Day: March 16, 2010

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

aliceinwonderland.jpg Alice in Wonderland


I hope I haven’t spoiled anything, but since I am talking about the movie please beware.

Saturday evening I had the pleasure of accompanying Dan to the movies, or rather, he accompanied me.  I was kind of in charge of this date night, so the plans were set to go see Alice in Wonderland.  I was intrigued by the ads for the movie from the first moment I saw them.  One look at Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter with all the vibrant colors and larger than life fell, and I knew I wanted to see this movie.

The funny thing is, I’m not really a big Alice in Wonderland fan.  I remember reading the story as a kid and enjoying it, and for a brief while I think I was hooked on the movie, but then I kind of…grew out of it, I guess.  I remember many times growing up when I couldn’t remember what it was I had liked so much about the book and the movie.  For some reason Alice and the imagination fantastic world of Wonderland just didn’t resonate with me anymore.

lookingglasswars.jpgEarlier this year I read The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor, urged by Dan to do so after he finished reading the ARC Meiran had given me.  I had always thought it sounded like an interesting take, so I read it and enjoyed it immensely.  I have the second one sitting at home on the shelf, waiting to be read.  Shortly after reading the book is when I discovered the ads for the movie (I think that’s how the timing went, although I could be off).

The different style of the book allowed me to see the story in a new light, so I decided I definitely wanted to see the movie.  On a recent vacation I got to have hot chocolate in a little cafe that was completely decorated in an Alice in Wonderland theme to promote the movie. The tables were all white and different shapes, and there were macoron trees used as centerpieces.  It was  a very fun experience, and only served to strengthen my resolve.

So I guess there was quite a bit of hope built up for this movie, although I didn’t really feel that way as I headed into the theater. I was just hoping for a good, fun movie.  I like Tim Burton’s style, and felt sure that I wouldn’t be disappointed.  And I wasn’t.

The movie opened in a way that almost had me wondering if this was indeed Alice in Wonderland.  We start out following Alice in the “real world” and then the story progresses and we saw Alice in Wonderland, and everything there was as imaginative and fantastical as I could have hoped.  The CGI seemed to blend in almost flawlessly, in large part I believe because it was a make believe world that didn’t have to follow any norms.

Hatter was an amazing character, and I have to say he has always been one of my favorite characters.  Depp did well, although sometimes I have to say I could see Captain Jack Sparrow there too.  Both characters are insane, and it’s hard not to call forth that imagery when it’s so well ingrained because I love the first Pirates movie.  That was only a couple of brief times though, mainly through the way he spoke something, and then it was gone and I was back to seeing him as just the Hatter.

The White Queen did bother me a little bit, she was just too…I don’t even have the right words.  Too floaty, maybe?  In the scene where were introduced to the White Queen, she drops the floatiness and runs, seemingly picking up more normal behavior. I had hoped that would continue throughout the movie, but she was back to being floaty in her next scene.

The Red Queen was very well done, and I enjoyed disliking her.  Which I think is the mark of a good bad character.  Alice herself was also well done, but I can’t say I dearly love the character so I wasn’t super invested in her.  I liked that she grew and learned about herself as the movie went on.  She could have just returned to the “real world” pretty much the same girl as before her trip through Wonderland, but instead she was able to realize more of who she was and apply that to her life.

If you enjoy the Alice in Wonderland story, or Tim Burton films in general, give it a go!  It was a lot of fun, and the Bandersnatch is just awesome!

If you’ve seen it, please share your thoughts. I’d love to know what you thought.

Cold Souls

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect with this film.  I had heard about it somehow, and stumbled upon a website to promote it –  The site was a lot of fun and as I read up on the movie I wanted to see it because it sounded quirky and odd.  I didn’t get a chance to watch in theaters, as it was a limited release.  Once out on dvd I added it to my Netflix queue and last night I finally watched it.

It was quirky and odd.  I believe that Paul Giamatti did a great job channeling the ways he was affected by having his soul stored, and by using a different soul.  While the premise comes across as far fetched, it was believable because the movie didn’t take itself too seriously.  Giamatti constantly expressed his doubt, surprise, and concern about the ability to store and switch souls.  Throughout the movie I think he also learns that his soul is the right one for him, the only one he’s supposed to have.

cynssoul.jpgCold Souls is definitely not mainstream, but it was a fun movie that I suggest for anyone looking for something a little different.  Be sure to check out the website as well, and get your soul stored. They’ll provide you with a picture of your soul, I’ve included mine – which seems to look kind of like a blood splatter.  Nice, huh?

In the movie Giamatti’s soul comes out as a chickpea. He’s incredulous, and this one small detail adds so much to the movie.  There are many small, amusing bits that keep the movie from going overboard, some of them tied to shape of Giamatti’s soul.

If you’ve seen the film or decide to, please let me know what you thought!