I was like, "What have you done? Why? Why? Why?" It was only a small deed, but that small deed got me confused and my admiration towards the film was suddenly down -10 points. 

But all in all, I think people will enjoy watching the movie, if you don't mind the flaw that I was talking about. 

Alice in Wonderland, by Walt Disney is now showing in all SM Cinemas and in 3D.


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