Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Alice in Wonderland (2010) — Above all else this is yummy yummy eye candy (and I’m not just talking about Mia Wasikowski [rim shot]).  The look of this film is fucking gorgeous in that usual twisted Tim Burton way.  The other big plus is the cast.  Burton’s usual stock players Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Christopher Lee, and Michael Gough all pop up [the latter two in voice over] and Sweeney Todd vets Alan Rickman and Timothy Spall join Burton for a second outing.  And how is this the first time Crispin Glover has been in a Tim Burton movie?  You think their two distinct brands of weird would have intersected at some point before…  Of course it wouldn’t be a Tim Burton movie without a big Danny Elfman score (um… unless that movie is Ed Wood, Mars Attacks!, or Sweeney Todd).  The sense of whimsy from Rev. Charles Dodgson’s [a.k.a. Lewis Carroll] is very present in this film.  Beyond the visuals (the Bandersnatch does appear quite frumious) the dialogue maintains the sense of absurdity that has kept people falling in love with the books since they were published.  The main weakness of the movie is the story.  They’re going for sort of a Return to Wonderland thing.  That’s fine.  It’s worked with 1985’s Return to Oz (although those film-makers had the advantage of an actual book to base their film on).  But the epic battle of Good (Anne Hathaway’s White Queen) vs. Evil (Helena Bonham Carter’s dead-on fantastic Red Queen) doesn’t really seem to fit into Carroll’s world of whimsical nonsense.  The Mad Hatter never struck me as the freedom fighter type…  The movie has more than enough to make it worth seeing, especially the way I saw it on IMAX in 3D, but the plot is incidental; just an excuse to move along to the next seems of whimsical nonsense with amazing Burtonesque visuals.  The plot really isn’t even worth following, just watch the movie and let it sort of wash over you.  It’s a good time at the movies and what more do you really want from a movie like this?

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