ALICE IN WONDERLAND – A Lot of Tempest In A Pot of Tea

“The whole thing don’t sound very good to me.”

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland is the dullest tea party in town. The Guest List seems to have been written by Lewis Carroll. But that’s about it. Too bad. This story revolves around Mr. Carroll’s pod people. The screenplay by Linda Woolverton (The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast) is bland, pedestrian, and derivative – dependent upon associations and trappings of other and deservedly successful fantasy/adventure films. Even some from Disney.

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JOHNNY DEPP (as “The Mad Hatter”)

Cups, saucers, little cakes and magic elixirs everywhere you look – but nothing to sink your teeth into. And you’re stuck until it’s over. Maybe it will get better? Nah. Not even the “Mad Hatter” of Johnny Depp. All he needed was a great script and a better director. With every Special Effect in play, state-of-the-art 3-D, and throw in the special voiceover talents of Stephen Fry (the Cheshire Cat) and Alan Rickman (the Blue Caterpillar) – this Alice In Wonderland is not the E-Ride you may have hoped for.

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It’s 13 years later since Alice fell down the same rabbit hole. They’re all there – the white rabbit, the dormouse, the talking flowers, the pink flamingo substituting as a golf stick, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and a couple of contemporary monster types from somebody’s waste basket. It is a witless assemblage, a bargain bagatelle, a pseudo-sequel, a contrivance for ghosts clutching to the familiar and boring us to distraction. At the top of the heap, a pair of Queens. It’s “Two Heads Off” for the inane Anne Hathaway as the liver-lipped “White Queen” along with the overrated over-exposed Helena Bonham Carter in the guise of “The Red Queen”.

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HELENA BONHAM CARTER, as the “Red Queen”

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ANN HATHAWAY, as the “White Queen”.

This Alice ought to consult the Wizard about quick escapes. And, sweetie, while you’re there? Ask him if he’s got a brain for the director.

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MIA WASIKOWSKA. Alice in Wonderland

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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