Once Upon A Time in Wonderland

Posted: October 17, 2013 by Micah in Movie Reviews
Tags: , , , , , ,

All right Internet: so here’s the shizzle:

Not to be confused with this guy: the Grizzle.

Not to be confused with this guy: the Grizzle.

I didn’t watch Gravity. I wanted to. But I didn’t. So instead of reviewing that movie which (according to most) is wonderful and awesome and features great acting performances, I’m gonna take one for the team here and watch Once Upton A Time in Wonderland (which features exactly none of those things)… or at least as much of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland as I can… which is to say: the first ten minutes.

The First Ten Minutes(ish) of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

All right, so the show starts (as you might expect) with Alice emerging from a hole. A rabbit hole! You can tell it’s a rabbit hole cause it’s big enough for a 12 year old girl to fit in… I think. Regardless of that there was some sort of explosion before she came out which led me to believe the Nazi’s were bombing England again but apparently that wasn’t a thing. Anyway she wanders off through the woods and up the path and down the lane and then talks to her father’s hilarious mustache.

It seems however that Alice has been gone for a long time (though the show doesn’t feel it necessary to tell us how long) and her father’s mustache has missed her… I think. It’s hard to tell honestly because the face that Alice’s fathers mustache is hot glued to seems entirely incapable of portraying emotion. He mostly just stares at Alice. It reach the point where I wouldn’t have been surprised at all if he had just dropped dead in the middle of the conversation. Anyway, little bittie Alice runs off to “prove that Wonderland is real” when her father’s mustache and her father’s mustache’s doctor decide she was making the whole thing up.

So we jump to “present day” where a shop owner and a shop owners wife are pick-pocketed by a man who could only be described as: Jake Gyllenhall light.

It's like Jake Gyllenhall except umm... Wait are we sure this isn't him?

It’s like Jake Gyllenhall except umm… Wait are we sure this isn’t him?

He looks like Jake Gyllenhall but he’s not as talented, and let’s clear up something here: Jake Gyllenhall isn’t super talented. I mean he’s just not. Saying this is a less talented version of Jake Gyllenhall is like saying you’ve got a less sugury version of sugar free soda.

Regardless of all that though, Jake says something “funny” and then the floor explodes (much like in that earlier scene) and a white rabbit says something about Alice needing help. It’s worth noting that Jake says “I’m not interested in your important dates, or your unimportant ones for that matter.” Giving a prime example of some of the hilarious hilarity contrived by this shows writers room staff of particularly bland leather trousers.

We jump back to Alice now but it’s grown up Alice this time. It seems over the years Alice became both much dumber and very unnatractive. And also crazy. Or something. Three people are sitting in front of her who I assume are mental health workers though they all are imbued with the tender compassion of a porcupine dipped in poisoned jello but hey why would you send your mentally ill child to a facility where the Doctors were friendly? Why not send her to the one run by a guy who looks like Darth Vader at the end of Return of the Jedi?? That seems much more likely to help.

So tell me about your childhood? Wait um-- awkward...

So tell me about your childhood?

From this point on Alice sort of jumps back and forth between her memories of Wonderland and the questions the Doctor is asking. Alice is of course saying that she doesn’t believe in Wonderland anymore but givin the fact that she starts CRYING four minutes into the interview I feel her emotions are fairly obvious. Then again maybe she’s just crying cause of all the horrible things Lewis Carroll must be saying about this show.

Jumping to the Wonderland side of things Alice steals a mushroom piece from underneath the Caterpillar (who shouts at her with all the convincing anger of a tree in the summer time) and then she starts running from the Queens guards (I assume they’re the Queen’s guards anyway, nobody bothers to tell us anything in this show.) As she runs Alice takes a bite from the mushroom and begins shrinking and this my friends is where things (as bad as they have been) get much much worse.

First off when Alice eats the mushroom she shrinks (perfectly okay) but the bag she is holding ALSO SHRINKS!! What the what? I understand it’s a PG show so you can’t have Alice shrink out of her clothes (though she technically should) but what sort of laws of physics are we working with when the bag Alice is holding shrinks because Alice ate some shrinky mushroom?  Did the bag also eat mushrooms??? Or was it just the makers of the show? (I have more shrinking thoughts which we’ll get to in a sec.)

After Alice shrinks the guards seem to be yelling things about not finding her but they seem to be yelling in slow motion. WHAT???? I get that they would sound different but… slow motion? Since when did the size of the ears affect the speed of the voice? Did the speed of sound suddenly slow down because Alice was smaller?

While Alice is small she crawls into a bottle and there she finds (wait for it) a genie. Yup. A genie. Pardon? I don’t remember any Genie’s in this story. But hey: ya know… whatever. It’s your right to put whoever you want in your show. That’s okay I’ll just move on and pretend I don’t hear Lewis Carroll rolling over in his grave. Alice says she’s running from the guards and trying to get back to her own world to prove that she’s not crazy. She intends to prove that by showing people the white rabbit. The White Rabbit who she pulls from out of her BAG!! The mysterious shrink bag that shrunk for no reason!!

So hang on: the rabbit was shrunk because Alice ate a mushroom? Or did the rabbit also eat the mushroom just to help Alice kidnap him? The Rabbit is very obviously being held against its will so why is it shrunk? Why would it shrink itself when this was literally the PERFECT time to escape. So not only does the “auror” of shrink mushroom expand to anything you’re carrying but it also carries to other SENTIENT BEINGS she happens to be touching THROUGH BURLAP at the time? If a fly happens to be touching Alice when she eats a mushroom does the fly shrink? WHAT????

Anyway, it seems Alice freed the genie and the two of them went off “travelling between worlds” until they “fell in love.” We reconnect with the two star crossed lovers (I assume they’re star crossed anyway… they both convey all the loving tenderness of two rocks touching each other in a desert but they certainly seem to be saying things like they’re in love so… whatever.) And then the Red Queen (or I assume she’s the Red Queen (nobody actually told me)) shows up with a guard and says “I hope I’m not interrupting anything” just to prove that the writers of this show are actually TRYING to be cliché.

A “fight” breaks out and I use the word “fight” because despite the fact that our “heroes” are jumping around clashing swords with people I never actually saw anyone get stabbed. I mean at the end of the fight there are guards on the ground but for all I know they just developed synchronized narcolepsy and decided to grab a quick forty winks. After this the Queen (apparently) psychicly pushed the genie off a cliff and then says “whoops” just to prove that the writers of this show are probably just in a surprisingly active coma.

It’s also worth noting that the Red Queen (or whoever she is) seems to be unable to open her mouth all the way. She just sort of whispers her lines out between a very narrow opening in her teeth like she’s afraid that if she opens her mouth anymore her face will actually emote somehow and we can’t have none of that on this show!

So after that we cut to commercials and I went and banged my head against my copy of Alice in Wonderland until I passed out on my living room floor. I’m sorry Lewis Carroll. I really am.

So there you have it guys!! Me watching Once Upon A Time in Wonderland. If you’re a fan of the show: great, maybe after the first commercial break they hired new writers and stopped beating the emotion out of the actress playing Alice with an ugly stick but… I will never ever know. Thanks for reading and check back Monday for (hopefully) a review of Gravity.   


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