Tim Burton and Johnny Depp Movie Critique

April 26, 2010
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Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Alice in Wonderland, released in 2010, is based on the book by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. In the movie Alice is back to Wonderland. Alice, played by Mia Wasikowska, is all grown up returning to her “dream” land which she visited when she was a little girl. After a little convincing from the mysterious, blue caterpillar and the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), she discovers Underland is a real place.

I love this movie; it’s a great twist on the original Disney animation, Alice in Wonderland. Instead of a remake though, it is more like a live action sequel. Alice returns to “Wonderland”, actually called Underland, to discover a war between the two sisters, the Red Queen and the White “Queen”. She must settle the war by joining the White “Queen”, becoming her champion, to kill the Red Queen’s champion, a Jabberwocky (similar to a dragon). She must learn to believe in herself and speak out, and her friends the Mad Hatter, the blue caterpillar, the Cheshire cat, the White Rabbit, and the bloodhound Bayard help her along the way through this real fantasy world.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, released in 2005, is based on the book by Roahl Dahl. Charlie Bucket (Freddy Highmore) lives with his four, mostly bedridden, grandparents and his parents. His family is poor and lives near the Wonka’s Chocolate factory. News around the world states that there are five golden tickets being sold in Wonka candy bars to take a tour of this marvelous place. Charlie finds enough money to purchase a candy bar to try for the last ticket. Not expecting to find anything but chocolate, he opens the wrapper to find the last golden ticket to Wonka’s wonderful factory! He decides to take his Grandpa Joe, who can sort of walk, along on the long journey.

Just imagine all of the impossible way to make chocolate and candy. A chocolate waterfall, whipped cream spots on mushrooms, licorice weeping willow tree branches. Well, in this extreme adventure Charlie Bucket gets to see all of the insane Willy Wonka’s ideas. I like this movie. As Wonka (Johnny Depp) grows up, he had braces as a kid; he is trying different mixes of candy. Since his father was a dentist, he said no to any sugary food, he took all of his candy and burned it. Wonka runs away with all the candy he can carry, but returns home only hours later to find a pile of rubble, which once was his home. His father, gone. Alone in the world, he grew up to run his own factory.

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Sleepy Hollow, released in 1999, is about the legend of the Headless Horseman. Sleepy Hollow has been having some murderous events, and Ichabod Crane has come from New York City to investigate. Nearly every day, the Horseman comes to claim another head. Crane (Johnny Depp) has found the heads chopped clean off, the blade used, hot. He must unravel the secret of whom or what is controlling the Headless Horseman’s spirit. The lovely Van Tassel girl, Katrina (Christina Ricci), and a young boy, who lost his father to the Horseman and wants to avenge his father, help Crane through the mystery.

This movie is one of my favorite horror/suspense/mystery movies. It’s an over exaggerated twist on the book The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod would like to try his new methods, being a man of autopsy in the 1800’s, and is asked by court to go to Sleepy Hollow to solve the mystery. His own mysterious childhood is all coming back to him little by little during his stay in the misty, odd, little town.

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