I will state this right off the bat: Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, and 3D films all have a bid at ending up on the 1000 Things We Hate List. Therefore, is it much of a surprise to discover that I hated the new Alice in Wonderland film?
- Here’s where the 3D aspect plays in. Monique saw this in 2D, I saw it in 3D. She ended up leaving the film to never come back halfway through. I ended up leaving halfway through to go to the bathroom and stomp around in the lobby a bit. I would have liked this film a lot more in 2D because I am one of those people who is under the impression that 3D films ruin the artistry in cinematography. 3D in films basically just means you get to see the different layers of the film like a pop up storybook. This may play into advantage in an animated film maybe taking a number from the Paper Mario video game series, but for live action it’s really foolish. Depth of Field (whether a part/distance of the film is blurry or not) is enough to focus our eyes on something. We don’t need a thousand other layers along with that. Plus, the whole contrast of the film is thrown off. The White Kingdom never really looked white, and there wasn’t any vibrancy left to the colors anymore.
- The set design was alright even though it was mostly CGI. Although, I feel like the Red Queen’s castle looked different in each render. Overall, there was such a heavy reliance on CGI that I feel like some of the magic is lost. And, did anyone else feel that the world seemed a little underpopulated for some magical place?
- The costume design was ridiculous. This primarily comes from the arbitrary ways they get to put Alice in a mix of a punk/Victorian dresses akin to Tim Burton’s style. I mean, she goes in the colonial periods to a party wearing fingerless gloves… that are striped. Monique probably died at that. I felt that it really was trying so hard to be inspired, the costumes came off as uninspired. They mostly look like they just left off the pages of some 17 year old’s deviantART doodles.
- Johnny Depp was awful. Tim Burton and Depp worked to make the character easy to relate to, but they basically just succeeded in creating another carbon copy of every other role Depp has played for Burton! A social misfit who is unique and a bit kooky! Imagine that? Plus, The Mad Hatter goes into some stupid Scottish accent. The Mad Hatter is supposed to be CRAZY! Not some mildly tragic character. Plus, he did the whole Willy Wonka creepy with children thing by sort of suggesting the Hatter had a crush on Alice. The futterwackin dance was highly fucking stupid. I felt like I was becoming a bastardized foster home child from the obvious sexual innuendo (after you slay the Jabberwocky with your phallic sword, The Mad Hatter will Futterwack!).
- Mia Wasikowska does an alright job at Alice for one of her first films. Really, it’s just sort of one-note, but compared to the rest of the performances in this film, that’s good.
- Helena Bonham Carter is awful in this role. I’ve never really liked her as an actress, and she’s not doing any favors for herself in this one. Frankly, I don’t really understand why the Red Queen is so evil. She yells a lot like a big baby, but it doesn’t really seem like she’s that bad aside from treating animals cruelly and cutting off heads. Screeching will only get you so far… okay, maybe further if Tim Burton’s behind it.
- Anne Hathaway as the White Queen was pretty hilarious in a super bad way. Basically, everything she did had a multitude of sexual innuendos that could be drawn from it. I mean she grabs the Vorpal Sword from Alice and lets out a bit of a moan while she runs her hand over the ribbed engravings.
- The only redeeming character was Bayard the hound, and even then I didn’t really like him. I sort of liked Chessur, but his whole purpose in being in the movie was to float around and rack up some money for the CGI company. The Jabberwocky seemed kind of unoriginal, too, but I still liked its design compared to many others.
The Movie as a Whole:
- There’s not much art in this movie. It’s for purely entertainment. And I hate how many times something has to jump out of a screen at me to get “it” – “oh yeah, this is in 3D!!!!!! No Way!?!?!?!?!” This really works as a film that I will think about only when someone mentions it or 5 years from now when someone mentions it again and I think “fuck, that was awful.”
Plus, the only violent thing in this film really was the incessant use of stabbing people in the eyes.
So, thanks Alice in Wonderland for your completely unoriginal story, acting, and general premise.
Frankly, to sum it all up: Alice in Wonderland came off as a highly expensive fan fiction film.
Oh, and the whole part about Alice going to trade with China on a ship named “Wonder” is so imperialist.