1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

Blu-ray Review HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Alice in Wonderland (2010) (Combo Pack)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Matt Hough, May 19, 2010.

  1. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    21,086
    Likes Received:
    10,590
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Real Name:
    Matt Hough
    XenForo Template


    Alice in Wonderland (Blu-ray Combo Pack)
    Directed by Tim Burton

    Studio: Disney
    Year: 2010
    Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1   1080p   AVC codec
    Running Time: 109 minutes
    Rating: PG
    Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English; Dolby Digital 5.1 French, Spanish
    Subtitles: SDH, French, Spanish

    Region:  A
    MSRP: $ 44.99


    Release Date: June 1, 2010

    Review Date:  May 19, 2010



    The Film

    3.5/5


    As lopsided and as eccentric as the Alice stories by Lewis Carroll have always been, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland takes the beloved Carroll characters and fashions a new adventure for them while retaining the individually keynote personality traits that each has always possessed remaining true to the spirit and flavor of the original tale. That the new venture seems closer to a Narnia escapade than a Wonderland tale doesn’t really keep the film from being an entertaining tour of a stupendously oddball world with a host of wonderful actors providing physical presences and voices to give the movie a unique personality all its own.


    Fleeing from a surprise engagement party and a pompous young man (Leo Bill) she has no interest in, Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) follows a white rabbit (Michael Sheen) down a rabbit hole and finds herself in Underland, a quirky land of wonder that seems all too familiar to her. There, the inhabitants are being terrorized by the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) who barks out orders and condemns innocents to decapitation on a whim. She is assisted by Stayne, the Knave of Hearts (Crispin Glover), and two fearsome creatures including the Jabberwocky (Christopher Lee) who must be inevitably defeated if the Red Queen is ever to be dethroned. The various citizenry insist that Alice, who had been a precocious, winning child there thirteen years earlier, is the champion they’re looking for to defeat the beast, but she desists. Despite pleas from the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), the Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry), Tweedledee/Tweedledum (Matt Lucas), and the Blue Caterpillar (Alan Rickman), Alice needs more proof before she can be convinced that she’s the proper Alice for the task.


    Though the screen story by Linda Woolverton might seem at first to be mostly a repeat of the original stories (and Disney’s financially unsuccessful 1951 animated version), the early foreshadowed memories of the nineteen year old Alice in the opening sequences quickly confirm that this is indeed a follow-up adventure to Lewis Carroll’s original tales. You’ll not only conjure up memories of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Golden Compass with this new story, but there are even echoes to The Wizard of Oz in this search-for-identity saga. Burton’s team of magicians has crafted a beautifully oddball world for these adventures to play out, and the film’s reasonable running time means that Underland’s magical environs and inhabitants never wear out their welcome. But the build-up to the climactic battle with a fierce dragon-like beast seems overly familiar territory for the fantasy to fall back on, a rather generic and predictable turn of events when so much that has gone before seems so wonderfully and impressively creative.


    Mia Wasikowska makes a charming but unassertive Alice, and her gradual coming-of-age is believably drawn. Johnny Depp, billed over the title for clearly a supporting role in the film, affects different accents to complement his outrageous costume and make-up blending in beautifully with the weirdness which surrounds him. Helena Bonham Carter plays the bellowing Red Queen at full blast, an entertaining if unsurprising performance. Anne Hathaway has some steely majesty as the White Queen, but amid the wildly overdrawn characters who surround her, she fades into the background quite lot. Crispin Glover adds his own dash of eccentricity as the Red Queen’s knight protector and consort. Matt Lucas has fun with the twin oddities Tweedledee and Tweedledum. As for those actors whose voices have complete CGI renderings on-screen, they’re all marvelously inventive and prove the hits of the show. Especially superb are Stephen Fry’s wry Cheshire Cat and Alan Rickman’s nobly wise albeit insulting Blue Caterpillar.



    Video Quality

    4/5


    The film has been framed at 1.78:1 and is presented in 1080p using the AVC codec. The real-world sequences which open and close the film are the transfer’s weak link with either overly brown or overly blue tinting softening and thus lessening some of the impact of the visuals. Once the adventures begin in Underland, however, the sharpness and color depth and detail are really impressive. Presented in 3-D in theaters, stereoscopic effects are easily discerned in this 2-D rendering, and the high definition encode gives a nice dimensional feel to the images despite their not being in 3-D. The film has been divided into 16 chapters.



    Audio Quality

    5/5


    The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix features a truly immersive soundfield that’s a pleasure to experience. Split surround effects festoon the soundtrack, and there is some directionalized dialogue that also adds dimension to the sound experience. Excellent deep bass effects also add to the impressive sound design while Danny Elfman’s excellent background score is channeled throughout the fronts and rears to striking effect.



    Special Features

    3.5/5


    All of the featurettes are presented in 1080p.


    “Finding Alice” is a 5 ½-minute overview of the search for the proper actress to play the title role and also features interviews with the director and various producers and cast members who discuss this modernized take on the material.


    “The Mad Hatter” finds star Johnny Depp describing his approach to the character and also shows early sketches by him and director Burton on their ideas for his look. This featurette runs 6 minutes.


    “The Futterwacken” is a brief 3 ½-minute vignette about the eccentric dance which the Mad Hatter does in the picture. Dancer David Bernal serves of Depp’s dance double for the movie and video of his rehearsals for his dance are shown as well as takes from the finished film.


    “The Red Queen” has Helena Bonham Carter discussing her work with the character and showcases the costumes (with comments by designer Colleen Atwood), make-up (with remarks by supervisor Paul Gooch), and special effects that were used to make her stand out in the movie. It runs for 6 minutes.


    “Time-Lapse: Sculpting the Red Queen” uses time lapse photography to show the 2 ½ hour make-up job that Helena Bonham Carter underwent each morning to be transformed into the character she played in the movie. This runs 2 ¾ minutes.


    “The White Queen” has co-star Anne Hathaway talking about her role in the film and heaping praise on her co-stars whom she felt privileged to be working with. This runs 4 ½ minutes.


    “Scoring Wonderland” is a too-brief 3 ¼ minutes with composer Danny Elfman describing his work on the music score for the movie.


    “Effecting Wonderland” is a 7-minute behind-the-scenes piece showing the importance of special effects to the film, particularly in the creation of the CGI and hybrid (part human-part CGI) characters that are so crucial to the movie’s success.


    “Stunts of Wonderland”  spends 2 ½ minutes with the film’s stunt coordinator discussing the wire work and other stunts which were necessary for the film to work.


    “Making the Proper Size”  shows how Alice’s character was enlarged or shrunk to meet the needs of the story. This runs 2 ¼ minutes.


    “Cakes of Wonderland” features interviews with the two bakers who created the cakes and baked goods for the tea party sequences. It runs 2 ½ minutes.


    “Tea Party Props” features an interview with props master Doug Harlocker on the cups, saucers, pots, and other crockery necessary for the tea party scene. It runs 2 minutes.


    The disc is BD-Live enhanced, but the network was inactive during the review period.


    The disc features 1080p preview trailers for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue, Beauty and the Beast, James and the Giant Peach, Fantasia and Fantasia 2000.


    The second disc in the set is a DVD copy of the movie.


    The third disc in the set is a digital copy of the feature which is compatible with both Mac and PC devices.



    In Conclusion

    4/5 (not an average)


    Creatively designed and imaginatively performed, Alice in Wonderland may not have the most original action adventure plot, but it is a serviceable story on which to hang some impressive technical work in a film the entire family can enjoy. This Blu-ray release is certainly recommended.




    Matt Hough

    Charlotte, NC

     
  2. SD_Brian

    SD_Brian Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    85
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Real Name:
    Brian
    Two thumbs up to Disney for also releasing this in a more wallet-friendly single-disc version that only omits the DVD and Digital Copy, much as they did with The Princess and the Frog earlier this year!
     
  3. Scamp

    Scamp Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Jason
     
  4. jplepage

    jplepage Auditioning

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Jean-Paul Lepage
    What about the bluray-3D version, any plans / dates for it`s bluray release? (With the LG kit starting around the 2K, need more content to make the jump)
     
  5. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    21,086
    Likes Received:
    10,590
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Real Name:
    Matt Hough
    I watched the 3D version of this film this afternoon, and while I'm unable to amend these comments into the review proper, I did want to say how tremendously effective the 3D conversion is for the film. I enjoyed it probably 25% more in 3D than in 2D, and the layering and assorted slight pop outs are outstanding in the "Wonderland" portion of the movie. The color in the bookends of the fantasy also appeared more solid in this encode than I described them in the above review (even though that might possibly be explained by watching it today in 3D on an OLED).

    If you like the movie even a little bit and are 3D equipped, this version is worth the small investment.
     
    Osato and Josh Steinberg like this.
  6. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    8,157
    Likes Received:
    4,765
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Maine
    Real Name:
    Rick
  7. Osato

    Osato Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2001
    Messages:
    5,442
    Likes Received:
    1,676
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    This post jumped out to me. I really enjoyed both of these Alice films.
    I saw the original in 3D theatrically.

    Great film!

    The second one seemed to tank a bit so I guess we will not see anymore...
     
  8. David Norman

    David Norman Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    5,771
    Likes Received:
    2,393
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    To be fair, the question was asked in May 2010, the disc was released in Dec 2010
    Matt;s review was just a bit delayed
     
  9. Danoldrati

    Danoldrati Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Real Name:
    Dan Oldrati
    Hamiltonbook. com has Alice in Wonderland 3D for $7.95
     
    Osato likes this.
  10. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    8,157
    Likes Received:
    4,765
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Maine
    Real Name:
    Rick
    Yes, thank you.
     

Share This Page