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Old 03-17-2010, 07:38 PM   #5551 (permalink)
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It's all over the place but I really enjoyed the film. I would definitely watch again.
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:47 PM   #5552 (permalink)
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^^^

I absolutely hated Charlotte Gainsbourg in that movie. Sullen and melancholy but without any charm to back it up
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:14 PM   #5553 (permalink)
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^^^

I absolutely hated Charlotte Gainsbourg in that movie. Sullen and melancholy but without any charm to back it up
me too! well put sir. i liked the movie overall tho.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:37 PM   #5554 (permalink)
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Saw this in the $5 bin at the grocery and almost got it...would you say it's worth the 5 bucks?
Yeah I'd say so. I don't usually spend money on movies but $5 is cheap and it's good.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:35 AM   #5555 (permalink)
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^^^

I absolutely hated Charlotte Gainsbourg in that movie. Sullen and melancholy but without any charm to back it up
I really liked her. I don't know why. Maybe it was her artistic side. Why didn't you like her?
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:00 PM   #5556 (permalink)
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I finally saw The Hurt Locker, really impressed, def. a Jeremey Renner fan from now on. I am really glad it won the oscar now that I saw it.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:00 PM   #5557 (permalink)
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***1/2

I don't know whose idea it was to market this as a family movie, because kids will surely hate it, and parents who are looking for idealized role models won't find them here because this film deals with surprisingly complex characters including a kid who is prone to acting like a f*cking psychopath, you know, like most kids in real life.

It's a very thoughtful and imaginative adaptation of the book. It's best enjoyed as an individual viewing experience rather than a collective one. The kid who played Max was really good, as was the voice cast of the monsters, Gandolfini especially. Each monster has a very distinctive, fleshed out personality. They are very human, very childlike and yet still very un-human and believable as monsters. Jonze really found the right balance in bringing these furry things to life.

The ending is pretty touching, some may find it to be too much of a downer for a kids film but that's what's cool about it, the whole theme of the movie is this kid basically trying to raise his own family and the struggles that come with that. This theme is handled perfectly without being made too obvious.

I really loved the effects too and think it was a mega ripoff for it not to even get an Oscar nomination (and it's a ripoff that this film didn't get any nominations at all), combining real puppets with CGI motion capture faces makes for some eerilly realistic living stuffed animals. The fort looks really cool too.

Found the soundtrack to be a little grating, Karen O isn't my thing.



I had mixed feelings about this movie, so much so that I'm gonna give it two distinct reviews and ratings.

As a Lewis Carroll adaptation

*

I will start off by saying that the special effects work is great and a lot of the imagery is quite loyal to the classic John Tenniel illustrations, but aside from the visuals, the title and a few subtle references here and there, it really doesn't feel that much like Alice in Wonderland.

Despite the superb visuals, it certainly doesn't feel like Alice in tone, a lot of the witty humor and silliness just isn't there, the modernized story is like something out of World of Warcraft and the climax is just one big action scene, if this was Alice in Wonderland THE VIDEO GAME that would be fine.

One thing that bothers me (and pedophiles from around the world) is that Alice isn't a little kid anymore, and the actress in this movie doesn't really manage to capture her famous personality of being a polite but cynical little girl. She does in the beginning and end of the movie, but once she's in wonderland it's like "well, I guess I need to fight the jabberwocky", her character just doesn't evolve naturally or in a believable way. It doesn't help that the actress is quite dull in the role.

You don't get the relationships with characters that the books are famous for either, in the book all the characters were freaking maniacs, they were not sidekicks, Alice never had a true sidekick in the story, the big theme was that she never knew who to trust or when somebody is gonna go complete apesh*t on her, even the Disney animated film was very loyal to that theme. And it was the lack of coherent communication with Wonderland's inhabititants that gave the books their unique brand of humor, again lost in Burton's adaptation.

In this film, Wonderland is much more friendly, the characters have an emotional attachment to Alice and are capable of reasoning, I'm sorry, that sh*t just doesn't fly in Wonderland. This movie just isn't silly enough. It tries to be a "heart warming" kids story, even though Carroll's Alice in Wonderland never was, and again even the Disney animated film avoided this cliche.

Instead of capturing the goofy social satire of the books, Burton's film tries to be a LOTR style fantasy epic, and had this just been it's own movie and had nothing to do with Alice in Wonderland, it wouldn't be much of a problem.

I will also say that it was rather interesting how this film actually gives Wonderland a backstory, and even gives a subtle explaination to The Mad Hatter's insanity, which is a result of prolonged mercury exposure as a hat maker. That's pretty cool, but once again it disregards one of the things that made the story so timeless, the mystery of it all. That's the great thing about fantasy, you don't have to explain sh*t.


But my biggest beef? Turning Alice into a feminist warrior type character is just f*cking retarded, is this Alice or f*ckng Joan of Arc? And the scene where she returns to the wedding ceremony and gives a little moral lession to everybody was very heavy handed. That got at least one face palm out of me.


A good defense of it having little to do with the original stories though is that this film isn't really a remake at all, it's like a long lost sequel, like how Hook was to Peter Pan, so it isn't entirely fair to compare it side by side with the Carroll books since it's not really based on them at all.

As a Tim Burton film

**1/2

Now, despite all those criticisms, is it really a bad thing that Burton wanted to do something different? Of course not. I always say that movies don't really need to be literal adaptations of their source material and in fact they would be f*cking boring and pointless if they were. And Tim Burton has always had a thing for taking classic stories and putting his own spin on them.

But here are two things I want to point out.

1. There are exceptions to the adaptation rule, some stories really could use a faithful screen adaptation and this is one of them. Granted there are already countless made for TV adaptations. And while the Disney animated film made a few changes and had it's own visual style, it was still very loyal to the tone and humor of the book.

2. Even as a Tim Burton film, well, it doesn't always succeed as that either. Not only does it not feel like an Alice film, sometimes it doesn't really feel very Burton either. I expected Burton to give a very different spin on the tale, that's actually what I wanted. But what he turned Alice into was a pretty standard kids fantasy film with hyper pacing.

C'mon Tim, you can do better than that. The film doesn't even look very Burton to me (save a few twisted trees thrown in for good measure). Why couldn't Burton give the film a more dark and gothic look? Sure it would piss off Carroll fans even more but it would have been a more interesting twist and more suitable for Burton. The film does have a few awesomely dark moments like the moat full of severed heads, but these moments are too few and far between.

I'm not saying Burton should never venture beyond the gothic visual style, he's done it before with Big Fish, but much more successfully. But like I said, it's ok that the movie isn't very loyal to the book. But it would have been more interesting if was given the full "Tim Burton" makeover, instead he seemed to compromise his own visual style for something more commercially appealing for the little tykes that made up this film's target audience.

Anyway. On to the cast, aside from Alice there is no weak link, the entire supporting cast is fantastic. What little bit of Carroll there is in the film is mostly in Johnny Depp's performance as the Mad Hatter, this guy is my favorite character actor ever and this is yet another really fun peformance from him.

Special mention should also go to Helena Bonham Carter who is f*cking AWESOME as The Queen of Hearts, all the best moments in the movie are courtesy of her. Crispin Glover is delightfully cool as The Knave of Hearts. Stephen Fry is great as The Cheshire Cat, who is also the most visually interesting character. Alan Rickman was pretty much the obvious choice for the caterpiller, I wish he actually had something to do though.

It's still a visually stunning film, and all the characters look cool, but more often than not it feels more like a video game or an amusement park than a movie. The 3D was pretty great, but it's nowhere near as immersive as Avatar was, it was a little more gimmicky, with stuff flying at the screen for the sole purpose of using the 3D effect.

Overall, I was entertained. But as a fan of both the story and Tim Burton I was rather disappointed. Terry Gilliam would have been a much better choice for an Alice movie IMO.

If you want a faithful adaptation of Carroll's work, avoid. If you want a fun Hollywood roller coaster ride of special effects wizardry, go for it, just don't expect it to compare with Avatar.

Another reason to see it? The futterwacken dance, it's a big WTF moment and I wish this movie had more WTF moments. Sh*t needs to be seen to be believed.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:54 PM   #5558 (permalink)
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***1/2

I don't know whose idea it was to market this as a family movie, because kids will surely hate it, and parents who are looking for idealized role models won't find them here because this film deals with surprisingly complex characters including a kid who is prone to acting like a f*cking psychopath, you know, like most kids in real life.
Actually a colleague of mine watched it with her 10 year old and he loved it. That's the beauty of this film, it's complex yet playful enough to appeal to kids and adults alike. Agree with everything else but the soundtrack comment, I thought it was perfect actually, but I've got a major boner for anything Karen O does.

Incidentally, after several decades of posting on internet forums, you should be aware that impawards doesn't allow hotlinking.
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Old 03-18-2010, 04:01 PM   #5559 (permalink)
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Internet forums have been around for "several decades"????
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Old 03-18-2010, 04:05 PM   #5560 (permalink)
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hey boo boo, what's your star rating system based on? is it like up to four stars or five?
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