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Alice in Wonderland

Did Tim Burton actually direct this?
The main thing I felt after seeing this film was... Tim Burton needs to take a vacation.

A long one.

This so-called movie had virtually none of Burton's quirkiness and unique view of the world. The guy is making too many movies, and he's clearly on auto pilot. Alice in Wonderland was the most vacuous cinematic experience I've had in a long time. And this is coming from a long-time Tim Burton fan.

Sure, the film was beautifully designed, but it's filled with so many visual effects and many of them distracting, that it was almost impossible to be engaged with anything that took place. It was obvious that the actors rarely shared the stage simultaneously, as almost everyone was digitally mutated in some way. In fact, the whole film was various effects layered on top of one another in EVERY shot, and some of them poorly realised.

The script had no evidence of craft anywhere to be seen. The "story" just plodded along from one event to another, without any sense of drama or emotion whatsoever. Mia Wasikowska as Alice was so apathetically dull and looked quite anaemic (Was that intentional, and if so, why?) that she too made it difficult to care about what was going on.

What an incredibly synthetic and robotic production, regardless of its extra "dimension".

Maybe they should've considered adding more than one dimension to the script.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Movies just don't get better than this.
All of us can be critical about movies and probably too often. But shouldn't there be a point (at least once) where we step back and say "That movie nails it. It's perfect."?

Well for me there is. That movie is Raiders Of The Lost Ark.

All involved (Spielberg, Lucas, Ford and Williams) were at the top of their game. The direction, casting, acting, screenplay, cinematography, score, production/costume design and visual/sound effects are all superb.

The movie has humor, wit, romance, a little horror and of course, fantastically original and dynamic action sequences. It's a joy to watch from start to finish.

Quite simply, Raiders Of The Lost Ark is the definition of cinematic entertainment at it's best.

Gremlins 2: The New Batch

Extremely self indulgent.
After having a bout of nostalgia, I just finished watching a Gremlins 2-pack DVD set tonight.

I have to say, I thought the first one holds up fairly well.

However, the sequel sadly does not. I'm really quite surprised at the high number of positive reviews here.

This film is terrible.

Don't get me wrong, I love Joe Dante and I can see where he was coming from. He knew it was a totally unnecessary sequel, so he wanted to spoof the whole thing and just have a good time.

He really should've stayed home. This is quite possibly the most self-indulgent, stupid, shallow mess of a film I've ever seen.

There's virtually no plot to speak of. The supposed "main" characters run around like morons amongst a barrage of childish Gremlin gags. Most of which, are plain idiotic and verging on embarrassing.

I felt for the actors here, as they really gave it their all.

I know Dante is obsessed with Warner Bros cartoons, but including Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck in this film was totally unjustified and insipid. Their scene couldn't have been less funny and I can't believe Dante got away with it.

In fact, I can't believe he got away with the whole movie.

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