I just watched Tim Burton’s “Alice In Wonderland” because I was clearing out the DVR. (We had gotten a free movie channels weekend, which offered me a great opportunity to fill the DVR with movies I would never pay to see like Alice in Wonderland, Predators, Transformers 2, The Sorceror’s Apprentice, etc.) I found “Alice” to be incredibly overwrought and dull in that “Isn’t it astounding what you can do with a squizillion dollars of computer graphics?” way that many big blockbusters are.
Johnny Depp’s overacting is painful just as it was in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, with the added bonus of being pedo-creepy in that he gives the Mad Hatter a crush on a girl he previously met as a child (and Depp is twice her age as well). But I finally realized my big hang-up with Tim Burton movies:
What the hell is it about pasty white skin that Tim Burton thinks is so goddam enchanting?
Look, Beetlejuice was dead, and The Joker IS pasty white, and Edward Scissorhands is pale from never seeing the sun. I get that. But then, Catwoman and The Penguin were pasty white, too. I guess I attributed it to the wintry color scheme of the movie. And of course, the animated films about gruesome monsters and dead people would have pasty white skin. That makes sense. Pee-Wee Herman isn’t exactly George Hamilton, either, but that’s a pre-existing character.
But then you throw in films where the white skin clearly isn’t related to the character’s being dead or British, such as Sleepy Hollow, or Depp’s bizarre take on Willy Wonka as a Michael Jacksony freak, and it begins to look pathological. Then there’s the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen, the White Queen and endless other Alice in Wonderland characters… You begin to suspect that Hollywood just keeps giving Tim Burton cash to make these garish films because without his career he’d just be hanging around mortuaries while vigorously abusing himself.