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29 of 33 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Carnival Of The Imagination
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...
Published 12 months ago by T. T. Rogers: Straight-To-Video


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6 of 6 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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29 of 33 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 100 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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79 of 96 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone.., 10 Jun 2010
By 
RJW - See all my reviews
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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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9 of 11 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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58 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkly brilliant sequel to Lewis Carroll's original stories, 6 Jun 2010
By 
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Alice in Wonderland [DVD] (DVD)
A clever family film in which the 19-year old Alice returns to the magical world which she had originally visited at the age of six but had convinced herself was just a dream.

This is a "marmite" film e.g. one that some people love and a significant number of other people really hate. I was one of the people who loved it.

The story fuses elements of Lewis Carroll's original books "Alice in Wonderland" and "Alice through the looking glass," particularly the poem "Jabberwocky." It is more of a sequel than a re-interpretation though there are elements of both.

This film is significantly darker in tone than, say, the classic Disney film or even the original books, and I would not recommend this for a very young child who might find certain scenes frightening. However, my two eight-year-olds enjoyed the film and had little difficulty with it (they hid their eyes or behind mummy once or twice). The story appears to be at least as much intended for the adult members of the family as for the children, and the saccharine sweetness of most interpretations of the Wonderland story are almost wholly absent.

In places this film is very funny, exquisitely beautiful, or very exciting, and often several of those things at once. The first thing which makes it fun is the many excellent performances by the star-studded cast.

Mia Wasikowska is delightful as the 19-year old Alice, and Johnny Depp suitably manic as the Mad Hatter. He plays this role in an entertainingly zany and unpredictable way, most of which worked for me, though some aspects of the performance - the way he turns on and off a strong Scots accent, for instance - may not work for everyone.

The villain of the piece is an evil queen played by Helena Bonham Carter. In terms of Lewis Carroll's books, this character is an amalgamation of the Queen of Hearts from "Alice in Wonderland" with the Red Queen from "Alice through the looking glass." In terms of how Helena Bonham Carter plays the Red Queen, her mannerisms, style, childishly imperious arrogance, self-centred megalomania, impulsiveness, and even her tone of voice are quite blatantly derived from Queen Elizabeth the First as played by Miranda Richardson in the second series of Blackadder (link: Blackadder 2 - The Entire Second Series [1986] [DVD]). For me this works brilliantly, though I can see why some people, especially those who never saw Blackadder or didn't like it, may not get the joke.

Crispin Glover is amusing as the Red Queen's evil henchman Stayne (the Knave of Hearts).

The Red Queen's sister and antithesis (the White Queen), is played by Anne Hathaway, who comes over as irritatingly goody-goody: I think this was meant to be quite deliberate.

Much of the show is stolen by the CGI characters, particularly the Cheshire Cat (voiced by Stephen Fry), Absalom the blue caterpillar (voiced by Alan Rickman,) and the Dormouse (voiced by Barabara Windsor). In the books and the classic Disney film the Dormouse is a soporific character, but in this film she comes over as Reepicheep on steroids. The Jabberwocky is a looming threat for most of the film but when it finally appears for the climax, a combination of superb special effects and a marvellously threatening voice provided by Christopher Lee make the beast magnificently scary.

Other cast members worth a mention include Tim Piggott Smith who has a charming cameo as Lord Ascott, the business partner of Alice's father: Geraldine James as his ghastly wife who wants Alice to marry their equally ghastly son Hamish (Leo Bill), and Tim Spall as the voice of a bloodhound called Bayard.

The artwork was stunning: in places "Underland" is incredibly beautiful, in other places it looks ruined and devastated for reasons which soon become obvious but which I don't want to spoil the story by giving away. Several creatures which are just names in the books - the frumious bandersnatch, for instance - are brought magnificently to life by CGI in this film.

(The original manuscript which Lewis Carroll gave to Alice Liddell was called "Alice's Adventures Under Ground" and the name "Wonderland" was only added when the book was subsequently published. In the film the characters refer to the magic realm where most of the action takes place as "Underland" and one of them suggests light-heartedly that the six-year-old Alice had misheard the name as "Wonderland.")

These days the viewer is used to films with special effects of such a high quality that we tend to take them for granted, but the special effects were particularly brilliant in this film. The manner in which Alice is seen to grow to much above her normal size or shrink to be far smaller, the way the Red Queen's soldiers look like playing cards while those of the White queen look like chess pieces, the ruined landscape of Underland, and particularly the way the Cheshire Cat fades into and out of existence, all made impossible things look astonishingly real.

For Lewis Carroll purists: the film clearly comes down on the side of the debate which says that the character of Alice is largely fictional, and not based on the real person (Alice Liddell, later Alice Hargreaves) for whom the story was written. Towards the end of the film Alice gives her surname as Kingsley, and her father had been a businessman with ambitions to set up a trade route to the Far East. In real life, Alice Liddell's father was Headmaster of Westminster School when she was born and shortly thereafter became Dean of Christ Church, Oxford. It was at that time that the Reverend Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll's real name) became a friend of the Liddell family.

Overall I think this is the best Tim Burton film I have seen.
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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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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just not worth it, 30 Jun 2010
Well, of course it looks amazing. Wonderful on a cinema screen. But that's it. There's no storyline, no substance, and no character development. So, if you saw it in the cinema then you've seen it on the big screen and you got the best bit. Buying it for a small screen is just a waste. It's sad, I was a big Tim Burton fan. And Johnny Depp fan. But neither delivered for this blithering attempt at cinema. It's an epic fail, so to speak.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why do the Americans get a digital copy and we don't?, 15 Dec 2010
By 
Daniel James - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Alice in Wonderland (Blu-ray 3D) (Blu-ray)
The film is OK, you aren't going to be talking about it the next day though.

The 3D is pretty good considering it is a conversion and not a 'true' 3D film.

The let down starts when you consider the package. There are no features on the 3D blu-ray at all, not even a 3D trailer. The image Amazon is using is incorrect, instead of a nce red slip sleeve on the blu-ray case you just get a the standard blue plastic case.

The American market gets a digital copy with the bundle, which helps sweeten the bitter pill of price, we UK dwellers do not.

This just isn't good enough. Disney released A Christmas Carol with the same extras and digital copy and slip case as the US release, so why did we get short changed on this release?

I would go for a rental on this Blu-ray over a purchase.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FRABULOUSLY FUDDERWACKEN FANTASTIC, 9 Dec 2010
By 
M. Hinks (england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Alice in Wonderland (Blu-ray 3D) (Blu-ray)
At last a 3d dvd that delivers !!!! This is a beautiful film to watch .It ticks all the boxes ,it is in full screen 1.78.1 unlike a christmas carol which is in 2.40.1 and has the dreaded black bars on
The story is adequate- it has a nice beginning and the real characters are likened to the wonderland characters and joins up full circle to the end, the actors are amazing and the vivid colour is breathtaking and the 3d effects are plentiful and impressive.The tea party seems to be taking place in your front room and there are plenty of objects popping out the screen at you A definite addition to anyones christmas list
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic, 16 Mar 2012
This review is from: Alice in Wonderland (Blu-ray 3D) (Blu-ray)
My first encounter with the world of 3D at home. I found it pure magic.
The third Dimension gave the film and all who were in it five stars.
Wonderfully creative in set design. The perfomances were delightful.
I reccomend it to everyone!
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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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