Like Avatar, it can be summed up as such: "PRETTY but PREDICTABLE." Making it "PRETTY PREDICTABLE."
It's eye/ear-candy, but not... satisfying. Should we start with the positive? Ok.
JOHNNY DEPP was... a pretty nice-looking hatter. His lines and delivery sometimes was reminiscent of a Jack-Sparrow-ish tone. But crazy pirates and hatters are quite alike. He did what was required of him in that role, nothing amazing or wildly witty or dazzlingly deep.
I WAS ENTRANCED BY HIS WHITE MASCARA. Seriously. The whole movie, I was just staring at his beautiful eyelashes.
That's all. And his eyebrows. And sometimes his eyes.
so you can see --> this movie's like a glittery, alluring, wonderfully wrapped-up box. With intricate bows and beautiful little ribbons. But when you open it up----- it's just some lint, some cotton balls, maybe some spare change... some chewed gum. Not completely empty. Just... fluff.
But (smacks self)...
WHO WAS THE MAIN CHARACTER AGAIN?
(please hold while I look up the actress' name)
Mia Wasikowska. Thank you IMDB.
Apparently she's set for Jane Eyre next. I think she'll make a lovely Jane. She's perfect for that role... just not as Alice. (oh right. i'm supposed to be focusing on the positives here). Her dresses were absolutely LOVELY. [Though the shrinking/growing/changing clothes explanations did not make sense at all. The clothes sometimes shrank with her, sometimes they didn't. ok ok POSITIVE]
Alan Rickman's voice as the catepillar was quite lovely as well. It was a little hard not to think "Snape" while he spoke. But I suppose that's with all these well-known actors. Johnny Depp too.
THE CAT WAS FANTASTIC. "Ches" I believe they called him. He was about the most faithful thing to the original in the entire movie. Nice smile. Purrrrrrrrr.
-------Now for the [real] bashing:
The predictability. OH. GOD. Why tell us "Alice, you're destined to slay the Jabberwocky" in the beginning, and remind us throughout the entire movie, and then expect us to enjoy the story? It would've been nice to at least have some exciting events happen along the way, to entertain us to this predetermined ending.
The LACK OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. I hate it. We don't learn anything about Alice's fiance. Or her mother. Or these random people who show up at the beginning+ending of the movie. Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum as well. In fact, no character was well-developed, not even Alice herself. (Mia's acting definitely contributed to this). The best developed was definitely the Hatter, since he was treated as some sort of Aslan to Wonderland. (The caterpillar as well, but he got significantly less screentime).
Anne Hathaway's hands. Sorry. Not that big of a deal. They just annoyed me, as she constantly swirled them around in the air. Her fake British accent didn't, which was strange but nice. (kudos to her)
The end feeling. Watching the entire movie felt like a trailer for the original story. I WANT THEM TO MAKE A VERSION OF THE ORIGINAL PLEASE. There were flashbacks and references... and they began the movie as a sequel, essentially, to a non-existent version (which I found so much more interesting).
Most of all, it left us asking "so what?" That's not a question to ask after Alice in Wonderland. Alice in Wonderland is philosophical. It has bits of wisdom. "An eye for an eye" as demonstrated subtly (though not executed very well) in the movie. Questioning reality vs. dreamworld. Those ideas were present. They didn't have much of an impact because the focus was the visually stimulating special effects, the OOH LA LA colors and frilly dresses.
There was a bit of dialogue that struck me as strange. It sounded, word-for-word, like a script I wrote for the Godot project in lit class. SO NOW. If this movie dialogue sounds like my high school no-effort Lit script, you know it's bad.
The scene from the movie went something along the lines of:
Alice: This is all a dream. I'm going to wake up any moment now.
Hatter: A dream eh? So I do not exist?
Alice: I'm afraid so. You're just a figment of my imagination.
Hatter: That's quite sad. Though you'd have to be half-mad to dream such a half-mad character.
And my script:
WALTER: I told you. I don’t want to be here. I shouldn’t be here. I’m NOT HERE! YOU HEAR ME?
FRISBEE: So what am I? A pigment of your imagination?
WALTER: [sigh] Figment, yes.
FRISBEE: Oh. Well, that’s troubling.
WALTER: What is?
FRISBEE: Being a pig-fig-newton-fig-dammit-
WALTER: Fine, you can be.
FRISBEE: AHA! So you admit that I’m here… which means you are, too. Gotchya!
Oh goodness. How obnoxiously large this post is.
*PSST. ONE LAST THING I SWEAR. There's a technique in literature, movies, any story-telling. It's called (and this is only my name for it) echoing. Basically, as you can guess, it's repeating the same lines from the beginning of the story later on. It's supposed to be effective, bring the story full-circle and whatnot.
Burton - or the scriptwriters rather - attempted to do this. It failed.
The first time the scene took place, between Alice and her father, it was touching.
Alice: Am I mad?
Father: Yes, I'm afraid so. Off your rocker, you are. But I'll let you in on a secret.
Father: Only the best ones are.
The "echo" was Alice saying this to the Mad Hatter. Mia W-hatsherlastname failed to deliver the lines to achieve a successful full-circle effect. It was obvious that the writers attempted an "echo" there, but, like some female Olympic snowboarders on the half-pipe... they flipped and fell and FAILED. Alice was just reading lines we've heard before. There was no new meaning to these statements, which is the purpose of the echo. NEW PERSPECTIVE MAN, that's what you lacked.
okay that's it. goodnight.