Monday, August 1, 2011

Review: Alice in Wonderland (2010)

I really didn't have much of an interest in watching this movie, but one day my sister watched it on Netflix and said that I might enjoy the costumes. I was a little intrigued and decided to sit down and watch Alice in Wonderland.
Box Art
Nineteen year old Alice Kingsleigh goes to a party where she is proposed to in front of the whole party. She goes off and finds herself falling down a rabbit hole into Wonderland/Underland. Everyone there seems to know her name, but she has no recollection of Wonderland/Underland.

There are a couple of actors/actresses that you might recognize here. Johnny Depp was the Mad Hatter, Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre (2010)) was Alice, Helena Bonham Carter (The King's Speech) was the Red Queen, Anne Hathaway (Becoming Jane) was the White Queen, Stephen Fry was the Cheshire Cat, Alan Rickman (Sense and Sensibility) as the Blue Catepiller, Timothy Spall (The King's Speech) was Bayard the dog, Geraldine James (He Knew He Was Right) was Lady Ascot, Imelda Stauton (Sense and Sensibility) was one of the flowers, Christopher Lee (Lord of the Rings) was the Jabberwocky, and Jim Carter (Downton Abbey) was one of the Red Queen's subjects.
Johnny Depp (Right) as the Mad Hatter. Mia Wasikowska (Left)
as Alice.
Amazingly enough, Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter didn't irk me as much as I expected. I assumed that his Mad Hatter was going to be overly hyper and crazy, but it didn't get as crazy as it could have been, though I did find the dance that he did at the end to be a little too modern.
Is it just me or did the White Queen seem a little odd? Whenever she appeared on screen, it seemed like there was something wrong with her. She was a bit creepy but trying to hide that creepiness with this airy tone (if that makes sense), but she was still a bit creepy; even her body language was a little creepy. Since the White Queen is supposed to be good, Anne Hathaway should have took another look and reconsidered how to portray the White Queen because you get the sense that the White Queen might not be the good character that she appears to be.

Three words: glum, grim, and least for about 95% of the movie. As many of you might know, I do not like dark settings in movies. The real world scenes, as few as there were, were much brighter and nicer to look at. I know the dark scenery in Wonderland/Underland was supposed to express that Wonderland/Underland was under the oppressive rule of the Red Queen, but it was a little too creepy.

Alice, dressed in armor, about to do battle with the Jabberwocky.
The White Queen (Anne Hathaway) and the Mad Hatter
(Johnny Depp) stand behind her along with the White Queen's
I much preferred the real world costumes to the fantasy costumes. The fantasy costumes were mostly modern, but I wouldn't say they were terrible. My only concern was with Alice's dresses. When she arrives in Wonderland, she's wearing her real world dress; then she drinks the potion that makes her smaller and she gets a new dress; she eats the cake that makes her taller and she magically gets another new outfit; she goes back to being small and gets another new dress; but then when she meets the Mad Hatter and she drinks the "short" potion, suddenly she needs new clothes made for her, and anytime after that, a special point is made that she needs new clothes made for her. It seemed to be a problem with continuity and it is a small issue, but it still bothered me. I also thought that the Mad Hatter was too heavily made up. Other than that, the costuming was good.

Overall: 3/5
This was a weird version of Alice in Wonderland, but I wouldn't say that it was terrible. It is a little dark, which I don't particularly like, but it wasn't a bad movie. I probably wouldn't have much of an occasion to watch it, but if I was over at someone's house and they wanted to watch this movie, I wouldn't have many objections to it; I just probably wouldn't watch this again on my own. There is some violence and creepy parts however (and maybe some crude humor), so I wouldn't show this movie to a very young audience.

Alice in Wonderland is available on DVD and Blu-ray. It is 108 minutes long and is rated PG for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar.


  1. I've wondered about this movie, it's one that I figure I'll see sometime but not one I was particularly excited about. I'm interested because of all the great actors. I loved reading 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking Glass' and was a bit annoyed they decided to call this "sequel" Alice in Wonderland. I was wondering how did you like Alice (Mia Wasikowska's) character?

    ~Miss Laurie

  2. Miss Laurie,
    At first, I thought that Mia's Alice was a little annoying, but she grew on me. I thought that they tried to make her a little too modern (at the beginning, her mother notices that she's not wearing a corset, which is I think how filmmakers like to modernize Victorian women; I've never read Alice in Wonderland, so I don't know if that would be in her character). But overall, Mia's Alice wasn't too bad.

  3. I LOVE Alice in Wonderland!!! :) And Johnny Depp is amazing - as usual. I would recommend it to anyone who can...'deal' with a lot of fantasy!! :D haha


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