Dr. Jon Suter, Movie Man

This Week’s Review: Alice through the Looking Glass

On June 4, there were no new movies which looked interesting, so I caught up with Alice through the Looking Glass; I had surmised from the trailers that there was very little from the original Victorian fantasy, but the film was much better than I expected.  It helps if you are familiar with the 2010 film Alice in Wonderland.alice

For a few minutes I thought the opening sequence would turn out to be a dream, but a grown-up Alice really was captain of a merchant ship battling Malay pirates in the Straits of Malacca.  Errol Flynn must be spinning in his grave.  When she returns to London, Alice is lured back to Wonderland in a quest to save the Mad Hatter.  The mixture of live action and animation works very well, even in the 2-D version.  I regret, somewhat, that I did not choose the 3-D version.

Most of the cast members, live or simulated, were in the first film and it helps if you remember the relationships.  In this story we learn why the Hatter is mad and why the Queen of Hearts is such a nasty specimen.  There are some interesting questions about the nature of time. Many of the ideas about time seem to come more from H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine than from Lewis Carroll’s original stories; I was also reminded in some scenes of the film Hugo.

Even though the film was directed by Tim Burton, there is very little of macabre elements we usually expect from him.  The film is safe for grandparents as well as grandchildren.

Since I caught an early matinee of Alice, I had time for a second viewing of Captain America:  Civil War.  It holds up very well and I, as usual, caught several lines that I had missed the first time around.  I had quibbled earlier about how Captain America could have known that the Winter Soldier had murdered the parents of Tony Stark; I am clearer on that point, but I still think it was handled poorly.  That is a minor point at best; I will certainly add the film to my collection when the DVD goes on sale.

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