Monday, 30 May 2016

'Alice Through The Looking Glass' 2016 [MOVIE REVIEW]

[Warning. May Contain Spoilers]

Love it or hate it, Disney live action movies have been around since 1950 and to me are the most magical and impressive Disney productions. To watch Treasure Island, then Flubber and now the recent releases like Alice Through the Looking Glass and see all of the technological advances is simply astounding. The stories, of course, are just as compelling today as they were over 60 years ago, so why people are still complaining about 'live action' movies being made or live action counter parts of the animated classics, I don't get. Time and time again Disney has proved that they are top of the game, knocking it out of the park with each new movie.
That being said, how could anyone not be super jazzed to see Alice's latest adventures?! Check out the insane trailer below before reading on for my personal thoughts of the movie.



If you hadn't put two and two together, I have been a pretty big Wonderland fan for a long time - urmm...'Underland to Wonderland' anyone? I've been excited for Alice's next adventures in Underland since the sequel was announced (and I'm already looking forward to the next in the series which has been hinted at by producer Suzanne Todd) so we booked our tickets online as soon as they were available and headed down to Newcastle to see it on Saturday.
We took the opportunity to see in it 3D which was the right choice, despite the killer eye and headache that ensued, as there were many moments that really benefited from the extra effects.

When I originally heard that Tim Burton was not returning to direct (he did work on the movie as a producer however) after his masterpiece that was Alice in Wonderland in 2010, I was a little worried as to how Underland would now be perceived, but James Bobin not only managed to keep the darkly whimsical world alive, he also added his own stamp with the use of a lot more beautiful sets instead of relying on CGI as much. Reading all of the sadly negative professional reviews I am confused as to what these people were watching and whether they actually understand the whole concept of a Wonderland?
Personally, I was pleasantly surprised about the whole storyline. The trailers really didn't give too much away at all and I had wondered how the whole concept of 'Time' (the character, not the thing that goes too fast) would be included in the plot. I loved that although we didn't see as much of all of Alice's friends, the plot was focused around The Hatter and his family - the ever present Disney moral, this time being to always believe the impossible is possible.


The cast was pretty much the same as the first movie, thankfully everyone reprised their roles, with a few fab additions including Sacha Baron Cohen as 'Time'. I'd assume that most people will agree that when you think of him, you think of Ali G, Borat and Bruno...which are terribly non-Disney friendly. Therefore, I was skeptical which I needn't have been. He played a brilliant part, showcasing an alternative view to his usually comedic appearance which I think stole the show.
Johnny Depp, although evidently a seasoned actor who has shown how diverse he is, also showed a different side to the Hatter's character. The depressed and vulnerable Hatter was emotional to witness, his family orientated storyline reminding us that we only get one and to cherish our time with them.
With it being a whole 6 years since we first met Mia Wasikowska as our Alice, she has gone from being just out of her teens to a stunning, 26 year old woman, Alice growing with her as an even more headstrong, eccentric lady successful in her crazy quests.
I can't not mention how lovely it was to hear Alan Rickman's voice as Absolem one last time, even if it was only a couple lines. That and the dedication to him at the end were two moments I soaked my tissue through haha.

As I touched upon earlier and you can see in the B-Roll below, there were a lot more real sets built for this movie, all of which had such wonderful character and detail limiting the need for as many effects. Reminiscent of Diagonal alley meets Burton's Willy Wonka, it's bright and kooky, just right for a wonderful Underland. On the other hand, where CGI was involved the quality was pretty much on par with that used in the recent Jungle Book release, especially the scenes of castle where Time lives. Yes, it is more fantastical than the realistic Jungle Book but the CGI is well done non the less.



'All frosting, no cake'. 'Smoke and mirrors'. 'Little in the way of heart'. All of these have come from 'professional' reviews I've read and make me think that these people would be the type who nit picked over ever single thing that was left out of the Harry Potter movies. Focusing so much on the Lewis Carroll books rather than seeing the production as a stand-alone story, they have missed the sentimentality and beautiful friendships, among awesome effects and compelling plot. Like many others before it and I'm sure many others after it, this is not an accurate book adaptation but who wants that? Carroll's stories are classics that I for one would much rather see left untouched.

In conclusion, Alice's literal race against time to travel to the past and help find out what happened to the Hatter's family is full of discoveries and life lessons. We see more of the characters backgrounds, why they are how they are and are introduced to different sides of them.
I love the sporadic return to reality (whatever reality may be...:P) with the mini adventure breaking up our intense time in Underland.
My main advice to anyone hoping to see this is to not take children. Yes, the rating may be PG but with a dark and serious tone, mild threat and a the odd curse word as well as a deep story, I think younger viewers would find it hard to follow or stay interested in. Even slightly scary. The brand 'Disney' seems to be getting more and more misconstrued as people automaticaly think of the animated classics, rather than other movies that are written and made for adults not kids.
Oh and don't listen to negative reviews. Always watch something and decide for yourself!

Have you seen Alice Through the Looking Glass yet? What were your thoughts on it? If not, will you be going to see it?







15 comments:

  1. Amazing review Danielle and I definitely need to see this as soon as I can and kudos to you for keeping this nice and fairly spoiler free too - it's great for someone like me! Love the quote you chose as well. - Tasha

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    1. Thank you! I try my hardest not to include spoilers as it's best to see things for the first time not knowing what happens. I make sure to include a little warning just in case though.
      Hope you see it soon and enjoy it. That is one of many wonderful quotes in the movie.

      xo

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  2. Sounds amazing to me! Can't wait to see it!

    Renee | Lose The Road

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    1. It really is!!! I'm sure you'll love it.

      xo

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  3. It does sound really good. I'm a bit bias though, I'll watch anything with Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter in though.
    Also, I think that Sacha Baren Cohen (I bet I've spelt all these people's names wrong!) is quite a versatile actor! He is probably best known for Borat etc, but I think he plays other roles quite well. Sweeney Todd for example, have you seen that?
    Sarah xxx
    www.whimsicalmumblings.co.uk

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    1. I'm a big Depp, Bonham Carter, Burton fan haha so I like to watch most of their movies too. I have Sweeney Todd on DVD but shamefully haven't watched it...I dunno why I just don't fancy it. I had no idea he was in that though! I have seen him in a few other things but just always think of him with the comedy side of things and was really impressed with him as Time.

      xo

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    2. It's SO gory though, so if you can't cope with that, don't even try :P
      Can't wait to watch this movie though!
      xxx

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  4. I'm definitely going to see this! I've been looking forward to Alice Through The Looking Glass since I first saw the first trailer for it. I'll make my own mind up, but I have very little doubt that I will love it! Great review :) x www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

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    1. I hope you do enjoy it. I can't see how people can't unless they aren't into that kind of thing and in that case you wouldn't go see it eh? lol
      Thank you.

      xo

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  5. I agree with you, I think the reviews were way too nit-picky! I really enjoyed it!
    Loz xx
    Http://simplyloz.blogspot.com

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    1. Ah I'm glad to hear that I'm not just easy pleased haha! I want to see it again already lol

      xo

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  6. I completly agree! The reviews I read meant that I wasn't expecting much, but I really really enjoyed it! I thought the story line was great, I really enjoyed exploring the backgrounds of characters and thought it was all executed really well :)

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    1. Right?! I just say the reviews were wrong lol. Everyone I've heard from has loved it!

      xo

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  7. I really enjoyed the first film, so maybe I'll eventually see the second one haha!

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    1. I think you might like it! Maybe just wait until you're here next and I have it on DVD lol!

      xo

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