I’m just so happy because so much stuff has arrived in the mail! I’ve got some Tron Legacy viral marketing swag, my final “Weird Al” Yankovic albums arrived, and I take a minute to remember tasty foods from years gone by.
Alice in Wonderland
Directed by Tim Burton
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Matt Lucas, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, and Alan Rickman.
Tim Burton was one of the first directors I identified with and glommed onto. When I got my DVD player, I said I would get all his movies on DVD. (Still missing Beetlejuice, Mars Attacks!, and Sleepy Hollow, in case you’re thinking of gift ideas.) So when I heard that he was hopping on the 3D, performance capture bandwagon to do Alice in Wonderland, I was intrigued. It seemed that Burton’s unique visual flair would be ideal to realize Wonderland on the big screen. So how’d it all turn out?
We catch up with Alice as a young woman in her late teens or early twenties. She has forgotten all about Wonderland, dismissing it as little more than a childhood dream. And now, it seems her life is all mapped out for her. She’s about to go into an arranged marriage and settle down and lead a dull and ordinary life. But then, at her engagement party, she spies a White Rabbit, and once again falls down the rabbit hole. But this is not the Wonderland of her youth. The Red Queen is on a mad quest to become ruler of all, and is carving a swath of destruction across the land. The Mad Hatter and his band of rebels see Alice as the chosen one…the one who will end the Red Queen’s reign and return the White Queen to the throne. It seems even in this world, Alice’s life is all mapped out for her. Will she ever be able to find her own destiny?
What I Liked
Well, it’s Tim Burton, so all the Burton touches that I like are on display. There’s some wild visuals, a pretty good Danny Elfman score, and top notch performances by Depp and Carter. The special effects are amazing, especially the climactic battle with the Jabberwocky…truly one of the most frightening dragons ever seen on the big screen.
What I Didn’t Like
The plot is your fairly basic fantasy plot. On a quest, find the magic sword, slay the dragon. Alice really has grown into a Disney princess in this film…feeling enslaved by the trappings of her position, and looking for a better life out there.
Familiar characters shoehorned into a familiar plot…the whole darn thing just feels so familiar. I feel like Burton just did this for the paycheck.
Directed by Kevin Smith
Starring Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Sean Cullen, Kevin Pollak, Adam Brody, Michelle Trachtenberg, Jason Lee, Sean William Scott, Guillermo Diaz, and Ana de la Reguera.
I do so love my Kevin Smith movies, and this one created a bit of a stir among the Kevin Smith fanbase. For you see, this is the first film of Smith’s that he did NOT write himself. It was his first time as a “director for hire,” says Smith. So, it was interesting to see how Smith would tackle someone else’s words. So, how did he do?
Jimmy Monroe and and Paul Hodges are a pair of NYPD detectives. When a drug bust goes wrong, they are placed on suspension without pay. Problem is, without pay, Jimmy is no longer able to pay for his daughter’s wedding. Jimmy decides to do the unthinkable: sell his vintage baseball card, worth $80,000. But while Jimmy is getting the card appraised, Jimmy is robbed. So Jimmy and Paul go on a madcap chase to recover the baseball card, causing them to cross paths with a wisecracking cat burglar, their two rivals in the police force, Mexican drug lords, and Jimmy’s daughter’s douchy stepfather. Will Jimmy and Paul recover the baseball card? Will Jimmy be able to pay for his daughter’s wedding?
What I Liked
Tracy Morgan is on fire in this film! He is just so funny as he constantly turns interrogations into little more than spouting page after page of movie quotes. Scott is pretty good, too, as the lippy cat burglar.
What I Didn’t Like
Kevin Smith said in interviews that he set out to re-create a classic, 1980s cop buddy film, and he succeeded a little too well. It reminds you of many other 1980s cop buddy films, thus leading you a little bit bored and feeling like you’ve seen it all before.
Good but not great. A few good chuckles, but laugh-your-butt-off funny.
This is the payoff to all the episodes we’ve done for the past month, in which we recap all the Best Original Song Oscar nominees and I tell you which one I think should win. Oh, and I also finally picked up the Up soundtrack, and I spend a healthy amount of time geeking out over that.