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Film Review. Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Please note there are some small spoiler alerts in this movie review

First off,  This is not supported to be a word for word telling of the famous Alice in Wonderland story – this is actually the second time she has been down the hole. Therefore this is actually a sequel to the Alice in Wonderland story based on the 19th century novels Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.

Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is now 19 years old who has forgotten about her last childhood journey into Wonderland – yet her dreams still recall the visit.

Just as she is proposed to by a insufferable bore of a ginger haired “Lord”, she wisely avoids the proposal of marriage and ends up falling down a rabbit hole and falls back down to Wonderland. Of course she thinks this is all just a dream and plays along for a while.

Alice is then given the mission of saving the Wonderland from the madness of the Red Queen played by Helena Bonham Carter (Helena Bonham Carters playing of the Red Queen reminds me of Queenie from Blackadder – even mis-pwe-nounces a wange of words using w’s for r’s). The Red Queen is still as we remember her, obsessed with shouting “Off with her head”. I though it was quite funny the way she always asked for a warm pig to put her feet on – it is this sort of curiouser and curiouser imagery which makes the film work. The film is just unusual – so don’t go expecting straight forward.

One of the main draws of this film is the portrayal of the Mad Hatter by Johnny Depp. This is a very good performance with lots of madness, and a very unusual “Futterwacken” dance, but there is a kind of scottish accent which Depp tries to use but in these places the dialogue is hard to understand. Other characters include the Cheshire Cat which is perfectly voiced by the one and only Stephen Fry.

The film itself has live action and CGI mixed quite well – the film looks amazing … I don’t think it looks like any other film of the last few years in the way digital and film are combined. Don’t go to the film expecting the original “Alice in Wonderland” story – perhaps a title of “Down to Wonderland again” might have been a better title. It is a fun film but there are some scenes younger children might not appreciate (i.e. lots of roaring and chasing monsters).

The film flaws are mainly that the story is not as well developed as it could have been and there is a little drama, but being a Disney film this is to be expected but Tim Burton’s visual creativity makes up for any lacking in the film.
If you can, see this film in 3D as it does add soemthing extra.

Movie Classification: PG
Director: Tim Burton
Film Cast: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helna Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Matt Lucas, Timothy Spall, Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen

Rating: 8/10

The Damned United – Movie Review

The Damned United – Movie Review

The Damned United depicts the story behind Brian Cloughs 44 day reign (or lack of) at Leeds United in 1974, as well as showing how he got to manage the club, with a story from 1968 – 1974. With Michael Sheen as Brian Clough and screenplay by Peter Morgan it also shows the relationship he had with Peter Taylor who helped him by scouting some of the best players he ever signed.

The Damned United – Movie Review

There is very little in the way of live action, which is usually filmed poorly with a few notable exceptions. Instead most of the key scenes are build ups, pre FA Cup matches (mainly against Leeds), Pre-UEFA Cup ties (Juventus). The retro scenes are well filmed – I was constantly looking out for continuity problems, i.e. satellite dishes on houses etc. but it could easily have been filmed in 1974.

The film could easily have been titled “Brian Cloughs EGO” as that issue is one of the main storylines.  Clough was a master of football management, hiring great players, including Roy Keane at his time in Notts Forrest, however, Cloughs family have apparently discredited the movie (not sure if this is true) as the film is quite favourable – less so for Billy Bremner who is painted as quite a villan of the soccer world in 1974.

Very enjoyable as a film and one of the best soccer films in ages. There are some wonderful one liners and great quotes which only Mr. Clough could utter. You Don’t need to be a soccer fan to go see this film – that cannot eb stressed enough. This is a story about ambition, ego, a man with a desire to succeed at all costs … and then soccer.

Running Time : The movie is 90 mins with 7 mins of injury time.

Overall Score : 8½/10