Monday, March 29, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

Over the weekend I saw Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. I went excited to actually see a film in a theater and to see fantastic eye candy. There was plenty of eye candy, but I thought it actually overwhelmed the film. The make up, especially the darkened eyes that made some of the characters look like they had TB, was quite distracting. There was a continuity problem with Alice's eyes as they randomly alternated between darkened and not.

The classic tale is framed by Burton's addition of a story of Alice's life. In the first scenes she's about 5 or 6 and nightmares wake her. She asks her father if it's normal to see Madhatters, etc. I just thought what young child is concerned with "normalcy." None I've met and some I know are very imaginative and eccentric. Later we see Alice getting pushed into an engagement with a simpering wimp with good family connections and prestige. I wished the story had something I hadn't seen over 100 times in various forms. There are other ways in which society makes women conform.

The computer graphics were well done, but the narrative was weak. The showdown in the end was particularly lazy. To prove a young woman is strong, must she slay a dragon? Does she have to prove that she's manly? Can't someone be more creative? I hope someone else does another version in a few years that uses this story in a novel way. Give me more than just eye candy.

This book looks good.

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