Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland

"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. " - Alice Kingsley (probably my most favorite line in the movie)

Alice In Wonderland is currently being shown here in Manila. Just a few blocks away from my place is a quiet mall with a moviehouse showing Tim Burton's new film on 3D. Cool, I thought on a not-so-busy Wednesday afternoon (wait, that was yesterday, I lost my sense of time there, sounds familiar?), I am going to relax and see it. It is, after all, The Alice In Wonderland, directed by The Tim Burton.

I would not want to do a "review" in its strictest sense. While I certainly love watching movies, I do not profess to be as knowledgeable about it as compared to, for example, music. I do say, however, that I have a keen interest in Tim Burton's works which are dark and intriguing.

Fairy tales have always been said to be intended for grown-ups. I think Alice In Wonderland is not an exception to this. The film, released by Disney, was shot to capture the young audience. I can therefore understand why Burton cannot go all-out dark on this one. The mere fact that the film is released by Disney is enough reason for me to lower my expectations a bit. (Sorry to Disney fans, but Disney does sugarcoat most of their movies like the originally tragic "The Little Mermaid" and "Anastasia".)

The animations were nearly seamless: Alice growing up and shrinking down, the Cheshire Cat disappearing and appearing while flashing that all-familiar smile, Absolem the blue caterpillar smoking his huka. Seamless, but not as riveting. I was hoping that the fall in the rabbit hole would be exciting on 3D, objects flinging into my face and such (remember, I was watching the film on 3D), but no excitement there. Ditto with the combat match on the chessboard: it did not look too much like a battle as it seemed to me a lame face-off between the two queens.

Don't ask me also about the resolution at the film's end, I did not like it at all; it is all forced to make this one a feel-good movie. Don't ask me specifically about that one particular act that The Mad Hatter (played by Johnny Depp) did after the battle, it was pretty horrid, and I would rather that you see it for yourself. Simply put, yuck!

The film has some cool moments, though.

I have always love the Cheshire Cat character and I am glad that he appears cute and charming in this film.

I am always hesitant about liking Johnny Depp all-out (damn, blame it on 21 Jump Street), but I have always respected his offbeat choice of roles, the role of the Mad Hatter included.

The actress who played Alice is competent, exuding both innocence and feistiness.

And as always, the animations are superb, though I wish there was more darkness to them. But hey, this movie is not for a jaded adult like me.

Anyway, just watch the film: it is not that bad. It IS Alice in Wonderland, and it IS Tim Burton's movie anyway. I will suggest, however, to make your expectations a little, well, realistic, to enjoy the movie more.

Finally, forget about watching it on 3D - a waste of money. Totoo ito. I walked out of the moviehouse regretting that I saw the film on 3D. Is it just me?

"It is not impossible to like this film ... just a little difficult." - not Alice Kingsley (may have been said by a Lewis Carroll/Tim Burton fan, one or the other)

ALMOST ALICE: What do I think about it? Find out HERE.

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