Saturday, July 16, 2005

eye candy: Willy Wonka & the chocolate fish

finally it arrived! & for once the Staten Island United Artists 16 multiplex produced an engaged & active audience, just for the occasion (hear them sigh collectively as Charlie fails to get a ticket yet again! & ah, the applause at the end.)

let me just say first that as of last night Charlie & the Chocolate Factory is my New Favorite Movie ever at the moment.
i remember looking forward to Hitchhiker's Guide, & really liking it, but walking around knowing it hadn't quite lived up to everything i'd hoped it would be.
well, i had high expectations for this movie--how can you not with the elements of Roald Dahl, Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, & Danny Elfman--& i am delighted to say it surpassed them mightily. fortunately i was aware beforehand that the story'd been altered ever so slightly (they always are for the film, neh?) & that they'd decided to interpose some flashbacks to Wonka's childhood, to, i dunno, soften the acid wit? but they're more or less effective, mostly because they revolve around Christopher Lee as a puritanical dentist.
i'm not giving anything away here, really. i wouldn't do that. this'll be as spoiler-free as possible.

Depp was his usual masterful self. i want one, to keep under my bed tied up with ribbon. ok, admittedly, when he first enters the scene you immediately think "Michael Jackson in Neverland?" (how's that for some pop-culture cross-pollination) but this passes very quickly, so fear not. & Wonka is as sarcastic & playful as Dahl could have ever wanted. nothing against Gene Wilder's version--it's such a completely different movie that it skillfully avoids comparisons, except for the inevitable ones.

the oompa-loompa musical numbers were wild, & all the oompa-loompas are played by one small man, by the name of Deep Roy, one at a time. they used the original Dahl lyrics, which was a good thing, as it made it a very separate phenomenon from the Mel Stuart version (who could ever get "oompa loompa doopadee doo" out of their head?)

& Tim Burton's candy-techni-colored factory was pure visual joy. wheeeee!

the writing, acting, & effects were all magnificent. i was in a state of childish glee from beginning to end (& for some time before & after, too.)

& they preceded the film with the full trailer for Corpse Bride, so you can imagine the schoolgirl giggling exploding from my theater seat.

& i'm afraid that's all i'm going to say on that subject, because my copy of Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince just arrived via the hand of the cutest little Japanese mailman. thank you, Amazon. although i have to say i like the UK edition cover art better.

so i may be absent from the fish for a few days.

I never thought that I could fly
over the moon in ecstasy
Nevertheless that's where I
am shortly about to be...

14 little fish:

Blogger Carpathian swam up to say...

I'm so glad somebody mentioned The Corpse Bride - I've been waiting for that one since, er, when I started waiting.

Burton + (Depp * Burton) = (Carpathian * Smiles) ^ 2

3:59 PM  
Blogger the wheel swam up to say...

I loved it too. Before I saw the movie I had read a review describing Depp's performance as "creepy" and "disquieting", and that was about how I'd describe it too, but it was perfect for the movie. That Deep Roy guy is gonna be as famous as Mini Me. It's about time the public gets a new pet midget (or, um, little person, if any midgets are reading this).

5:52 PM  
Blogger phylos swam up to say...

Cool, it was destined to be a success, as you say it has a hell of a pegigree - it opens here on the 29th so I don't have too long to wait.

We have a Roald Dahl museum now.

http://www.roalddahlmuseum.org/

6:00 PM  
Blogger tescosuicide swam up to say...

I can't wait to see it, but I would have liked to see Christopher Walken as Willy Wonka - My brothers in law (twins) are all about Depp and Burton but even they felt that Willy Wonka should have been older. Since you've seen it, how do you feel about that?

9:22 PM  
Blogger transience swam up to say...

now i'm itching to see wonka and his willy. i mean, willy wonka.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

Great movie. Just posted a review on my site as well. We too had Corpse Bride (second time I've seen the full version in the theatre) and I am also excited about that (I think I've posted about it on 3 separate occasions on my blog). Burton is a master (90% of the time) and I believe both of his outings for this year will be fantastic. Everything about Wonka was great and I'm glad you enjoyed it as well.

I have to be honest, I think both versions of cover art for the Potter books are crap, especially compared with the wonderful interior illustrations. Just my opinion.

10:24 PM  
Blogger alix swam up to say...

willy wonka the original is deeply ingrained in me, growing up in a particular generation.

but art is art, and burton knows his stuff. thanks for the glowing review...i can't wait till i can get out to see it!

1:08 AM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

alix, worry not - the original WOnka is so instill in my nervous system that 1)i still find influences from the movie in my writing even though i haven't seen it in years and two, i couldn't help but sing "I've got a golden ticket" walking up to the theater - however, this one stands by itself as a totally different and delightfully bizarre take on the same story.

jenn, unfortunately, the audience at my theater was that enthusiastic, so that my gigling and laughter was, if not alone, but tantamount to insanity - i laughed so hard at the first oompah song, that my eyes were watering - Depp is magnificent as the mysanthrope wonka, even more so than Wilder, though both are great. i especially like the part of wonka in looma-land.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

We had a really good and enthusiastic crowd in our theatre. Lots of people laughing in a way very similar to your description Mysfit. Pardon the pun but you would've fit right in with our crowd. We had several who laughed uproariously as each Oompa song began. And rightly so!

2:40 PM  
Blogger Emily swam up to say...

can't wait to see it- thanks for not giving too much away- you should go into PR- great review!

4:12 PM  
Blogger LiVEwiRe swam up to say...

You know along the lines of Mysfit's comment, even though the audience at the theater I was in was enjoying it, I kept feeling as if my giggles (and yes, occasional snorts) were bordering on 'unsettling'. I didn't care. I loved it and want to go see it again. There was so much going on. I really enjoyed his father and going back to learn his history. I laughed like hell when his father told him that if he left, he wouldn't be there when he got home...lol. See; there I go again. It was a treat, wasn't it? I want to see it at one of the IMAX theaters but there isn't one close to me showing it. I'd be hypnotized...

5:25 PM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

i was thinking - dangerous, i know - but what i think one of the things this version does better than the earlier on, is character development. i know Wonka's history is revealed, but i think the screen play developes his character better as well as charlies and even some of the other kids. it's much more character based.

10:10 AM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

mmmmmmmm...IMAX.

6:41 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

tasty.

3:45 PM  

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