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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Cindy Prascik's Reviews of Alice Through the Looking Glass & X-Men: Apocalypse

Dearest Blog: Yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas for the maligned pair of Alice Through the Looking Glass and X-Men: Apocalypse. Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers. 
Well, dear Reader(s), I was prepared to tell you neither of these pictures is as bad as you've probably heard, but last night I spent good money to watch How to Be Single, so, by comparison, now I guess I'm prepared to call them both Oscar worthy. 
First on the docket: Alice Through the Looking Glass. The further adventures of Ms. Kingsleigh and her whimsical Wonderland friends. It's probably fair to say that Through the Looking Glass is the sequel nobody who isn't collecting a paycheck from it ever wanted, but I'm pleased to report it's really not all that bad. 
On the positive side, the movie boasts enjoyable performances from Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, and Helena Bonham Carter. Colleen Atwood's costumes are glorious, and Danny Elfman provides a magical score. 
The film kicks off with an exciting high-seas action sequence, sets and cinematography are beautiful throughout, and there's some nice CGI work. On the downside, there won't be much middle ground on Depp's Mad Hatter; if you don't love it, you're likely to hate it, as I did with that weird, fluttery thing Anne Hathaway kept doing with her hands. 
In one of his final roles, Alan Rickman has barely three lines. Finally, though the movie mostly keeps a good pace and isn't overlong, the final act slows to a snail's pace. Alice Through the Looking Glass runs 113 minutes and is rated PG for "fantasy action/peril and some language." 
It's hardly special, especially from a company that inspires the devotion that Disney does, but Alice Through the Looking Glass provides a couple hours of enjoyable escapism. 
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Alice Through the Looking Glass gets five. Fangirl points: Richard Armitage and Andrew Scott. 
Next on my agenda: X-Men: Apocalypse. When a godlike mutant threatens to destroy the world, the X-Men must band together to save it. X-Men: Apocalypse isn't a perfect film, but it's good fun and hardly deserves the critical beating it's taking. The movie has a fantastic cast and does a fine job of fairly distributing screen time, though, once again, its Evan Peters' Quicksilver who manages to steal the show. 
If a brief, crowd-pleasing appearance by a certain someone isn't precisely a surprise in this Internet age, it definitely retains its impact on the audience, if not really on the plot. Apocalypse runs overlong and is a bit convoluted, but the action is terrific and keeps things moving at a good pace. Some great effects and huge set pieces make the movie well worth seeing on a big screen. 
X-Men: Apocalypse clocks in at 144 minutes and is rated PG13 for "sequences of violence, action, and destruction, brief strong language, and some suggestive images." The weakest link in a pretty strong trilogy, X-Men: Apocalypse is still worth your movie dollar. Of a possible nine Weasleys, X-Men: Apocalypse gets six. Fangirl points: Zeljko Ivanek and a Duran Duran "Rio" poster on the wall! 
Until next time... 

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