May 25, 2016 in FAMILY SCI FI / FANTASY

Alice Through the Looking Glass Review

Alice 2 PosterRYAN: This is the sequel to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, which kicked-off Disney’s era of live action remakes of animated classics.

CHUCK: It’s become a renaissance.

RYAN: I loved the first one and went into this expecting it to be one of my favorite new movies, but I feel a little confused after this movie. I liked the first one more. The first one is better and that disappoints me. I’ve grown accustomed to big franchises making sequels equal to or better than the original and this one’s not.

BECKY: Do you think it’s because it didn’t stay true to the original story?

RYAN: Yes. It’s because it’s a completely original story that doesn’t follow the book. It’s like fan fiction. It’s like TV’s Once Upon a Time, where they take familiar characters but write an entirely new story for them. I don’t like that show – this movie far surpasses that. I love returning to Wonderland/Underland and visiting all these characters again.

CHUCK: I felt like this took a depressing, dark turn. It wasn’t as whimsical and bright as the first one. And I’m a fan of the books. I haven’t read them in some time, but I remember enough that there’s nonsensical attitudes in it that we didn’t really see here. The first film had some of that but this one didn’t.

RYAN: And a lot of the Wonderland one-liners from the first one were recycled in this one. That’s cute but a little disappointing.

CHUCK: It was the same screenwriter. Visually it’s gorgeous but I agree that it’s just an original story that they just plopped these characters into. The Mad Hatter is not as much mad in this as he is depressed. Alice is just on a journey.

BECKY: Where is your inner little girl? I didn’t see the first one and I loved this one. It’s a See It for me. It was visually beautiful and I was okay, having not seen the first one. I’m so tired of Johnny Depp but I found him so nuanced and I loved him and his Lauren Hutton teeth. He’s great. I love Sacha Baron Cohen. I love that he had an interesting subplot. And I loved, also, that Alice was a very strong young woman.

RYAN: It is pro feminist. The first movie is a coming of age for her where she’s becoming an adult. Her she is a young adult who is a problem solver. She’s so brave.

BECKY: She’s a captain.

RYAN: I love Anne Hathaway.

CHUCK: But where was the quirkiness and idiocincracy? And without spoilers, I am getting tired of Disney trying to make us feel sympathetic toward their villains – Maleficent, now the Queen of Hearts.

RYAN: Hey – I love Wicked. I don’t mind perspectives and multi-layered characters, though I do see that it messes with the purity and integrity of the original story’s formula.

CHUCK: I don’t care about the backstory.

RYAN: The movie is dedicated to Alan Rickman whose voice is in the beginning. I wanted more of him and from the White Rabbit and Cheshire Cat. They were underused.

BECKY: I loved the dog.

CHUCK: One scene was very true to the sensibility of Lewis Carroll. There was really zero connection to the books, aside from her literally going though the mirror.

BECKY: Yeah it wasn’t very Alice.

RYAN: I love the score by Danny Elfman and costumes by Colleen Atwood.

CHUCK: But there are some random, unexplained costume changes.

BECKY: I liked the effects and fantasy elements.

RYAN: The 3D wasn’t very dynamic.

CHUCK: And it’s Wonderland – it should have been. I’m not pleased.

BECKY: I was in a crabby mood arriving at the theater tonight but I feel good now – I really enjoyed it.

RYAN:  I liked it. It’s still great escapism and a fun time.

 

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