Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

This past weekend I went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Meryl and the kids (Larry was stuck at work).

I have been looking forward to this for quite some time. I love the book and Tim Burton is one of my favorite directors. His warped perspective struck me as a good match with the book.

Jake and Nate, however, did not want to go. They have seen and loved Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory starring Gene Wilder (who was fantastic by the way) and did not see the point of a new version.

I have always been a bit disappointed by the 1971 version. It is a fine movie, but it deviates from the book to such a large degree that it irritates me. Generally I like all movies with a few notable exceptions, anything directed by Jean-Luc Godard (the epitome of French new wave cinema) and most movies featuring Jerry Lewis (something about him bugs me). Basically Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory grates on me after awhile.

Where is the snow and Charlie’s father? Also Charlie was the one decent child, so I did not like the fizzy lifting drinks scene. It violated the whole premise of the book. All was forgiven; however, when the Oompa Loompas burst onto the scene (heck the Oompa Loompas even improved the television show Jackass).

But I digress.

At the movie theater I got the mondo tub of popcorn and a medium drink (no way am I’m going to escort small bladdered people to the bathroom during the movie) to share with my children. Being a bit of a cheapskate I have learned to bring paper lunch bags to the movies. That way each child has their own bag of popcorn and I don’t have to spend an arm and a leg. We met up with Meryl and Sorena and went to the theater. Seats were a bit problematic for our very large (7) party, but we did find a row.

My four really enjoyed the movie. At one point I nudged Meryl and pointed out to her how enraptured they all were. In the end Nate loved the movie and Jake thought it was ok.

This version is much more faithful to the book. I like what Johnny Depp did with the Wonka character, except for the bit about saying the word parents. Willy Wonka should be an oddball character, he has been shut up in his factory for over 15 years with only Oompa Loompas for company. But, I thought that was a bit over the top and unnecessary.

There was one part of the movie that I really liked. You find out that sometimes there IS accounting for taste.

I have a feeling that I’ll be wanting to see this one again.

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