Sunday, March 07, 2010

Curiouser and Curiouser...

:::Down Again into the Rabbit Hole:::

Despite misgivings, I actually like Tim Burton's Alice in the Wonderland. While the plot is so-so, I always understand that Alice in the Wonderland is a character driven story, from the detached Cheshire Cat to the insane Mad Hatter; to the diabolical Queen of Hearts to the enigmatic Caterpillar. What stole the scene in the movie though was the Knave of Hearts. The instant you see him in the screen, your mind immediately registers "evil bastard". And this confirms your suspicion after he gave false promises to the bloodhound in return for tracking Alice.

I always like Helena Bonham Carter as an actress, especially if she stars in any Tim Burton film. Being the Queen of Hearts was a joy to watch, and just as I imagined her from the book: overbearing, paranoid and power mad hungry. I think the nearest correct interpretation was the March Hare, who undoubtedly is much more insane than the Mad Hatter. And as I said before, the Knave of Hearts was pretty cool to watch, and Crispin Glover delivers another solid role. Creepy Thin Man strikes again! 

There were a couple of slightly weird voices though. Alan Rickman gave his voice as the Blue Caterpillar, but you shake that feeling that it's actually Prof. Snape high on drugs and giving you weird advice ("Follow me to the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, Potter ... I mean Alice, sorry"). And it was surprising to discover the Jobberwocky has Christopher Lee's voice, and almost wished that he had Nazghul as back-up for his final fight with Alice. NOW that would have been a battle scene.

The movie is not a remake from the old Disney cartoon, nor it is adapted from the book; rather it is the imaginary continuation of the two books that Lewis Carroll's books, a what-if story if you will, in this case Alice going back again for the last time. If there's any gripe in the story, I could say that since it was an original script, it could have gone longer, thus improving the plot and story more. The last battle looks a little hurried for my taste. But then again, this is a Disney film, and with today's kids small attention span, I think they made it just right for their target audience. Here's hoping for a Director's Cut with extended scenes.

Slightly Off Topic Rant: Can people at least please learn to shut up in the theater when the movie is on? I really don't need your varied opinions as to why Johhny Depp is more cuter in another movie, or hear a blow-by-blow account on what's happening on the screen. Good lord, as I didn't want to get into a fight because I'm with my wife and sister-in-law, this is the first time I have to move three times to find a spot that's relatively quiet. Have you people no shame?

:::The Dead Jungle Book:::

Stephen always writes some very powerful stories, but for most of his stories you have to have your mind clear. Which not advisable after several grueling days in the office. I think I got as far as Chapter 7 till I lost track on the varied characters. So I sadly shelved the Stand and took out a book with an almost similar genre: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

I always like Neil Gaiman as one of my favorite authors, and reading The Graveyard Book reaffirms that. Loosely based on Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book, it revolves around the story of Nobody Owens, who survives an assassination attempt as a baby. He then grows up in a graveyard and has the ghosts of the area as his teachers, mentors, friends and family. 

It then tells the story of his life till he reaches young adult age, and all the while learning skills on both the living and the dead. Pretty nice story, and in the end, gives you a message that life is too short, enjoy it the fullest. Me likey. 

:::The Great Wall:::

While I'm not really talking about that HUGE thing in China (although I'm going there in a couple weeks for my second visit), I'm talking about writer's block. It's always been a goal of mine to write for the Palanca Awards, and every year I get sidetracked as not having time to sit down and create something. This year though, though I think I'm finally free to do something about it, and now the next step crushes me like my brain being crushed after hearing the words "Hi! I crush you, you know."

Good lord.

Anyhow, what I meant to say is I have writer's block. Oh, yeah I have tons of ideas, for years now, but they don't go anywhere. Some start at the beginning and sputter to oblivion, other appear in the middle suddenly and just trail off somewhere. Still others, clearly have an ending, but the start and the middle.

It's becoming a bit of an obstacle, and hopefully my mind will just stop fighting, put down those guns and knives, settle down united on just ONE idea. Please, grey matter, violence is not an option.

State of the Mind: Fuzzy Thoughts
Song of the Day: Castaway by Franco
Book of the Week: Hellboy: Collected Stories by Various Authors
Want or Need: Several Days of Focusing. 


Blogger Skron said...

Hmm. you're quite early on your post this week.

I didn't like alice that much. The battle killed it for me. But everything looks great. And I almost screamed "Epic Evil" when Jobberwocky talked.

As for the Graveyard Book, I really liked how Gaiman turned Kipling's masterpiece into a supernatural story. It's so original but not that original.

6:07 AM, March 07, 2010  
Anonymous mona said...

ha! i had the same thoughts about alan rickman. if i replaced every "stupid girl" he said with "mr. potter", it would be like i was watching an hp flick.

7:23 PM, March 07, 2010  
Blogger Big Hamster said...

@ Skron-Yeah, I decided to post as much as I can nowadays, hehehe. Getting back into the writing bug. And yeah, the last battle in retrospect was lackluster to say the least. Meh.

@ Mona- Alan Rickman is officially the most widely known British accent. Harry Potter did that to him, hehehe.

11:37 PM, March 07, 2010  
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