Alice, Loud and Bright

Alice_Through_the_Looking_Glass_(film)_posterThe young miss has a Johnny Depp thing. I don’t get it, but it’s rare for the three of us to get out to the movies, and Alice Through the Looking Glass was in the neighborhood, so …

It was in the very opening scene of this movie that a crescent moon was high in the night sky. This was in our world, not Underland, so something astronomical that is quite impossible leads off a film. Not a good start, in my view. Don’t get me wrong: I’m all into the impossible, but I think that is best portrayed in character relationships, not in self-indulgent CGI flash.

It’s a curiosity to me how (or why) a filmmaker can gather a stellar cast then proceed to make a special effects movie that pays little attention to detail from the outset. Instead, the movie was loud (my wife’s assessment) and indulgent (mine).

I thought the first film in the series was pretty good until about a half-hour before the end. I don’t think the series has recovered, though Alice’s outfit here was eye-catching. My sense is that Tim Burton and the screenwriter Linda Woolverton are talented people. But like Paul McCartney, sometimes great artists work better in partnerships where discipline and control color creativity and bring something brilliant into the world. Or whatever world.

The plotline of this film is one long loop, and the denouement, especially the discovery of the fate of the Hatter’s family, is telegraphed well in advance. And the time travel element is old school (from a science fiction view) as well as predictable.

I wonder why movie studios roll the dice with sequels and series and think they can get away with pedestrian writing, thinking the customers will see “eat me” on a package that includes star power and special effects. It seems there are a lot of good writers out there. Doesn’t anyone want to write a really great movie, given the potential of the material?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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