The decision to bring together cutting-edge 3D technology, director Tim Burton's fecund imagination, and Lewis Carroll's surreal classic "Alice in Wonderland" might seem inspired. But Burton's new 3-D adaptation of the children's book is getting decidedly mixed reviews — and some critics are wondering if the new 3D craze (see "Avatar") is encouraging directors to skimp on story and character. Should audiences be worried? (Watch the "Alice in Wonderland" 3D movie trailer)
3D is proving too distracting: The "problem with 3D," says Brian Moylan in Gawker, is that it's "so mind-numbingly amazing." It's obvious the "corporate screenwriting borgs" behind "Alice in Wonderland" were "so busy trying to come up with plot devices to highlight all the newfangled whoosiwhatsits" that they completely forget to tell a "compelling story" — even with Lewis Carroll's enduring tale as their source material.
"3D is going to ruin movies for a long time to come"
"Alice" is a work of art — and it's not about the plot: Some critics hate "Alice" — but "I pretty much fell in love with the film," says Patrick Goldstein in the Los Angeles Times. Sure, "it's not the story that grabs you" — with Burton, it never is — "so much as the movie's unique tone of voice." Also, for my money, Burton's achievement proves "that there is plenty of room for great acting in the new world of 3-D animation."
"Wonder why Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland' is so wonderful?"
Audiences won't care — in the face of 3D novelty: "Alice" is decidedly flawed, says Todd McCarthy in Variety. Despite its "moments of delight, humor and bedazzlement," the film still manages to feel "ordinary" and "generic," like many of the other "CGI-heavy movies of the past few years." That said, the "inevitable curiosity about the first post-'Avatar' 3D extravaganza" will still have moviegoers flocking to the box office.
"Alice in Wonderland"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 10 things you need to know today: July 23, 2014
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians
Subscribe to the Week