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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - February, 2011

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"Alice in Wonderland 3D" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Adrian Wittenberg

movie-february-2011-alice-in-wonderland-3d

Synopsis

Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is in the middle of a social gathering where she will be proposed to by an eligible bachelor when she thinks she spots a creature, that she remembers from a recurring childhood dream, running in the garden.  As she follows the creature, a rabbit who is in a hurry, she falls down a hole and lands in a place of her childhood dreams called Underland.  As she explores Underland, she is met by curious otherworldly characters that help Alice reveal to herself her destiny and her true inner character.

Specifications

  • Walt Disney Studios
  • 2010, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 49 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Codec:  MPEG-4 MVC
  • 1080p 3D
  • DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Starring:  Johnny Depp, Mia Waikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Alan Rickman
  • Directed by Tim Burton
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

Any fans of Tim Burton would be well aware that any of Mr. Burton’s films would be extremely visually striking.  Burton has a style all his own, that creates cerebrally enticing settings rich with dark moods and exotic landscapes and characters.  Alice in Wonderland is filled with unique and interesting visuals and is something that can be appreciated for its cinematography alone.  I’ve never been a fan of this story because it progresses very randomly and the meaning of the film never really makes that deep of an impact on me.  This rendition didn’t do much to change my feeling about the story, as it seemed all the focus was on creating a Tim Burton visual masterpiece rather than make all the acting and characters do the talking.  There are some high profile actors in this film and all of the performances were good though. The use of 3D in this film is intelligent, appropriate, and adds visual appeal to the film’s already dazzling scenery.  3D is used many times to add realism to the unbelievable landscapes by giving the viewer a sense of depth and space of the sometimes small and sometimes enormous places.  The film also makes novel use of 3D at times.  One example is when Alice first falls down the rabbit hole and the 3D effects help define her falling body from the debris and other objects in the tunnel.  3D really works for this story and enhances the dreamlike quality of the film and this is a great film to own for new adopters of 3D technology.

Technical

Alice in Wonderland has excellent video quality in both 2D and 3D presentations.  The transfer is of a very high quality and Tim Burton's landscape is filled with a wide color gamut that can be subdued, dark, and gloomy at times, and robust, vibrant, and exotic at other times.  3D separation is done very well and many of the scenes create an effective sense of depth.  The audio track for Alice in Wonderland is superb and both Danny Elfman’s score as well as the myriad of surround sound effects make this a title worth playing at reference volumes.

Extras

Extras include Wonderland Characters, and Making Wonderland.  Both of these subjects are broken down into short clips that add some background about the actor’s and creator’s perspectives and other aspects of making the film.  All features are in high-def.