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March 10, 2010 > Movie Review: Alice in Wonderland

Movie Review: Alice in Wonderland

By Jennifer Gau

In his latest offering, Tim Burton shares his gift of imaginative scenery and a knack for details. Utilizing current 3-D technology, the audience is able to witness how he envisioned Lewis Carroll's book "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" (1865.) The movie fits in as the sequel to Disney's animated "Alice in Wonderland" (1951) film. There are some similarities and differences such as Alice's varying size changes forcing her environment to change with her, and the Red Queen's head larger than the rest of her body which fit her preferences and personality.

Alice (played by Mia Wasikowska) is a teenage girl living with her mother in London. Society expects her to marry someone respectable whether she likes him or not. However, she is a curious and rebellious character. Alice avoids society's expectations and follows her gut feelings into a rabbit hole. There, she has the same "dream" that she has been having since she was a little girl starring a smiling cat, a smoking caterpillar, a rabbit in a waistcoat, and a Mad Hatter. Alice sets on a journey to discover her destiny in Wonderland, chased from place to place between forest and castle.

Johnny Depp plays the Mad Hatter with the same quirkiness as his character in "Pirates of the Caribbean." The White Queen (Anne Hathaway) and Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) are sisters who are polar opposites. Carter portrays the Red Queen as an angry woman who loves to be feared while the White Queen is more passive and pure. Make-up and special effects are used well to accentuate their personalities. The Mad Hatter has a colorful face with crazy orange hair and unusually large eyes. Both queens are surrounded by what appears to be their favorite colors.

Watching in 3-D was an exciting ride. Settings were well thought out, full of detail, fauna, and clutter when necessary. Special graphic effects meshed well with the real life actors which helped the flow of music and themes.

"Alice in Wonderland" is geared towards a younger audience where imagination runs wild. The script is filled with made up words. It plays like a storybook full of repeating lines and extravagant adventure. However, in spite of a visually colorful feast, this movie brings just mediocre entertainment with a predictable plot lacking surprises.

Runtime: 1 hour 49 minutes
Rated: PG

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