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Alice in Wonderland (ETA)

My thoughts about the flick aren't as clear as they might be, but I'm still cutting for spoilers.

Shog and I saw Alice in Wonderland in 3D after all; it was pretty, but I don't think it's necessary to see the film in 3D. I liked it well enough. Burton gives us several interesting characters thrown in together—but not connected; the relationships between and among the characters aren't as well-developed as I would have liked to have seen, and this left me feeling unfulfilled. Alice, played enchantingly by Mia Wasikowska, was fully realized, and the Mad Hatter was certainly something (although I didn't like Depp's inconsistently applied accent; it was distracting), but even being familiar with the books, I was left with a sense of incompleteness by the film's end. Again, most of the characters interested me, but why they were important to each other was never adequately expressed.

Hathaway's White Queen bothered the hell out of me (as did her eyebrows); she swanned around in an Attitude in almost every scene. Post-viewing, I realized that the affectation was part of her characterization (as are her eyebrows, hinting at darker depths); she's taken vows not to harm anyone and is presenting herself in the way she wants to be lest she go the way of her sister, the Red Queen. Thinking about it, I think the White Queen would be entirely more alarming without her affectations (see the potion-brewing scene for a hint of this) if she weren't holding back something of her truer, more familial nature.

I loved the set-up; I despised the ending. Feminist fairytale or no (it's Alice's "dream," and she's to direct it; she has a lot of pluck and agency, and I did like that), I don't think any man of the time-period would have gone into business with a young woman. That just didn't work for me because I like my fairytales to stick to reality in some respects; it makes the fantasy that much stronger.

And you all will see the film and probably think that I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, which is fine. Basically, I think that this version of Alice had a lot more potential than was realized, but it's pretty and worth seeing if one doesn't mind, er, affected characters (I don't include Wasikowska's Alice in this) over the substance of relationships within a tight, satisfying plot—that said, to its credit, the movie doesn't drag.

If any of you understood what I was just trying to say and agree with me, perhaps you'll be kind enough to reply with a nicely succinct and clearer summary? ;)

P.S. There was much to like about Depp's performance, I just found myself watching him play the Mad Hatter, and that was distracting; he usually embodies his characters to the extent that I forget who he is. Wasikowska, on the other hand, was Alice. Sadly, Absalom did nothing for me; why was he wise? Why should I give a shit about him? The movie never addressed either question. *sighs* Pretty, but not magical—that pretty much sums up my feelings about the movie (oh, and the liking of largeness? That was just icky. When you see the movie, you'll know what I mean by that).

P.P.S. I'm not liking this trend toward every movie being in 3D; the process may be improved, but it's still gimmicky, which means that plot, characterization, and relationships in films suffer. I'd rather stay home and read than see a 3D movie. Sadly, we're seeing Avatar today (and in 3D); it was sold-out yesterday, so we got tickets for today. I'm sort of bummed because it will mean going up to the mall, which is my idea of a circle of hell. I hope the movie doesn't suck as much as I think it will. /grumpiness

In other news, I did astonishingly well on today's hike—we almost made it to the Potomac!—and we met several friendly, prosperous-looking Labradors. :D

ETA: Here's a little Burton-related vid from the College Humor crew that resonates with me just now.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 7th, 2010 04:17 pm (UTC)
I want to be interested enough in the movie (Alice) to want to pluck down my money, but the character models are enough for me to not feel comfortable going - they feel inconsistent? I dunno.

And about Avatar - I actually really liked it but I saw it like noein9 did and did not see the other implications until later. Convenient link provided: http://noein9.livejournal.com/6879.html

It's just that I can see what Cameron was going for just he doesn't have a really good way of making it obvious. But my first viewing I went armed with notebook, so... *shrugs* LOL

Definitely worth the art! I have no clue how I am going to bring myself to buy it, if only because it's perfect in 3D.
Apr. 22nd, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC)
Well, with all the 3D t.v.s coming to the market, one day we might be able to afford 3D at home; I'm still not sure that I'd buy Avatar, though.
Mar. 7th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
I'm going to see it later this week. I'm going to be good and finish sorting out the flat first.

Labradors do tend to the prosperous look.
Apr. 22nd, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
*huggles Labs*
Mar. 8th, 2010 04:09 am (UTC)
Just got back from seeing Alice a little bit ago. Depp fell flat for me also - the Hatter was too much like Willy Wonka in ways that were distracting. The White Queen was a bit of a disappointment as well because in the book she's my favorite character, but the character in the movie didn't bear any resemblance to her. And the swanning was kind of off to me, too.

Alice's outbursts at the end were more difficult for me to believe than her going into business - there's always been odd women who manage to overcome the odds that way, and I think the setup with her father being mad/visionary sold that part for me. But the lack of corset and outspokenness was really hard for me to buy.

Absalom worked for me as the only version I've ever seen where the 'Who are you?' came across right. I liked that they played with that and had her figuring out who she was in the way they did. And Alice was so incredibly awesome. :) Oh, and loved the Cheshire Cat too.

But oddly, the character I felt the most engaged with emotionally was the Bandersnatch. I want one. *g*
Apr. 22nd, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen Depp's Wonka (I'm sort of afraid to), so I can't compare the performances, but something did feel off about his portrayal. I'm planning to see the movie again, so perhaps I'll have a change of heart upon the second viewing. Nothing will fix the swanning, though. *snorts*

*nods about the corset*

The Bandersnatch rocked! He was so cuddly in his scary, needful of affection kind of way. :D
Apr. 12th, 2010 03:14 am (UTC)
The white queen's eyebrows bothered the hell out of me. and i make it my business to Futterwacken every morning
Apr. 22nd, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC)

I just don't get the brows.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )