Why Mix-It Mondays? While writing and animals are the main focus of this blog, I want to share more of who I am and what I like outside of those two things. And Mondays can suck. It’s the end of the weekend, the beginning of another work week (well, for those of us who work the stereotypical M-F 9-5 anyway.) Maybe you had a rough weekend and are particularly tired Monday morning. Well, come here for a smile, an interesting link, random thoughts, or maybe a movie or book review. Something to make your Monday a little more fun.
Here’s a fun fact I learned last week. We all know what a cliche is. But why is it called a cliche? Does anyone know? I do! Back in the early days of the printing press, each and every letter of every word had to be hand set before stamping it out on the page. How would you like to have that job? Talk about repetitive and redundant! So for words that were used often, they made a single “stamp” for these words. This was also called a stereotype. (There’s a bonus word origin for you!) “Cliche” is the sound the mold made when it was dropped into molten metal to make the stereotype. How about that?
I’ll likely post a link to an astronomy picture most weeks as well. This one is PURPLE!!
And finally, Alice in Wonderland. This movie combined 3 of my favorite Hollywood figures: Johnny Depp, Tim Burton, and Helena Bonham-Carter. Usually this trio doesn’t let me down (I like to pretend that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory never happened.) I’ve been excited about this movie since I first heard about it, and knew I had to see it opening weekend. I saw it Saturday night in 3D. I will admit the 3D wasn’t anything special (but after Avatar, what is?) But the movie was FANTABULOUS!
Linda Woolverton wrote the screenplay. Don’t know who she is? She wrote Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. That’s one of my favorite Disney movies, so discovering she wrote Alice in Wonderland made me even more excited. She did a wonderful job, giving it more substance than the animated Disney version of the film. Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is now twenty years old, and subjected to an arranged engagement to a man she doesn’t love. The first fifteen minutes or so of the movie is devoted to Alice in Victorian times, before she follows the White Rabbit and falls down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. The opening shows more of her personality, and that she is a free-thinker prone to easy distraction and fantastical daydreams; not your typical proper Victorian young woman.
In Wonderland, we meet the usual characters. Alan Rickman is superb as the voice of Abosolom the Caterpillar. I only wish he had a larger role. Anne Hathaway was beautiful as the White Queen. Crispin Glover is sinister at The Knave And as always, Helena Bonham-Carter plays a fantastically crazy character in the role of the Red Queen (though Verna Felton had a better bellowing of “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!” in the animated version.) There is more to the plot than simply Alice trying to find her way home. She learns that she is destined to slay the Jabberwocky on Frabbulous Day, though she protests through most of the movie that she can’t be “that Alice.” She spends the movie learning to believe in herself, and that, with a little faith, you can do anything you set your mind to.
On Alice’s journey she meets the Hatter (Johnny Depp), who has a larger role than in the animated version (much to my pleasure.) Johnny Depp is magical in the role, giving the Hatter emotional depth. He is more than just a madman; he is devoted to the White Queen and was devastated by her banishment when the Red Queen took over Wonderland. He is also quite fond of Alice, and believes in her even when she won’t believe in herself.
A friend asked me if the movie would be too much for her 4 and 6 year old daughters. I told her I didn’t think so. There are a few battle scenes, and the Red Queen’s head-filled mote is a little gruesome (though not graphic), but the movie is rated PG. I think any child, young and old, will be enchanted by this new interpretation of the classic book by Lewis Carroll. And if you’re worried that it will be too dark, as Tim Burton movies often are, you will be pleasantly surprised. It still has the unmistakable feel of this director’s touch, but it has many bright moments to offset any bit of darkness.
And if anyone knows where I can get a replica of this dress from the movie, please let me know. I have no idea where I’d wear it, but I want it!
music: Enya – Watermark (Storms in Africa II was the song playing as I finished typing this)