Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Opening up with mixed reviews, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this film. Of course I went to see it in 3D, and I recommend anyone going to see Alice in Wonderland, go see it in this format. Everyone knows the story of Alice, following the white rabbit down the hole, so I won’t bore you with details. There are a few fresh twists on the story, not that they work very good.

This movie really used Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) in its marketing, and I was disappointed in Depp’s  performance. Why I am not sure, he was weird and kooky like you would expect from the Mad Hatter, he just lacked character. Helena Bonham (Planet of the Apes, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein)Carter was good as the Red Queen, but hard to really pay attention to her performance with her enlarged head. Crispin Glover (Back to the Future, Willard)  plays his usual character and Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, The Devil Wears Prada) gives a very lackluster performance as the White Queen.

Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands) does a great job with creating a fun quirky world, visually stunning to look at, but maybe that was the only thing he was paying attention to. If you are a huge Burton fan, you will enjoy seeing the world he has created, but anyone else, the movie will probably bomb for you. For me the 3D made it interesting to watch once, but that is about it. If you want 3D fun, go check it out at a matinée price, plus you get a lengthy Toy Story 3 trailer in 3D, otherwise save your money.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

harry-potter-and-the-half-blood-prince-poster-1Well, what there can’t really be a whole lot to say about this film, this is Harry Potter at his best. This film was directed be relative newcomer David Yates who directed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Like the last one, this film remains very dark overall and although ends rather open ended, everyone knows that it is setting up  the final two films The Deathly Hallows, scheduled for release in 2010 and 2011.

Jim Broadbent (Gangs of New York, Iris) is a very nice and fitting addition to the already well rounded cast. He brings a perfect blend of humor as well as respect to the role similar to those big names in the past like Kenneth Branagh in Chamber of Secrets and Gary Oldman in Prisoner of  Azkaban. Broadbent is an instant show stealer! Michael Gambon (Gosford Park) and the usual characters, Daniel Radcliff (Bet you didn’t think he was in anything else…look for him as a very little kid at the end of Tailor of Panama), Emma Watson and Rupert Grint do their jobs, which I am sure by now is almost secondhand.

I have heard many reviews by now, and have heard that this is the best Harry Potter yet. I find it hard to get away from still praising the first film which has the same magic as The Wizard of Oz. And when you think about it, it really is the only one that stands on it’s own and you don’t have to know the back story. Ok, I know, what fan hasn’t seen them all, and if they haven’t seen the others, there is probably no interest in this one. This is a very enjoyable film, even though very dark, still has plenty of laughs, great special effects and good performances overall.  6 down, two more to go!