April 2010

September 16, 2010 at 11:28 pm (Movie Reviews) (, , )

Tim Burton’s Wonderland – sorry, I mean Underland – is skewed and slightly demented, as is anything that comes from Tim Burton. It is a strange amalgamation of the Lewis Carroll books and the Disney cartoon from 1951, which is no surprise since it is a Walt Disney Studio production, but this is not just a live-action remake of any these in particular. While certain scenes and dialogue reflect the earlier cartoon as though seen through a fun house mirror, or through a (cracked) looking glass – haha, we find ourselves stumbling into a dark, action sequel.

 Burton continues the adventures of Alice with this story of a young woman in turn of the century England as she faces an unpleasant, but socially advantageous, marriage proposal. Alice, played with quiet depth by Mia Wasikowska, flees from the proposal only to find herself falling back down the rabbit hole and into her oldest dream (or so she thought) as the reluctant hero in a coming-of-age quest to save Underland from the Red Queen. Burton casts his usual line-up. Helena Bohnam Carter is marvelous as the capricious, insecure, and undeniably insane Red Queen. Johnny Depp is typically Johnny Depp, but mostly enjoyable as the Mad Hatter. They are joined by a star-studded cast of voices who make Underland come to life in a fun and whacky way.

If you are looking for the Alice you remember from your childhood, then this is not for you.  However, if you want action-adventure Alice 2.0 that’s a little bit Disney, a little bit Carroll, and a lot a bit Tim Burton… then you probably won’t be disappointed. I wasn’t.

Oh, FYI… not really necessary to pay extra for the 3D on this one.

Rating: I’m not sorry I saw it and would watch it again, if it comes on, but I will not need to own this on DVD.

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