Thursday, March 18, 2010

My sad disappointment of Tim Burton-or the mini Alice In Wonderland review


This is more of a bunch of thoughts than a formal review of Alice in Wonderland (or more of a trashing of it).  If you know me, you know I am a huge Tim Burton fan, I have liked his films since before I heard the term goth.  My first memories were those of Edward Scissorhands, a movie that my grandfather introduced me to, I never understood many of themes and how truly dark the movie was simply because I was too young.  I had the same obsession with Nightmare Before Christmas, which I owned on VHS (eff you, Hot Topic bandwagon jumpers), I'd watch it to calm me down during the unfamiliar Texas storms.  Fast forward to now, where the man has gone on to do some truly great things (Big Fish, Sweeny Todd, Sleepy Hollow) and some ridiculous duds (The obvious Planet of The Apes).  I feel that Tim Burton is certainly like an old and aging metal band.  The style that made him famous and interesting and "weird" has become rather stale.  Kind of like Metallica, a band most will recognize, you can only hear so much double bass drums and awesome guitar solos before you become bored by it.  The same with Mr. Burton, from his constant collaborations with Johnny Depp, Danny Elfman, Christopher Lee, Helena Bohnman Carter, along with his obsession of late to make adaptations (here comes another one I'm wary of cats and kittens), I'm getting truly bored with it.  

Alice in Wonderland was a horribly boring and half way decent looking film, which is sad to say considering I wanted the visuals to save the day if the plot could not.  The movie itself is not bad, but only because it hits all of the story plots, twists and character arcs that it should as a deceptive epic hero's journey type of movie.  The bad guys are evil and deceptive in the same ways they should, the good guys have a the odds horribly stacked against them, but I bet will find a way to overcome them.  The style was great, but once again all too common for Tim Burton.  I do like the nice touches of Alice crossing a lake of decapitated heads (very metal, High On Fire needs to get in on that imagery).  If it wasn't for Frances, I probably would've fallen asleep.  In the end the only redeeming thing of this movie is the Chesire Cat.  You'll notice I don't mention anything about Johnny Depp.  I don't for the simple reason that this is his version of what Cat in the Hat was for Mike Myers. In it Myers sounds like a little bit of all the characters he has played in the past 5 years and this is what happens to Depp, albeit more tragically considering he's actually a good actor.  

As a closing thought, I hope that Tim Burton doesn't get swayed by the financial success of the movie, and chooses to wisen up and make some damn good original stuff.  He is at a crossroads of his career, one many directors have been in and have instead gone to complete crap (I'm looking at you Ivan Reitman).  I hope my beloved director is not one of them.


  1. I felt like when I was watching this movie. All I was watching was a twisted version of The chronicles of Narnia

  2. Mmmm yea, I can see that with the over abundance of CGI.