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 Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland

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Donald McKinney
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PostSubject: Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland   Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:59 pm

Lewis Carroll wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1865, and since then, it's been a success the world over. Carroll even followed it up with a sequel in 1872, Through the Looking-Glass. Since then, there have been 24 film and TV adaptations of the work. The first being a silent movie in 1903, Walt Disney's animated take in 1951, a 1966 TV cartoon done by Hanna-Barbera, an all-star British version in 1972 with Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, a surrealist version by Jan Švankmajer and a 1999 TV movie by Hallmark. This time, it's been taken up by Tim Burton, whose name alone is a franchise in it's own right, his films have captivated the imaginations of moviegoes since the late 1980's. He'd just come off the dark, moody and unsettling musical Sweeney Todd, and selected this for his next film. Carroll and Burton together seems like a match made in heaven, and he's using a mostly CGI environment to bring Wonderland to life. Yep, this is Alice in Wonderland, Burton style, combining his imaginative design, and the cast is made of old friends of his, and alot of new ones too.

It begins with 19 year old Alice Kingsley (Mia Wasikowska), who is proposed to by Hamish (Leo Bill) at a garden party at a Victorian estate, she disappears before she can give an answer, and finds herself following the White Rabbit (voiced by Michael Sheen) down a rabbit hole, and Alice finds herself back in Wonderland, although she can't remember it, as this is 13 years since she first visited it. She soon finds herself back with old company, including the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), Tweedledum and Tweedledee (Matt Lucas), the Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry), the March Hare (Paul Whitehouse) and the Dormouse (Barbara Windsor). However, all is not well in this land, the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), who is gathering up all the characters in the Underland, (as it's more officially known), the Knave of Hearts (Crispin Glover) sees to that. But, Alice is told she is the only one who can slay the Red Queen's monster, the Jabberwocky (voiced by Christopher Lee), but she needs the help of the Red Queen's sister, the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), who lives a peaceful existance.

This is a sequel to the original story, although you'd be fooled by that from the title. But, don't let that put you off this take on it. It's good to see Burton take on something like this, Wonderland is a perfect environment to use his imaginative designs. It's a world away from the 1951 version that Disney produced. This has a much more epic scale, and Burton uses the same rich colour palate he used for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, still as gothic as ever, but this is what we've come to expect from him. The script by Linda Woolverton (The Lion King) captures the essence of Carroll's surrealism and nonsensical prose. Burton is quite restrained with the real world sequences, he could have gone the whole hog with gothicness there, but he didn't, it's as real as the real bits in Big Fish were. And there are little contrasts here and there between the two, but it touches on the themes of end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood, kinda like Labyrinth did, which was partially inspired by Carroll's Alice stories.

The cast are wonderful. Newcomer Mia Wasikowska does well as Alice, who goes from a young woman, unsure of her destiny in life to a heroine warrior. But, Johnny Depp, on his 7th film with Burton, almost steals the film as The Mad Hatter, with Glaswegian accent and a "See Ye Later Jimmy" wig. Razz He has a great time with that. Other standouts are Helena Bonham Carter's mad Red Queen, who uses a pig for a footstool. P Stephen Fry adding his smooth, brilliant voice to the Cheshire Cat, and the great Barbara Windsor, playing the plucky Dormouse. Razz Other appearances come from Timothy Spall as the not-so-loyal Royal Bloodhound, Michael Gough as the Dodo, Alan Rickman playing the world-weary Caterpillar. (Listen out for Imelda Staunton and Jim Carter). In the real world, Lindsay Duncan plays Alice's mother and Frances De La Tour plays her eccentric Aunt Imogen. Razz



It's great to see Burton do a CGI film, he's often sticked to real life special effects and models, but CGI can let his ideas go deeper and into more detail than ever before. It does fly by a little too quickly, and it doesn't really go into much detail with alot of the characters, but this is a minor quibble in a visually splendid and awe-inspiring film. Depp is the best thing about the film by far, he and Burton bring the best out in each other, and I for one look forwards to what they come up with next. On this basis, it would be good to see Burton go for a full CGI animated film!! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland   Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:16 pm

"You're late for tea!"




This guy cracked me up! Very Happy


I loved it. Depp was a good as ever and the rest of the cast were splendid, Bonham-Carter particular but an impressive bunch of vocal only talent too. The visuals were stunning, the CGI creating an other-worldly looks to what was a very Burton landscape, an awesome score by Elfman.


Only the futterwack let the film down!

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He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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