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I just got back from Alice in Wonderland, And I have thoughts.









Lets start with the bad. So I've seen lots of reviews that have ranged from Meh, to super disappointed (and this from people who didn't have very high expectations to begin with). And they're right.



First, the treatment of disability by way of the red queen. It was bad and there is no way of getting around that. Because we are not given much background so the only reason we are given for the two queens parent's liking the white queens better (besides the fact that of course you like white/light over dark) is that the red queen has a big head. And there is no reason (initially) but her head for other not to like her. This is not to erase how horrible she was later in life (though really the movie didn't SHOW us to much that was beyond normal deeds to regain the crown and how those of a higher station always treat those of a lower station.) But more that she was not likely a horrible person in and of herself, but rather a became horrible because of how she was treated because of her head.



At least one review mention how horrible the red queen must have felt to think that she had finally met people with physical differences like her only to find out that they were prosthetic's to win her favor, and thinking about it I totally agree. I have talk to multiple people about my disabilities and even though I sometimes talk to people with different disabilities and they get some of it the best people to talk to, the ones who get it the most/best are those who have ones like mine. If I found out one day that they had been faking it I would be devastated.



And at the end, where we're supposed to laugh at the red Nave/knight (never did hear that right, oh how I wish for captions in movie theaters) getting punished by being chained to the red queen... considering that he was her head henchman, and didn't seem to mind what he was doing (IE wasn't doing out of fear like most of the others) the only reason left is that she is unsuitable to be around because of here be head. Not funny and not cool.



Second, towards the white queen, one reviewer mentioned that your not really fulfilling your vows if you just get some one else to do you dirty work for you, in fact that just makes you a hypocrite. Along that path, we are given several scene where she *daintily* (cause she's the good queen and actually act like one) cringes at violence and other icky harm things, but there is a scene where she sniffs a cut off finger like its one of here favorite candies.



Also, we are given no information on why the white queen was queen. From the line about the red queen being the eldest, we can be (nearly) certain that the eldest is supposed to inherent the crown, which could mean that the red queen might have been legitimately robbed of her crown. If before their fighting the only thing "wrong" with the red queen was her big head then she certainly had one of the better reasons (given the history of these things) to fight for the crown.



Third, the handled Alice's heroes journey badly. If I was willing to be more generous (like say if there had been no other big issues) I might be willing to over look this as just lazy writing. But it's lazy writing in a context of women so rarely getting to be the main character (incidentally Johnny Depp had top billing, and in fact the woman who played Alice was the only non-big name, but still), rarely get to be the hero or have a heroes journey and even if the do, they tend to be bad stereotypes. (This is of course true for all non-: cisgendered, straight, white, middle class, maybe not christian but none of those "weird" religions including the weird christian ones, probably missing a few classifications, dudes)



I TOTALLY think its a legitimate story to have Alice need to grow to be the person who could defeat the Jabberwocky and the red queen. And you can kinda see where the story was trying to do that, but that is not the story that we get. What we get is a story about a girl who MUST, you hear me MUST, fulfill a prophecy. Alice is told that she needs to fight, it what she is supposed to do. Which is what she ran away from at the beginning of the movie. (This is one of the big reasons I didn't like the white queen, not only does she get others to do her dirty work, but she guilts others to do it for her.)



If the scene where the hatter and the cat and all the others volunteer to be the white queens champion had been legitimate, if the were actually willing to fight (and for what it's worth I think at least the hatter and the cat would have tried though they would have thought it a futile effort) and if there was a sense that they might be able to win, even if they weren't necessarily the best choice I might have bought it. (I think something that made the white queen look like more then a figure head would have been best, but that might be because I see the white queen as being part "we need someone who is legitimate who isn't the red queen to rule" and part "we need to create a dichotomy of good and evil"). I would have bought it because the scene with the Caterpillar, where he helps Alice believe in herself, wouldn't have needed to be changed that much (if at all).



(Incidentally, outside of staying close to the text [which obviously didn't happen], or lazy writing, I can't see why it wasn't a story about going from a not working monarchy to a different type of government. Not necessarily a democracy, but defiantly something where the creates of underland have more say in what supposedly rules their lives)



So I liked that a woman got a heroes journey, but I'm kinda Meh about how it happened.





So for all of that I really did like the movie. And I will never be able to show everything that made me like the movie, so you will just have to let me tell you a few things.



First, the hatter and madness. Now no doubt I could find so flaws with the performance and the portrayal of 'madness' if I were to think more deeply about it, but overall I liked what I took away so I'm going to stick to that. The mad hatter is mad, there is obviously something that is 'not quite right' with him. This at times does scare him, and he does need help from others, but he is also able to be one of the characters that does the most for the white queens forces, he is able to endure what the red queen puts him through, and he is able to do a job that he obviously likes (I was very appreciative of that part of the movie). So there are probably issues, but unlike with the red queen, most of what they do with the mad hatter I like.



Second, Alice's cloths. Oh My God, I want to wear the dresses she has, especially the one that the red queen gives her and the one at the end when shes on the boat (which may not be a dress, I couldn't tell). To give you perspective on this, I haven't worn a dress since I was like seven or so. A few years ago there was one dress at target that if cheap enough that if it fit I would have bought it but apparently if you have an ass as big as mine you should have boobs that are much, much bigger (It was a little hilarious just how small my boobs looked in the excess of material there was).



Third, how it looks. I love Tim Burton's vision of life, so this isn't surprising but it was nice to not be disappointed cause after all of the bad reviews this was the only thing I was expecting to like.



Fourth, outside of the jokes that I decidedly did not find funny, it was actually funny in many parts, and mostly the soft, not truly meant to be out loud humor that I really like.



I'm sure that upon re-watching it I will find more things to say, both good and bad but right now this is all I can think of so.



In conclusion, as long as it's not really expensive I'll be buying it when it comes out on DVD.

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