Friday, March 5, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

I watched the new version of Alice in Wonderland tonight. I really enjoyed the book and its sequel ("Through the Looking Glass"), and, not having researched this film, I expected it to resemble the book and Disney movie. In fact, the movie is set several years after the original story and, though it keeps many of the same characters, it keeps only bits and pieces of the plot. You might think this infidelity to the book would cause me to hate this movie, but I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. I was very impressed by the visuals. I don't think it needs to be seen in 3-D (which I did), because there really aren't all that many things popping out at you. But there were a few things thrown "at" my head that startled me a bit.

I really enjoyed the movie while watching it, but friends I talked to afterward did not seem particularly amazed and Imdb gives it only a respectable 7.5. I may need to see it again to understand why other people were not impressed. I suppose the plot wasn't exactly genius. I had a sense that they just picked interesting, fun actors, including J. Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Alan Rickman (in a relatively minor role) and let them do all sorts of crazy, silly things in their wild costumes and stunning backgrounds, but it worked for me. I was also impressed by Mia Wasikowska's portrayal of Alice. It was an interesting choice to have Alice be a young woman rather than a child. I could see this bothering a purist, but I dunno, the movie made it pretty clear that it was not meant to be the classic Alice story. I think the movie is well worth watching.


  1. In my experience, a 7.5 is an excellent score on IMDB. To put it into perspective, movies at the lower end of IMDB's top 250 all have a score of 7.9

    And I can count on one hand the number of movies that have a 9.0 or higher.

  2. That's fair. But I think there's a bias of some sort towards new movies, at least when they first come out. I think the 7.5 might actually go down over time.

    I tend to think of 7.0 as the cutoff for "good" movies. And maybe 8.0 would be "very good." So, 7.5 is respectable.

    Here are some comparisons with other recent movies. Avatar got an 8.5, but I think I liked Alice in Wonderland about as much. Slumdog Millionaire has an 8.4. I haven't seen it, but Ratatouille got an 8.1. I feel like with all the big names it has and all the money it's raking in, it wouldn't have been shocking for Alice in Wonderland to have gotten an 8.0. The fact it didn't makes me think there was something in it that turned a significant % of people off. I'll admit the ending was fairly weak. In fact, the last scene seemed almost unbelievably inappropriate for a fairy tale.

  3. haha. Unbelievably inappropriate sounds like a good description for a lot of Burton movies. I'm going to go watch it 3D tonight and I'll let you know what I thought.