An opportunity here to start a sort of pre/post-talkback string about Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland sequel/reboot. I did see it last night so I won't reveal more until the review is live - but I will say that I was cool on this film until I heard several months back that Mia Wasikowska was tabbed to be Alice. Wasikowska is going to be a star - not, perhaps, on the basis of this film, but her talent is prodigious. I became familiar with her work through the HBO "In Treatment" series that we covered on the muthasite.
My relationship with Tim Burton is a rocky, ambiguous one. There are films of his I adore and know why - and others I do and don't. In planning a Halloween film series at a library that asks me to facilitate seminars for them, I suggested doing Burton - seemed like a good zeitgeisty grab given his recent exhibit at MOMA in NYC, the release of this film, and the way that a non-directed film of his A Nightmare Before Christmas has become something of a perennial holiday classic for two holidays. A friend suggested that I program Beetlejuice, a movie that I've seen probably a hundred times (and could quote any five minutes from given the prompt) - meaning that I saw it at almost exactly the same obsessive compulsive time of my life as Cronenberg's The Fly. What brought me up short was that I have no idea why I like Beetlejuice - or if I like it - though I've seen it within the last five years. What is it about Burton? And why do the films of his which suck (like Planet of the Apes and, sorry, Batman) not only suck but appear so instantly ancient?
Curiouser and curioser.
Anyway - what should have made me really worried about the new Alice is that the screenwriter is one Linda Woolverton: a Disney house hack who's made her name with work on Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. The question is, then, which of the two - Woolverton or Burton - win?