Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


Now I'm not a fan of Hollywood's latest fashion for remaking old and foreign movies. Has the planet really run out of fresh ideas? However if there's an exception it would have to be Tim Burton's reinterpretation of this film. I really enjoyed the original as a kid and it would be interesting to see what he would do with it.

He is one director that has an amazing sense of style in his films and this is no exception. The sets are stunning, my favourite being the squirrel room with it's blue and white spiral floor that looks like one of those vortex things you drop your money into outside charity shops.

The Oompa Loompas have had an overhaul, gone are the 30 or so face painted midgets. Now we have a single midget cloned by computer until there are hundreds of the critters. The original looked scarier but the new ones are a lot lot cooler.

The songs have changed too. Whilst the lyrics are the same Roald Dahl penned ones, the style varies between Soft Rock, 60s Hippy singing and a Caribbean style Mambo song amongst others. These are very funny.

The film seems to have a lot more darker side showing than the original. The characters look so perfect they're almost airbrushed. Anyone who's seen the video to Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" will know what I'm on about; some of the close ups reminded me of that. Johnny Depp plays an excellent Willy Wonka, slightly schizo but affable.

Burton also goes a little further with the story this time, giving us some background into why Willy Wonka is so reclusive and also bringing his Father into the story.

It's definitely worth seeing if only for the visuals they really work on a big screen. Even more so if you can get yourself to a cinema that has a digital projector. Whilst not as good as with the Pixar films the resolution is still pin sharp. Oh, and if you can get yourself to the West End I think they're pumping chocolate scents into the air conditioner; either that or someone brought very over powering chocolate to the movie.
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