Monday, November 28, 2005

Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Something's been keeping me from writing my thoughts on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Ok, this movie was ass. This movie was totally, spectacularly ass.

Why? I hate to even type it, but it's Johnny Depp.

Now that I've said it, though, I'm going to unleash.

This is the first movie I've seen that Johnny Depp ruined. But he does. He couldn't have ruined this movie worse if he'd actually given every audience member a firm beating with a lead pipe. In fact, the brain damage and lead poisoning from the beating might actually make the movie seem less abominable.

Mind you, his performance might have been brilliant, if he'd merely been cast to play an eccentric candymaker. But he wasn't, he was playing Willy Wonka, an established literary character. As that character, he's so far off the mark as to be sickening, enraging.

Now, people have been putting the blame on Tim Burton. I don't think this is any more his fault than anything. The look and mood are terrific. He doesn't know a good script from a hole in the wall and clearly has no control over Johnny Depp, previously an acceptable condition, but he brought what there was together quite nicely.

Unfortunately, we were promised a more faithful adaptation than Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, something that brought, as the title suggests, the focus back to Charlie Bucket. This movie does nothing of the kind. This movie creates a whole extra subplot from whole cloth that gives much, much stronger focus to Willy Wonka, makes him the character that is forced to change by the events of the story, but also feels out of place with the core of Roald Dahl's book.

Mind you, I almost want to recommend it solely for the truly brilliant work done by Deep Roy and Danny Elfman to create the Oompa Loompas and their songs. The songs fit the original lyrics perfectly. The performance of the dances are inspired and hilarious. Unfortunately, they're trapped in an abomination of a movie.

Do yourself a favor, read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It's a marvelous book and maybe no one ever could have captured it on film. If you need more, read Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.

Remember, kids, books is good eatin'!

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