Alice In Wonderland

 Culture, Movies  Comments Off on Alice In Wonderland
Mar 152010

Movie Poster for Alice in Wonderland19-year-old Alice returns to the whimsical world she first met as a young girl, reuniting with her childhood friends: the White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Dormouse, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, and of course, the Mad Hatter. Alice embarks on a fantastical journey to find her true destiny and end the Red Queen’s reign of terror.

Genres: Fantasy and Adaptation; Running Time: 1 hr. 49 min.; Release Date: March 5th, 2010 (wide); MPAA Rating: PG for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar.

Starring: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover

Directed by: Tim Burton

I love Tim Burton and I love Johnny Depp even more, which means I really wanted to love this movie. But alas, it is a unrequieted love.

[callout title=Favorite Characters]While we love Johnny Depp, it was the CGI creations Tweedledee and Tweedledum that had us laughing the most.[/callout]It’s often said a camel is a horse designed by a committee, and having served on lots of committees, I know of whence they speak.  Alice in Wonderland is a Tim Burton film designed by Disney fatcats in a boardroom. They spent so much time worrying about selling it as a product that they completely forgot about putting together a half-decent story.

Mia Wasikowska’s Alice has no character arc; she is exactly the same by the end of the film, and her journey is utterly pointless. I came out of the theater wondering if it were just the mediocre script or the director who had failed to meet my expectations. The narrative thrust is so weak that they have to resort to a mostly hollow battle scene in order to keep everyone awake.

Depp, as usual, played his part perfectly. That man can say more with the lift of eyebrow (prominent ones in this film), that most actors in pages of dialogue. The visuals themselves were stunning, and as in Avatar (although I admit to dodging one time), I was pleased that the 3-D effects were used more to immerse you in Wonderland, than to used to startle. However, as beautiful as the visuals were, they just didn’t seem to add to the story, and the story is all about Wonderland. By the end of the movie, I just kept wanting the Rabbit break out into the “I’m Late, I’m Late” song.

All that being said, the movie is probably worth seeing, but I don’t know if I’d worry about paying the extra for the 3-D version, and you might just enjoy it more on DVD when it comes out.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (1 votes, average: 6.00 out of 10)

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

 Culture, General, Humor, Movies  Comments Off on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Jul 172006

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's ChestJack owes an unpaid debt to Davy Jones and his army of sea-phantoms…his soul. Now, he must find a way to save himself from becoming one of them, and suffering forever.

Directed by
Gore Verbinski

Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport, Bill Nighy, Jonathan Pryce, Lee Arenberg, Mackenzie Crook, Kevin McNally, David Bailie, Stellan Skarsg?rd, Tom Hollander, Naomie Harris, Martin Klebba, Alex Norton

Lay and I went to see this movie Friday night. We’d been waiting for the crowds to be a bit smaller before we went. We watched the first movie Saturday evening.

I will make my comments without spoilers so that people who haven’t yet seen the movie can read it.

One of the worst things that can happen in a sequel to a successful movie is that audiences will feel like they’re seeing the same movie again with slight variations on the theme. Dead Man’s Chest gives us all the characters we loved in the first movie, but puts them in a refreshingly original movie. The action sequences will keep you on the edge of your seat. And there are more laugh-out-loud moments in this movie than in most comedies. I felt entertained from the beginning right through to the special scene after the closing credits.

Dead Man’s Chest does the right thing as a sequel: It maintains the same carefree spirit of the original and creates an even more fitting story to the whole Pirates lore. After narrowly escaping the gallows–with the help of his friends Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley)–and reclaiming his cursed Black Pearl, it still seems Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has a few more fish to fry. More specifically the barnacle-encrusted undead on board the ghostly Flying Dutchman, lead by Mr. Octopus Face himself, Davy Jones (Bill Nighy). Jack apparently owes a blood debt to the inky captain and if he can’t find a way out of it–namely locating the secret contents of Jones’ famed locker–Sparrow will be doomed to eternal damnation and servitude in the afterlife (insert Jack Sparrow’s face of disgust here). Making matters worse, Sparrow’s problems manage to interfere with the wedding plans of Will and Elizabeth, who are forced to join Jack on yet another one of his misadventures.

This is the most fun I’ve had in the cinema in the longest time. I can’t remember the last time I was so entertained. Although it is a bit slow at times, and a bit predictable (although fun in it’s predictability), it hardly lets up and continuously entertains.

If you loved the original, you will DEFINITELY love this film. The ending not only makes you laugh, it makes you think “What the hell?” and will make you eagerly anticipate (major understatement) the third installment. There are some great lines, the same fun characters, an inventive and fun story, and some brilliantly staged action sequences.

In summation: SEE IT! See it on the big screen. If you miss it, you will surely regret it.

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