Tuesday, March 16, 2010


My wife and I went to the movies last weekend. We saw ALICE IN WONDERLAND, a Tim Burton production in 3D starring Johnny Depp and various odd creatures. I especially wanted to see it because of my affinity for this excellent children's novel by Lewis Carrol(I wrote about this in an earlier post). I set myself---and my wife---up for a major disappointment. I should have known better. The whole movie experience went this way:

We sat in the upper middle row of the theater, 3D glasses in hand, and mostly surrounded by noisy children supervised by inattentive guardians. My wife was munching on rancid(I'm sure) popcorn from which she would later receive an annoying stomach ache. I usually don't eat at the movies.
As the lights began to fade signaling the start of the movie but not before there are never ending reels of movie promos, public service announcements, and ads for award-winning Toyota SUV's, an older couple arrives and sits two seats away on my right. The female of this couple, whose girth made it challenging for her to wedge into the seat, was carrying a huge carpet bag bulging at the seams with something. I soon found out that this bag was filled with a variety of food stuffs and drink.
The main feature began(finally!) and we were prompted to don our big glasses. I found the 3D effect in this movie not as engrossing as in AVATAR.
From the opening reel, I realized that this rendition of ALICE IN WONDERLAND is not going to be, in any shape or form, loyal to the book. Actually, this was NOT Alice In Wonderland! I don't know what this was, or why Burton would call it thus. I settled down to be entertained, nevertheless.
At some point during the early part of this movie I could hear a lot of rustling, tearing open of bags, munching, and crackling. I looked over at the rather big couple next to me and noticed the carpet bag was now wide open revealing many carefully wrapped food articles of which our happy couple were now partaking with relish(They had that too, I think). As I watched them I could hear heavy breathing to the point of a snore. I checked my wife sitting on my left, and, although I couldn't see her eyes because of the glasses, I knew she had nodded off---not an uncommon occurrence. I would have let her catch up on her sleep, but the noise she was making was beginning to drown out the ripping at plastic and munching sounds coming from the ravenous couple on my right. I spoke gently into my wife's ear informing her of the disquieting situation. She---I presume---opened her eyes and said OK.
The movie sets and cinematography in this film were quite amazing, but went by so quickly you couldn't really get a good look at them. The dialogue was awful, the story was becoming predictable. I was mostly bored. I checked on the insatiable couple on my right; they were now opening Tetra-packs of juice, inserting straws, and making audible sucking sounds, and I think my wife has gone back to sleep again. I let her sleep this time. What's the use?
I watched the movie with a determination to see it through, but noticed my eyes were beginning to droop. I closed them for a minute---I thought. There was a huge "BOOM" which opened my eyes immediately. The sound was the music for the last Great-Battle scene, but I jumped wide awake saying "WHAT THE!" as I tried to grasp what was happening. The couple on my right with food particles on their face looked over at me annoyed at my disruption, and I could hear my wife chuckling to herself.

The movie ended---finally.

We got up the go, and my wife asked if we keep the 3D glasses? I said, "Sure. We can put them on outside and see the world in 3D! Oh wait, We DO see the world in 3D". We had to go out on the left side because that couple still had their glasses on watching the credits on the screen and still eating. The carpet bag was about three quarters gone. A day at the movies.

By the way, Alice in this movie was a woman in her twenties. Not portraying Alice as a child is a travesty. It underlines the great disregard and disrespect for this important children's novel.

Next: My orders to get rid of "old" books.

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