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Alice, Girlfriends and Green Zone

I didn’t quite manage four films yesterday – the scheduling was slightly out around 4pm so I couldn’t fit the extra one in – but I still caught Tim Burton‘s Alice in Wonderland 3D, My Last Five Girlfriends and Green Zone.

Alice in Wonderland – 3D

“Off with their heads!!!”

Plot-in-a-nutshell – girl falls down hole into bonkers world.

Of course, everyone knows of the original Lewis Carroll stories and the old Disney animated version for many moons ago. It does seem the ideal environment for Tim Burton to let his insane mind run riot. Talking rabbits, animated playing cards, scary creatures… all very dark and scary.

Only it simply doesn’t work, partly due to the story being a bit weak. There’s no denying the visuals are superb – the Cheshire Cat is particularly well done – but the story just doesn’t back it up. Even the usually dependable Johnny Depp fails to bring much life to this film.

Thing is, we’ve seen Johnny Depp in a top hat being mad before. It was called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I’ve not seen that one but I hope it’s better than this mess. There’s just no real “grab” to this film. I wasn’t interested after the opening and the move from real world to fantasy.

Mia Wasikowska is OK as Alice, but nothing special. Helena Bonham Carter just tries to to her impression of Miranda Richardson from Blackadder II, lisp included.

The 3D didn’t add anything either. One of the trailers which was also in 3D engaged me more than any of the film.

Sorry, despite all the publicity and so forth – “miss”.

My Last Five Girlfriends

Plot-in-a-nutshell: A man contemplates suicide after five failed relationships.

This is a rather quirky little number, with some very imaginative sequences. A mixture of film, animation, special effects and so forth it has a slightly disjointed and dreamlike quality but it’s very imaginative and holds the attention. Otherwise it’s not a hugely original story, but the way it’s told really makes it.

Brendan Patricks plays Duncan, the central character. He narrates as well as plays the central character and the dialogue is quite chatty and lighthearted. Anyone who’s been through relationships will be able to relate to at least a few of the situations – do you lie about how bad those shoes she bought really are? How do you tell someone you love them? What is your reaction when you find out your partner’s been seeing someone else?

I wasn’t really sure what to expect an the film is just a little off-kilter in how it’s told. While I got bored of the bizarre scenes of Alice (above), I quite liked the way it had been weaved into Five Girlfriends. More of a narrative tool than reason for the whole narrative in the first place.

Probably not for everyone but I enjoyed it.

Green Zone

Plot-in-a-nutshell: America invades Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein and destroy his weapons of mass destruction… didn’t it?

Matt Damon returns as Action Man in a new thriller giving him a break from the Bourne films. This does make a change from that series, though it’s directed by the same guy. Fast-paced action films, some good tense moment and a fairly political plot that certainly won’t please the last Bush administration. Which is another plus point.

Damon plays “Chief” Miller, a unit leader who’d getting more than just a little upset about his team wasting time, energy and lives in the attempt to find seemingly non-existent WMD. The story progresses into a CIA v FBI thriller with some incredibly well-filmed scenes in the streets of downtown Baghdad (well, Morocco, but it does a good impression).

The story does twist a little, though the ending doesn’t come as a huge shock. However, the journey there is an enjoyable one. Constantly tense and very well filmed, it’s dirty, messy and mirrors the scenes of Baghdad we saw on the news those years ago very well indeed.

While certainly not a classic, it’s a very good contemporary war film which is definitely worth a couple of hours of your time.

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Alice, Girlfriends and Green Zone by Mosher'sUnimaginativelyEntitledBlog, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.