Okay, Alice in Wonderland: I've been waiting two months to be able to unconditionally recommend a film to you.
Unfortunately, I'm still waiting. "Unconditionally" implies "no conditions," and I have one... I'm not sure you should see the film in 3D. But it is my favorite film so far this year! Here are the new standings:
1) Alice in Wonderland
2) The Wolfman
4) Cop Out
5) Book of Eli
1 jillionty-five) Legion
Hey, look! A new feature! Now you can read my other reviews with the help of some links! New visitors can lean why I hate Legion so much!
Okay, about that 3D thing... after seeing Avatar late last year I got spoiled. The 3D was so seamless, so close to perfect that anything less seems clunky. And Alice in Wonderland just isn't as good. Is it really clunky, though? Or am I just jaded? Rather than navel-gaze and question my objectivity (which I know to be absent) I'll just say this: the 3D added depth, made the Cheshire Cat incredibly fun, and got used a lot for poking spears and swords in my eye. Also, there was this tree in the English countryside early in the film where the sky behind the tree was in the same plane as the tree itself, and the result was that it looked like a tree full of blotchy sky-fruits.
Fortunately, all of the Burtonesquely twisted trees down the rabbit hole were computer-generated, and knew their boundaries. And all that is just visuals. The story? The acting? That was all fine and fun and good. No, this isn't Lewis Carroll's plot, but that's okay. We know how that story goes. This treated the original source material as back-story. And I'm fine with that. I loved it.
Not unconditionally, mind you... some of Johnny Depp's Hatterisms didn't seem to fit, and Anne Hathaway appeared a little unsure whether she was playing the White Queen for quirks, irony, or comedy, but now I'm just picking nits. Helena Bonham Carter, Crispin Glover, Alan Rickman, and Christopher Lee were all wonderful, and Mia Wasikowska was brilliant. And yeah, Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway were pretty darn good, quirks notwithstanding.
Go see Alice in Wonderland. And if you don't see it in 3D, you can take pleasure in saving money and in not being poked in the eye. Sorry about the two-dimensional apparating cat, though.