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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Down with the bloody big head!"
Alice in Wonderland is a familiar tale, it's been told many times and there are countless film adaptations (including the `fifties animated Disney film). Instead of retelling an already established story, Tim Burton has instead created a sequel of sorts where an older Alice revisits the place she recalls from a recurring dream.

When I heard that there was to be...
Published on 8 July 2010 by @GeekZilla9000

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A travesty of the original story.
Under any other title than "Alice In Wonderland" you might get away with it. But this production takes such liberties with the original as to make it virtually unrecognisable. If you do not suffer from nightmares before watching this travesty, then you're almost certain to do so should you have the misfortune to sit through the wretched thing!
Published 3 months ago by Wilberfalse


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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Down with the bloody big head!", 8 July 2010
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Alice in Wonderland is a familiar tale, it's been told many times and there are countless film adaptations (including the `fifties animated Disney film). Instead of retelling an already established story, Tim Burton has instead created a sequel of sorts where an older Alice revisits the place she recalls from a recurring dream.

When I heard that there was to be a new Alice in Wonderland film made I was doubtful that it could work, but when I read that Tim Burton was directing I knew it would be in safe hands - he is one of only a few directors I could imagine creating a world with the gothic, otherworldly appearance required. The result is a fresh look at well known characters in a different adventure, so Burton has the freedom to break from the original without upsetting purists - as long as he stays true to the characters of course.

The general look of the characters and their surroundings is both magical and whimsical, it resembles the illustrations I remember from my Lewis Carroll book while also looking new. It has the trademark Burton look and has the usual collaboration with Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and perhaps more essentially, Danny Elfman. The cast has been chosen with care, most characters are CGI and the voices behind them convey the various animals and people well.

The characters seem to be in keeping with both the original book and established idea of what the cast should be like through years of various re-tellings. The Hatter could perhaps have been darker, but the pseudo-schizophrenic mania and colourful look are enough to bring him to life. He's given a personal history too to give extra depth, there's also a great flashback to the original meeting of the young Alice with the tea party which marries the new story with the old. Alice herself is an interesting character, she doesn't fit in with Victorian English society. Her strong minded, questioning attitude is more comfortable in Underland (we learn that the term "Wonderland" is a result of mishearing the actual name of the place!). By the end of the film Alice seems to represents the new age of women who would go on to play major roles in society rather than blend in at home.

I have two young girls who absolutely love this film, and therefore it's been played many times over the last few weeks. It's with repeat viewing that you realise how wonderful the dialogue is. The script has been crafted to produce something which is modern, but also has a flavour of the Victorian era. It's often fanciful but with very prim delivery, it sounds very unique (e.g. "What a regrettably large head you have. I would very much like to hat it."). The narrative sounds distanced enough from the norm to give the impression that this is a very different reality.

My main criticism of the film is the over-reliance on CGI. There are only one or two characters who aren't either completely generated or modified by CGI. The film looks amazing, there's no doubting that, and the film exists within a beautifully dark fantasy world - but some aspects of it seem as though they're straight from a console game, they look obviously CGI which takes away from the overall viewing experience. I can't help but wonder what this would have been like if it had been animated using stop-motion like the brilliant Nightmare Before Christmas.

The special features on this set aren't exhaustive but they do provide an insight to the greenscreen technology used and they explain the ways in which the Red Queen's head was enlarged and how the Hatter's eyes are still Johnny Depp's despite being considerably larger. The film looks fantastic on Blu-Ray (which I've lent to my dad!) but I've been watching the DVD which is a great transfer and doesn't suffer from bad digital noise or artefacting. The digital copy currently lives on my wife's iPod and the small screen actually makes the CGI effects look even better and look more `real' - it was dead easy to do as well, it just took a few minutes and now we can watch the film on the move.

In a nutshell: This Alice in Wonderland film needed to ooze creative energy to do justice to the original illustrated story, and Tim Burton succeeds in doing just that. The film takes the familiar characters and creates a twisted fantasy world for them to live, the plot threads various elements from the Alice in Wonderland story together in a way which makes sense and doesn't feel as though everything has been included just for the sake of it. The visual effects team have gone to town with computer generated imagery and it's a visual spectacle, but sometimes looks a bit too digitally played with.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A travesty of the original story., 14 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Alice in Wonderland [DVD] (DVD)
Under any other title than "Alice In Wonderland" you might get away with it. But this production takes such liberties with the original as to make it virtually unrecognisable. If you do not suffer from nightmares before watching this travesty, then you're almost certain to do so should you have the misfortune to sit through the wretched thing!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Alice., 10 Oct. 2011
By 
Puzzle crazy (Walsall, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Alice in Wonderland [DVD] (DVD)
I wasn't sure what to expect from this film, as Disney and Tim Burton seemed unlikely bedfellows. I had seen the trailer a couple of weeks ago and was worried that the film looked a little dark for young kids to enjoy.

I needn't have worried. Alice is a great family film, with plenty for everyone to enjoy. I thought the casting was particularly good. Alice is played by Mia Wasikowska, and she shone, the reason being that she looked very similar to the Alice in the illustrations in Lewis Carrols original book. ALthough she was a young woman of 19, she had a childlike innocence and wonderment that made the audience warm to her.

The absolute scene stealer of the whole film was the sadistic Red Queen, played by Helana Bonham Carter. Again, she mirrored the illustrations in Carrols books perfectly, with her oversized head. She plays the psycho queen to great effect, being scary and intruiging at the same time. In one scene, a frog has stolen the queens tarts. She screams "off with his head!". He begs for mercy, pleading on behalf of his children, only for the queen to whisper that she loves tadpoles on toast almost as much as caviar! Her sadism is reflected in the views of the castle moat, which is full of heads, including that of her own husband. The viewer has no pity for her, which is just what the director planned.

Other examples of excellent casting include Stephen fry, who is adorable as the mischevous Cheshire cat, and Matt Lucas, who plays Tweedldee and Tweedledum, providing some laugh out loud moments.

The plot of the film is a bit thin, based around the idea of Alice having to come to terms with her fate of slaying the Jabberwocky. It helps to be familiar with the original poem to get all of the references throughout the film, such as the appearance of the other monster, the Bandersnatch, and the Vorpal sword.

The thin plot didn't bother me too much as I was completely immersed in the stunning visual aspect of Alices world. The CGI was amazing, drawing you in completely with its wonderful detail. You felt like you were a participant, rather than a spectator. I really wished I had seen the 3d version, because it would have been even more spectacular. The castles of the Red and White queens were fascinating in their contrasting details, a visual spectacle.

We enjoyed the film a lot and my daughter wants to see it again in 3d. It was better than I expected, and thankfully not as dark as I thought it might be.
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80 of 98 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone.., 10 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Alice in Wonderland [DVD] (DVD)
My expectations were high. Too high perhaps. That much is true. ..But as a fan of Tim Burton and someone who thoroughly enjoyed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I feel as though my expectations were justified.
The Tim Burton/Johnny Depp mixing pot is something that so consistently delivers quality cinema. Alice in Wonderland it seems though, is the exception to this rule.
The original book is of course enchanting, the yester-year Disney cinema offering is magical, but this new fangled all singing all dancing affair just doesn't cut it.
It's a big long gimmick really. The special effects are very good, that can't be denied by anyone - the boffins and geeks who were in-charge of the cgi deserve high praise indeed. And furthermore, the actors play their parts flawlessly. It's a well crafted movie, expertly put together by a veteran film maker.
But it lacks any real magic. It's just TOO polished. Too slick, too perfect, too shiny. It has no character, no depth, no soul. And much like so many recent modern movies, it feels like a technical exercise rather than a piece of story telling.

In summary, this is not for me. It's sugar-coated entertainment for the masses. This type of film-making clearly has an audience, but sadly I'm not part of it. I prefer my cinema with a few less bells and whistles.
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4.0 out of 5 stars So Very Entertaining, both visually and audio-wise too!, 9 Oct. 2014
By 
C. S. Elliott "Drakos" (Lichfield) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Firstly, I have to admit, I never read 'Alice in Wonderland' when I was younger, so I came into this film with no pre-conceived ideas and I probably wouldn't have bothered watching it, had it not been the fact the Sky gave me a free one months trial of Sky Movies - happy days!

As always with Tim Burton, the visuals are amazing and spell-bounding, and together with one of the modern-day masters, Danny Elfman's soundtrack, the film is a roller-coaster of emotions, both visually and audio-wise!

I don't know how true the film is to the book - all I do know was that it grabbed me from the start and never let go - it was captivating!

Anne Hathaway was strange (so that's OK, in this film) and Johnny Depp was just about OK+, but Helena Bonham-Carter stole every scene she was in - really sensationally acted!

The whole film was a visual feast from start to finish and whether you've read the book before or not - watch it and I am sure you will be taken in by it.

Buy it!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Carnival Of The Imagination, 3 April 2013
This review is from: Alice in Wonderland [DVD] (DVD)
In 'Alice in Wonderland', Tim Burton has created a carnival of the imagination in the best tradition of Lewis Carroll. On its own terms, this combined adaptation of the two books, 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' and 'Through The Looking Glass', is a filmic triumph, bringing together two of the greatest-ever character actors, Johnny Depp and Crispin Glover, with perhaps the greatest fantasy film director. Depp and Glover are first-rate, as ever, and Burton once again delivers with a vivid and original re-imagination of a timeless literary classic. What this film does lack is that bit of heart, and that is why I have to give it a slightly lower rating than I would like. There is an over-reliance on special effects and CGI, though these are executed with tremendous skill. And though I greatly admire Burton as a director, I am not a fan of the gothic interpretation.

This film makes evident the limitations of the medium. Lewis Carroll's famous books were full of wit and fun. They portrayed an inversion of logic and madness as the norm, but they were not dark or depressing and really nothing to do with the gothic literary style. That's a kind of academic quibble I suppose, but this is the first film adaptation of Carroll's work that I have seen, and now that I have, I am more convinced than ever that it's better to just read the books. So although this is a creditable film, I think it would be a sad thing if new generations rely on this and deny themselves the imaginative enrichment of Lewis Carroll's original work.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why is Alice in Wonderland like a long drop hanging...., 21 Nov. 2010
By 
D. J. MORGAN (wales uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Alice in Wonderland [DVD] (DVD)
This should have been a four or five star film... Wonderland is full of moments of excellence, I loved Depp's Mad Hatter, other characters such as the March Hare and the Cheshire Cat are lovable and awesome, the scenery is mostly excellent but feels lacking and empty in places, it feels better as a cluttered garden, as occasionally it feels like Shrek in terms of scenery; the exuberance of the opening wonderland scenes giving way to a lazy cut and paste Disney stereotypical fantasy land.
If your interested in the story... ah well there we start seeing a thread bare skeleton, I mean if when your watching it you hear a strange rumbling sound that is probably Lewis Carroll turning in his grave... The story is erratic, clumsy and lacks coherence in places, it also feels rushed and cramped the symptoms of the curse of the one hour and a half run time.
The ending is shockingly poor so much so it looses two stars, I will not put in spoilers lets just say you might want to just stop the DVD early and imagine the rest....
In summary I refer to my title, 'Why is Alice in Wonderland like a long drop hanging'
Because the journey is all to brief and the ending is violently jarring and really sucks....
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does Not Quite Hit the Mark, 3 May 2011
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I missed the film at the cinema because performances were booked up weeks in a row. For some bizarre reason, Disney doesn't allow you to buy the Blu-Ray separately. Here, I will cover two issues: whether Blu-ray is really better than DVD and if the film is any good.

I was unsure about the benefits of Blu-ray. With this combo pack, I was able to freeze duplicate scenes by playing the discs in my Blu-ray player and DVD recorder. What struck me was how the picture with DVD was squashed. The country house in the beginning looks smaller and less detailed. With Blu-ray there is more detail on screen and the whole of my large screen TV was filled. However, my DVD recorder lacks upscaling and so when the DVD version was played back on my Blu-ray player, I have to say the differences seemed less obvious and the DVD picture was much improved. I think the benefits of Blu-ray are better realised on a very large screen (40-50 inches) rather than on my 32 inch screen. Considering this, I think I will stay with DVDs, except for the odd special film. At least until prices come down generally (this pack is selling for nearly £25 at HMV!).

I have one complaint with the operation of the Blu-ray disc. Loading of the movie can take a while. I have a new player but whenever I stopped the movie for a few minutes to take a break, I had to play the movie from the very start (eg "select language") and then, after a few minutes, it picked up from the last point where I stopped. This was very frustrating. As this is an enhanced disc with many extra features (like Blu-ray Live) , it is possible that older players will need to a firmware update to access the features of this disc properly, according to the on-screen warning . This is a repeat of when the early generation DVD players had problems playing enhanced discs such as The Matrix.

Tim Burton is known for his subversive nature of his films, but as the source material is subversive already, there was not much for him really to subvert this time round. Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter looks rather disturbing as a cross between a clown and the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. His English accent is excellent; so is that of the actress who plays Alice (the extras reveal her to be American). Like David Lynch, Tim Burton has a group of actors he likes to use for all of his flims. Though Johnny Depp is good here, I don't like how every Burton film has to have him and Helen B. Carter (who incidentally makes an uninspiring queen).
Basically, the film is not a retelling of the classic childrens' story but a continuation - Alice is now in her late teens. Whilst the early sequences in Wonderland are stunning, the innovation of the background imagery is not maintained and it often reminded me of the alien landscapes in the most recent Star Wars trilogy. To be honest, I wish we saw more of the people at Alice's surprise engagement party, because there is very little character development elsewhere, and the people in the real world deserve a film all to themselves. The surreal elements of the original story are missing for most of the movie and the second half of the movie just turns into a standard good vs evil story.

To sum this film up, it is not complex or dark enough for adults, and too scary in parts for young children. Like so many films coming out of Hollywood at the moment, it is not a classic and is very much style over content, perhaps intended to be seen in 3D to enjoy it properly.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Alice in Blunderland, 31 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Alice in Wonderland [DVD] (DVD)
Burton and Wolverton's mash-up is a rather disappointing piece of cinema. The Alice stories should be perfect for both the Burton treatment, and the awesome CGI techniques now available, and yet the result is somewhat ponderous and lacking in charm. Burton injects all his trademark quirkiness, and the cast do their best to invigorate the dialogue, but their efforts are undermined by the floundering, uninspired script. It's watchable, and it certainly looks nice, but if fails to fully engage. 2.5/5
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What was all the fuss about?, 13 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Alice in Wonderland [DVD] (DVD)
The film seemed very rushed to me. You had no idea what they meant when they said "it's not the real Alice" and that was never truly explained. The story moved very quickly without creating any empathy for the characters - it all seemed very shallow and with such a great cast you expect magnificence, but this was far from it.

I remember seeing great reviews which I cannot understand at all. Disappointed when this could have been such an amazing remake.
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Alice in Wonderland (Blu-ray 3D)
Alice in Wonderland (Blu-ray 3D) by Tim Burton (Blu-ray - 2010)
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