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Alice in Wonderland, 2010 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on March 7, 2010

Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Matt Lucas, Stephen Fry, Paul Whitehouse, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, Alan Rickman

Score: 8 / 10

This review by Pamela Fruendt

What’s there to say about ALICE IN WONDERLAND? Certainly not “off with their heads!” Kudos to Linda Woolverton’s script which took the best of Lewis Carroll’s ideas and wove them together with our favorite characters into a reworked story that gave Tim Burton something to run with and run he did. Burton has created an absolutely magical, vibrant, dazzling world in ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Forget those critics who brand parts of the film too dark. Underland has been at war which, as the Mad Hatter shows, leans towards destruction. There is much light to this ALICE IN WONDERLAND. And muchness too.

Mia Wasikowska is perfect as 2010’s sweet, but nobody’s fool Alice Kingsleigh. Mia’s someone to keep your eye on in the future. Johnny Depp gives another finely nuanced performance as the Mad Hatter. His portrayal is especially poignant in that the Hatter knows something is terribly amiss with him yet carries on as best he can. As an aside…despite Depp’s protestations to the contrary, his dancing ability seems more than adequate. Futterwhacking, anyone?

Helena Bonham Carter nearly steals the film as the unloved petulant Red Queen. Anne Hathaway plays a quietly powerful Underland version of a valley-girl-type White Queen while Crispin Glover’s Knave of Hearts maintains just the right amount of distaste and admiration for the Red Queen. And I mustn’t forget Tweedledee and Tweedledum – Matt Lucas has taken such a tiny role and made it so memorable.

The animated characters from The Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry) to the screaming March Hare (Paul Whitehouse) to Bayard, the adorable Bloodhound (Timothy Spall) and all those not mentioned are exquisite both in design and execution.

But what’s wrong with ALICE IN WONDERLAND? For me it was the 3D technology which I found distracting and superfluous. Avatar needed 3D…ALICE doesn’t. I’m actually looking forward to the early DVD release so I can see the film on my 42″ Sony 1080p…then I’ll be able to concentrate on the story and not 3D. But I will admit it could just be me. I may even try to find a theater without 3D to check myself.

So, go see ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Expect to see a good film with great performances. And don’t forget your futterwhacking shoes…

Have you seen Alice in Wonderlan? What did you think of it?

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Alice in Wonderland – Behind the scenes of Tim Burton’s latest

Posted by LiveFor on March 2, 2010

A great featurette on the making of the film. Thanks to Pamela Fruendt for sending the link.

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Alice in Wonderland – What’s real and what isn’t

Posted by LiveFor on February 6, 2010

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland could be a lot more than you think it is. LFF’s Pamela Fruendt pointed out a great article over on Rotten Tomatoes that explains what is CGI and what isn’t. Plus they had the great photos of the Caterpillar (voiced by Alan Rickman) and Crispin Glover.

“We basically have three live-action characters,” explains David Schaub. “They are Alice (Mia Wasikowska), The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and The White Queen (Anne Hathaway). The Tweedles and the Knave of Hearts are real heads blended onto animated bodies. That creates a special look that you won’t have seen before. It’s very cool. Meanwhile, Helena Bonham Carter’s character (The Red Queen) is an amalgamation of all kinds of different techniques, which we then distorted.” One of the most difficult characters to create, though, was The Cheshire Cat. “That was hard because he actually floats,” says Schaub. “So we had to think, if a cat could float, how would a cat float? Then he’s got this huge grin the whole time, which causes problems because he’s got to have emotions. But how do you make him anything other than happy when he’s got this permanent smile? It was intense.”

As for Wonderland itself, it’s almost entirely CGI. “There is one significant prop where Alice steps into Wonderland and goes down some stairs,” says Schaub. “That was an amazing piece of architecture. But everything else is a CG environment.”

“It’s funny,” laughs costume designer Colleen Atwood, who has worked with Tim Burton on seven films over the past 20 years, including Edward Scissorhands, Big Fish and Sweeney Todd. “Tim, Johnny and I had all made sketches of what we thought the Mad Hatter should look like. Then, when we sat down to discuss it, we realised they were all really similar!” One of the most interesting things about the Mad Hatter’s costume is that it changes colour according to his mood. “It’s like a mood ring,” explains Atwood. “I made his suits in different colours, with layers of other colours, and then they enhanced it with CGI. It’s going to look really fun.”

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Tim Burton to be Honored in New York

Posted by LiveFor on October 19, 2009

This is a fantastic article written by Pamela Fruendt.

burton4The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is gearing up for a major exhibition celebrating the artistry of filmmaker Tim Burton. Scheduled from November 22, 2009 through April 26, 2010, it is the largest show ever presented by the museum. Tracing Burton’s imagination from his childhood drawings through his mature film work, TIM BURTON encompasses over 700 rarely or never-before-seen drawings, paintings, photographs, storyboards, moving-image works, puppets, costumes and cinematic ephemera.

Organized in collaboration with Burton, the exhibition presents art and objects drawn from his personal archive, the private collections of his collaborators and studio archives. Ron Magliozzi, MoMA Assistant Curator, traveled to London multiple times and viewed more than 10,000 pieces of Burton’s artwork while preparing the show. “There is no other living filmmaker possessing Tim Burton’s level of accomplishments and reputation whose full body of work has been so well hidden from public view,” he said. “Seeing so much that was previously inaccessible in a museum context should serve to fuel renewed appreciation and fresh appraisal of this much-admired artist.”

burton5Included are the first public displays of Burton’s student and earliest nonprofessional films; his tv adaptation of Hansel and Gretel (1983); examples of his work for the flash animation internet series “The World of Stainboy” (2000); oversized Polaroid prints; graphic art and texts for non-film projects, like “The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories (1997) and “Tim Burton’s Tragic Toys for Girls and Boys” (2003) collectible figure series. Selected international and domestic posters from his films also will be on display.

Burton’s 14 feature films will be screened during the exhibition with Tim introducing “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” (1985) on November 18, 2009. Contact MoMA for ticket information. And no, two fan favorites haven’t been overlooked. “Frankenweenie” (1984) is paired with “Ed Wood” while “Vincent” (1982) is with “Edward Scissorhands”.

MoMA has left nothing undone in this major retrospective including Burton-themed Free Teen Nights, after hours Private Group Tours and a companion program “The Lurid Beauty of Monsters” which includes a series of films that so intrigued and inspired Burton that he organized a 1977 screening of horror films in Burbank, CA. Check with MoMA for the schedule. Can’t attend the exhibit? Don’t worry. “Tim Burton” a 64-page color 8″x10″ book on the show is available at and More Tim Burton items will be available both online and at the museum during the exhibition.

Lest I forget, if you’ve heard the rumor that Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp will be at the MoMA benefit honoring Tim…relax. Paul Jackson of MoMA’s Press Office told me “both are scheduled to attend.”
Sounds like a very cool event. Thanks to Pam for letting us all know about it. Oh and you have a read and watch of what happened when I met Johnny Depp at the Public Enemies press conference.

Tim Burton artwork courtesy of MoMA

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Alice in Wonderland – Trailer for Tim Burton’s take on the classic

Posted by LiveFor on July 23, 2009

IGN has unveiled the first teaser trailer for Alice in Wonderland, starring Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Michael Sheen, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway.

What did you think of that then?

Due out on 5th March 2010.


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Alice in Wonderland – More photos

Posted by LiveFor on July 4, 2009

I know that we have seen photos of them before but here are slightly more detailed pics of the costumes and look for Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland. Above is Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. Below is Mia Wasikowska as Alice (with a white rabbit no less) and Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen.
As previously mentioned this is more of a sequel to the original tale – Alice, now 17 years old, as she escapes from a snooty party and follows a white rabbit down a hole, back to Wonderland. The White Rabbit is convinced that he has the right girl, the one who had visited the magical land ten years prior. But Alice doesn’t remember her past visit to Wonderland. The creatures of Wonderland are ready to revolt and are hoping/waiting for Alice to help them, but will she? Can she?
Source: /film


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Mia as Alice and Matt Lucas as Tweedledee & Tweedledum

Posted by LiveFor on June 22, 2009

Earlier today I posted the photos of Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathway as the Mad Hatter, Red Queen and White Queen in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. FilmDrunk have the photo of Mia Wasikowska as Alice and has come across this photo of Matt Lucas (Little Britain) as both Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

I personally don’t find it as impressive looking as the previous pictures.


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Alice in Wonderland – First proper look at Tim Burton’s Wonderland.

Posted by LiveFor on June 22, 2009

There have been hints and teases as to how Tim Burton’s adaption of the Lewis Caroll classic would look. There was nothing definite until now. Below are character posters of The Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and The White Queen (Anne Hathaway).
They finished shooting after just 40 days the live action is being merged with CG animation and motion-capture creatures, and then transferred into 3-D.
The traditional tale has been freshened with a blast of girl power, courtesy of writer Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast). Alice, 17, attends a party at a Victorian estate only to find she is about to be proposed to in front of hundreds of snooty society types. Off she runs, following a white rabbit into a hole and ending up in Wonderland, a place she visited 10 years before yet doesn’t remember.
Mia Wasikowska plays Alice. In the top photo you can see the White Rabbit, voiced by Michael Sheen. All in all it is looking very nice. However, I’ve never been a fan of the story. One of those things that always irritated me a little. I will probably still go and see the film and will marvel at the look of it all, but it does not fill me with as much joy as it does some people.

Source: USA Today

Discuss in the forum or leave a comment below.


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Terminator Salvation – Early review sounds promising

Posted by LiveFor on May 18, 2009

Some early screenings of Terminator Salvation have taken place and it sounds like the trailers and footage we have seen so far have been bang on the money. This looks like it could be great.

Variety had this to say about it – Possible spoilers ahead:

McG exhibits an unexpected flair for the dreadful, abrupt and awesome. What we get here — which was perhaps missing on the relatively sunny mental landscapes of “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” — is a sense of real horror: When humans are snatched up like Cheez-Doodles by skyscraper-sized Go-bots, there’s no slo-mo relief or stalling. Stuff happens as it might were the world actually overtaken by demonic appliances.

Christian Bale, playing the “prophesized leader of the Resistance” John Connor, may have traded in the Batman body armor for “Road Warrior”-style outerwear, but one thing hasn’t changed: He is, once again, a movie star playing second fiddle. Heath Ledger stole “The Dark Knight” away from him and Sam Worthington (who will appear in Cameron’s “Avatar” this Christmas) heists “Terminator Salvation” from Bale, for the most ironical of reasons: In a movie that poses man against machine, Worthington’s cyborg is the far more human character.

As a steel-beaded logo of Warner Bros. fades away, Marcus (Worthington), on death row for an unexplained crime, gets an 11th-hour visit from Dr. Serena Kogan (Helena Bonham Carter), who wears the headscarf and pallor of a terminal cancer patient. She wants Marcus’ body — literally. She wants to turn him into a cyborg.

Wracked with guilt, resigned to his execution, Marcus agrees to sign the release in exchange for a kiss. “So that’s what death tastes like,” he says, as she leaves him to his lethal injection.

This is not your governator’s “Terminator.”

Bale, meanwhile, playing the adult version of the hero-to-be portrayed by Edward Furlong (“Terminator 2) and Nick Stahl (“Terminator 3”), is as purposeful and furious as anyone played by Arnold Schwarzenegger or Robert Patrick. One suspects he’s been studying Linda Hamilton in “Terminator 2,” although — let’s face it — this is serious business. It’s 2018. Skynet — the “aware” machine — has all but accomplished its self-appointed mission of destroying the threat of people.

But pockets of rebellion continue to operate even if, as in the case of a charred and rubble-strewn Los Angeles, the local contingent consists of just two kids: Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) and the mute/cute Star (Jadagrace).

Kyle — given a slightly geeky and perfectly plausible portrayal by Yelchin (“Star Trek”) — will grow up to father John Connor after being sent into the future to meet Sarah Connor (if you haven’t followed the “Terminator” time line, this is no time to be catching up).

Thus, he has to be preserved. So does John, given that it’s been predicted since 1984 that he’ll be the one to save the world. There’s a lot at stake.

McG’s direction is always intelligent. (He does seem to have a thing for “The Great Escape,” which is referenced several times.) The script by John Brancato and Michael Ferris occasionally goes off the rails. Certainly, their insertion of an existential dilemma for Marcus — “I need to find out who did this to me,” he says, his chrome-plated plumbing having been exposed to the open air — feels very late-inning.

And the obligatory borrowing from the previous movies (“Come with me if you want to live,” “I’ll be back …”) tend to upset the mood created within McG’s bleached-out world, which is very deliberate and doesn’t need the comic relief.

There are great bits though: The thrashing, centipede-like, killer-snake thingie, which has the personality of a wolverine, is a neat invention. So are the biker Terminators, which molt like malignant pinecones off their towering mother ‘bot. A Schwarzenegger lookalike — it isn’t clear whether it’s the ex-actor CGI’d or a complete fabrication — is funny, but in this case apt.

Discuss in the forum


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Terminator Salvation – First Look at Helena Bonham Carter as Serena

Posted by LiveFor on April 4, 2009

Fast Company had this excellent interview with director McG and Special Effects Supervisor John Rosengrant. In it, McG talks about what he shares in common with Shaun White, Seth MacFarlane, the Google founders and Bill Gates.

He then discusses the balance between animatronics and CGI, and how to seamlessly blend the two in a believable way. That process begins with an artist’s rendering, like the image of Serena, above.

Source: Fast Company

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