Down the Rabbit Hole (Warning: Spoiler Alert)

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland was very different to Disney’s animated version of the story. Having read both of Lewis Carroll’s books (Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass) I think that I can say that this movie is both like and unlike the books. It takes Alice’s story to a deeper, darker level- curiouser and curiouser- to the point.

Tim Burton likes the darker side to life typically, so I’m not surprised that Alice mistakenly calls it Wonderland when in the movie’s version it is actually called Underland. It has an interesting parallel between the light and the dark, the white queen and the red queen.

The movie is visually stunning and I have always loved Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter’s partnership in Burton’s movies. Mia Wasikowska as Alice was also a brilliant choice on Burton’s part. She is definitely an Alice- whether she is the real Alice… well, one can only speculate. Rumor has it that Burton actually wanted Anne Hathaway to play Alice and have Nigella Lawson play the White Queen because she was his inspiration for the character. True Story.

The film is truly based on the books but cannot be watched with the expectation that it will follow the books’ storyline in any way. Perhaps that is why I actually enjoyed the movie, because I was viewing it as a completely unique version of Carroll’s stories. It has a different take on Wonderland… Wonderland is all trippy and delicious whereas Underland is all dark and quirky. Both the movie and the books take you down the rabbit hole on an adventure that is scary and nonsensical at the same time.

The March Hare for me was absolutely hysterical! That rabbit looked as if he had survived being strapped to dynamite- brilliant, totally brilliant! The Red Queen and her massive head also had me in stitches. I was slightly disappointed with Anne Hathaway’s performance however. She looked stunning but I was waiting for some talent and grand acting. I just got looks. She was a poser in the movie, not an actress. Her role was completely overshadowed by the fantastically wondrous White Palace and the faithful hound.

In my mind I wanted Alice and the Mad Hatter to end up together. My friend Robyn gave me the idea while I was reading her blog post on the movie and I completely agree with her. Why did Alice leave wonderland? She could have stayed and her and the Hatter could have had weirdly wonderful babies and had a tea filled, hat making, rabbit chasing rest of their lives together. On the other hand I liked it that Alice didn’t end up with anyone. This may sound like women championing, feminist fluff but I don’t care. Alice didn’t need a man to end her story. She asserted her independence from that stereotype and went into a business venture instead- sailing off into the distance in style!

All in all I liked what Burton did in his movie but I also recommend that people read Carroll’s books. My friend Robyn said that Disney’s animated Alice in Wonderland was full of mean people and I see her point. The flowers called Alice a weed, the caterpillar had an anger problem, and the queen was out to get her head. Disney didn’t let poor Alice catch a break! I love them all.. I can’t choose! Anyone that can take me down the rabbit hole has automatically won me over because it is there, in that fantastic Wonder-under-land, that I never fail to have an absolute blast!

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My review of the Eclipse trailer

The Summit Entertainment logo flashes onto the screen surrounded by rolling, dark clouds in the background. The ‘dodudodudodu’ of the piano and the ‘yihihihi’ of the violin resonate together- making sure the audience feel the importance of the moment. This is a SAGA people. “Isabella Swan, I promise to love you every moment, forever” (Imagine Robert Pattinson’s awkward, halting tone- which is obviously his interpretation of weird and mysterious). The dialogue plays as we travel across the green forest and into Bella and Edward’s meadow- which looks like it’s filled with those plastic flowers that you can buy from any supermarket. There Eward (Robert Pattinson) holds Bella (Kristen Stewart) with the ‘yihihihi’ of the violin plucking at the strings of all the Twi Twi fans’ pulpy hearts. Then we see a shot of the sunset and the appearance of the Volturi, with Jane’s warning of “the Volturi don’t give second chances” (Wow that Italian vampire didn’t even try and hide their American accent). Dakota Fanning comes across as really menacing (note the sarcasm in the italicized font :D). It’s a pity she sounded like she’d just woken up rather than evil and creepy. Is that the distant echoing of tweens screaming? I wouldn’t be surprised with Edward and Bella lying side by side on her bed (real steamy). “Why are you so against me becoming like you?” Kristen’s standard ‘doom and gloom’ expression makes it hard to tell whether she’s in love or just wants to drink the poison- oh wait, this isn’t Romeo and Juliet- my bad! “I know the consequences of the choice you’re making,” Rob looks like he’s on autopilot at this stage, “after a few decades all the people you know will be dead.”This is said over a sequence of two heartbreaking shots of Bella with her dad and then hugging her mom. Wow! Can you feel the emotional manipulation?! Another nature shot is followed by one of Jacob and Bella. I almost didn’t recognize Taylor Lautner with his shirt on- bleh- his acting skills are pretty average now that one can actually listen to his dialogue (it was kind of hard to hear him in New Moon with all the ladies, young and old, screaming at the sight of his abs). Ok so “blah blah blah, Bella please pick me,” and, “I’m better for her than you are (numb nuts)” – we all know that’s what he was thinking! BOOM, “Edward,” BOOM! Edward walks across a patch of grass. “She found us,” Bella says in that monotone voice of hers. Are you waiting in anticipation? Here she comes! Introducing the extraordinary, the talented, the wonderful: Rachel Lefevre’!!! Oopsy, no, Victoria seems to have had a makeover- even though vampires stay the same for eternity- it looks like they made an exception for Victoria, who is now played by Bryce Dallas Howard (wouldn’t it be nice if we all had a famous hollywood director for a dad?). Not to worry, Edward does assure Bella that he will protect her (from being recast) and it looks like Taylor Lautner was in dire need of something to call our attention away from his trivial acting skills. Aaah, he resorted to the ol’ ‘take you shirt off’ tactic again! Luckily I’m watching the trailer in the privacy of my home where no screaming can be heard and one can actually hear Jacob’s “I’m going to fight for you, until your heart stops beating.” BOOM! The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – concurs the showing of the trailer, with the intellectuals out there wondering whether there was any metaphoric meaning to Jacob’s final line. Deep. Real deep.

For those of you out there that are completely mystified by the diatribe going on above, thank-you, my work here is complete. Anyone who has not read or watched the Twilight books and movies will have NO idea what is going on in this trailer. This is indicative of a poorly made marketing object. How do you advertise a movie that makes no sense to a universal audience? I realise that it is a part of a series and that this one would be the third installment but come on! Surely it should give the watcher a basic sketch of what the hell is going on? On the other hand, it must seem quite funny to those backward people that don’t know anything about Twilight and Stephenie Meyer. This is what they are seeing: a pale faced man contrasted with a tan, shirtless (to show off his abs) man; a woman that can jump across a ravine; a Bella; lots of nature and fake flowers; heartbreaking music and riveting dialogue. Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh but ever since the first movie it’s been really hard for me to watch each installment. With acting that seems to be continually deteriorating , and the massacre of the characters and romance, it just feels like I’m in some type of non-Stephenie Meyer Twilight zone and surrounded by fakery- I mean for goodness sakes, plastic flowers? Seriously?! You can decide for yourself what you think, but if you could honestly say that the movies are better than the books I might have to send you off to join the cast of Alice in Wonderland- I think you could give Johnny Depp a run for his money in the portrayal of the Mad Hatter.

Upcoming review on Eclipse

I’ve been very quiet, biding my time, considering what to write about next. The reflection time was good- I won’t lie- but then the Eclipse trailer for the next Twilight installment was released last week Wednesday. Let’s just say that I think it’s time, for the dormant Twilight fan (very deep down) within my consciousness, to come out of the Twi-Twi closet.. *blushes*.. I feel kind of embarrassed admitting that I’m a huge lover of Stephenie Meyer’s work but I am and so should you be! Keep your eye’s peeled for my upcoming rant and while you’re waiting, how about watching the trailer for yourself? 🙂

Team Edward or Team Jacob?
(polls)