Escape to the Movies: Alice in Wonderland

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Moviebob, you are very, very annoying when you're not reviewing a movie. Which is fortunately, only a short time in some videos. But still.

Don't be so worried if this adaptation turns out shit. There are about 20 other Alice in Wonderland movies out there, all varying degrees of success in regards to staying true to the original plot/being a decent movie. Hell, there is even a 70s pornographic, comedy musical of Alice in Wonderland (I shit you not).

One of my favourites, besides the old disney cartoon, would be the 1999 NBC television film That one at least makes some reference to the fact that Alice through the Looking Glass is a seperate story(i.e - the sequel Tim Burton probably should have tried to make), rather than just lumping characters from either stories into one narrative.

I love that adaption! Seriously, I reckon Martin Short did the best Hatter ever.

Hilarious stuff.

OT: I wasn't planning on watching Burton's adaption in the first place. For the most part, I usually enjoy Burton's movies (and no, I didn't like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but this just looks so far outside of what I would be interested in that I doubt I'll even bother renting it. I'm not going to go around telling people that it's bad, because obviously I can't form that opinion without watching it, but I simply have no interest whatsoever in watching it. MovieBob's video only reinforces that feeling of disinterest.

Huh, as I actually like his take on Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, I might like this movie too, I guess.

And indeed you most likely will, friend. I went to see the movie yesterday, and save for a few boring stretches it was quite enjoyable.


Tim Burton has never been good when it comes to adaptations. Even his Batman movies had severe if subtle flaws.

I've said this before. Since I'm apparently not afraid to repeat myself, I'll say it again. Tim Burton is not, never has been and probably never will be a very good director in any sense of the word. His visual aesthetic is the only thing that's ever been any good about his movies, but he never seems to know what to do with it. He's terrible at pacing, his stories are terrible, he can't do action for shit (which wouldn't be a bad thing if he didn't insist on trying so much) and he has no sense of subtlety. Tim Burton would be a good guy to have as an executive producer, an idea man; someone behind the scenes directing the artistry and general ideas, but leaving the details to people who are better at the various positions that go into filmmaking. You know, like what George Lucas did with the original Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies.
The thing that angers me so much about Tim Burton is that for how bad he fucks up, his movies could be really good. To disagree with you, there was nothing subtle about what was wrong with Batman Returns. What was wrong with it was obvious: Batman was in it. The basic premise of Batman Returns could have made a really good movie, but this great idea and mostly good story was ruined by them shoehorning elements of the Batman Mythos into it. Batman himself was the most needless character of the whole story, serving no purpose in the film that was not better served by the other characters. What ruined Nightmare Before Christmas was not the story itself, but very bad directing, extremely shoddy pacing and a random action sequence at the end that was stupid, boring and painful. Charlie and the Chocolate factory had excellent casting and wonderful visuals that would have complimented the original story, except that Burton felt the need to change many key elements of the story and several characters, as well as adding a totally bullshit side-story about Wonka's dad being a crazy dentist. James and The Giant Peach was let down once again by his strange need to throw in random action sequences that are terribly directed, badly written and boring to watch.
Burton is just a bad director on the whole.

Charlie is not his worst movie, though it is on the bottom. I wish to serve up a tasty tidbit called Planet of the Apes. What a horrible movie!

Out of curiosity, I went to Burton's IMDb page to see what, if any good movies Burton had directed. Not counting short subjects, I'd rate Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Ed Wood, and Big Fish as his better films. Keep in mind, he did not direct nightmare Before Christmas. Even so, I find that film to be grotesquely overrated. In any case, he seems to work better if he is properly reigned but he needs to understand the material and be able to give it what it needs. This is why Planet of the Apes was so terrible. He didn't really get what the movie needed. That flick was shaping up to be Autobots vs. Decepticons (AvD), but never really got that far. Not that it would have been better if it had, but at least it would have went somewhere.

It seems like Hollywood always tries to find some kind of formula for film making or story writing. Understandable since they want their product to be successful. But formulas don't always work. Worse, formulas get stale. Hence why Bob noted that this is the formula Hollywood has been using lately. Now I won't be able to watch any new movie without wondering if it's another AvD, and likely finding it is.

As for this film, I let out a resounding "meh" when it was first announced. Not that a good film adaptation could not be done. Nor that Burton could not do it, even with Johny Depp in it (most overrated actor in the whole world). but I figured it wouldn't be good and lo and behold, apparently it isn't. Turning Wonderland into Narnia was something I didn't see coming. But that is most likely the worst idea in the whole world. Wonderland isn't Narnia and only a moron would try to make it so.

The problem with these epic wars in these overblown toy commercials is that they're homogeneous. You won't be able to tell one from another. Just wait. in a few years, you'll try to find that one scene you thought was nifty in those Narnia movies and you'll search, but not find it because it was in this movie.

Why do they hate giving movies an identity of their own? Why must everything be exactly the same? And didn't Burton already show he can't do epic with Planet of the Apes?

RJ Dalton:

I'll just say this, if the majority of the public don't see the flaws (which you don't have to be a film critic to see they don't), then it's subtle. There's nothing one man can say to change that. Our personal grievances with the films flaws can make them strong or severe or just irritating, nothing more. That said, Batman was a very important milestone in our culture, without it we would not have the Diniverse or the Dark Knight or mainstream Superhero movies in general. It just wasn't a good "Batman" film or a good adaptation in general.


I'll just say this, if the majority of the public don't see the flaws (which you don't have to be a film critic to see they don't), then it's subtle.

Oh, I didn't say that Batman wasn't a milestone. The first Batman did a number of things right and most of its mistakes are fairly subtle and the darker tone of his films was a hell of a lot better than what Schummer did with it. The second one was overtly very badly done and, in fact, most people watching notice the glaring problems with Batman Returns on a second watch if not right away; it's just that there were a lot of things in it he did really well, which makes it hard to just dismiss the film out of hand unless you're a hardcore Batman fan who demands total adherence to the comic book universe (a rather silly thing to be, because the DC universe, like most comic book universes, is full of obvious contradictions, inconsistencies and general ridiculousness). Furthermore Burton has a huge, extremely vocal following of emos and goths who will drink from the toilet he pisses in just because he's Tim Burton and since they make the most noise, you tend to think of them as representing the general opinion. It's the salience bias, the same one that makes airplane crashes seem so much more horrifying than car crashes; more people die at one time, so airplanes get seen as more dangerous than driving.

How does it compare to this Alice version in which an Alice returns to Wonderland, supposedly the "best Alice in Wonderland film evah!"

Quite literally, as I clicked that an ad for the new Alice in Wonderland starring JOHNNY DEPP AND NO ONE ELSE popped up.

OT: I don't mind Johnny Depp but I am personally so tired of this Burton/Depp/Carter "clique" that seems to be gumming up Hollywood currently. I called this a little while ago: A movie called ALICE in Wonderland would be all about Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter.

I had NO idea Anne Hathaway was in it! She's one of my favorite actresses and she is receiving such little credit for this movie. Oh well, maybe that's for the better...

I'm going to see on Sunday. Much as I like MovieBob's reviews, I'm still looking forward to it, as Tim Burton is one of my favourite directors. Shame you didn't think it worked, but I'm intrigued with what Burton's done to Wonderland...

Plus, I quite liked Willy Wonka. It was fun and something you could just chill to. It also made me laugh. At the end of the day, that's all I want in a film :)

I am honestly not going to touch this one with a ten foot pole. I am going to have to see it because of my girlfriend but I honestly could care less. If your serious they turned it into a giant battle between good and evil they can piss off. I was rather just excited to just have that nutty adventure through Wonderland Tim Burton style. Even if they pulled off a Wizard of Oz and just walk to some castle.

Alice in Wonderland is great because of the setting and the characters. But I seriously cannot imagine it being imagined like this. I just cant. It would be the LAST place I would take the story. A giant war between good and evil. Good wins, can I go home yet?

wow...ok I get that you didnt like the movie, I understand that...but what I dont understand is that you thought Anne Hathaway was GOOD in the movie!!!!!WHAT!?

Anne Hathaway as the white queen was the worst part in the whole movie. Everything about her seemed forced to me, with her arms always held in 'fairy mode' even when she was using them for something was VERY annoying for me. I didnt like her character one bit.

I also dont see why everyone thinks shes hot, her mouth takes up half her goddam face! Tim Burton actually drew even further attention to her mouth with the deep red lipstick...she would be good at giving BJ's but kissing her would be like getting your face sucked off.

Johnny Depp wasnt that great either, he acted kinda like a cross between his Jack Sparrow and Willy Wonka characters. Hes great as Jack Sparrow in pirates, his Willy Wonka character sucked balls compared to Gene Wilders.

However, Helena Bonham Carter's character as the Red Queen stole the show for me. Her acting was fantastic! I wanted more scenes involving the Red Queen because she just nailed that role. The other miscellanious cast were also great! Crispin Glover as the knave of hearts was another stand-out character.

Overall, I tought the movie was pretty good but definitely not Tim Burtons best and definitely not a movie that I could watch over and over again without getting bored (like I can with Hot Fuzz and The Incredibles).

I wish someone had shot Jhonny Depp after he did Crybaby, the only good movie I think that he has ever done. Tim Burton is a stoned-out old has-been, and the worse thing that ever happened to him is that he was given complete creative control and stopped hearing the words, "wait, that might be dumb, actually".

I just love how the everyone is going crazy over a book that was written by a pedo doing drugs. I love random facts your teachers tell you

So nobody is blaming Disney? I can see them having a few things to say about how Burton should have made this movie.

Personally, I can't stand that all his movies are associated with Hot Topic. *shiver*
Johnny Depp + a little gothicness = one hell of a cash cow for associated products.

This review has now prompted me to dig out American McGee's Alice this weekend and have some fun with a psycho totally leagal gal dealing with the death of her family.

Definitely my favourite adaptation of the story. One of the creepiest yet also funniest games I've ever played.

The impresion I got from the trailer was "looks pretty cool, but WTF is the Mad Hatter doing with a sword?" Sounds like I wasn't far off.

I just saw it. I have to say it wasn't great, but it was an ok movie. The way I would put it is if you liked Narnia then you will like this.

Aw man. Well, I'll still go see it, but I'm disappointed in Tim Burton for giving into the masses and mainstreaming the downright trippy, wandering, unpredictable tale that is Alice in Wonderland. He took out all the battyness and turned it into a good-versus-evil fantasy minion? For shame, sir. I guess there's always his other films to enjoy. On a side note, I enjoyed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory purely for the contrast with the old Gene Wilder movie.

- Sweeney Todd, by the way, was Burton's most drab and uninspired film to date.

After my initial "NOOOOO ST CAN DO NO SIN" reaction, I realized with a deathly gasp that this is probably true. Oh fu-.......... johnny still makes the sexiest sweeney in history -_-;

Wait what? I thought this was going to be Alice in Wonderland, not Chronicles of fucking Narnia. What the hell?

And just as I predicted, this movie turned out to be 80% Johnny Depp. He's a good actor, but he's not THAT fucking good, people. Especially since he's played the same fucking role (and that stupid fucking voice he does) since Ed Wood, with Pirates being the only exception. I guess having a hardon for repetition is the norm these days, which would explain why Jack Black, Michael Cera and Will Ferrel still have careers.

Oh, and Burton? American McGee already beat you to making a decent sequel to Alice. Maybe you should have looked into that before you put all that time and money into this shit.

EDIT: Whoa, I saw this last night with some friends, and I have to say: This wasn't nearly as horrible as Bob was making out to be. It was a pretty "okay" movie, and a lot of the things he nitpicked were heavily exaggerated. Depp and Carter weren't overpowering over the lead role like this video claims, and Depp's acting leaned closer to Sparrow than it did Charlie.

Now, having said that, I still say that American McGee's take on a dark and gritty Alice was far superior than this movie. I'm serious, if you're reading this right now GO PLAY THIS GAME.

To be honest,I actually quite liked the Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. But it is your review,not mine

This film met expectation. I was expecting it to be just ok.

All in All,as far as classic characters returning the roots,"Hook" takes the cake. I do love that movie,even though the critics killed that one.
Its also interesting that they casted Crispin Glover. All I can ever seem him as is George Mcfly. Thus all scenes with him in it just made me laugh.

Also,am I the only one who is pissed that Tim Burton's films have become this annoying Hot Topic/Emo fodder? A director who has impressive films under his belt have these annoying psuedo-depressed teenagers who use his films as a fashion statement. They stole Night Before Christmas from us all.

"even with Johny Depp in it (most overrated actor in the whole world)"

I think the right word is overused. Imo this man is a good actor. There are shitty actors who get far more praise (and money) then he does.

I dunno, I think I have the same problem with moviebob as I do with just about any film critic. They know a bit too much about films.

It's kinda like how a composer has trouble enjoying a concert because he knows when the nots are coming out flat and the tempo gets off. I can't understand how critics see movies because i can't think like they do. If anything I think it's a blessing.

Its also interesting that they casted Crispin Glover. All I can ever seem him as is George Mcfly. Thus all scenes with him in it just made me laugh.

I'll give Burton (and Depp) a lot of credit for casting Glover, given his participation in the MERCILESS parody of Depp's Wonka he did in "Epic Movie" (the ONLY remotely funny part of that movie.)

Watching this while watching Tim Burton and Johnny Depp on "Friday night with Jonathon Ross" it's making me confused >_<.
Have to say that it might be a very poor movie, but I'm still going to see it. Just cause it's Alice, and I like watching all the different Alice interpretations. I think my Favorite is from the 70's the one with Ringo Starr as the mock turtle and Sammy Davis Jr. as the Caterpillar, and a slew of more stars from back then.

I would like to say that after seeing the movie, I found it quite entertaining. I'd like to point out that even though something just about surreal and odd characters apparently worked for the animated Disney film and the original source (which I have neither seen nor read respectively), I'd like to question WHY doing something like this is a bad idea. I remember when people said that remakes were supposed to be about remaining faithful to the source material without completely copying it. While this wasn't a remake per-say, it was more of a sequel, it at least is doing something new. At least a lot of the characters are interesting. You know what, why even bother talking about it as a remake. Shouldn't a movie be judged on its own?


I refuse to watch Avatar since I have strong feelings against bestiality(Zoophilia);

What does Beastiality have to do with anything? You can't be talking about the yoo-hoo between two consenting communicative adults.

Or are you just racist?

No I'm not racist. The blue aliens in that movie is not another race of humans.

No. Just . . . Just fail. MovieBob, you fail.
EDIT: I literally facepalmed.
HOW THE FUCK COULD YOU NOT LIKE THIS MOVIE?!!? Jesus Christ, Bob! I thought you were better than this! I thought you supported creative imaginative film making!
I am disappoint, MovieBob. I am very disappoint.

I'd like to question WHY doing something like this is a bad idea.

I think I answered this best above: "Wonderland isn't Narnia."

Ugh, I was looking forward to this to. Seriously, why couldn't make a faithful adaptation to story and call it day?

The problem is as MovieBob says there simply is not much story in "Alice in Wonderland" to adapt; it *is* mostly Alice wandering around dealing with what amounts to a madhouse run by the inmates.

While its its official sequel "Through the looking Glass" has something more of a plot and a goal--it is almost a surreal coming of age book as Alice goes from Pawn (young girl) to Queen (young woman) even it jumps around a bit.

A big problem is other than Alice being involved in both and them having the same author there is NO connection between the two books though adaptations for some reason like to shove the two in a blender and mix them together. The result as expected makes about as much sense as the Hatter's tea party; if anything it makes LESS sense then "Alice in Wonderland" on its own does.

"Through the looking Glass" lends itself more to the action genre but again NONE of the Wonderland characters appear and people are more familiar with them than those in the later book.

The link apears to be broken.

Aparently if I had waited 30 seconds more the video would have finished being uploaded to the site, live and learn I guess.

Disapointed that the Bob thinks the movie sucked, I was kind of thinking of going to see it.

Go see it. It is much better than he's making it out to be.

Yeah, I've got to say I completely disagree with you there Bob. I thought this movie was stellar, not as a Tim Burton movie, as just a good adaptation in general. I didn't find the story at all to be, as you put it, "on autpilot." It's actually impressive how well the story turned out for this, and I love how you merely gleamed over the visuals. Burton managed to recreate the feel and atmosphere of a book into a movie, that's incredibly difficult to pull off, especially when the book itself relies heavily on imagery as its main narrative pull.

Well, reading everyone;s comments, I'd say just about everyone disagrees. On top of that, even though you were putting the movie down, you just made me want to see it even more. As a hardcore Alice fan & a hardcore Burton fan, there's pretty much zero chance of me disliking this in any way, so by bias is preset.

I can wonder what kind of review you'll have for "Pride & Prejudice & Zombies" when its movie comes out >:(

This is starting to sound like a blend of "Alice Through the Looking Glass," "American McGee's Alice", "Looking Glass Wars" & "The Marvelous Land of Oz."

I liked Charlie & the Chocolate Factory too, ONLY the music was terrible (ungodly terrible).

It focuses more on the Hatter than Alice? About damn time. He was always my favorite. & he has a sword? It's like an RPG fantasy come true *_*

Charlie is not his worst movie, though it is on the bottom. I wish to serve up a tasty tidbit called Planet of the Apes. What a horrible movie!

Wait, THE Planet of the Apes? That was a Tim Burton movie? Cause if it was, he struck gold with that. That movie was spectacular, I don't care what you say.

I CALLED IT! two weeks ago I was sitting down to dinner with the family, my sister said that she wanted to see the new alice in wonderland movie, she's a burton fan (and she's 12!) I told her it was going to be sheed because it isn't the amazing third sequel I want (I DEMAND here and now that there be a movie of American McGee's alice, I would BUY that film) and that any critic with a decent head on his/her shoulders would know it. So thank you moviebob, and an even bigger thank you for making master chief slightly standable.

I CALLED IT! two weeks ago I was sitting down to dinner with the family, my sister said that she wanted to see the new alice in wonderland movie, she's a burton fan (and she's 12!) I told her it was going to be sheed because it isn't the amazing third sequel I want (I DEMAND here and now that there be a movie of American McGee's alice, I would BUY that film) and that any critic with a decent head on his/her shoulders would know it. So thank you moviebob, and an even bigger thank you for making master chief slightly standable.

According to American McGee's blog, now that Spicey Horse is making a 2ed Alice Game, EA Games is all for an Alice movie.

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