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December 23, 2010

Alice in Wonderland [Blu-ray]

Alice in Wonderland [Blu-ray]

Product By Walt Disney Pictures
Average customer review:
Rating: 3.5
Lowest Price : $13.99
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Technical Details

  • DEPP/WASIKOWSKA/CARTER/HATHAWA

Product Description

Tumble down the rabbit hole with Alice for a fantastical new adventure from Walt Disney Pictures and Tim Burton. Inviting and magical, Alice In Wonderland is an imaginative new twist on one of the most beloved stories of all time. Alice (Mia Wasikowska), now 19 years old, returns to the whimsical world she first entered as a child and embarks on a journey to discover her true destiny. This Wonderland is a world beyond your imagination and unlike anything you ve seen before. The extraordinary characters you ve loved come to life richer and more colorful than ever. There s the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), the White Rabbit (Michael Sheen) and more. A triumphant cinematic experience Alice In Wonderland is an incredible feast for your eyes, ears and heart that will captivate audiences of all sizes.

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Customer Reviews

Much better than it has been given credit for4

In spite of having to read many negative reviews, I was still curious to see this movie. I not a huge Burton fan neither, although I’ve enjoyed some of his previous work. But it was something about «Alice in Wonderland» which seemed appealing; its visual look and its quirky characters. Still I had in mind the several hostile reviews, which accused this movie to be a flat, soulless and muddled attempt of a classic, which I also feared it would. But after finally seeing the movie, I can claim my disagreement with the reviewers. In fact, I’m not sure if we even saw the same movie. What exactly was so terrible about it?

Overall, I found «Alice in Wonderland» to be very entertaining. I feared that the movie would lose some of it’s magic as the main character entered to Wonderland, but fortunately it never did. I enjoyed the movie from the very start to its very end. It’s a cute fantasy/adventure movie, equal to the «Harry Potter» and the «Narnia» flicks (although I personally felt «Prince Caspain» had some slight weaknesses). But beware; there are some frightening creatures that may scare the youngest in the audience, so the PG rating is suitable.

One of the films biggest advantages is it visuals. With it lush and dark landscapes, cute animals and colorful costumes, the flick is beautifully to look at and I can’t wait to enjoy the sharpness of the picture on Blu Ray. The score of Danny Elfman is effective and gives the movie a dreamy, atmospheric tone. The characters are mostly passable. They don’t steal the show entirely, but neither do they appear as distractive or annoying.

Although I’ve always liked the original novel of Lewis Carroll, I must say that I found this new twist of the story fresh and creative, depicting the «wrong» Alice’s adventures in Wonderland as a young adult. Linda Woolverton, who’s behind the excellent screenplays for «Beauty and the Beast», «The Lion King» and «Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey», has written a solid and decent script to «Wonderland». Many have claimed this screenplay to be muddled and confusing, but I didn’t felt it that way at all. Once again, did we even saw the same movie?

Mia Wasikowska is quite decent as Alice. Although she doesn’t have a distinctive emanation/charisma who characterizes other young actresses at her age, she’s still delivers a nice and acceptable performance. Personally I felt her screen presence expanded during the movie. Johnny Depp is indeed a good actor. To claim anything else, would be a like claiming that the climate isn’t humid in the rain forest. Although I’ve never been crazy over Depp’s work, he’s goofy and great as The Mad Hatter, which is indeed the best character in the movie. Helena Bonham Carter is also believable and funny as the Red Queen (just prepare yourself to hear «Off with his head» at least a hundred times during the movie, ha ha). While Anne Hathaway, on the other hand, is warm and passable as the White Queen (although I must confess it was a little distracting to see her with a blonde wig and with a British accent).

In fact, I can’t see anything wrong with this new Burton version of «Wonderland». I truly enjoyed it and recommend it to everyone as possible. It didn’t deserve the negative criticism at all, in my opinion. With quality films like this, perhaps I could finally forgive Disney for its recent mistakes? (*Cough, leaving hand drawn animation behind and promoting teen stars as crazy, cough*)

So follow every white rabbit you see and follow him to the hole… Wonderland is waiting…
A trippy trip down the rabbit hole4

For starters, it seems that everyone I know is shocked when I tell them that this Alice in Wonderland is a sequel of sorts. At the age of 19 and about to be forced into marriage, this is Alice’s second trip to Wonderland. I’m glad Tim Burton and his team came up with a new story that still featured all the great characters from the original source material. That’s also where the weakest part of the movie lies. The dialogue given to the characters is great, but the script is razor thin. I think if more effort went into this particular aspect, I might have given it five stars.

I saw it in IMAX 3-D and the visuals are as grand and beautiful as you would expect from Burton. It’s not quite as eye-popping as Avatar, which was shot completely in IMAX 3-D, whereas, Alice in Wonderland was upconverted (Clash of the Titans did the same thing to bad effect). The music by Danny Elfman is some of his best stuff in recent years and the costumes/makeup are top notch.

Aside from the look of film, the acting also makes it very memorable. There are so many well animated and voice acted characters running around I don’t know where to begin. I guess I’ll start with those made of flesh and blood. I didn’t like Depp’s take on Willy Wonka that much, and I’m a big fan of his, but his Mad Hatter is just the right amount of crazy. His voice goes back and forth from having a lisp to sounding like William Wallace from Braveheart. His look is so jarring, you probably wouldn’t even know it was him if you somehow dodged all the advertisements before entering the theater. Helena Bonham Carter played the Red Queen brilliantly. I couldn’t take my eyes off her giant head. Anne Hathaway really surprised me here (in a good way) with her take on the White Queen and it was nice to see Crispin Glover back on the big screen in a role that suited him. Last, but certainly not least, Mia Wasikowska was absolutely captivating as Alice. The way she talked and her reactions were just what the film needed in it’s central role. All the digital animal characters were great, but my favorites were the Cheshire Cat, voice by Stephen Fry, and the March Hare voiced by Paul Whitehouse.

I’m somewhat surprised that the combination of violence and meanness, along with the smoking Blue Caterpillar didn’t get this a PG-13 rating. It’s not too harsh, but young kids might get a little freaked out.

Overall, Alice in Wonderland looks like a polished jewel, has great acting/voice acting, wonderful music and even manages to get quite a few laughs in the process. If only the simple story didn’t let me down in the end, this could have been a classic in the making. Even still, I wouldn’t mind Tim Burton taking us on another trip down the rabbit hole in a few years.
More like Return To Wonderland…3

19 year old Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to the magical Wonderland from when she was young and meets some old friends, and learns of her destiny.. to overthrow the evil Red Queen, sister to the good White Queen (Anne Hathaway).

I rather enjoyed it. Dark and weird, but it’s really a sequel in feel, so why call it Alice in Wonderland? Return to Wonderland would have been an more apt title. Although that is probably too similar to Return to Oz…

Whereas the Disney Wonderland felt bright, surreal and colourful, this film had a very muted colour pallette even in the “real” world and Tim Burton’s Wonderland had a kind of run-down, almost post apocolyptic feel. I pictured Alice being about 10 years old in the novel and 1951 Disney adaptation.

In that sense, by making this film a kind of sequel with Alice now in her late teens, maybe the broken, dark Wonderland becomes a metaphor for lost innocence and childhood itself, and how one’s perception of childhood changes as you get older, which I think is actually quite clever.

I felt the 2 bookending parts of the film were boring (in the opening, we learn Alice is getting married to a slimy suitor) and I didnt feel for those characters.

Mia Wasikowska gave a good performance playing Alice as she was more independent and resourceful than I remember, surely ahead of her time!

I did like Helena Bonham Carter’s turn as the Red Queen a lot – even though, talking with a high pitched, childish lisp, she reminded me of Miranda Richardson’s Queenie in Blackadder II! In fact, she ripped off that interpretation wholesale. But still very funny.

Stephen Fry was excellent and probably gave the best “performance” of the cast as the Cheshire Cat but he was criminally underused I felt. Alan Rickman had just the right kind of stately voice of the Cattepillar.

In order to bring peace to Wonderland, Alice must slay the monster known as the Jabberwocky (I don’t remember this Harry Potter type battle from the novel), which seemed shoehorned in to give the film some more structure and narrative and give the older, supposedly more resourceful Alice a mission, which The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) helps her with. His performance is a strange one – wearing lots of make up and adopting an occasional Scottish accent, there may be some sadness as well as madness in his air because he and the other characters have been waiting up to 13 years for Alice to come back.

However, in one scene the Hatter does a Michael Jackson inspired dance for no apparent reason, which I found cringeworthy.

The suggestion through the film that Wonderland may actually be real (with Alice often questioning her surroundings) reminded me of themes explored in Pan’s Labyrinth and The Chronicles of Narnia. In my opinion this gave the film a darker edge and made it more appealing to adults and older children.

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CREDIT by iBluray

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One Comment leave one →
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