Alice In Wonderland Review

Where to begin? I’m actually still digesting the craziness that I saw. As seen with Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Tim Burton has the tendency to take something so light and turn it into dark material. He may have went overboard with Alice In Wonderland. Disney may have sweetened the old tale but Burton definitely dimmed the lights for the remake, causing the original written story to be as confused as a young boy approaching puberty.

If you are not up to date on the original story of Alice, first, shame on you and second, the tale is about the bridge between fantasy and reality, which in turn, is about growing into adulthood. Young Alice follows a time concerned white rabbit down a long tunnel of confusion. She enters a world of wonder and fantasy where she meets a host of ridiculous characters, the most famous being the disappearing cat and the Mad Hatter. The Queen catches Alice tampering with her flowers and Alice is forced to trial, ultimately being sentenced to a beheading. Of course this is a children’s tale so Alice escapes without a scratch.

Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland takes place some years later while Alice is at the tender age of 19. Did that sound right? Anyway. Alice runs away from a forced engagement and again, follows the white rabbit down the dark tunnel. Only this time, Wonderland is a dark and destroyed world. Everyone is waiting on Alice’s return to see her face this evil dragon, alien looking creature that the Red Queen used to gain control of her dominions. Alice, played by Mia Wasikowska, spends the bulk of the film trying to convince the characters that she’s not the right Alice. In Burton’s mind, his story follows up the original in time and activities. Excuse me if I’m wrong, but if I had a dream like Alice had in the original, there’s no way I’m forgetting meeting two bumbling obese twins, a living dodo bird, a deranged Hare and dwarf of a man with a large hat spilling more tea than the Bostonians in 1773, and a woman shorter than I trying to off my head. That’s just me. In Burton’s version, Alice can’t remember a single detail about this world until…of course, the end when she has to step up her game. A bunch of crud. None of the characters are happy. In fact, everyone is depressed and even more deranged. Most of my laughs came from everything being too weird and my screening partner’s slick commentary on certain elements. I know this is supposed to be a fantasy but I hate…hate…HATE movies where a person is unbelievably different in the end from the beginning. Example: If you are a pritzy 19 year-old girl that’s intimidated by just even saying no to a proposal in the beginning, yet in the end, you’re Xena warrior swinging swords and chopping up dragons, I HATE you. WACK!

The story is WACK! She’s on a mission the second she touches base in Wonderland. I mean can I eat a coconut first. I see water in the distance. Can I check out the beach first. You mean to tell me that I just got here and already, you need me to go to war? Oh hell no. Where’s a ladder? I’m climbing back up that tunnel, baby. Cut me if I’m wrong, but was the Mad Hatter that important in the original? I don’t recall that tea party being so enjoyable that the Mad Hatter considers Alice like family. Burton’s version is just another Johnnie Depp vehicle for him to capitalize on another sociopath role. Even though that’s true, Depp is probably the most enjoyable thing of this film. Actually, I liked the Red Queen too. Anne Hathaway plays the role of the White Queen but she looks more or less like she’s gliding from doing heroin the entire film. Everyone in the film adores her. Why? She looks like she needs some mental help. That’s it. I’m not going to waste too much time on this matter. I won’t lie, seeing Alice In Wonderland in 3-D was an interesting experience but Avatar in 3-D was much more satisfying. This was like watching an acid trip in a South American rainforest. Let me just take care of this for you. Men: if your girlfriend doesn’t bring it up or your children aren’t pulling your leg off, you better not be seen there. Women: If you have good jobs, are on a girls’ night out and have smoked some weed, do what you do. Couples: If you have had an argument and need to ease the tension, go out for drinks, definitely go see the movie to laugh, go home and have the most amazing sex. That’s that. I’ve spoken. The Black Ebert signing off. PEACE!



  1. Blake · March 5, 2010

    This reads like a column in a middle school newspaper, only with worse grammar. You need a proof-reader, ASAP.

    • DConley · March 6, 2010

      Yes. Maybe. And you were the idiot that sat through an entire piece that you weren’t feeling. It’s easy to be critically destructive without adding to the conversation. Takes a little more thought, heart, and creativity to concoct your own ideas on the subject. Oh, and you obviously must not know me. That’s why you feel bold enough to speak so freely behind a faceless computer screen. Please offer your opinions on the film or proceed to retreat back into your cubby hole, sir. But I enjoyed the hate though. Let’s me know that I have fans.

  2. Jess Q. · March 6, 2010

    I only felt this strongly about that stupid frigging dance Hatter did at the end. What the helllll, I was so upset. I felt the movie was just what I wanted it to be until the third act, where it got a little boring and then the whole last battle was really bland. Let’s just say I wasn’t exactly into it at all at that point, I was merely watching a movie. It seems like that’s the point of movies, but I recall seeing things that actually made me cringe, or forget I was in a theatre, etc. Burton’s never been great with action sequences so I don’t know why he felt the need to have any here. The only thing I can imagine is there was a lot of studio input (in a bad way) that required some sort of battle to wake up the kiddies.

    As for the Hatter, he’s a favorite of most people. I think he’s probably the most memorable character. Everyone knows the Red Queen and the White Rabbit but besides “Off with her head,” it’d be a lot harder for most people to describe those character’s traits. So the Hatter is one of the more memorable characters (besides the Caterpillar, I guess). More importantly, I think Hatter/Alice is a favorite of fan communities – people like the idea of them liking each other, probably in an innocent way and probably when Alice is older than in the original story.

    I also think Burton had to be more than influenced by the now-outdated Adventures in Wonderland show from the Disney channel (which I was the proper age to watch when it originally aired and really liked it). On that show, Alice was probably closest to Hatter out of everyone in Wonderland and often went to him for help.

    As for the White Queen, I guess I wasn’t surprised by her over-acting because I’d read something beforehand that she was supposed to be overly dramatic. I thought the idea was that no one was perfect in Wonderland, and then when she concocted her little potion I realized she’s a white witch, which would explain the Red Queen’s comments about how the White Queen can make everyone love her – she says she can make men, women, and even furniture love her, and we know the queens’ parents loved the White Queen more than the Red one. The White Queen says basically that her sister chose “dominion over living things,” and I think was inferring that she (the White Queen) chose influence over them, instead. In other words, I think her over-acting was her way of “casting her spell” on everyone around her to make them like her.

    Anyway, sorry, I found your blog through a google search. Burton has this ongoing thing that I find fascinating where he puts these white witch characters in his movies (Sleepy Hollow, Big Fish) and I was wondering if anyone else had anything to say about it. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the movie, I really thought most of it was fine, but that end dance was basically unforgivable and almost ruined the movie for me. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

    • DConley · March 6, 2010

      Jess Q,

      I appreciate you checking out the blog. I do agree with you. That dance nearly made me leave at that point. The last battle was definitely a bore. I’m not the biggest Burton fan. I totally respect his work and style because no one does what he can do but at times, I just find it all too over the top. I expected this film to be more on the left but the innocence of the story was totally void for me. I believe that is what made the original such a beautiful story. The characters, although outlandish, were all childlike and innocent. That wasn’t there for me this time around, especially with Alice being nearly 20 years old. She was just sad at that point because she was older, yet thought like a child. I couldn’t imagine my little niece enjoying this film.

      After viewing it, I definitely can see this film having a niche audience. I don’t think anyone expected this film to be a great film but many elements made it disturbing for me to enjoy I guess. It was definitely an interesting experience but I can’t truly say an enjoyable one. Thanks for giving in your opinion. It is always welcomed here at Meekley.

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