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Review: 'Alice' a wonder to behold

Published online on Wednesday, Dec. 02, 2009

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The latest trip by Alice into Wonderland, the Syfy Channel’s “Alice,” combines author Lewis Carroll’s whimsy with director Nick Willing’s modern design. The result will have you smiling like a Cheshire Cat.

This time Alice (Caterina Scorsone) has fallen into a world where emotions can be extracted like opium from poppies. The Queen of Hearts (Kathy Bates) rules this world like a sadistic version of Donald Trump where “You’re fired!” has been replaced with “Off with his head!”

Alice is no pansy. This martial arts expert joins the resistance group to work against the Queen and her court.

Willing creates a world that’s “Minority Report” meets “Austin Powers.” Technology is so advanced, mechanical White Hares can track suspected criminals. Costumes and drug references are a psychedelic touch.

The director smartly surrounds his relatively unknown star with celebs like Bates, Tim Curry, Matt Frewer and Harry Dean Stanton. Scorsone is not as seasoned a performer, but she brings a strength to this Alice that’s a joy to watch.

Show info

"Alice": 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday on Syfy

The real fun is seeing how cleverly Willing has updated the familiar story to make it different from past TV and film versions.

Don’t be late for this very important date.

TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at or (559) 441-6355

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