Archive for Mad Hatter

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Posted in Action/Adventure, Family, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2017 by Mystery Man


In this trippy sequel to the 2010 blockbuster “Alice in Wonderland,” young Alice returns from several years at sea and again passes through to the magical landscape, where she ends up journeying into the past to try to save the Mad Hatter.

What people are saying:

“A solid kids’ movie in the old style. One with something to say about something real – family and time- and a willingness to admit consequences, even as it serves up goofy humor, mild thrills, and slippy-slidey accents from slumming stars.” 2 stars

“It deviated from the actual book, but that doesn’t mean it was not entertaining. It had good messages about positive attitudes for women not to be victims of circumstance. A much needed improvement from much of the stuff many kids are watching now. ” 5 stars

“The charm found in the first Alice in Wonderland is definitely missing in the sequel. The story is a mix match of going in the past future time etc. The plot that is way too confusing for most children even some adults. The acting isn’t anything great most of the actors you can tell look like they’re in front of a green screen. Some of the special effects were nice and there’s some creativity to be found in this movie but in the end it just didn’t come together very well.” 2 stars

“I never read the Alice in Wonderland books, but I doubt this is one of them. Yes, it has that zany twisted quality you expect in Wonderland, but there is a theme running through the movie that gives it a scifi depth, “Why can’t I go back in time and change the past?” Most of the characters from the first movie are back and Cohen’s Time fits in Wonderfully. ” 5 stars

“the most offensive kind of film…one that spends an enormous amount of money yet seems to have nothing on its mind but money. You give it, they take it. And you get nothing in return but assurances that you’re seeing magic and wonder. The movie keeps repeating it in your ear, and flashing it onscreen in big block letters: MAGIC AND WONDER. MAGIC AND WONDER. But there is no magic, no wonder, just junk rehashed from a movie that was itself a rehash of Lewis Carroll, tricked out with physically unpersuasive characters and landscapes and ‘action scenes’, with blockbuster ‘journey movie’ tropes affixed to every set-piece as blatantly as Post-It Notes” 1 star


Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Posted in Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2010 by Mystery Man


Alice Kingsley, 19, attends a party at a Victorian estate shortly after the death of her beloved father. Learning that the party is actually an engagement party to wed her into the family of her father’s friend and current owner of his trading business, Alice spots a White Rabbit wearing a waistcoat and pocket watch. In shock and confusion, she runs off into a maze and follows the White Rabbit through it. She eventually tumbles down a rabbit hole into Underland, learning that the White Rabbit has been searching for “The Alice” who is the only one that can slay the Jabberwocky, a dragon who terrorizes the inhabitants of Underland under the rule of the Red Queen.

Alice meets Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Dodo, and Dormouse as they and the White Rabbit take her to see Absolem the Caterpillar. But after he says she is “The Alice” they’re looking for, the Bandersnatch appears and chases the clan through the woodland. As he corners Alice and scratches her arm, the Dormouse jumps on his head and stabs his left eye causing it to pop out. Alice continues on after the Tweedles are captured and meets the Cheshire Cat who brings her to a tea party being held by the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and Dormouse. The Knave of Hearts, the Red Queen’s army and the Bloodhound show up and begins a search for Alice, but failing to find her as she was hidden the Mad Hatter’s hat after drinking the potion to make her shrink, they continue on with their search for her in the woods.

After the Mad Hatter is arrested by the Knave, Alice manages to sneak into the Red Queen’s castle to free him, but only able to obtain the Vorpal Sword and escape with the Bandersnatch after she gives him back his eye. While Alice arrives to the domain of the White Queen, the Mad Hatter manages to escape execution with the Cheshire Cat’s help, rallying a revolt before his group flee to the White Queen’s castle. Though Alice was at first reluctant to fight, she later learns from Absolem as he enters his pupa state that she had visited Underland 13 years earlier. This gives Alice the strength to face the Jabberwocky the next day in a duel, though both armies clash when the Mad Hatter intervened until the Jabberwocky is slain. With the dragon dead, the Red Queen’s army sees no more reason to fight, and the White Queen exiles her sister from the kingdom, handcuffing the Knave to her. With the Jabberwocky’s blood, Alice returns to her world where she turns down the marriage proposal to Hamish and instead carries on her father’s work as an apprentice in which she goes to China to expand the trading firm.


This is not the Alice in Wonderland we’re all familiar with. Gone is the happy-go-lucky, magical Wonderland, and in its place is a dark, gloomy place called Underland. Having said that, though, this is a Tim Burton film, so you know there is plenty of fantastical whimsy to be had.

Lots of hype surrounded this film, pretty much from the moment it was announced. I was a bit skeptical about it until I saw some early shots.

The good…Johnny Depp was obviously the selling point for this picture. I can’t argue with that, but I’m more excited that he learned a new accent. Using Jack Sparrow’s accent for all his characters was getting old. I’ve read some reviews that said that Helena Bonham Carter stole the show. Eh…not for me. Sure, Depp wasn’t as big a deal as they made him out ot be, but Anne Hathaway’s over the top White Queen stole the show, in my opinion. Stephen Fry’s voicing of the Cheshire Cat really sold me on the character. He brought that calm and coolness that Cheshire Cat needs. Alan Rickman as the wise caterpillar was pretty good, but I kind of wish he had more screentime. The look of Underland, especially the two castles and the battlefield is vintage Burton. You don’ get much better than those. The Jabberwocky may be the best looking creature in the film. He has a mix of Norse dragon and Chinese dragon with a hint of originality. Nice touch!

The bad…the non Underland parts. I realize that you needed these bookends to set up the story, and that’s fine and dandy, but they were just too long, especially the opening. Honestly, what did it serve to give us the back story of her father? I didn’t understand the reasoning behind this. I wasn’t too crazy with the actress who played Alice, Mia Wasikowska. At one point uring the film, I was telling myself they could have just let Anne Hathaway do it, then she blew me away with her portrayal of the White Queen, but Wasikokwska just didn’t inspire me. She may look like a slightly prettier version of  Tilda Swinton, but she doesn’t have half her talent. Tim Burton films are known for their contrasting of bright, exuberant colors over a slightly dark tone which equals a fun, entertaining film, however, Alice in Wonderland seems…normal. The fantasy and everything that is usually associated with these stories is almost gone and this is almost just a fancy sci-fi flick.

I saw this in 3D and have to say that it was half worth it and half not. I say that because while the effects looked cool, there was nothing that just screamed out to me that this had to be seen in 3D.

What is the final verdict of this film? Well, the hype is a bit much, but it is not unfounded. It is very good and entertaining, though not as good as it could/should be. It is infinitely more entertaining that SyFy crap that aired a few months back, Alice, then again almost anything could accomplish that feat. So, should you see this? I’m not going to say you should spend your last $8 (or however much it is where you live) on this, or that you should shell out the extra couple of bucks for the 3D experience, but it is worth seeing in theaters, but I just don’t think you’ll miss much by waiting for the DVD in a few months. Either way, it still is worth watching.

4 out of 5 stars

Alice in Wonderland

Posted in Classics, Disney, Family, Movie Reviews, Musicals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2009 by Mystery Man


On the bank of a tranquil river, Alice grows bored listening to her sister read aloud from a history book. Alice sees a White Rabbit wearing a waistcoat and carrying a large pocket watch. She follows him and tumbles down a rabbit hole and her skirt around her dress billows out like a parachute . At the bottom, she follows the Rabbit into a large chamber but he escapes through a tiny door. The Doorknob suggests Alice drink from a bottle marked “Drink me.” The contents shrink her to a tiny fraction of her original size. The Doorknob is now locked, but the key has appeared back on the table which she can no longer reach. The Doorknob directs her to a cookie marked “Eat me.” The cookie makes her grow so large that her head hits the ceiling. She begins to cry; her massive tears flood the room. The Doorknob points out that the “Drink me” bottle still has some fluid left inside, so she finishes the last drop. She becomes so small that she drops inside the bottle. Both she and the bottle drift through the doorknob’s keyhole mouth and out to a sea made from Alice’s tears.

On shore, a Dodo leads a group of animals in a futile caucus-race to get dry. Alice meets Tweedledum and Tweedledee, two fat brothers who recite “The Walrus and the Carpenter”. Alice sneaks away to the White Rabbit’s house. The Rabbit orders Alice to fetch his gloves. Inside the house, Alice eats a cookie. She becomes so large that she gets stuck inside the house. The Dodo tries to help by sending Bill the Lizard down the chimney and then setting the house on fire. Alice eats a carrot from the garden and shrinks down to three inches high.

Alice chases after the Rabbit again, this time into a garden of tall flowers who consider her a weed and throw her out. She engages a hookah-smoking caterpillar who turns into a butterfly, though not before giving her cryptic advice about the mushroom she is sitting on. Alice breaks off two pieces and nibbles them alternately until finally restoring herself to her normal size.

Alice receives mysterious directions from the Cheshire Cat, an eerily grinning feline that can disappear and reappear at will, which lead her to the garden of the March Hare, who is celebrating his “unbirthday” with the Mad Hatter and the Dormouse. Alice grows tired of their rudeness and decides to go home, abandoning her pursuit of the White Rabbit. She is lost and despondent among the strange creatures of the Tulgey Wood until the Cheshire Cat reappears and shows her a short-cut out of the forest.

In the hedge maze garden, Alice meets some playing cards painting white roses red. The White Rabbit heralds the arrival of the bellicose Queen of Hearts, the diminutive King, and a card army. She invites Alice to a strange game of croquet using flamingos as mallets, hedgehogs as balls, and card soldiers as wickets. The Cheshire Cat plays a prank on the Queen, who blames Alice and orders her execution. The King suggests that Alice be put on trial instead. At the trial, Alice’s nonsensical acquaintances condemn her. At the Queen’s command of “Off with her head!” all the crazy inhabitants of Wonderland give chase.

Coming back to the Doorknob, Alice is told by him that he is still locked, but that she is already on the other side. Looking through the keyhole, Alice sees herself asleep in the park. As the mob draws nearer, she calls, “Alice, wake up!” to her sleeping self until she gradually awakens from the dream to the sound of her sister’s voice. The two of them return home for teatime while Alice muses on her adventures in Wonderland, realizing that perhaps logic and reason exist for a purpose.


I’ve always found this to be one of the most under appreciated Disney films, despite its popularity.  I can’t think of anyone that acknowledges it for its beautiful animation or outstanding story, not to mention the beautiful song, “Golden Afternoon.”

There are a few differences from Lewis Carroll’s book, but they are subtle and unless you actually have read the book, not even really noticeable. 

Wonderland is a virtual wonderland of colors and imaginative characters that you come to expect from Disney, especially during the time this was released, which was the heyday of Disney’s animation.

 One of the best Disney films. That’s all I have to say. Go check it out!

4 out of 5 stars