Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tim Burton + Candy = YIPPEE

I watched Tim Burton's "Charlie & The Chocolate Factory" last night....What wonderfully psychotic fun!! Tim Burton's offbeat sense of humor is perfectly captured in the movie and it was just a weird ol' good time. He also conveyed the darker aspects of the story prevalent in Roald Dahl's books much better than the Gene Wilder version. Not to mention I greatly prefer Danny Elfman's gloriously strange renditions of the Oompa-loompa songs.

There were of course wonderful actors in a number of bit roles. Two of the more recognizable ones: Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Bucket and Christopher Lee as Dr. Wonka (he was fantastic in his small role). The kid who plays "Charlie" is good in that stalwart, earnest way necessary for the role to work. But the unquestionably best reason to go see this movie is Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka.

When we did this play in high school, my classmates jokingly referred to the story as "Charlie and the Child Molester". Because it's really easy for Wonka to give off a creepy-creepy vibe instead of a cool-creepy vibe. And/or for him to more of cool gimmick as opposed to a fully-fleshed out person. I was really worried about Depp in the role (it's the only reason I didn't see it in the theater) because he strikes me as the type of actor for whom creepy-creepy would have certain appeal. What I forgot is that Johnny Depp first and foremost an actor who takes "obvious" characterizations then, gives them a unique and wonderful twists. He did just that with Willy Wonka. He's funny and tyrannical in some ways with both a unique sense of justice and a real emotional center covered in layers of social awkwardness. You never doubt Willy Wonka's a person with a history and flaws.

In conclusion:
Funny --> CHECK
Entertaining --> CHECK
Actually Well-Done --> CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK

I really regret not seeing this in the theater because it totally warranted a $10 weekend movie ticket.

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