I know the name of this series is pretty laughable at this point (since we are, what, 75 days into the year and I’ve seen a whopping 19 films?) but I intend to press on, hoping against hope that at some point I might get caught up. Yeah, harder now that I have a job, but still possible!
So Jules and I headed out to the Sherman Oaks Arclight to see ALICE IN WONDERLAND on Sunday. In 3-D.
So…with the very strong exception of TRON:LEGACY, I’ve decided I don’t need to see any film in 3-D at this point. Not only is it incredibly hard on my eyes, I feel like those damn glasses get in the way of appreciating the art on screen — “is that smudge on my lens? Why is that blurry? Taking the glasses off doesn’t help – it’s a blurry image fer crissakes. Well don’t touch the lens – even if it is a smudge, you’ll probably just make it worse…yup, it’s worse. See? Told you not to touch it.”
Yeah, I’ve had enough of that. 3-D for theme park rides: perfectly fine. For 2 hour films: kind of annoying.
Okay, so what about the film itself? Yeah, didn’t love it.
(Potential Spoilers, if you care about that sort of thing)
The problem as I see it is they tried to make this film a Hero(ine)’s Journey when the original story isn’t, nor should it be. I mean, I like female empowerment films (to a degree) but this was just silly. Not just that it FELT like they were trying to justify why Alice has to kill the Jabberwocky…and in the end, they really didn’t. A) Other than about a minute of screentime, we have no sense of what “Underland” was like pre-Red Queen takeover and post. Why is the Red Queen any worse than her really weirdo sister the White Queen? Are we really helping the citizens of Underland trade up here?
Also, Alice decided halfway through the film she’s tired of being a passive protagonist, which I totally understand and get, and so she asserts that SHE’LL be making the decisions for what she should do from now on thankyouverymuch. But the only decision I ever see Alice really make on her own is to go rescue the Mad Hatter. Everything else is still more like, ‘yeah, you say i’m supposed to do this, but i won’t do it because you say I should but I’ll do it because…well, I don’t really know why I’ll do it…maybe I’ll wake up from my dream? No, wait, that’s not a reason anymore, so I’ll do it because…you asked me to?’ What are the stakes? Alice doesn’t wake up to her true calling until, like, the last 10 minutes of the movie. That means she’s refusing the call to adventure for an over an hour and a half. How does she refuse? Does anyone talk to Alice about her life in the real world vs. Underland? Nope. Anyone try to convince her she’s more powerful in Underland? Not really, though Mad Hatter takes a stab at that, pretty weakly.
There is no cohesive theme. Kids left the movie loving how it looked and how silly Johnny Depp is as the Mad Hatter (and WTF was that crazy dance he does at the end?? And who chose the music for that!?! It was sooo out of place)
Alice doesn’t become an interesting character until the very end of the film…when she does finally make some friggin decisions for herself (like, not getting married) and decided to pick up her father’s work and explore the world. There was a potentially really awesome movie idea in there, even spinning out of the original stories, but I think it got loaded down with the emphasis on visuals – very important for merchandising and marketing.
Posted under analysis
This post was written by Shawna on March 15, 2010