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Monday, June 28, 2010

Movie Watch: Alice In Wonderland

Alice is interesting source material - the nonsensical landscape has been a Disney movie, a video game, a surrealistic stop-motion animation, 70's song and now Burton movie. The Burton movie takes a safer route than many adapations, relegating Alice to a now older (and hotter) role returning to Wonderland in what constitutes a semi-sequel to the original narrative, keeping some elements and replacing many, many others with a boilerplate Hollywood action plot.

There is a lot of compromise here. Fans of Carroll's work will both recognize and miss many of the elements, and probably cringe at some of the handling of some characters - especially Mad Hatter. Burton's style works well with many of visual aspects of the work: Chesire Cat and bringing many of the Jabberwocky material into line as well.

If it wasn't for the flair that Burton brings to the canvas, this would likely have been a disaster, with the Hollywood elements riding right over the literature ... but the combination of strong cinematics and acting make the movie highly enjoyable in the long run.

Recommend - though not terribly strongly. Serious fans of Carroll should be prepped for the handling, but anyone looking for a just a fun summer film can dig right in.

Fun Fact:"Jabberwocky" was meant by Carroll as a satire designed to show how not to write a poem. The poem has since transcended Carroll's purpose, becoming now the subject of serious study.
-- [Wikipedia]