The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Actually, I liked it better than "Willie Wonka".    This story, dealign with a poor child and his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the ultimate candy factory,, is a riot of visual invention. Johnny Depp is rather creepy as Wonka (evoking thoughts of Michael Jackson), and my only real compaint is that it feels a little long at times, and the songs aren't as good as the original song.  There's anothre complaint, too--I have a bit of problem with the spiritual Guide element.  There are no black people in the movie at all, really, save for the man in whose store Charlie finds his ticket, and Geoffry Holder ("this is a cola-nut!") narrating.  I have some problems in using black voices when the filmmakers don't want to use black faces, but that's just me.  And self-sacrificing, noble  black characters who exist only to provide white people with the necessary (and often magical) help  bothers me more (Morgan Freemanin "Miss Daisy" or "Bruce Almighty", anyone?")
At any rate, there are time swhen you could feel Dr. Seuss under driector Tim Burton's skin, and that's a very good thing indeed.  I'd give "Charlie" a "B"

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