Alice in Wonderland [Blu-Ray] Tim Burton

Alice in Wonderland [Blu-Ray] Tim Burton
On paper, few marriages of director and source material could generate the excitement and anticipation of Tim Burton tackling the Lewis Carroll classic. That expectation easily translated into a hefty box office haul, but the translation of the story carries about as much weight as the Cheshire Cat's immaterial body. Rather than tread the straight remake path, Burton and screenwriter Linda Woolverton (The Lion King) go the pseudo-sequel route, mish-mashing a number of characters and ideas from the original Alice and its literary follow-up, Through the Looking Glass, while shoehorning ideas of their own into the mix. A 19-year-old Alice, on the verge of womanhood, is being pressured into a marriage of convenience. She's constantly distracted by a recurring dream from her childhood, part of which manifests itself as the White Rabbit, who leads her down the rabbit hole once more after she's unable to answer a loutish marriage proposal. The parallels between her experiences in Wonderland and her surface life couldn't be more blunt, pandering to the laziest of minds. This jaded Alice, who doesn't believe she's the Alice all of Wonderland has been waiting for, strips a great deal of the actual wonder out of the land. Most of the film has a been-there-done-that sense, rehashing size gags and many classic scenes without revelling in the nonsensical surrealism that makes the story timeless. Homage without wit, the film sweeps Alice along a rote path to her inevitable confrontation with the Jabberwocky. Lush CGI environments and a cast of wacky characters hamming it up might distract from the weak narrative and bland dialogue if you've indulged in as many hookah hits as the Caterpillar, but only Helena Bonham Carter's Red Queen and Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter are having enough fun to make the journey at all worthwhile. Special features are limited to a collection of character profiles, with cast interviews and peeks behind the scenes and, of greater interest, "Making Wonderland." Effects, stunts, costumes, score, baking and prop info are neat, but seeing fully costumed characters act against an almost entirely green environment and hearing Crispin Glover attempt to explain what it feels like are more entertaining than the actual movie. (Walt Disney)