Sunday, July 17, 2005

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I took my family to see the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory last night. We are all big fans of the Gene Wilder version, and of Roald Dahl's book upon which the movies were based, so this was a "must see." We all knew it would be different.

I personally like Time Burton's movies, and I like Johnny Depp as an actor. He was great in Pirates of the Carribean, a movie I had to be dragged to, because I knew I would hate it. I, like so many others, loved it.

I tried to give Depp and Burton a fair chance. Had I not had the previous version in my head I might have liked this one better. Or maybe not. Johnny Depp played a completely different Willy Wonka than Gene Wilder did, and that's OK.

This movie though, didn't have the charm of the first one. Much of the tension was gone. The hunor was too forced, as to lack the punch needed to make the audience laugh. The secondary characters lacked depth. Their demise' were too facile. The special effects, with the benefit of over 30 years of technology make the original's effects look cheesy, but they didn't improve the movie. Neither did Tim Burton's sets. The original Wonka factory was a so much more imaginative welcoming place than the Burton version. Burton was too minimal. There was nothing to feed the imaginaion, nothing to make you wish you were there. Burton was generally (I think, it's been a long time since I've read the book) more faithful to the book, but so what? A movie is a different medium and has different story telling needs.

I could go more into specifics, but I don't want to give anything away if you're planning to see the movie. It wasn't a bad movie, it was OK, but it wasn't as good as the original. If you're like me though, you will have to see it anyway.

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