Like my book reviews site, these are movie reviews I write for entertainment purposes only. These are just my reviews and my opinions. They are not endorsed by Blogger or any movie studios or anyone else. So there. I borrowed my scoring system from the Metacritic site, which does not imply an endorsement from them, although I think they do have a very nice website. I convert the 1-100 scores into 1-4 stars, essentially it works like this:

1 star = 25 points
2 stars = 50 points
3 stars = 75 points
4 stars = 100 points

And then if something falls about halfway between, then I'll give it an added half-star.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

I watched this in my hotel room in Toronto while on vacation, so obviously I didn't see it with all the 3D bells and whistles. Which if you think about it is how most people will see it when it comes out soon on DVD, unless you have one of those new 3D TVs.

Anyway, after watching this I realized why this movie seemed so familiar--because it was pretty similar to Disney's Narnia franchise. Really you could have called this "Alice, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." It follows roughly the same plot, only Alice goes down a rabbit hole instead of through a wardrobe. She ends up in a magic world where animals talk that's ruled by a wicked queen--the Red Queen. And of course before you can say "Keanu Reeves" Alice becomes The One who has to save Wonderland from the Red Queen and her main monster the Jabberwocky. Replace Wonderland with Narnia, the Red Queen with the White Witch, and Alice with the four kids and you have "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." Though there isn't so much obvious Christian symbolism in "Alice" which is good or bad depending on your point of view.

If you saw Disney's animated "Alice in Wonderland" back in the day, this is supposed to be a kind of sequel. Basically it takes place 13 years after Alice originally went to Wonderland, which she thought was just a dream. This comes when her boring boyfriend proposes to her in front of a snobby audience. Alice with her father's whimsical spirit decides instead to light out after the white rabbit and ends up going down the hole.

Because I didn't have the 3D and because the plot seemed so familiar, I didn't really love this movie. It wasn't terrible and at least not as trippy as the original Disney version, but it wasn't great either. I read the Alice books way back in grade school, but I don't remember them well enough to compare them to this movie. There are probably some similarities. One probable change is that since they spent millions to get Johnny Depp for the Mad Hatter, they had to give him a more significant and sympathetic role. What was really missing was some kind of love interest for Alice, though maybe in the sequels she could hook up with the Mad Hatter.

Anyway, as I said this isn't a bad movie. (The worst part is Avril Lavigne caterwauling the theme song at the end.) It should be an enjoyable family rental even without the 3D. Or you could watch it in a hotel room like I did.

That is all.

My score: 62/100 (2.5 stars)

Metacritic score: 53 (2 stars)

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