Directed By: Tim Burton
Written By: Lewis Carrol (story), Linda Woolverton (screenplay)
This movie surprised me, possibly more than any other. I don’t know that I have ever sat down to watch a film so whole heartedly determined to hate it end up loving it. Why would I be so determined to hate anything right? Well let me explain, by 2010 I had long since given up on both Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. By that time it had been more than 10 years since Tim Burton had made a film I enjoyed (since Sleepy Hollow 1999) and nearly 10 years since Johnny Depp had played a part I thought was any good (since Blow 2001). When Tim Burton butchered a classic with his remake of Planet of the Apes in 2001 I was disappointed, and I wasn’t really all that impressed with Big Fish in 2003. I personally feel Johnny Depp’s career has been on a downward spiral since he became the eccentric, ridiculous, feminine, and pathetic Captain Jack Sparrow. I feel like every time he makes a new movie now he is wearing MORE make-up, and while he is great in this film this one is no different. Nevertheless my opinion about him hardly matters because while my disappointment has mounted his fame has sored. I thought Depp ruined Charlie in the Chocolate Factory and I hated their next collaboration inSweeney Todd, though this movie really just wasn’t for me, I’m sure many people thought it was great. In 10 years of disappointment I grew angry with these two men who I used to think were the best, and I just really didn’t want them to give me a reason to like them again. Nevertheless they did because my best efforts to hate this film were foiled by a great story, great performance, and great direction.
We didn’t go see this movie in the theater, sure it would be awful. I regret this decision as I do think this film may have challenged Avatar in visual effects in 3D. This movie is visually appealing in a way that only Tim Burton can provide. I actually think this may have been one of his greatest films of all time, if nothing else it is the best movie he has made since Edward Sissorhands (1990). It’s possible that technology has finally caught up to the imagination of Tim Burton, finally allowed to fully bring it to life. While the effects are top notch in the movie they only make an already great film that much better. The story is very clever, and the script is well written. Those who haven’t seen this film may not know it but this is actually a sequel to Disney’s original Alice in Wonderland. That makes it a better movie because it is a completely new story, not a remake, and there was no telling where it might go when watching it for the first time. The performances are fantastic as well. I hate what Tim Burton did to his beautiful wife Helena Bonham Carter with computer imaging but she is so great nonetheless. Helena Bohnam Carter is one of the greatest actresses out there, I have always been a big fan of hers. She is fearless as an actress, and very talented. I hate to admit it too but Johnny Depp is great in this film, he isn’t over-acting and I think his level of weirdness was appropriate for the role. The rest of the cast is worth mentioning as well, newcomer Mia Wasikowska is good, Alan Rickman, Anne Hathaway, and Crispin Glover all bring their talent to the cast.
I literally could not say enough good things about this movie, I simply thought it was awesome. One of the best movies I have seen in a while. It was definitely worth the time. I hope that you take a chance on it and it surprises you too.
TIm Burton is not just a filmmaker. He is an artist. I have a Fine Arts degree, and I see all of my studies about art in his films. The asymmetrical and colorful sceneries are so intriguing and sometimes I feel like I am looking at works of art instead of a movie. When I first heard that Tim Burton was making this film, I was worried because it is such a well known story. It was the similar feeling I had about Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. After watching the film and realizing the movie is actually a sequel, I was intrigued.
The costumes and makeup in this film are so extraordinary, in true Tim Burton fashion. The dresses at the dance in the beginning are so regal. Each character has such an original look. Mad Hatter, Knave of Hearts and Alice are adorned with crazy awesome face makeup. It looks like the artist just painted it on like their faces were canvases. This brings me to the Queen, played by the great Helena Bonham Carter. She is one of my favorite actresses. She brings something so original and special to every film that she is in. She also happens to be married to Tim Burton.
If you haven’t seen this film, you need to. It is a great follow-up to the original Alice in Wonderland and is truly an artistically beautiful film.
NEXT MOVIE: Alien (1979)