27 April 2010

one pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small

As a huge Alice in Wonderland fan, and an even huger Tim Burton fan, it's safe to say that I was anxiously anticipating the awesomeness that would happen when those two forces of nature came together.  I mean, if anyone could do justice to Lewis Carroll's masterpiece, it would be Mr. Burton.  The man gave us The Nightmare Before Christmas, for crying out loud.  There was no way that his interpretation of Alice would be less than awesome.

Then I heard it was going to be in 3D and I think I may have peed in my pants a little.  Seriously.  Alice in Wonderland in 3D?  What could possibly go wrong?

How about, oh, everything?

While on holiday on the west coast this week, my friend Denise and I made plans to take in the three-dimensional goodness of this film.  We paid the ridiculous admission price, bought the overpriced, stale theatre popcorn and drank the gallon o' fountain drink that passes for a "small", and put those glasses on like our lives depended on it. 

Then the movie started...and it was all downhill from there.

Now, as much as I want to blame Tim Burton for this, it's not entirely his fault.  I mean, he could only work with the material he had been given, and it's not entirely his fault that the story was lame.  If you haven't seen it, I'll try not to spoil it for you, but basically, we meet Alice at the age of nineteen, who is betrothed to a man she does not love.  While at her surprise engagement party (and by "surprise" I mean, she had no idea he was going to ask her to marry him), she becomes obsessed with this White Rabbit that she keeps seeing.  She leaves the guy on bended knee and chases after the rabbit, only to fall down the rabbit hole and into Underland.  She meets the usual assortment of characters that we've all come to know and love - Mad Hatter, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the Caterpillar, the Doormouse, and my personal favourite, the Cheshire Cat.

Of course, none of them believe that she is the "Real Alice", and she must go about proving that she is indeed the same one who visited Underland as a child.  In the meantime, she is revealed as the one who brings peace and harmony to their world by slaying the Jabberwock, who I'm sure was added to the script to atone for the total blasphemy that this story was to the original.  The Queen of Hearts has a freakishly huge head and surrounds herself with other such afflicted people in order to feel less alone, but, you know, she was never loved by her parents as much as her sister, the White Queen was, so she's got issues and something to prove.

In the end, Alice proves herself to be strong and independent and forward thinking, which is a big deal for the Victorian era, and it's for that reason that I didn't totally hate her.  She refused to marry a man she didn't love, and she took up her father's business.  You go, Alice!

It is a Tim Burton film, so you know it's going to be pretty, and boy, was it.  I have decided that it was a good thing that I saw it in 3D, because if I only saw it in old school 2D, I would have really been aware of how lame the story was.  Ok, I was aware of the lameness of the story in 3D, too, but I didn't care so much because, "Ooooh...pretty....", and because they did such an awesome job with Cheshie.

Yes, I love that grinning kitty.  How can I not?  He is all calm and cool with this huge grin that masks his cowardice. You know, kinda like me.  After Alice is attacked by the vicious Bandersnatch,  he offers to purify the gashes on her arm by licking them. Alice declines, although she allows him to lead her to the Hatter’s Tea Party where the Hatter blames him for deserting them on the day the Red Queen seized control of Underland. Using his skills and the Hatter’s coveted top hat, Cheshie later finds a way to redeem himself.  In other words, they didn't keep him around just because he was cute.  I would have, but that's just me.  I'm just a crazy cat lady in training.

Would I watch the film again?  Heck yeah, but I think I'll just read the book again.  It might not be as pretty, but at least it's real.

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