Skip to main content

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I've also seen some movies lately, which I have been meaning to talk about. The Boyfriend and I finally got arond to watching the re-make of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and as much as I wish I could say I liked it...I can't. It's not that it was necessarily bad, or that I think there was anything special wrong with it. I simply think the original film was so unique that a re-make can't begin to hold a candle to it. The Boyfriend found it particularly upsetting because he is a big fan of the original. He spent the whole movie comparing this version to the original and pointing out the differences. I personally try not to that when watching re-makes--I like to try and keep in mind that this is a new movie, with a new director, new cast, and new direction. Unfortunately, I wasn't especially thrilled with the new direction. There were parts that I enjoyed. While I wasn't entirely enamored with Johnny Depp's portrayal of Wonka, he had his totally hilarious moments. Some of his clipped one-liners or throw-aways had me giggling aloud as I watched. (My favorite scene, in fact, involved a throw-away joke that tied back to the beginning of the film. When the children arrive, there is a dancing, singing, audio-animatronic puppet display, similar to the 'It's a Small World' ride at Disneyworld. As the intro show comes to the end, the dancing dolls catch fire, and the whole thing grinds to a draggy, creepy, flaming halt, and is all but forgotten. However, later on, as they're touring the factory, Wonka takes them through a hospital looking room, and says "This is the Wonka Doll and Puppet Burn Hospital. It was added very recently." and then they walk out. I laughed my ass off--I love details like that.) I was also very impressed by the special effects; obviously, there are things that can be done today with special effects that hadn't even been thought of when the original film was made. Violet's en-blueberry-ment, the trained squirrels in the nut room, the lovely chocolate room, the functions of the great glass elevator--all these things looked stunning. The downside was that some of the changes were not for the better. The whole subplot with Wonka's childhood was just kind of annoying. And the Oompa-Loompas all being the same guy was lame. The biggest issue I had with it, though (and I'm pretty sure The Boyfriend agreed) was the overall outlook of the film. In the original, Gene Wilder plays Willy Wonka as a genius who remains a hermit because he is so busy creating that people just get in his way and slow him down--he can deal with people, he just doesn't want to. On the other hand, there's Tim Burton's version of Willy Wonka (as played by Johnny Depp.) Burton's Wonka is UNABLE to interact with people--he isn't locking everyone else out...he's locked himself IN. I suppose this was to be expected, since every single Tim Burton movie ever is basically the same. The lonely and misundestood hero existing in his beautiful, intricate inner world is Burton's calling card, and while I guess technically it works here, it just doesn't resonate with me in this particular circumstance. The difference in point of view of the main character colors how the entire rest of the film plays out, and for me, this particular interpretation didn't work. I'm not saying you shouldn't see it, but I'm saying you really shouldn't expect too much.


Popular posts from this blog

CR3 #30: The First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith

I saw the movie of The First Wives Club before I read the book. It's a cute chick flick, in which scorned women take comedic revenge on their former spouses. They become better friends and everyone winds up happy in the end. I was somewhat surprised (though not much--the differences between film and literature are often wide) at how different the book was--I am used to changes in plot or small character changes (combining two characters into one, or perhaps changing to a more pleasant ending) but the major change here between novel and movie was the tone.

The story is basically the same; After a close friend's suicide, three middle-aged female friends get together and beginning reviewing their lives. They realize that much like their late friend, they have been screwed over by the men in their lives--the men used them to get to their high social and financial positions, then screwed them over both personally and financially. The three women decide to use their wits and their co…

CR3 # 17: Mount Misery by Samuel Shem

Mount Misery is the sequel to Samuel Shem's first book, House of God (review here). It follows Dr. Roy Basch as he leaves the House of God and moves to psychiatric hospital Mount Misery to begin his psychiatric residency. Unfortunately, it turns out that psychiatrists are just as crazy, confused, and often detrimental as medical doctors. As Dr. Basch cycles through the various sectors of the hospital (talk therapy, admissions, Freudian Analysis, drug therapy) he is horrified to discover that it seems everything he is being taught is not only wrong, but potentially dangerous. He begins to fall into terrible patterns of behavior, mirroring the problems his patients are having. Each area is worse than the last, with one doctor who thinks the best way to treat is to be aggressively hostile, one who cares only about insurance premiums and efficiency, one who treats with silence and "regression," and one who thinks the only viable treatment is to pump every patient full of exp…

CBR9 #5 Borgin Keep by Ron Ripley

I've read the entire Berkeley Street series, as well as the Haunted series, and I think this was definitely one of the better offerings. This time, former Marine Shane and his slowly growing band of willing (and unwilling) ghost hunting allies face their biggest challenge yet. While the ghosts of Borgin Keep are both very dangerous and very evil, Shane also must keep one step ahead of The Watchers, a ruthless and powerful organization who find him to be a threat to their shadowy goals.

As always, for me the best part are the characters. Shane and his ghost-hunting partner Frank (a former soldier/former monk) are joined once again by police detective Marie LaFontaine, who is a very tough woman determined to avenge a dead friend. I'm not as fond of Shane's girlfriend Courtney, but I understand her uses as far as character development.

The plot moves along quickly, and I found this book a little better fleshed out than a few of the previous ones in the series -- while I enjoye…