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I saw Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland today!

Non Spoilery thoughts: Very fun! After two whole years of anticipating this film (though really I was waiting my whole life for this movie, no that's not even an exaggeration, I've wanted Tim Burton to do an Alice movie ever since I figured out Alice in wonderland was gothic horror, and really his style was perfect for that type of story) I was worried I'd be severely let down....BUT I WASNT!

Wonderland looks as beautiful, eerie, stunning, grand, dreamlike and amazing as I'd hoped. and The plot was a very fun albeit loose adpatation of the books, it took elements from both Alice books, and perfectly executed some of my favorite alice scenes. That said, it really isnt a super faithful adaptation plot wise but tone and style wise I feel like it's one of the most faithul Alice adaptations to ever emerge.
I really loved how the main battle was between two Queens and the one who is responsible for slaying the Jabberwock and giving the crown back to the rightful queen was Alice. Much cooler than having her just wander around wonderland being lost and cute. I've never seen the actress they cast to play Alice in anything before but I feel like she did very well, and she had some STRONG competition.
Depp's hatter was very weird, and unlike the hatter in the books seemed to be bi-polar and would often switch from talking like a nutty british fop to ranting about in a strong scottish brogue. Very odd, but fun to watch. My favorite thing was really the Red Queen/Queen of Hearts as played by Helena Bonham Carter, girlfriend was born to play that role she was so awesome in it! She had the perfect blend of crazy, megalomania, rage, sweetness, narcissism, pitifulness and delusion. I honestly feel like the most underhanded character in the film wasnt the Red Queen but the Knave of Hearts her (supposedly) loyal servant. Dude CREEPED ME OUT.
I really loved all the beautiful costumes in the film and I think Alice ended up changing her outfit more times than a model during a fashion show. The ending is really sweet and lovely, it was so great to see this young woman take charge of her life and go towards this bright exciting future.
I dont know how realistic that was for victorian society but I also really dont care, if we can accept talking animals and jabberwocks, then we can accept victorian woman actually making decisions about their lives and futures.

Voice casting was also really well done and brought the animated creatures to life in the best way! I was really worried about Tim Burton's weird blending of animation and live action but it really didnt look bad at all, it worked! But I didnt see it in 3-D so I dont know if that is the same for the 3-D picture.
and I loved that not only did the Jabberwock make an apperance but so did the Bandersnatch casually mentioned in that poem as well! I only feel sad that neither the walruus nor the carpenter (and their famous feast of oysters) made an appearance in this film. That actually kind of broke my heart a bit ;_;

All in all a solid effort I think. Was it the best Alice movie EVAR? No I dont think so. Though I'd be hard pressed to think of a BEST Alice movie EVAR since every adaptation has it's strengths and weaknesses, I think my favorite will always be Jonathan Miller's version though but Burton's adaptation is easily my second favorite and is the most visually amazing and beautiful alice film I've ever seen. As a huge Alice fan I am very pleased!

Anyway!

In my effort to watch all the oscar nominated animated films for this year. I have taken to various means (both legal and...less so) to watch all of the films. Anyway I already saw Up back when it came out but I have sadly yet to see Fantastic Mr Fox and Princess and the Frog. I did see Book of Kells recently though!

Book of Kells: This was a beautiful animated film. This is really and ode to irish folktales and culture, both the pagan and the christian. It really does a good job of respecting both sets of beliefs and in this fantastical version of medieval europe both the pagan beliefs and christian beliefs are treated as true and real. It's refreshing in that sense. More refreshing is the lovely 2-D animation that you really just dont see anymore, and the hero of the film is very delightful and sweet and while he does slay monsters and save the day he does so with his wits, courage and heart and not with any kind of violence/weaponary or even some sort of magical power.
There is also the sweet befriending of the boy hero with the faery girl Ashley, which I really liked since again it highlighted this harmony between the pagan and the christian, even while the Abbot would rail against pagans and their beliefs.
The central conflict of the story is an interesting one, it's basically a fear of viking attacks here called "the northmen". Historically Vikings were VERY scary and caused great havoc to much of europe in their heyday, it was nice to see a threat that had real roots in history in a story that also treated faery creatures and primordial snake monsters as real. That said to perhaps express the horrifying way Vikings appeared to their victims, the vikings in this film are animated to look almost like hulking shadowy monsters that only resemble men in the vaguest most distant sense. It was a very effective way to show just how scary vikings were without actually making them into some kind of fantastical monster army.
Anyway in a nutshell, Book of Kells is a great story about a young boy coming of age and becoming the great man everyone knows he will one day be, but it's also a story about friendship, facing your fears, faith (not just in deities and heaven but in yourself), and also it's a story that beautifully and excellently blends history with folklore, and pagan with christian. and just watch it! It's lovely and you wont regret it. You can also totally take kids to see it :D I also want to add that the irish folk music in this film is so beautiful and really adds to the rich culture of the film.

I have also watched 3 of the 5 nominated Shorts for the animation category. While I enjoyed all 3, my favorite was easily "Granny o Grimm's Sleeping Beauty" totally cracked me up while also being a really creepy retelling. I hope whoever wrote this film does a full length film one day too.
You can watch the oscar nominated animated shorts here: http://community.livejournal.com/ohnotheydidnt/43953738.html

Date: 2010-03-07 08:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sibarita.livejournal.com
LOL I cant give a really looong comment beause my brain is fuzzy right now byt I do agreeeeeee a lot about what you said form the movie, it was really well done and the animation combined pretty well with the real actor.
Love the Red Queen she was hilarious and evil.
Mad points for the voices loved the Chezihire Cat voice.

Date: 2010-03-07 11:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trailer-spot.livejournal.com
I'm mainly interested to know how often Helena Bonham Carter yells "Off with his head!" :D

Date: 2010-03-08 09:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sisterjune.livejournal.com
Hee, she says it plenty of times! and I was happy too, in the US and I dont know if it aired overseas but there was a two night drama special for a modern day sci fi fusion version of Alice in Wonderland (simply called Alice) sounds awesome right? WELL IT WASNT. Even Kathy Bates couldnt save it, and she was the Queen of Hearts but she was so CALM and Sane! BORING. She didnt shout off with their heads even once! Travesty. Anyway I thank Burton for finally cleansing my soul of that horrid reworking of one of my favorite childhood stories of all time.

and how about those Oscars eh? I had fun watching them even with Alec and Martin being one of the corniest, lame, boring hosts EVER. Anyway, I was so happy for Katheryn Bigelow! I knew that Cameron wasnt gonna win director or picture, but I wasnt sure if she'd get the oscar. It was so awesome they had Streisand present it to her, "the time has come" indeed! Poor lady looked like she was gonna pass out after getting the two biggest awards of the night. So exciting. I felt like Carey Mulligan and Gabby Sidibe were robbed though. Seriously Academy? You gave it to Sandra Bullock for THAT role? in THAT movie? I mean everyone said it was gonna happen but man, still so disappointing. I love Sandy but she has done better and that movie was fucking mediocre at best (and slightly racist at worst). Gah! I feel worse for Gabby though, I suspect Carey will get lots more opportunities in Hollywood than her. At least Mo'nique won, she deserved it really.

Heh, when Christopher waltz went up for his oscars and started talking, my sister was like "Oh he sounds SO german!" and I said "Well he's Austrian!" see, I set her right, just for you lol. Though actually, austrians usually speak german dont they? heh, anyway it wasnt the most fun oscars but just for the Bigelow moment it was worth it. Plus Ben stiller came out in full on Na'avi make up and made my night. I love that crazy fool <3

Date: 2010-03-09 09:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trailer-spot.livejournal.com
I think I've confessed before that I'm pretty much unfamiliar with the story itself, let alone have ever seen any adaptation. :) But I'm pleased to hear that you, for the most part, like Burton's creation.

I should mention that I usually don't watch the Oscar's live but just record it and then, weeks later, traditionally watch it with two friends. So I haven't yet seen the ceremony itself, but I of course have read who won.

I've realised in recent years that Hollywood tends to be rather conservative when nominating performances and movies, and when selecting a winner they often honour the person in general (and his body of work). While I haven't seen their performances this year Bridges and Bullock come to mind, from recent years I remember Scorsese and Morgan Freeman. That's just how it is and I usually don't care. I tend to watch it for the spectacle.
I'm very pleased that Hurt Locker won, but, again, mainly for "political" reasons (I haven't had a chance to watch it) and I mainly wanted Avatar not to win in the big categories (haven't seen that one either). A White Ribbon win would've been nice but it already won so many other prizes.

Who I wanted to win was indeed Waltz because it's just one of those stories that are hard to believe and I'm very happy for him. And yes, they also speak German in Austria. They tend to have an accent and a slightly different vocabulary but you can say they speak German (as they also do in many parts of Switzerland). I've read that Waltz was pretty emotional which is insofar worth mentioning since in all the interviews I've heard him talk he was very calm and articulate. I'm sure you already have heard "his story" numerous times by now. But if you'd like to, he recently was a guest on Charlie Rose: online, or download it.

Date: 2010-03-07 04:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nekokonneko.livejournal.com
Maybe you should write review columns for films, because I wasn't interested in seeing Alice in Wonderland before, but you make it sound so good XD

Date: 2010-03-15 10:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sisterjune.livejournal.com
Awww Elle you always say sweet stuff! I dont think I'm that good though at reviewing, I just ramble too much and I like making bad jokes XD
But yes definitely see it!

Date: 2010-03-08 02:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iceuck.livejournal.com
yo! :P
i loved alice in wonderland, too! :) i was expecting for it to be creepier but i'm glad it wasn't and yes, helena as the red queen was perfect. i also loved anne hathaway's white queen - i was laughing everytime she's on screen! XD and dude should creep you out, he's creepy thin man (from the charlie's angels movies and i never got to look up his name; he's forever creepy thin man to me)! :P
i want all of alice's dresses. ♥

Date: 2010-03-08 05:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whited-79.livejournal.com
I'll be watching Alice this weekend! XD

Date: 2010-03-15 10:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sisterjune.livejournal.com
I hope you enjoy it! Or enjoyed it since it's already past next weekend now I imagine lol.
Sorry for the lateness, school was killing me. I'm on my spring break now :D

Date: 2010-03-16 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whited-79.livejournal.com
loved it! love Johnny Depp, and Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter, and the cat! LOL

oh, does this mean you'll be on LJ more? do you have twitter?

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