3 / 10
Tim Burton's latest, Alice in Wonderland
, for all intents and purposes appears to be an exercise in turning on Ann Everton's Binch mode. Watch Hausu
instead--Disney doesn't need your money, and Hausu
ruled and is way trippier than Alice in Wonderland
. But for the sake of gentleness, I'll try to flip it around and say something positive: all them actors had fun acting in this. Bonham Carter did her thing, Depp had fun, Glover had fun, Hathaway (my college classmate!) killed it. She did her damn thing; I didn't expect to enjoy her as much as I did. She rules. Also, there were life lessons I took from this movie: the first is that some narratives do not translate well into being squished into more conventional western narratives (here, an amalgamation of the coming-of-age tome mixed with young female empowerment). Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
is a surreal mid-nineteenth century book which contains no blatant examples of the simplistic archetypes of good guy/bad guy, no romantic plot devices or subplots, and no real propaganda or lessons to further any agenda except maybe to be curious and go home. It's a dream narrative, and therein lies its beauty. Here, however, Burton takes an artistic license to try and fit Carroll's weird dream into an after-school special about friendship, courage, and justice. Let him have a whack at it--shit, the story's only been filmed about 600 times.
The second thing I learned from watching Alice in Wonderland
is that I'm over computers for special effects in movies, specifically 3D modeling. Jurassic Park
was cool to see dinosaurs stamping and flying around Laura Dern, but now it's really no big deal--we can image anything. That's why Avatar
left me cold--a digital retelling of Fern Gully
acted out by robots with celebrity voices cannot hold a candle to some dude (or three) sweating away in a Jabba the Hutt suit. The human aura is removed. It's like listening to Jack FM--it's great to hear the song "Sausalito Summernights" right after a Nirvana song or "Baby Got Back" or something like that, until you realize a robot picked it out on shuffle and there is no human mind trying to tease you with such an unorthodox pairing. Computer animation is blatantly dull and dehumanizing--do I have to even be writing this? Seeing the thing in 3D or IMAX is fun and novel, but I feel like drugs would get you "there" quicker!!!!! Ha ha ha!!!