Heeere's Johnny...

Categories: uncategorized

Tags: Truly Madly Deeply, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, books, explanations, films, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Date: 09 September 2005 19:50:47

I was going to leave the Charlie review as it was, but I've been goaded into further analysis. I will take each point turn by turn:

well, you *know* my views about the ooompa loompas in both the book and original movie(imperialistic hoo ha).

I'm not sure I did get that impression from you Ness. I will agree that these days they can be seen as imperialistic, but Dahl, especially in the earlier books was a writer of the old school. Little people are a fantastic plot device used by Tolkien, Rowling, Lewis, Blyton... in fact they are such a staple of the children's and fantasy genres that many books that don't use them seem a little flat.

I particularly loved the new Oompa Loompas - they avoid the problem of imperialism (and little people, too).
This will need more explaining from you I'm afraid Wood, I don't see how a parade of identical top-knotted little people is less imperialistic than orange men with green hair and white eyebrows capable of proper harmonies. Plus in the new film you can't make out more than every other word of Danny Elfman's over-over-over dubbed lyrics. They did mostly use Dahl's text for the songs but the production meant they were far less effective when compared to the first films re-written lyrics.

although i'm not sure if i've expressed how unfortunate i thought the original music was.
This is a point of view you have expressed before, I'm afraid, and I know I've mentioned several times on this very blog that I love it. It's my blog, and my opinion. Deal with it ;)

however i will give credit where credit was due, gene wilder was fantastic.
Gene Wilder was a better Willy Wonka.

Mark this day down in history - a point agreed by all three of us :D

i haven't seen the new one yet, but i can't imagine that johnny depp was anything but wonderful.
Johnny Depp was pretty good - and he tries to get across how complex the feelings of a man dedicated to making sweets for children must be... but he has this Michael Jackson impression thing happening, and it's not *quite* right.

Johnny wasn't all bad, but I found the Michael Jackson thing rather spooky - letting selected children into his dreamland, his empire, they leave damaged for the most part, apart from the one who really understands him. Everything is blamed on his father. It's not a comparison I would have made naturally and I rather resent Depp and Burton for planting that rather sordid thought into my childhood memories.

And is it just me that's getting really bored of Tim Burton's casting? There are thousands of actors out there that would have made fantastic Willy Wonkas, Johnny was the dull no brainer choice. Kiefer Sutherland however... that would have been a fantastic film.

In all other respects (except for the Christopher Lee subplot, and even that was rescued by the thing with the disappearing house), the Burton film was better.

Nah the Christopher Lee subplot sucked badly, and it spoiled the ending, the film looked too deeply. Dahl characters never need a background history, they just are and what's more the kids don't care why Wonka is the way he is, Dahl understood this. Once you overlay the Burton template onto the story however there has to be a resolution. Wonka is not evil enough to be a baddy and need his comeuppance, so he needs a redemption. Actually, Tim, he doesn't. That is why the subplot sucked.

(i still keep my eyes open for a movie we might agree on. i believe it can happen. i mean, we'll always have bridget jones...)

And Dead Poets Society, Truly Madly Deeply, The Princess Bride, Harry Potters 1-3 (and probably the rest when they're released)...