Sunday, May 29, 2016

Alice Through the Looking Glass shares insights about time and family

Movie Title:      Alice Through the Looking Glass

Grade:   B-

Rating:  PG, 1 hour 48 minutes

In a Nutshell:  A lot of movie critics hated this movie, but I actually enjoyed the colorful ride.  It veers from the source material by Lewis Carroll, but offers some deep insights on time, family, and friendship.

Tim Burton's first Alice in Wonderland movie made a ton of movie, despite the fact that a lot of audiences and critics didn't like it very much.  As Alice says, "Curiouser and curiouser."

Uplifting theme: 
  • “Every day is a gift: every hour, every minute, every second.” – Alice (Mia Wasikowska)
  • “You cannot change the past, young lady, but I dare say you can learn from it.” – Time (Sacha Baron Cohen)
  • Friendship
  • “Every second counts.”   (I thought the little creatures that played “seconds” were interesting and creative.)
  • “Time waits for no man or, indeed, woman.” – Alice
  • Alice shares something her father used to say: “The only thing worth doing is what we do for others.” – Alice
  • “The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it’s possible.” - Alice

Things I liked:
  • Helena Bonham Carter nails the Red Queen.  She’s fantastic.  I love her laugh in this movie.  The last time we saw her as a love interest with Sacha Baron Cohen was in Les Miserables, a wonderful movie that makes me cry every time.
  • Sacha Baron Cohen usually plays disgusting characters in R rated movies, but he shines in this movie as “Time”.  The film is filled with both visual and verbal puns about time.  The back of his head has intricate clock mechanics, which looks pretty cool.
  • We get to hear the voice of beloved Alan Rickman as Blue Caterpillar one last time.  I thought he was a wonderful actor and miss him.
  • The special effects are really great, although 99% of the movie looks like it's filmed on a green screen with very little real things for the actors to react with.
  • Keep watching during the rolling credits at the end to see some more silly moments.
  • Alice is the captain of a ship named “Wonder” in the beginning of the movie.  In a discussion about the legal deed to the ship, someone says “Don’t give up the Wonder.”   Indeed.
  • When you see this movie in the theater, you’ll get to see Pink’s music video before the movie plays for her new song: “Just Like Fire”, which marks the end of a three-year hiatus for the singer.
  • See it in 3D if you can.
  • I love Anne Hathaway and how she moves her hands and body as the White Queen.  Watch how she walks.  Priceless.

Things I didn’t like:
  • The movie makes more sense if you have seen the last one that came out in 2010.
  • The music on the trailer sounds like a 1960’s acid trip.  This movie did feel a bit trippy.  
  • I adore Johnny Depp, but his character as Mad Hatter can be a bit frightening for children at times in this film.  The make-up is so overdone that it distracts you from his performance.  Someone offers an interesting insight that the Hatter is mad because “he denies himself laughter.”
  • SPOILER:  The plot is pretty silly.  Alice is willing to destroy the time-space continuum in the entire universe because her friend is sad.
  • Alice says that the Mad Hatter is her truest friend.  Really?  She doesn't have any good friends in the "real" world?
  • Sometimes the actors look like they just "phone it in" emotionally.

Funny lines:
  •  “I’ve always wondered when ‘soon’ is.” – The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp)
  • “Stupid me-shaped corridor.” – Time
  • “Will this day never end?” – Time
  • “Do you promise to be concise?” – Time (who then proceeds to ramble on and on)
  • “Don’t abandon me when I’m sulking.” – The Red Queen
  • “We’ll split up together.” – Tweedle Dee (Matt Lucas)  He and his twin brother look amazing.

Interesting lines:
  • “Must you always be so head-strong?” – Helen Kingsleigh (Lindsay Duncan)
“No.  It’s just more fun that way.” – Alice
  • “You’re running out of time.  I am inevitable.” - Time
  • “Everyone parts with everything eventually, my dear.” – Time
  • “It’s impossible!” – Mr. Phelps
“You know my views on that word, Mr. Phelps.” – Alice
  • “Time is a cruel master.” – Helen Kingsleight
“Time is a thief and a villain.” – Alice
  • “I wanted to believe I could do just six impossible things before breakfast.” - Alice
  • “All will become clear in the fullness of time.” – The Blue Caterpillar

Tips for parents:   

  • Young children will be entertained by the outlandish characters, but might get confused by the story that loops back and forth in time.
  • No profanity.  Nice.
  • Children will see that lying can have terrible consequences, even what seems like a small lie.
  • There is a scary dragon that burns up an entire town.
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