Monday, August 01, 2005

Willy Wonka Oh I Mean Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Okay, fine, it was good enough. It was thoroughly Tim Burtony and bright and dark and chewy delicious. The kid who played Charlie was especially good, as was his grandpa, and I really liked Deep Roy as all of the Oompa Loompas. Plus I just love his name and want to name my first kid Deep. (I realize it’s probably short for Deepak, but all the same, Deep is Deep and it’s a very cool name.) Honestly though, as much as computer animation and tricks can add to a film, sometimes I miss the days when special effects were done without computers. Even when they were a little clunky, there was something more real about them to me. Our friend Ryan, who came with us, put it in an interesting way; he said sometimes the computer technology they use to create special effects today makes things look too “bendy.” I couldn’t put it any better. Anyway, it has everything a kid’s movie ought to have, and I cannot take away from the entertainment value. But here’s what it doesn’t have: Gene Wilder. Johnny Depp, who is almost always great, is just a little too far to the weird side here for my liking. The kid and his grandpa play it so straight that the contrast is too much. Gene Wilder, on the other hand, was odd… but at the same time oddly real – in spite of the bizarro wardrobe and unrealness of the entire concept, Gene Wilder as Wonka was just – you know, it was about what was behind his eyes. But I hear that Roald Dahl was never happy with the original version for whatever reason, and his widow was apparently very involved in this version, keeping it much closer to the book, so take that for what it’s worth. What do I know, I’m just a kid who grew up in the seventies who saw the original in the theater when it was first released, and a few dozen times since, and I’m still attached to it, for better or worse. Remake The Bad News Bears? Why? Man, all I have to say is, if somebody tries to remake Paper Moon, I’m gonna raise hell. This has to stop somewhere.

10 comments:

B said...

Bendy is a perfect word to describe this movie!

i also like the one-liners in the original...personal favortites:

"not util you're twelve, son."

"Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker."

"She was a bad egg."

I just don't feel the new one had any good one-liners...

hm.

Betsy said...

I think you're right. Except for maybe "Ew."

teodoro said...

I haven't seen the new movie, but I, too, loved Gene Wilder in the first. I think he was brilliant. And can I say that the original movie's seen on the boat is...to this day...terrifyingly uncomfortable for me? I don't have any idea what the new movie does with that, but it can't be creepier than the hallucinatory terror of the first.

"I said, Good Day, Sir!"

teodoro notspellalot said...

And of course, the "seen" in the above post, should be "scene".

Moron.

Betsy said...

Yes, I was thinking that same thing as I watched the new version - not spooky at all.

megan said...

I liked that line, "Everything is edible in here! The grass, the flowers, the rocks, you can even eat ME! That's called cannibalism!"

Huckle Cat said...

I totally agree with you; great description of Gene Wilder in the original.

I enjoyed all the scenes (in the new one) that weren't in the factory. But I did like the squirrel bit.

jackie said...

A few words about remakes in general: What, there aren't enough screenwriters out there churning original scripts, that we have to remake like every third movie or something?

Further proof this has got to stop: "Guess Who" is coming out on DVD this week. Ashton Kutcher in a remake of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" WTF?!

kfoz said...

I loved the squirrels! And they were (mostly) real trained squirrels!

The crazy thing is: this is the only movie I've seen all summer. That's how crappy the movies are.

Anonymous said...

Personally I thought the new version was shit. Johnny Depp (who I like in other films) was simply irritating, the Oompah Loompahs? there was only one and you would never guess he was in fact so small they could've used a normal sized person - is the film world too PC to use real dwarfs? And why the smaltzy ending with the dentist father? If Dahl's wife/daughter? wanted the film to be closer to the book why the stupid ending? In the original, if I remember right, Wonka is only testing Charlie when he says (initially) his family can't come. Don't bother going to see it.