Saturday, March 6, 2010

Why is a raven like a writing desk?

Last night I saw Tim Burton's latest project, Alice in Wonderland. For the record, I have been an fan of Lewis Carrol's escapist-fantasy since I was an ankle biter ... I've re-read it so many times and it remains as my favorite book of all time. I can open to any page and be amused, engrossed, filled with wonderment and deep nostalgia.

Tim Burton did an alright job on Alice in wonderland, basing it on mainly though the looking glass, the second book. The cast was promising, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat, Alan Rickman as Blue Caterpillar, Matt Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Australian beauty Mia Wasikowska as Alice, and of course Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter.
The plotline along the lines of this;
"Alice Kingsley, now 19, attends a party at a Victorian estate shortly after the death of her beloved father. Alice spots a white rabbit wearing a waistcoat and pocket watch. In shock and confusion, she runs off into a maze and follows the White Rabbit through it. She eventually tumbles down a rabbit hole into Underland, more commonly referred to as "Wonderland" by its inhabitants. She had visited this place 10 years earlier, but had entirely forgotten about it. She is also told that she is the only one who can slay the Jabberwocky, the dragon who terrorizes the inhabitants of Wonderland under the rule of the Red Queen." (thanks Wikipedia!)
The story line was a decent adaptation of the book, but it missed out some of my favorite characters like the Mock Turtle and the Gryphon. I also missed allot of the original poetry including "The Walrus and the Carpenter" and "'Tis the Voice of the Lobster".

Tim Burton's vision for Alice in wonderland is sublime vision and set as is all of his films. I Had the luck of seeing it in 3D, and for anyone wishing to see it (which although its faults I encourage you too! (maybe because I'm such an Alice in wonderland nerd)) is the best way to watch it. The 3D effects added a whole new realm to the story making it so believable and at the same time unreal, the same feeling you get whilst reading the books.

I think the main problem with the movie was that it seemed like Burton couldn't decide whether to make it a children's movie or an adults. A technique which normally plays into Burton's movies (such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Edward Scissorhands, Corpse Bride etc) didn't hit the spot right. The performances were good, with Helena Bonham Carter stealing the show as always, as well as Johnny Depp adding his cuckoo side (applied in Charlie in the Chocolate Factory) and notable mentions to Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas and Alan Rickman.

On the downside of the acting was Anne Hathaway, whose characterisation was too over the top, leaving you annoyed with every mannerism that she pulled. Also I found Mia Wasikowska to be a tad wooden, but her performance improved though the movie (or maybe I noticed it less).

Despite the ill reviews I heard, I still fell in love with the world of wonderland all over again from the moment I sat down in the cinema. My eyes gleamed like a child once more.

and isn't that what's really important?

P.S although Carrol never wrote an answer to the riddle here's some:
-Because the notes for which they are noted are not noted for being musical notes.
-Because Poe wrote on both. -Because it slopes with a flap.
-Because they both come with inky quills.
-Because they both stand on sticks
-Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat; and it is never put with the wrong end in front!”( In the original preface, “never” was spelled “nevar,” which is “raven” backwards)
-Because one is a rest for pens, the other is a pest for wrens
-Because Both are inked with blackness

My favorite one is:
-Because there is a B in both and an N in neither. (get it?)


  1. Great reveiw Stanton- I must see it in 3d soon.

  2. Smarty film reviewer. Love the bit about ravens and suchforth.