Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Raptor Goes Mad as a Hatter

I had been looking forward to Tim Burtons Alice in Wonderland for some time and I have to say it did meet my expectations but did it exceed them? Well yes and no.

This is not the traditional Alice in Wonderland story but takes places a number of years later when Alice is set to be betrothed to some up himself lord. She panics and following the White Rabbit finds the hole to Wonder Land or Lower Land as it’s called in the movie. It seems it was foretold she would come back, slay the jabberwocky and save the realm from the red Queen. With the help of the Mad Hatter and he white queen she finds the courage to accept her destiny and face her fated foe. Roll tape.

I think I need to lock the doors to my house if these people showed up.

Alice in Wonderland boasts a huge cast. Alice is played by the pretty Mia Wasikowska who was born in Australia my home turf.  She plays Alice as a girl trying to find herself and confused by the reoccurring dreams of Wonderland. She really does play the heroin quite well with no pretentiousness at all and by the end I was really cheering for her to get that Jabberwocky. I think she is going to be an actress to look for if she keeps up her performances as she has in this movie.  Now to one of my favourite actors, Johnny Depp who was cast as the Mad Hatter, really who else would you cast? I liked what he did with the character, played as a bipolar mad man who wavers between a simpering tailor of hats to his alter ego a frighteningly psychotic Scotsman barely holding back his rage. This was further enhanced by the yellow contact lenses he wore through his portrayal. A nice touch was also the black that grew around his eyes as he swung further towards his more violent side. You could actually judge how much he was affected by the amount of black around his eyes. Others of note were the Red Queen played bitchingly by Helena Bonham Carter. That big head of hears really did tilt the world one more step towards madness, her courtesans even wore fake ears, noses or stomachs to appease her love of  um…big things. The Knave of Hearts, her consort and somewhat champion was played by the underrated Crispin Glover. Manipulative and power hungry, Crispin brought enough realism to the performance so that it didn’t appear cartoonish which could have easily happened. Also Anne Hathaway was great as the white queen, she played with with such cheek that it put a smile on my face...and she is hot which helps. What? Sorry zoned out.

Excuse me, I need to dress up as the white king for some cos-play.

The performances by all means were the strongest part of this movie. This was by no small part due to Tim Burtons immaculate direction who always seems to get the best out of the actors under his hand. He also gave the movie his stamp, with the stylised gothic elements mixed with flamboyant swaths of techocolour not to mention some macabre scenes such as the moat around the Red Queens castle filled with floating heads of those that had displeased her.

Oh god, the drugs! The faces, the little girl with the teeth!

Most of the SFX  were CGI generated but it was done really well. I watched this in 3D and it did look good but it probably wasn’t necessary. I would still recommend it without the 3D although it does draw you into battle scenes somewhat. Their were a multitude of creatures and denizens of Wonderland animated such as the Red queens guards, the talking animals, flowers etc but the two most prominent would have to have been the Bandersnatch a squat cat like creature with a shark tooth grin and the Jabberwocky who’s image I’ve always found to be bizarre. Here it’s not so much buck toothed as it is deadly predator. As a point of interest the Jabberwocky was voiced by Christopher Lee. How about that.

Alice in Wonderland wasn’t perfect. The story did meander at times in the middle and there was a stupid scene with a dance that Johnny Depp does at the end. Why God why? Anyway al minor notes. Really. I liked this film. I give it an 8/10.

Hands up those who would like to see Cameron Diazs Box?

Short Sharp Review:

Quickly, I also watched Richard Kellys’ The Box (Previously reviewed by the esteemed Gavor). What started off interestingly enough turned into a “what the fuck” pointless ending with a convoluted plot trying to explain the “what the fuck” ending. It could have been better but ah well. I’ll just put on Donny Darko. I gave this one 4/10.

Few people now that Cameron Diaz appeared in a soft core film. Lucky for you that I know this.

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