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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 5, 2010

'Alice' will be a hit, Island filmgoers say

 •  'Alice' gets curiouser and curiouser

By Dave Dondoneau
TGIF Editor

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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Shinedown, one of the bands featured on "Almost Alice," the CD for "Alice in Wonderland," will be signing autographs and performing "Her Name is Alice" before the 5:05 p.m. show today at Ward Stadium 16.

The movie itself was scored, so no songs are played during the film. The CD hit stores earlier this week and is an eclectic mix of dark fun, reflecting the feel of the movie. Several artists on "Almost Alice" have recently played on O'ahu:The All-American Rejects, Owl City, All Time Low, 3OH!3, Plain White T's and Franz Ferdinand.

Shinedown is in town to perform tomorrow night at Pipeline Café.Tickets are $30 and can be purchased through www.groovetickets.com and by phoning 877-714-7668. Doors open at 7 p.m.

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It may not reach "Avatar" heights at the box office (and what film will?), but moviegoers who attended Tuesday night's 3-D screening of "Alice in Wonderland" at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 all seemed to agree that Disney will have a huge hit on its hands when Tim Burton's adaption of the children's tale opens in theaters today.

Of the nearly two dozen people polled by The Advertiser, all but one gave it at least a four-star rating (very good, worth the price of admission) on a scale of one (stinker!) to five (excellent, pay to see it again!).

The 3-D visual effects and clever characters created most of the buzz, with Mad HatterJohnny Depp taking a backseat to a smiling blue cat who can float and disappear, and the evil Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) with the oversized head, who was all too eager to cut off everyone else's head.

Depp was good, but moviegoers appeared to like the cat and queen better.

"I would go see it again, definitely,"saidSharilynn Requilman of Kapolei. "I loved the (Red) Queen of Hearts."

Most people polled either hadn't read the book or read it many years ago. And although they found the movie somewhat difficult to follow, they said reading the book isn't necessary to enjoy the film. They also said that with the exception of "Avatar," the 3-D special effects were the best they've ever seen.

"It's been a long time since I've gone to a 3-D movie, and I absolutely loved it," said Shelly Caldwell of 'Ewa Beach. "The butterflies came right out of the screen at me. For me, it was just a great experience. I liked how Johnny Depp portrayed the Mad Hatter, and I loved the 3-D. I loved all the characters."

Mia Paik and her sister Jane, both from Honolulu, gave the movie a four-star rating. But they said those who wear glasses and are going to watch it in 3-D should wear contacts or sit in the center of the theater, because at times, the 3-D didn't work for them. Other than that, both lauded the film.

"It was an interesting adaptation,"Mia Paik said. "I didn't expect it. I thought it would be right out of the book, and it wasn't. Depp's performance was a little different this time. He's kind of been the same character in movies lately, but this time, he stepped a little farther out. It was good."

Ekahi Niles of Pearl City said his favorite character was the blue Cheshire Cat, who smiles, floats and disappears.

Shannon Shoji of Nuuanu said she couldn't pick a favorite.

"I liked them all,"she said. "Even though the movie was a little different from the book, it was basically the same, and you could follow it."

Most of the screeners, who were at least in their teens, believed it was surprisingly dark at times for a Disney film and wondered how it would be received by keiki.

Asked to compare it to "Avatar," one moviegoer said it would be difficult.

"They're equally unique," he said.