Alice: Miniseries Review

When we first meet our lead character, Alice, she's teaching a martial arts class, and one of her students is a fellow we soon learn is her boyfriend, Jack. Alice brings her beau to meet her mother, and we find out Alice has been searching for her father who has been missing for ten years, which seems to cause Alice to have some commitment issues with her boyfriends, including Jack. But Jack isn't the normal, loving boyfriend he appears to be. He's in trouble with some mysterious, dangerous people, and Alice gets unwittingly involved. A trip through a dimension-crossing mirror leads her to a strange world called Wonderland, but this ain't the place we've all seen in cartoons in picture books.

The environs of this weird Wonderland are a mix. As far as interiors, there's everything from grungy and industrial basements to retro casino-styled royalty chambers. The outdoor shots include some gorgeous natural landscapes, but for the most part it's unremarkable stuff. The screener version given to the press lacked most of the completed visual effects, so there's not much I can say on that.

When it comes to story and characterization, however, there's lot to say. The story in Alice is very different from the source material. One of the major story points of the original story was all the different things Alice had to consume, especially potions. In this world, the potions are replaced by vials of emotions that are sold like stocks and commodities. Forces from Wonderland basically steal people from our world to suck out their emotions and sell them as drugs, essentially. "Instant gratification" is the idea, and the Queen of Hearts keeps the citizens of Wonderland in line by giving them what they want, when they want it, and keeping the tools of knowledge (like books) away. But this plot element, which might have actually made for an interesting story, kind of takes a back seat in the overall storyline and its potential is never fully realized. It's quite disappointing.

Also disappointing is the fact that The Mad Hatter, one of the favorite characters of the original story, isn't really mad at all. He's more of a rogue and master of shady dealings, the Han Solo of this tale. He's not the only character that sees a dramatic revamp in this story. The March Hare, another character from the iconic tea party scene in the original story, is recreated as a cyborg assassin with a rabbit-shaped cookie jar for a head.

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Dec 7, 2009 7:59PM EST

i dont get u, r u tryna say d mini-series is not enjoyable?m gonna hv 2 disagree with u there, i feel this take on d boring alice in wonderland tale is quite refreshing, 2 thumbs up.

Dec 8, 2009 11:19PM EST

My only complaint is that I wish that it was longer. I was kind of hoping that there would be another two parts at least. I think that it seemed a little weird at the end when she refused Jack's proposal, and he didn't really seem put out by that. I suppose he will end up with the Duchess, but he really did seem to be in love with Alice. It seems odd that he would give her up without a fight. I guess I'd just like to see everyone find a happy ending and then some. It always seems to me that stories end as soon they get good. I like it when people are happy, and I like to see that happiness played out. Maybe I'm alone in that, I don't know. I think they could have done something like the Chronicles of Narnia, where they go back to Wonderland when something happens to put it right again. That would also allow them to explore Jack's life a bit more, and see his happy ending as well. Or maybe I just want to see a bit more of Philip Winchester, as I do think he's a great actor.

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