Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, July 15, 2005

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory-Cinematic Sweet Treat

I went to see Charlie & the Chocolate Factory alone today(my sister had no interest in it-we'll see The Devil's Rejects next weekend,a real family film there!)and it was quite good. I read the Roald Dahl book more than once as a kid-still remember what the library copy looked like:the jacket was dominated by a large picture of a half unwrapped(and bitten into)candy bar with the title placed in the usual brand name label along with a Quentin Blake illustration of Willy Wonka-and also enjoyed the Gene Wilder musical version,too. The new Tim Burton version stays close to the book but has it's own deviations from it just like the earlier 70's film did.

Johnny Depp has a surrealist,dippy vibe as Willy Wonka-the wacky juvenile mindset of someone who's been alone with their own thoughts for way too long. There is no Michael Jackson comparison,IMO-in fact,I think the ending may have been reworked the way it was to offset any MJ comparisons. I won't spoil the plot but if you see it,you'll know what I mean.

It's been awhile for a great Tim Burton movie to come along-Planet of the Apes was a forced compromise between what Burton wanted and what the studio wanted,not to mention having Marky Mark as the lead. Johnny Depp seems to be his muse so this movie has a nice flow and interesting bits of zany,like the Disneylandesque singing puppet show that greets the kids entering the factory which winds up in flames,with Wonka gleefully applauding. Also,how they did all those musical numbers with Deep Roy(playing all Oompa-Loopas,CGI style) must've been hard as hell. Do agree that the subplot about Willy's mean dentist dad doesn't add much to the film but you do get Christopher Lee out of it,so what the hey!

Also saw the trailer for the next Burton-Depp collabration,The Corpse Bride(surpise,surpise)-it looks as good as Nightmare Before Christmas with a dash of BeetleJuice for flavor. Definately worth checking out.

And since it's Harry Potter eve,I'll leave you with a chapter heading from the new book(never you mind how I know): Snape Victorious. Since I'll get my copy on Monday(thank the gods that I don't have to work tomorrow-I've done my HP time,believe me),I don't know anymore than that.

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