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"Alice Through the Looking Glass" Review: The Best Part Was the Toddler Pooping in the Next Row

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Film | May 27, 2016 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Film | May 27, 2016 |

Alice Through the Looking Glass is an abominable shit show of an idiotic film that no one should have ever wasted their time making, and certainly no one should bother seeing.

I realized that I was in trouble when I entered the theater and there were actually people there. There are never people in my theater, to the point that I am relatively convinced that my one or two movie tickets each month are a solid quarter or so of the place’s revenue. To still be in business, I assume that they must actually be a front for something illegal and far more interesting than anything I’ve ever watched there. But there were people. Or rather, there were children and their suffering mothers.

Aren’t there institutions that they’re supposed to be in at noon on a weekday? I thought my tax dollars were partially supposed to be to make sure that children are kept in crates during the day while I might be out.

I’m just saying, I think one of them pooped, and it was the most captivating part of the movie.

So yeah, the basic plot is that Alice has 99 problems, and all of them have to do with 19th century Britain being full of misogynistic fucks. That lasts all of ten minutes until she goes back to Wonderland and finds out the Mad Hatter is depressed because he thinks his dead family is alive. Naturally the solution is to go back in time and break the entire universe. The Deus gets buggered in the ex Machina and everyone lives happily ever after. Then Alice goes back to the real world and her mother has learned a lesson on sassy female empowerment and they get matching naval uniforms and start their own trading company with their own ship and presumably black jack and hookers.

This movie has approximately eight minutes of plot, and fills the rest of the time by face fucking you with nonsensical CGI. There is little rhyme or reason to any of it. Because it’s Wonderland, Tim Burton doesn’t have the slightest need to have anything approaching logic. Here’s a house shaped like a hat. Here’s a clock that’s bigger on the inside and full of spider webs. Here’s a gargantuan chess set. Here’s a dude with a clock built into his chest. Here’s a clockwork sphere with levers and pulleys that flies through a world that has an ocean above and below. And the waves are like different points in history, man.

It isn’t a movie. It isn’t even a special effects demo. It’s just a stoner’s Deviant Art page with an obscene budget.

The dialogue is atrocious. It thinks it’s cleverly engaging in wordplay, when in actuality it’s just gibberish scrawled by someone too dense to understand actual wordplay, who assumes that since the clever is gibberish to them, then therefore gibberish is clever. In fact, a solid 10% of the film’s dialogue is just the word “Alice”, because apparently every single time she is spoken to, someone has to intone her name.

And Johnny Depp. Remember when he was an actor? The film, bad enough to start with, groans to a halt for every second he is on screen. This is the most annoying film character since Jar Jar Binks, and at least Meesa Fucker had the redeeming quality of being in a prequel so we could imagine that Vader annihilated his entire species after the curtain dropped. Depp isn’t even a caricature, because that implies being a caricature of something in the first place. He just does bizarre facial expressions and speaks in an inexplicable lisp and whine while mugging for the camera as if he is performing high comedy. The character concept seems to be that of the lobotomized offspring of a used wig store and Homer’s makeup shotgun. That anyone from the actor to the director to the disposable executives who greenlit this insult to movies thought this was a good idea the first time around, let alone the second, I assume is attributable to mountains of cocaine.

I hope Amber Heard takes all of his hats and wigs in the divorce and burns them in public.

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.