Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday is for Alice in Wonderland

* Last night Word-of-the-Day Jen and I went to see "Alice in Wonderland" (in 3D of course). If I'm being honest, I have to give it 3 stars with a big "A" for effort. The art direction is beautiful and definitely representative of the previous Disney classic and Carroll's illustrations. The FX all look nice as well. Helena Bonham Carter is magnificent as the Red Queen (and her large noggin is in no way distracting or resembling of a bobble head as I previously feared). So, why only 3 out of 5 stars? The movie is, quite simply, a little boring. By now you've probably heard it's a "continuation" of the previous story- Alice is now 19 and running away from a bad engagement. Unfortunately, it isn't; it's the same story we've heard/seen a million times. Making Alice older does not a continuation make. Alice still falls down the rabbit hole, eats and drinks to grow large and small, meets a cast of extraordinary characters, battles the Red Queen (here it's tete-a-tete with the Jaberwocky), is amused by the White Queens' novelty (a nice reference to "Through the Looking Glass"), and finally chooses to go home rather than stay in the magical Wonderland. Yawn. Burton had the ability to create any story he deemed fit when he called it a "continuation" (there's that word again!). Instead, he chose to weave themes and characters from both books, into a movie we felt as if we've seen before. There is nothing inherently wrong with a remake, Alice is a great character due for revitalization, so why didn't he just do that?

This new "Alice" is another great example of what I referenced previously about 3D. Burton used more traditional 3D for this picture and understandably so. Nothing will look like "Avatar" unless they use James Cameron's modified Sony HD cameras and computer technology (which I don't think Burton had access to at the time). Everything else is the same old thing we didn't care about before and I believe will not care about in the near future. The action was primarily static and what could have been breathtaking fell flat. The bread-and-butterflys never popped out at us. The Horse-flies stayed on the screen. Even the Mad Hatter (Johnny Deep switching inexplicably between a light English accent and Scottish brogue) throwing out a pair of cloth spools, never made its leap off the screen and into our faces. What's worse, this movie needed the 3D to keep me entertained at all. The writing was weak and I couldn't understand what they were saying half the time (I'm guessing it was a special language for those on the side of the White Queen, but who knows). Thank goodness it was pretty.

My suggestion, rent it. Just be sure to get your 3D glasses!

* Speaking of movies, I am so excited that the first meeting of WWQTW movie club is Monday! I've got the whole thing planned out complete with my own brand of type-A nerdiness. Full review to follow Tuesday.

* Yesterday was a long day. By the time we got out to the bar for a drink I was sleepy. Plus, no one was out since Saturday is the St. Patrick's Day parade and most of them were going to be on a float throwing Jello-O shots at passersby. So, we sat and sat. Until, Jen brought out the magical game that is Super Circles (thanks Sonic!). I won't go into how to play, but before long this harmless children's card game turned into an adult drinking game. I completely lost my mind at one point, perhaps because I kept losing and had to keep drinking. I kept telling Jen to "slow her roll". I can't even remember the last time I said that! It was so fun! A snippet of our conversation:
ME: "I'd like to thank Super Circles for getting this party started!"
JEN: "Yep, that's going in the blog".

* Once again, I wrote down something funny with no context clues to help me determine/remember what we were talking about. I'll let you decide:
"Now you're fucking Depends?"
"Well, if they're used..."

* Speaking of Jen, the word of the day is: Leprechaun (she had to fight off the voices in her head for that one too!)

* It's Daylight Savings today, so don't forget to move your clocks forward tonight at 2 AM. That would make it 3 AM. I hate daylight savings. It cuts into my good time and I lose an hour of sleep. Not cool earth! And after I started recycling and everything just for you!
* Last week I told you I couldn't find the napkin I wrote all my genius on. Well, good news- I found it! And, some if it is actually genius: We were hanging outside neighborhood bar #2 and couldn't help overhearing the crazy conversation happening behind us. We re-named Pooka Shell-Wearing-Douche as Geometry Man! Observe Geometry Man ask he talks to the opposite sex: "You see this guy?" while pointing to another oddly nerdy kick ball enthusiast, "His Dad invented the trapezoid". Seriously. I know my panties got moist just hearing those words. Trapezoid. In reality, I almost fell off my picnic bench laughing. One of my buddies came back with, "This guy? He invented polyhedron dice and Dungeons & Dragons". Exactly how does any of this impress women? I wouldn't have been surprised if one of the inebriated blondes came back with, "What's a trapezoid?" Furthermore, how do you invent a trapezoid? I tried looking that up online and the only answer I got was "some smart math nerd". Regardless(ly), I'm sure that guys Dad didn't do it. I then skipped off singing the "Do the Rhombus" song from a learning show we had to watch in Elementary featuring a guy dressed in a unitard with and interior view of the body painted on it.


  1. I have to agree with your review of Alice. It wasn't all that it could have been, IMO. But it was gorgeous, the costumes were wonderful (how amazing were Alice's dresses?), and it touched on the greatness of the story that we know and love. I can live with the 3-star version. But you're on notice, Mr. Burton. Don't start slippin' on us!

  2. Visually, which is where this 'Alice' really radiates, there are many riches. Ken Ralston's visual effects are stunning and surreal; Colleen Atwood's costumes are dazzling; and Dariusz Wolski's photography is spot on.

  3. I couldn't agree more Andrew- especially Atwood. She is a Genius with a capital "G"!!

  4. What is the name of that show that has "do the rhombus"?

    We used to watch that video in math class way back in the day. Do you know what it is called?

  5. That has been driving me nuts since I wrote this post! I tried google search, but came up empty handed so I posted it to If anyone knows/figures it out, please, please, PLEASE let me know!

  6. I know there was like this tree or something... And they always had to say "I don't know..." and they would be teleported off to some place.

  7. Riddle of Wizard Oak