March 6th, 2006



Been waiting for this for a long time. I mean, what have they been doing with it?

It's... disturbing. It's the kind of thing that would have given me the willies as a small child. Full of, well, wrongness. I'm glad I never got around to reading any Alice (come to think of it, I still haven't). Perhaps Oz is closer. I dunno.

It's gorgeous to look at, of course, McKean is unrivalled in his visual field, and the cast all do an excellent job of keeping you planted in the world - must have been tricky, what with all the greenscreening that must have been going on.

Story-wise, it's fairly typical fairytale stuff, not too dissimilar from much that's around at the moment: Narnia and Lemony Snicket both gave me the same vibe of the plucky kid against the archetypal Bad Adult. I didn't feel that Helena was scared enough, though. Too much "it's just a dream" meant that there was very little tension, which was a shame. Having said that, I really liked the character; like Emily Browning in Snicket, Stephanie Leonidas is someone to watch.

One of the things that bothered me was Helena's riddle to the sphinx. I've heard it before. Leo Rosten, in The Joys of Yiddish, says it's familiar to almost every Jewish child. Maybe it is, but his reciting of it is the only time I've encountered it. Sigh.

Mirrormask probably not going to do too well, though. We shall see.

Okay, and worth seeing, but not blown-away good.

(Oh, and is it just me, or are the Dark Queen's soldiers nicked from the Cuckoo in A Game of You?)
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