October 15, 2009

Alice vs. Alice

I have to admit that despite my English degree and being required to read him, I am not that huge a fan of the work of Charles Dodgson/Lewis Carroll. While his wordplay was kind of fun in Jabberwocky, I'm not really good with nonsense over an extended period of time. Some of the literature we studied suggested that there were political aspects to his writing and/or religious overtones, which was a big yawn (sorry, college professors), and then there's the tired argument that he was a pedophile stalking Alice and/or he was on drugs. (Wasn't everyone on drugs in the 19th century? Opium: the choice of the dedicated writer. And then all 20th century writers were drunks. I tell you, it's hard to imagine why I write sober.) I fear I'm a bit too boringly logical to truly and deeply enjoy the surrealist nightmare which is Alice in Wonderland -- but if you take into account that I don't really like The Wizard of Oz, either, you kind of know where I'm coming from.

Nevertheless, people have been fascinated with the Alice thing for ages -- the whole idea of a reversed world that is just on the other side of some metaphorical wall (or hole in the ground), where things you expect to be safe are not, and things which look harmless, like playing cards, can be fatal, and your size can change at a moment's notice. There are two nifty versions of the Alice thing coming out this year -- and one I hadn't taken into account comes from the SciFi -- oh, excuse me, SYFY channel. (Let's not get me started on Imagine Greater. Egregious grammar. Seriously.) Following are both trailers... and I've gotta say that even though I'm not a big Alice fan? I'm excited about both of these.

I thought this first Alice was based on the Frank Beddor Looking Glass Wars series, but it doesn't look like it, not exactly. Can I say how scary good Kathy Bates is, as The Red Queen? Isn't it nice when an actress over thirty can still work and be ...menacing? She does menacing very well indeed. Alice looks a bit frantic, but also like she KICKS people. Which I kind of like. I very much would want to kick people if I fell down a hole and there were all of these ...cards MESSING with me. Only, the Red Queen is remarkably non-flat and multi-dimensional.

Is the padded room scaring anyone else but me?

Can Helena Bonham Carter's head be any bigger? It cracks me up that it STAYS like that. Tim Burton always knows how to make movies that look like some fever dream. I love it. Alice looks fluffy and pretty and ...totally out of her depth. The cat looks like a carnivore.

I still don't get why Alice drinks from the little bottle that says Drink Me. I mean, would you? But I'll get a kick out of watching these new versions of Alice explain how what she does is perfectly normal, and look forward to seeing her modern adventures get underway.

Hat tip to SF Signal


Rabid Fox said...

A lot of Alice going around this year. I'm on the lookout for the Breddor novels, myself, at the moment. But I'll soak up any Carroll reimaginings I can.

Sarah Stevenson said...

Ooh, will have to watch these when it's not obscenely early in the a.m. here. I remember seeing an announcement or something for the Tim Burton Alice--I'm hoping it's good...