Alice in Thunderdome

Sometimes, it’s helpful to remember that all the GOOD points of the Hollywood “blockbuster machine” having been taken over by the general mindset of a 13 year-old boy (see: Marvel Films’ “Avengers” master-plan) come with their price – namely that 13 year-old boys can be pretty daft a lot of the time.

For example, around that age, it’s customary to arrive at the assumption that EVERYTHING can be improved by turning it into some kind of Epic Battle – especially if the Epic Battle is also Grim n’ Gritty – up to and including otherwise-good-natured superheroes and whimsical fairytales. It’s this kind of thinking among 13 year-olds during my time as such that was largely responsible for Image Comics, and right now it seems to be responsible for re-imagining every movie property in the context of a Boris Vallejo/Julie Bell tableau (or, in studio-speak, “we’re goin’ for a “Pirates of the Carribean” angle.”

To that end, here’s the new-er trailer for Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” dealie, which despite what you’re brain may be telling you he HASN’T already made seven or eight times…
http://wdmp-wdsmp.rd.llnw.net/wdsmp/AIW/Trailer5/AIW_Trailer5_480.mov

Gotta give `em credit, at least, for seemingly hitting every damn mark of this type of “reimagining:” Pseudo-sequelism? Check. Hero-as-vaugely-chosen? Check. Most-prominent baddie as world-conquest supervillain? Check. Massing armies of storm-troopers? Check. And dig what appears to be Alice striding out into the midst of a Braveheart-fight in full battle armor, or Depp’s Mad Hatter wielding a broadsword. Or maybe it’s kidding, and this is all out of context…

11 thoughts on “Alice in Thunderdome

  1. Euler d'Moogle says:

    Well that was different, and yet the trailer was shockingly pedestrian. Still this is a Tim Burton movie so I'm interested. I don't think he's ever made a bad movie. A couple of quirky but insipid ones, yes, but none actually bad.

    I suppose my worries about the movie come from the teasing of turning Alice into a “bad ass action girl” which would be a colossally bad idea. That said, I really don't think they're going there. This movie seems to be based more on the second book “through he looking glass” which has this weird chess analogy thingy going which explains all the marching troops.

    In short, I'm really looking forward to this one.

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  2. Chris Bergstresser says:

    I'm not a huge fan of Burton's (who's largely hit-or-miss, to my mind) but I am a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland and I actually liked the glimpse of Alice in full battle garb. Much more than I care for Depp's Mad Hatter makeup.

    It's perfectly of a piece with the original books too. That final confrontation looks to be between the Queen of Hearts' deck of cards and the White Queen's chess set. And Alice has gotten herself promoted from pawn to knight.

    Which isn't to say the movie is any good, mind you. Just that it's not running nearly as far from the source material as you might think.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    That trailer looks like it could be a really good action movie.

    However, I'm not so sure that that's the right atmosphere to go for.

    This springs to mind: http://xkcd.com/633/

    Question, though: how many girls will be willing to see this movie, considering that it looks like Lord of the Rings starring the carebears?

    Also, how many boys will be willing to take this movie seriously, considering that it's called Alice in Wonderland? I mean, how less dark and gritty can you get?

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  4. Bob says:

    Chris,

    I can generally get behind all that… my issue here is that Carrol tended to play goings-on like this in the Alice stories – battles, villainy, Alice in some kind of heroic mode – for absurdity: “Oh, they're having a war? How ridiculous.” This seems cut to indicate that we're meant to take these plot-turns somewhat seriously.

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  5. Kysafen says:

    First few trailers, I'm thinking, “Wow! A fantasy world that isn't afraid to not be utopian in nature! This definitely looks like a must-see!”

    Then this. Out of all the opportunity to exploit post-modernism in an otherworldly adventure, with new opportunities presented by making the characters come freakishly alive…this. Alice in Narnia. Fuck.

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  6. Mr.G says:

    I'm half expecting Tim Burton to one day do a “Grim n' Gritty” remake of the Wizard of Oz. With of course Johnny Depp as the Scare Crow and Helena Bonham Carter as the Wicked Witch of the West.

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  7. Chris Bergstresser says:

    Bob–oh, that's true. But given the absurdity shown earlier (the pig foot-warmer, e.g.) I'm hoping it's just the way they cut the trailer. I can easily see the studio cutting the trailer to try and attract a blockbuster audience, while assuming fans of the source will see it anyway.

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