Thursday, 11 March 2010

New Release - Alice In Wonderland 3-D


I’ve eagerly anticipated Tim Burton’s latest releases from before I can remember, and with Alice in Wonderland marking his first foray into 3-D, this was no exception. Arriving early at the cinema, we were treated to a live satellite link-up from the world premiere hosted at London’s Leicester square. Watching Prince Charles shake hands with almost everyone involved in the film was not my idea of fun but it certainly made an interesting change to the cinema experience. After the formalities he was shown into the cinema and the film could eventually start for him at the world premiere, and me in the comfort of Cineworld Didsbury.

Unlike previous adaptations of Alice, Burton takes the viewer on a new journey, only loosely following aspects of Carrol’s classic stories ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the looking glass’ to create an entirely new experience. Although this may disappoint fans of the stories, there are still a lot of familiar characters to be seen as Alice is portrayed as a young woman returning to the world she first envisaged as a child - almost like an unofficial sequel to Carrol’s work.

Having only seen two films in 3-D prior to Alice in Wonderland; Coraline and Avatar, I was still unsure whether 3-D was more than just a gimmick, however, it certainly enhanced the visual aspect of the film, bringing life to Burton’s dark and mysterious world.

There is some fantastic casting within the film, especially Matt Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and although the computer generated effects used to render the characters are impressive, I was left longing for the extravagant costumes that Burton fans are used to seeing in his earlier films - Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands come to mind. Despite this, we still see a glimpse of Burton’s once awe-inspiring creations with a number of weird creatures that inhabit Wonderland, as well as some suitably creepy decapitated heads that serve as stepping stones in a castle moat.

Putting aside a few moments that young children may find scary, this is definitely a family movie, with elements of humour clearly aimed at the younger audiences. One such moment comes near the end of the film when Johnny Depp displays his ‘funderwhacking’ abilities, and whilst that phrase may excite people who have yet to see the film, for me it merely conjures up a horrendous image that I would rather forget!

Most people will have high expectations of the film due to the calibre of actors and actresses involved but I have seen all of them in much better performances, apart from Barbara Windsor - it’s nice to not see her face for once, as Burton does not devote enough screen time to any one of the multitude of characters that inhabit Wonderland.

Although Alice is not a landmark film by any means, I cannot deny that I was soon absorbed in the story, despite its numerous flaws. If you do decide to head to the cinema, make sure you see it in 3-D, as this definitely played a big part in my enjoyment of the film. I doubt I would watch Alice in Wonderland again but would certainly recommend it for families and young children.

7/10



If you liked this film you will also enjoy these:

Coraline
Labyrinth
Laputa: Castle In The Sky
The Fall