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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Charlie and Harry

Just a quickie to say the movie was better than I anticipated.

There were a few visual homages to the old Wolper/Wilder version: The opening sequence of the candy being produced in the factory is very similar only more Burtonesque; the old sight gag of the reporter standing in front of the antlers before interviewing Augustus Gloop is imitated elsewhere with Mr. Salt; and Mike Teavee enjoys a pumpkin in a slightly different way than Veruca did in the original's completely edible room. There were even a few pokes at previous Burton/Depp partnerships, the most obvious one from Edward Scissorhands. Best of all, it still had that slightly creepy, anxious, what's-around-the-corner, freaky funhouse feeling. You know what's coming, but it's still a surprise.

I was happy to see Christopher Lee is still working. Remember MTV's Remote Control? They had a category Dead or Alive. I would've got him wrong. Who knew? Maybe all those Star Wars/LOTR fans.

The one problem I had was with Johnny Depp's makeup. I was distracted by the pancake; I could see it clogging his pores in close-ups. And is anybody ever going to give Mr. Wonka his goatee back? See how shallow I am? Big on visuals, I am.

Nearly through the movie, it seemed they had spoiled the ending and I was very disappointed, but they pulled it out. I'll say no more about that.

The girls immediately decided they'd like to get it on DVD, which is their equivalent of two thumbs up. The mostly teen-aged audience broke into applause at the end. When was the last time you saw that?

Now, off to read some more HP. G'night!

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