Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Both Moire and Kevin pointed me towards the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory trailer, and I admit I’m a little torn in my first impression. My actual inner monologue was like, “Hey, they made Johnny Depp look slightly older and less handsome; that’s good. And heh, the kids and Grandpa Joe look fine. What’s with Mike Teevee playing videogames? On one hand that’s not strictly what the book says, but on the other I think it’s a fair modern interpretation of the character, since nobody watches Westerns on TV anymore. Ooh, the boat looks good! What’s with Willy Wonka in the jungle? Hmm, I wonder if that’s Loompaland and he’s swatting some snozzwanger. The Oompa-Loompas look… weird, but at least they’re not orange. I guess it’s fair to reinterpret them, since Dahl himself did. I love Violet and her mom wearing matching J.Lo tracksuits. But what on earth is up with that Austin-Powers-like rock band scene? Yes, the Oompa-Loompas sing, but they didn’t perform friggin’ music videos…” And then I went through on slow-mo and looked at every single scene, and the more I thought about it the more I realized that if I was seeing this trailer for the first time without any reference to the book, I’d probably think it looked really awesome. I just find it difficult to reconcile with Felicity Dahl’s (and everybody else’s) statement that they wanted to be “faithful” to the book. It looked too Tim Burton. (And I’m still unnerved by the IMdB credit for Christopher Lee as “Willy Wonka’s father.”) Unfortunately I think Peter Jackson has set the bar too high for most film adaptations of books. So like I said, I’m conflicted. It’s not that I don’t think the movie will be good; it’s that I resent it being marketed as “The One True Movie of the Book” when it’s blatantly not.


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  1. Ok, I haven’t read the book. Shoot me. And I’ve only seen the original movie maybe 3 times all the way through. This…… “movie” just doesn’t look like it’s going to do anything for me. I don’t like “over the top” movies – “Cat in the Hat” and “How the grinch stole christmas” are two very good examples. They look too…. too “too”. I’m not sure what I’m trying to say. But I’ve seen both of those and they just seem too ‘out there’. From the preview, I couldn’t really figure out if they were trying to pay homage to the original movie, the book or if they were just doing their own thing. But something about that preview just makes me wanna say “Nope, ain’t seein’ it.” And I had such high hopes for it.

    Or maybe I’m just talking out of my ass. who knows?

  2. Love Dahl, love Burton, love Depp. How could I NOT like the look of this movie? I am especially excited that they are using the real title, as I am sick of explaining to people that no, I did not make a mistake when I said the name of the book, because it is different from the name of the (original) movie. Hurrah!

    I’m glad that Burton is doing his own thing. When he DOESN’T, things get ugly. (Planet of the Apes, anyone? Not true to the original or to Burton. Something scary & in between.) I think Dahl would approve of modernizing it (the video games & track suits), and be happy that Burton was doing the project. Dahl’s books are so darkly humerous, that I think it’s a good match. Usually his movie adaptations get a bit too childish for my tastes (like Matilda). Burton will give the project an edge.

    At least, that’s my hope.

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