Sunday, March 7, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

Yesterday, T and I went to see the much anticipated Alice in Wonderland.  We had been looking forward to it since seeing the preview months ago and couldn't wait for the Tim Burton darkness and the Johnny Depp weirdness.  However, within a few minutes of the movie beginning, while T was fully engrossed, I was already painfully bored and disappointed.

This telling of Lewis Carroll's fantasy adventure is passionless and flat, leaving the film to rely solely on the  gratuitous, not-well-integrated 3D special effects and distracting computer-generated animals.  Alice, played by Mia Wasikowska, was two-dimensional and entirely forgettable except for her haunting paleness and perfectly-formed, pouty, tulip lips.  Though showing valiant efforts to carry the film from soulless obscurity to a colorful and memorable work of art, even the Mad Hatter, played by Johnny Depp,  flaunting his familiar brand of costumed craziness, and the Red Queen, played by Helena Bonham Cater and reminiscent of a Blythe-cum-Chucky doll, could not sustain the plot nor this viewer's interest with their melodrama. 

While much of the film has already faded from my memory, the one piece that remains with me is the dress worn by a towering Alice while at the Red Queen's castle.  Cobbled together by the queen's peons upon her demand, possibly from curtains, as she suggested, it is eye-catching and feminine with a rockstar edge that the ethereal, bland Alice never seemed to possess.
This shot of Alice's red dress make it look more Martha Washington than rockstar, but in the film, the costume was captivating.

As a kid, I watched a VHS recording of a 1985 made-for-TV version of Alice in Wonderland over and over again.  Though the sets and costuming were very low-budget, all characters were played by real people, which I prefer, and there were musical numbers thrown in, which added a stage-like quality to the production.  The cast was star-studded, with a number of 80's TV personalities (Telly Savalas, Sally Struthers, John Stamos, Scott Baio, Sherman Hemsley!), a wacky Carol Channing, a tap-dancing Sammy Davis, Jr., and a melancoly Ringo Star, among others.  Below is a clip of the caterpillar, played by Sammy Davis, Jr. and his singing and dancing routine with Alice.  Ah, nostalgia.

1 comment:

Yelena said...

you have no taste in movies! alice in wonderland was INCREDIBLE and everyone knows it

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