Barbara Tomlinson at Spasms of Accommodation had exactly the same experience I had: Alice in Wonderland IMAX 3D.
The reviews online gave it a C, so I had low expectations.
But it was good! Never did I squirm because of some logical or continuity problem like I did in Avatar. I suppose since it was SUPPOSED to be make-believe it’s easier for me to suspend disbelief.
I’ll just say this: If you don’t like Tim Burton movies, then you won’t like Alice. Also, you’re tragically broken, and I feel sorry for you.
Kenneth Turan got it especially wrong in his LA Times review, where he described an early scene in the movie like this:
Then it’s 13 years later and Alice is a pouty young woman (Australian actress Mia Wasikowska) headed for a posh garden party with her mother. Alice is a bit of a rebel (she doesn’t wear a corset!) and though she doesn’t know it, she’s on the way to what her family hopes will be her engagement party.
But once we meet Alice’s intended, a complete twit named Hamish, we know that marriage is not going to happen, and a good thing too, for this part of the film is so tedious we are all but begging for the escape the rabbit hole provides, especially because it serves as a portal to Burton’s inventive mind.
I don’t know what Turan was thinking. That party sequence was wonderful. It was poignant, funny, and sad. We see it through Alice’s eyes, making it at once deeply unsettling and quirkily beautiful. It was totally Tim Burton. Yes, the wacky factor ratchets up once we go down the rabbit hole. But the emotion and thoughtfulness, the gentle, questioning mind behind the lens, was there from the first frame.
I think a certain kind of person just isn’t comfortable going to TimBurtonLand. But I’m blown away on every visit. His aren’t the only kind of movies I like, or even the kind I like most. But they’re amazing, and I’m grateful for the chance to see them.
Don’t miss this one.