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Reviews: Alice in Wonderland movie (2010)

This week's literary movie, "Alice in Wonderland," is one that I can safely see -- without having to worry about the ending being spoiled. It will be interesting to see how Disney has captured the zaniness of Lewis Carroll's classic rabbit-meets-girl tale. Here's a taste from the trailer. I've always been a big fan of the 1951 animated version -- with the great Ed Wynn as the loopy voice of the Mad Hatter and a screenplay originally adapted (and rejected by Disney) by Aldous Huxley. For cartoon characters, can you beat the now-you-see-it, now-you-don't Cheshire Cat? Let's see whether director Tim Burton can top that. Here are some "Alice" reviews (and here are reviews of "Shutter Island," "Percy Jackson" and other book-to-movie adaptations):

Los Angeles Times -- Given the strength of Burton's imagination, it's not surprising that many of these creatures are engaging, especially if, like that rabbit, they are voiced by top British actors. ... Rather less satisfying is the script's notion that the creatures spend much of their time bickering as to whether this Alice is the same person who came down the rabbit hole a decade earlier ... .

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New York Times -- Dark and sometimes grim, this isn't your great-grandmother's Alice or that of Uncle Walt, who was disappointed with the 1951 Disney version of "Alice in Wonderland.

Variety -- Quite like what one would expect from such a match of filmmaker and material and also something less, this "Alice in Wonderland" has its moments of delight, humor and bedazzlement. But it also becomes more ordinary as it goes along, building to a generic battle climax ... .

Entertainment Weekly -- Burton's Disneyfied 3-D Alice in Wonderland, written by the girl-power specialist Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast), is a strange brew indeed: murky, diffuse, and meandering, set not in a Wonderland that pops with demented life but in a world called Underland that's like a joyless, bombed-out version of Wonderland.

Associated Press -- Burton's film is not lacking whimsy. Much of its design is wonderfully imaginative-surely the biggest draw of the movie. ... There are elegant moments -- the overhead shot of Alice shrinking into the billows of her dress, or the great, big slobbering tongue of the beastly Bandersnatch. The incredibly tweaky March Hare (voiced by Paul Whitehouse) is also a joy.

Village Voice -- Like more than one recent movie, Alice seems a trailer for a Wonderland computer game — and it is. The final battle is clearly designed for gaming.

New York -- If you can get past the craven concessions to formula, though, it's rather underful—I mean, wonderful. Taking his cues from John Tenniel's famous illustrations, Burton indulges his delight in disproportion. Nothing and no one in Underland quite fits, least of all our heroine, who becomes very small, then very big, then teensy enough to hide inside the Mad Hatter's hat, then vastly out of scale with the court of the Red Queen, where she's greeted as a visiting giantess.

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