Alice in Wonderland Review – Tim Burton Goes Linear – Stars Earn their Pay – Missed Opportunities – Cornwall Ontario – March 8, 2010

Cornwall ON- My expectations for this film were huge.    You have a director known for his visionary prowess teamed up with some amazing talent.   Johnny Depp, Scottish accent and all was superb. Helena Bonham Carter and the amazing Crispin Glover show why it’s always more fun to play the villians, and even Anne Hathaway brought depth to a very limited role.  Alan Rickman’s voice over was superb too.

The problem for me with Disney’s Alice is it seemed shackled.  It seemed as though Mr. Burton wasn’t allowed to really cut loose or that he simply didn’t.     Tim Burton is known for his non-linear tough.  Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, and my favorite of his films, The Nightmare Before Christmas;  are films when he truly is at his best.   They’re not 100% formulaic and they’re not 100% predictable.

Dealing with a story such as Alice in Wonderland which generations of children have loved for over a hundred years has some challenges.  Some were met wonderfully; and some didn’t sizzle.   I thought the script was too beaten into submission. (although I did love the part about Crispin Glover’s ending with Ms Carter which I won’t give away)

I also felt the 3D impact on this film was not of the level of say….Avatar, and that at times distracted from the film.    I think this movie would be amazing even if not in 3D.

I really want to give this movie a high rating; but I can’t.  It’s not horrible.  It’s not bad.    I’m just not sure that this film will be the defining film version of Alice.     Perhaps Mr. Burton’s future films will revert a bit more to his whimsical non-linear version.   Watching this and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for me simply show the limitations of Big Hollywood and Big Hollywood budgets that should never impact a visionary like Tim Burton.

I give this Alice 3 Bags of Popcorn out of 5.

Alice in Wonderland is showing in a theatre near you.  (We’d mention our local theatre and showtimes, but the grinches at Cineplex are not being very friendly)

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  1. The face in the fedora….what film was he in? (Looks like a young Edward G.Robinson)

  2. kind of disagree with you… I thought this film really lived up to what “Alice in Wonderland” should be… bizarre, intriguing, colorful… and on top of everything, Tim Burton strung an interesting story line through the film that didn’t exist in the original story to add more depth to the plot. This film was above expectations for me.

    also, I really enjoyed the 3D in this movie because it wasn’t overwhelming… it did a good job, I thought, of enhancing the world and adding some depth without distracting.

    My friend Pat and I see a new release each week. If you’re interested in seeing our Instant Review of Alice in Wonderland, you can see it at

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