horror and science fiction DVD and movie reviews and previews from curledupdvd.com - curled up with a good dvd
Blu-ray reviews and previews from curledupdvd.com - curled up with a good dvd
DVD reviews, previews and info - blu-ray
  action movies on DVD
  animation on DVD
  art house and international / foreign language films on DVD
  comedies on DVD
  documentaries on DVD
  dramas on DVD
  children's and family DVDs
  horror and sci-fi on DVD
  suspense on DVD
  television series on DVD
  Blu-ray DVD reviews


Alice in Wonderland (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)) - Blu-ray / fantasy DVD / adventure DVD / classic adaptation DVD / family and children's DVD review
ALICE IN WONDERLAND (THREE-DISC BLU-RAY / DVD COMBO + DIGITAL COPY) Rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 1/2 stars
Featuring: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Stephen Fry
Director: Tim Burton Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
DVD release: 01 June 2010 Runtime: 108 min. (3 discs)
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p HD, Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 - English; Dolby Digital 5.1 - English, Spanish), Subtitles (English SDH, French, Spanish), Finding Alice, The Mad Hatter, Effecting Wonderland, The Futterwacken Dance, The Red Queen, Time-Lapse: Sculpting the Red Queen, The White Queen, Scoring Wonderland, Stunts of Wonderland, Making the Proper Size, Cakes of Wonderland, Tea Party Props

Tim Burton's *Alice in Wonderland (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)*Even had he been born a century later, Lewis Caroll surely could not have guessed that his best-known works, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, would be produced for the cinema as many times as they have (ten different versions in the last ten years alone). Only the finest will be remembered. I recall seeing a 1930s-era version when I was a kid; the special effects were amazing for the time. I even played a couple of Dungeons & Dragons modules in my teen years that were pretty fantastic.

Director Tim Burton is well-suited to the material, himself verily woven from flights of fancy. Small wonder that Johnny Depp should appear and get top billing. Burton spins the tale in a different direction. Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is 19 in Burton's version. She who visited Wonderland as a child now stands in serious danger of being married off to a total prat with bowel blockage issues and special dietary needs. It's the mid-1800s, and Alice is not of the same mindset as most women of the time, having made herself in the image of her father - who sometimes believed in six impossible things before breakfast. When her pinched young suitor pops the question, she must take her leave to follow a rabbit in a waistcoat before giving her answer. She falls down a rabbithole, and her life veers off on a tangent.

Alice's adventures in Wonderland take much the same shape as they did in the books, though there is a bothersome thread throughout that suggests that she is needed for a task but may not be the right Alice. The Mad Hatter's tea party has been going on these many years since her last visit, though it seems to be running out of steam (and, perhaps, madness). The cakes are in good supply, however.

Alice must find herself and attempt to achieve the lofty, horrific goals set forth by the residents of Wonderland. They're depending on her to shift the leadership from the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) to the White Queen (Anne Hathaway). Carter plays the Red Queen with zeal, though she doesn't demand as many heads as I expected. Hathaway's White Queen is inspired - lofty and benign but with a nasty thirst for blood, as long as she isn't the one who needs to draw it.

This is ALICE IN WONDERLAND, but not quite the classic story. Many of the wonders are revisited but retooled to make Depp's Mad Hatter into a more prominent role. It's not obnoxious, but neither is it quite true to story. Also added to the mix are Lewis Caroll's Jabberwocky (Christopher Lee) and Bandersnatch.

Naturally the film is a feast for the eyes; you expect that with Tim Burton. It doesn't quite produce the flow-of-consciencness wonder that you'd expect were Alice still a child. The bundled extra features are pretty good, with many behind-the-scenes featurettes and interviews with the cast and creators. Also included are a digital copy of the film and a DVD. I like that about the recent Disney Blu-ray releases, though it remains to be seen whether this will be valuable to my kids.
  buy this DVD now or browse millions of other great products at amazon.com
reviewed by Eric Renshaw
    action | animation | art house/international | comedy | documentary | drama | family | horror/sci-fi | suspense | television    
    browse DVDs alphabetical by title    
    contact | home