Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


I saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the dollar theater this past weekend, but I think I saw it with the wrong crowd. Many of the scenes were hilarious, but the people around me weren't laughing. "What's the matter?? This is FUNNY!!!" I wanted to shout.

Maybe it depends on what your taste in movies is. This Charlie movie, a Tim Burton/Danny Elfman/Johnny Depp collaboration, is a remake of the 1971 version of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (both films based on Roald Dahl's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). I wouldn't do either movie justice by comparing them to each other, but I must say the world would be missing out on a LOT if either movie didn't exist. :D

The new Charlie film I think is based a lot more closely on the book than its older counterpart. So it's a bit more off the wall, and naturally if Tim Burton has anything to do with it, it's a bit darker, super artsy-fartsy, and VERY imaginative. (Sort of like Mars Attacks! meets Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.) I like the contemporary touches they added to the movie, like Violet Beauregard being a karate expert/overly competitive type. Veruca Salt was almost sweeter than her 1971 counterpart. Augustus Gloop was much more of a slob in this one. In all, they were a bit exaggerated. Satire -- I dig it. :D

A while back, I read a review saying that Johnny Depp's portrayal of Willy Wonka REALLY reminded you of Michael Jackson and was quite creepy. I totally agree!! Depp's Wonka is quite sissy-like, to be frank, but his chalky skin and antisocial life totally make sense if you think about it -- the dude just stays in his factory making candy all day and doesn't really know how to act around people. And this guy (unlike Gene Wilder's portrayal in 1971) is desperately in need of psychological counseling.

OK, great movie quote, from the scene where Mr. Wonka escorts the children into The Chocolate Room of his factory, where everything is edible (basically made out of candy): "Everything in this room is eatable. Even me. And that's called cannibalism, which is frowned upon in most cultures." HILARIOUS!!! (One of the parts where the theater TOTALLY missed out on a good laugh!!!)

You know how you're watching movies or cartoons and suddenly a chorus bursts into song?? There's this smart-alecky question in the back of your mind, going How do they know exactly what to sing and where the heck is that music coming from??? This movie picks up on that!! Augustus Gloop meets his downfall, the Oompa-Loompas start singing their song, and one of the children asks Mr. Wonka, "Hey, that looks very rehearsed! How did they know what would happen to Augustus??" And Mr. Wonka gets this trying-to-stay-discreet look on this face. Totally cheeky!!!

A note to fans of The NeverEnding Story: If I'm not mistaken, that actor who plays the dude who rides the racing snail plays the Oompa-Loompa in this new Charlie movie. (I'm pretty sure it's just the same actor, multiplied a zillion times via movie animation.) Cool!

In all, this movie ROCKS!!! The whole time, I kept thinking to myself, I WANT THE DVD!!! Well beyond worth the 50-cent matinee price I paid for it. :D I would definitely recommend it to anyone. But if you usually don't like Burton/Elfman/Depp movies, you may not go for it -- they remain true to their wackily brilliant form.


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