Watched Tim Burton's Alice last night on (borrowed) DVD.
I feel that my decision not to see it at the cinema was well and truly justified, although I was really, really hoping it wouldn't be.
It's dreadful. It's so flat, it feels rushed, it's shallow, it's a mess, it's boring.
Between score, shots (or, rather, "shots"), and writing, somehow the film stays at basically the same emotional level for the duration. In spite of a grand and partially airborne battle, there are no moments where your heart leaps into your mouth. It just sort of happens. There's screaming and running, but without terror. Something happens that is meant to be frightening, and change your perception of a character entirely, but you don't even really notice until it's resolved.
Probably because of this emotional sameness, it feels a bit like Shakespeare In Five Minutes -- very rushed. It seems like it should be the right amount of story in the right time, but it feels like it's just being skimmed through. A whistle-stop tour of story. Which is a wee bit of a shame, because it's not exactly a bad story! Okay, it's a bit of a mash-up, but that's fine.
(Speaking of mash-ups, what was with mangling the poem? There are lots of common cut-down versions of it, if you wanted to save time, that cover all the neccessary points. That was butchery! You can't just randomly select lines and throw them together however you like to make whole new stanzas!)
Visually, it was quite lovely... except the sameness of the lighting and shots though most of the film detracted from that a lot.
I watched the A Series of Unfortunate Events film twice at the cinema and bought the DVD in spite of disliking the story, and loathing Jim Carey, just because I liked the visuals. Alice? I like the story, I like the director, I like to love all the actors... but I wouldn't watch it again for visual appeal.
This film really had the feeling of having been very rushed, and poorly cobbled together as a merchandise-seller. It's very in the mood of the teen/youth mode du jour (or at least one or two of them), and the sheer amount of Disney-official merch I've seen available makes me very suspicious.
I have to say, most of the merch is much better than the film. Some appeals to me quite a lot. So at least that part worked.
Don't bother with it. Read a plot summary and pretend you saw it if you want to be "up with it", and go and look at some posters and film-derived clothing to get the best of the visuals.
Now, excuse me. I need to cheer myself up with some Nightmare Before Christmas.
Kidnap the sandy-claws, lock him up real tight, throw away the key and then turn off all the lights!