Posts Tagged ‘tim burton’

Alice in Wonderland

March 22nd, 2010
Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

Rating: ★★★★☆

Movie: Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Studio : Paramount Pictures

Info : Click Here

Runtime : 108 min

Website : aliceinwonderland

Trailer :


Roger Ebert was the person who got me started reviewing movies for my middle school newspaper. In preparing for my reviews, I usually read his, and he came to an epiphany about Alice in Wonderland: Lewis Carroll didn’t write it for children. As I watched the film, I reflected back to when I was six years old, when I first saw the film. I remembered being completely confused throughout the film and somewhat frightened when Alice was being chased by the Queen and her mob of cards (I also thought back to why my friends and I were so fascinated by it during college). As I write this review, I realize Tim Burton was the perfect candidate to direct this version, which plays like a tripped-out nightmare (which Carroll’s story essentially is).

This version starts off with little Alice having just returned from Wonderland, being comforted by her father. We quickly cut to Alice at age 19 (likably played by Mia Wasikowska), who is about to enter an arranged marriage with Hamish Ascot, a total doofus (Leo Bill). Rightfully afraid of the monotonous life that awaits her, she flees in the middle of the ceremony and chases another white rabbit down a hole. Two seconds later, she’s back in Underland and off on a new adventure.

The visual elements here are amazing, as is characteristic of Burton. Bonham Carter has (literally) taken on a swelled head for the role of the vengeful, jealous Red Queen, and Tweedledee and Tweedledum are complete grotesques. Burton also gives this world a very dark-looking tone, which is actually even more fitting for the story than the generally pleasant-looking one of the 1951 animated version.

Burton mainstay Tim Burton gives the Mad Hatter (who turns out to be an instrumental ally in Alice’s quest) a third dimension. The story, while slow in spots, picks up when Alice is thrust into a war between the Red Queen and her sister, the benevolent White Queen (Anne Hathaway). There’s also one memorable exchange between Carter and Hathaway that allows us to peer into the mind of the evil Red Queen and infer how she came to be the creature that she is.

I enjoyed the movie, but I’ll warn parents of very young children that this is only for ages 8 and up. A very young child left the theater with his mother, in tears at one of the more violent sequences. However, in a few years, the kid probably will be enthralled by it, as will the parents.

-Craig Wynne

Adventure, Family, Fantasy , , , ,

9 Movie

September 11th, 2009
9 Movie


Rating: ★★½☆☆

Movie: 9 (2009)

Studio : Relativity Media

Info : Click Here

Runtime : 81 min

Website : Official 9 Site

Trailer :


I’ve seen burnt-out radioactive wastelands, cities crumpled to ashes from the lasers of flying saucers, jungle-clad skyscrapers of dead cities, and giant biblical meteors/volcanoes/global warming ready to take out 95% of the human population. Out of all the end-of-the-world scenarios I have seen, I did not expect to find a film that would center on a dead 30’s-era fascist empire, let alone one that was animated and has no steampunk elements in it.

Shane Acker’s vision is quite intricate right down to the very aperture blades of his protagonists’ eyes. Character designs for the film are fantastic and I spent a fair amount of time fascinated looking at the character models and the way they interacted with a lightly stylized but palpable end of the world. 9, as well as his eight aptly named automaton brothers and sisters, are the last known forms of sentient “life” in the world. When an arcane device reawakens what destroyed the world (no spoilers!), it is up to them to decide the fate of the world.

As you may tell, the plot is where you will probably find yourself underwhelmed. The acting is not great; that’s not to say it’s not bad either, it just feels very samey: like you’ve seen these character templates before in the same sort of film, complete with a few rehashed one-liners. I do admit to thinking that some characters were more memorable than others, like Martin Landau’s wise but inquisitive #2, but there was nothing really there to keep me interested in their roles.

Perhaps I’m jaded from these sort of movies, or I followed the hype more than I should have. This movie does fulfill a sweet tooth for the person with a taste for eye candy, but I could not really tell you much else that drew me to the film. In short: it’s this year’s Hellboy 2.

-Donald Lee

Adventure, Animation, Fantasy, In Theaters, Sci-Fi , , , ,