It's been a little over a week since I saw Tim Burton's new "Alice In Wonderland", which is not so much a remake or an adaptation as it is a sequel, ignoring of course the idea that Lewis Carroll wrote a perfectly lovely sequel himself. It is wrong-headed in pretty much every way it can be, poorly designed, loud, and worst of all, boring. It is a catastrophe as a movie, and as a place marker in the career of Tim Burton, it is a big fat dead end.
Remember when it used to be exciting to hear that Tim Burton was making a new film? Those days seem to be well and truly behind us. That's a shame, too. Ever since the moment the lights came up at the end of my first screening of "Pee Wee's Big Adventure," I've been interested in this filmmaker. I love that film unreservedly. I think it's witty and beautiful and it has such amazing visual imagination. I caught up with his short films "Vincent" and "Frankenweenie" later, and I have huge affection for both of them. "Beetlejuice" is a little messier than "Pee Wee" as a script, but it's still heaps of fun to watch. I'm not crazy about his "Batman," but I think he was railroaded on that movie. "Batman Returns" is all his, and I absolutely prefer it for reasons I've written about at length in the past. "Mars Attacks!" is a film that many people hate, but I think it's a hoot. It's a mess, but I have to love those crazy little alien bastards hanging around their spaceship in bikini underwear, doing perverted experiments and blowing up things just for fun. "Sleepy Hollow" is a solid modern-day Hammer film with a groovy movie monster and a love for spilling the red. "Big Fish" doesn't work for me at all because (A) my father loved me and (B) the stories Albert Finney tells don't work at all thematically. And "Sweeney Todd" is a movie that works for me in every way except the most important... the music. And considering it's a Sondheim adaptation, that's made it almost impossible to rewatch.