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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Literature > 3-D > Alice In Wonderland (2010/2-D Version/Tim Burton/Disney Blu-ray)

Alice In Wonderland (2010/2-D Version/Tim Burton/Disney Blu-ray)


Picture: C+     Sound: B+     Extras: D     Feature: D



It has been a long time since Tim Burton had a hit and since he massacred Planet Of The Apes in 2001, his career has rightly been in freefall.  So here comes the 3-D craze and Disney decides to take advantage of it.  Burton’s style used to be one of individualistic style and eccentricity, but it eventually became a predictable style and a spoof of itself, resulting in the director painting himself in a corner.  With Alice In Wonderland, they chopped up a classic and managed to pump it up into an artificial hit.


Lewis Carroll’s classic has already been overdone as much as Robin Hood, but here we go again.  When Disney put it in theaters, they did with two interesting twists.  1) They hid it from most critics and 2) They limited it only 12 weeks in theaters as if they were protecting some buried treasure.  Well, this should have been buried all right, but it got booked worldwide though one big chain in the U.K. first said no.


Mia Wasikowska is the latest of a long line of usually forgettable actresses to take on the title role and though she fits the bill, there is nothing distinct about her Alice and we spend 109 agonizing minutes going through the same old story with her.  Then the ‘trip’ becomes more familiar than ever as we see living playing cards, the evil queen, Cheshire Cat and oh look, another obligatory appearance by Helena Bonham Carter and over there, its….  Oh, Johnny Depp!  We could have never imagined he’d show up.  And the classic characters have been “reimagined” (Burton-speak for mutilated and destroyed) as puffy digital CGI renderings of the originals.


For having a PG rating, this is a little more violent than you would think, so this is not the usual child-friendly Disney release, but Burton’s work never is.  Crispin Glover also turns up to increase the creepy factor, but to no avail.  This version just turns out to be an extremely tired rehash of the same old tale decorated in the latest bells and whistles.  Too bad, because the older Burton could have made this decent, but he is so bored, he just does not care anymore.  Neither should you.


The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image was originally conceived to be 3-D and no matter what that looks like, this 2-D edition is softer than we could have ever imagined, with digital effects and video behind Avatar, Pixar and DreamWorks.  Even color is underwhelming.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix is the default highlight of the disc with a strong soundfield throughout and Danny Elfman’s usual “stomach-pumper of wonderment” composing style he saves for most of his works.  It will make an interesting comparison to the 3-D version whenever that rolls around.


Extras on a bonus DVD, Digital Copy for PC and PC portable devices, BD Live interactive features, a Making Of piece in six parts and six character pieces.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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