Saturday, March 27, 2010

Alice in blahland

What should I say... Alice in Wonderland was a bit all over the place. I didn't get enough character development. I understand it's a famous book and maybe we're all supposed to know it and the characters, but that's no excuse for a movie that can't deliver. And yes, it's a huge amount of material to cover - but I think the spirit was missing. Not just specific details missing - I can deal with a book to movie adaptation leaving pieces out. But something like Harry Potter can still make it work - because the spirit is still there. I still want to root for the characters. In Tim Burton's Alice, I didn't. I didn't even buy why Alice wanted to save Hatter when he'd been taken by the Red Queen. The MOVIE hadn't given me enough to show their bond. Alice knew he'd sacrificed himself, but he was this mad man she'd just met - the bond had not been made.  Again, maybe this is where our book and previous Alice versionings should have given us the background we needed - but that is a cop out. Burton was caught on this movie. Trying to be funny/whimsical/wow but not managing any of them. Alice in Wonderland was caught between the humor of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the sweet fantasy of Big Fish and therefore failed to be either the clever oddball or the touching story.

Now I love Johnny Depp and think Mia Wasikowska was wonderful in In Treatment, but it wasn't enough. And the movie was visually interesting, but I think it would have been beautiful if I'd been able to watch it in 2-D. I am definitely not sold on 3-D yet! Avatar was spectacular in that regard. But every frame in that movie was designed. 2-D and 3-D were considered and it just worked (not the story grant you, but visually yes). Alice just felt like 3-D had been added because it could. Because the fantasy world is an easy get for 3-D. Because kids will see the movie and will get the gimicks of things flying at you. Maybe that is all 3-D is at this point. And why is it so dang dark? Why isn't the movie processed for this 3-D environment with brightness boosting? I know it's not that simple, but I want the art direction to shine in brilliant bright color in HD. Not dimness and blurryness. Not sold on 3-D yet.


Mil said...

Like this post. I'm not running out to see it either. That said I haven't seen a movie in the theater since Juliette was still in utero. But you know what I mean. Plus why did Avril Lavine have to do the theme song. Just an excuse to show her lovely cheekbones in the video.

Jessamyn said...

Oh, I had not seen the Avril video. No idea why she was chosen. And she kind of just screams the chorus.