Lion of the Blogosphere

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

For the first half of the movie, I thought it was a pretty good remake. I especially liked the gum-chewing Violet Beauregarde and her MILFy mom. I could imagine seeing those two on a “reality” TV show, and also imagine many women and girls admiring Violet instead of seeing her as a brat deserving of harsh punishment. No one could have even imagined that sort of Violet in 1971.

The 2005 TV kid is a lot brattier and more annoying than his 1971 counterpart. There was definitely a lot of pleasure in seeing him literally cut down to size.

2005 Augustus Gloop is fatter and more disgusting than his 1971 counterpart, but I don’t think that’s a benefit to the movie.

2005 Veruca Salt, alas, is a pale imitation of 1971 Veruca. The highlight of the 1971 movie was Veruca singing “I Want It Now,” and we don’t get anything like that in the 2005 movie which is not a musical except for the Oompa Loompa performances. The 2005 Veruca Salt being attacked by squirrels is a much better visual than anything in the 1971 movie, but it doesn’t compare in enjoyment or comedy to “I Want It Now.”

One thing that the 2005 movie got right is that a much larger percentage of screen time is devoted to scenes with Willy Wonka. They figured out that Willy Wonka is the star of the movie, so they don’t waste quite as much time with the introductory stuff. I don’t know what they were thinking in 1971 when they wasted half the movie on preliminaries before we finally got to see Gene Wilder playing Willy Wonka.

The Oompa Loompas have changed. Instead of a bunch of midgets with orange skin and green hair, every Oompa Loompa is the same South-Asian-looking man who is made tiny and duplicated a zillion times through the magic of special effects. The 2005 movie explains how Willy Wonka fired all of his human factory workers long ago, and replaced them with Oompa Loompas who are addicted to cocoa beans, thus Wonka can pay them in cocoa beans instead of much more expensive cash. It’s a very topical analogy, it’s just like every company with an IT department full of H-1B immigrants from India who, like the Oompa Loompas, are paid less than the native workers they replace, and are enslaved to their one sponsoring employer and have to go back to India if they lose their job.

The Oompa Loompas in the 2005 movie perform much more elaborate musical productions than the 1971 Oompa Loompas, but it’s the Oompa Loompa songs from 1971 that stick in your head.

There are those always-angry SJW types who have accused this movie of being racist because of the Oompa Loompa guy being the only non-white person (people?) in the movie, but if this movie is racist then so is every U.S. company with an IT department packed full of H-1B Indian types.

Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka simply does not compare to Gene Wilder. Johnny Depp’s character is just plain freaky, weird and detached the entire time, lacking the entertaining transmutability of Gene Wilder’s Wonka who goes from warm and cuddly, to disinterested, to taking gleeful pleasure at the probable death of the little kids in his charge.

The 2005 movie shows us scenes from Willy Wonka’s childhood with his weird and emotionally detached dentist father. It’s an origin story that doesn’t add anything to the film.

The 2005 movie does better address an issue I brought up in my review of the 1971 movie. “There’s no explanation as to why Willy Wonka couldn’t marry a nice woman and have his own kid.” I can’t imagine Johnny Depp’s androgynous Willy Wonka making love to a woman. Although Violet’s MILFy mom did seem interested.

The 2005 Charlie is way too goody-two-shoes and saccharine. A lot of kids watching the movie couldn’t imagine themselves in Charlie’s place, and scarily enough, a lot of modern girls watching the movie would favor girl-power Violet over Charlie who’s supposed to be the hero of the movie. Charlie in the 1971 movie was the best behaved of the five children, but he still indulged in a little boyish mischievousness and had normal boy emotions.

The movie just dragged on too long. After the ride in the glass elevator, there’s more stuff about how Charlie refuses to join Willy Wonka in the chocolate factory because Wonks says his family can’t come. And then Willy Wonka gets depressed, and Charlie helps Willy reconcile with his father, and after Wonka learns the true importance of family from Charlie, he allows Charlie’s family to join him at the chocolate factory. I found this whole after-plot way too preachy, and it dragged the movie on for far too long.

I also don’t like that the 2005 movie showed Augustus, Violet, Veruca and the TV kid leaving the factory. The movie was better when their fates were a mystery.

Bottom line: The 1971 movie is a timeless classic. The 2005 movie is interesting, if not classic, for at least an hour, but then goes downhill as it drags on and tells us too much about Wonka’s life.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 8, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Posted in Movies

25 Responses

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  1. It wasn’t bad, and I thought the visuals were coo, but unfortunately I remember dozing off around 3/4ths into this movie the first time I saw it.
    I was around 11 when I saw the original with a buddy of mine, and I remember we were hysterically laughing at Veruca’s fate.

    markus

    April 8, 2017 at 4:51 pm

  2. I wouldn’t have had a crush on the repulsive 2005 Violet.

    Gozo

    April 8, 2017 at 4:59 pm

  3. As a kid, the idea of living/working in a candy factory is just about the best thing ever. I remember getting worked up and excited about the different candies. What’s more is that I grew up in an upper middle class household in America and could eat candy on a fairly regular basis. The book was written for working class boys in postwar Britain, so I imagine candy was a much rarer treat for them.

    I think the reason why the first movie and the book spend so much time on Charlie is that, as a child, it’s easy to relate to his struggles, and owning a chocolate factory is a dream come true. In contrast, as an adult, it’s Willy Wonka who’s the real star of the show.

    Slightly OT: the author, Roald Dahl, was the child of Norwegian immigrants in Wales. It’s notable to me how he wrote books that were very accessible to English and American children and touched on relatable themes. If he were a modern day child of immigrants, he would write navel gazing books about his struggles for identity and blame everything on his host country, like this lovely person: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/04/dina-nayeri-ungrateful-refugee

    Sid

    April 8, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    • In a post scarcity economy, a story about a candy factory becomes a snoozer.

      In our contemporary America, what really is inaccessible to most proles and NAMs is real estate in the liberal centers. Anyone who lives outside of the Northeast Corridor and West Coast is deemed a loser.

      Everything else is free for all. And more proof that we are living in an era of glut smut. Amazon refunds your money if they shipped your items damaged (most of the time they are in fact shipped in flimsy packaging), and it lets you keep them.

      The mere patronizing of corporate glutton is seen as low class and prole. Discerning consumers buy from reputable small businesses.

      JS

      April 8, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      • A SWPL version of Charlie/Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory would be set in an organic, fair trade farm in Central America, somewhere in the highlands near the rainforest. The indigenous people would grow cocoa beans in a sustainable fashion. They would –

        Ok, I’m already so sick of this story I’ll stop right now.

        Sid

        April 9, 2017 at 1:08 am

      • Fill in: They would rebel against their masters who are subservient to an American Choco tycoon that leans Republican.

        Title: Into the Jungle

        Plot: An American tourist from San Francisco and his family visiting the rain forests of Mesoamerica witness 21st century slavery taking place in a cacao bean plant installed a remote jungle. He gets to see first hand as an American the beating, the whipping and the torture, endured by the native serfs who process cacao beans for an American Capitalist who sells his products at the shelves of stores like Whole Foods. He foments a rebellion with the factory serfs against their superiors, citing modern day slave labor….contains violence, bloodshed, nudity.

        Rated R but SWPL certified.

        I’ll summon Roger Ebert from his grave to critique the movie.

        JS

        April 9, 2017 at 11:40 am

      • Here are a few reviews from the MSM:

        “Profound, dark, menacing, a catharsis — the true nature of those who are Republicans are revealed in this film”.

        “If Monsanto is GMO, Into the Jungle makes organic food cruel and inhumane, buyer beware”.

        “A wake up call for those who read Organic”.

        JS

        April 9, 2017 at 11:55 am

      • That would’ve been the perfect SWPL movie a in the last decade… In this decade, the one of SJWs, the fact that the protagonist is an American tourist means that it’s saddled with the White Savior Complex! Zounds!

        Sid

        April 9, 2017 at 7:07 pm

  4. Hollywood ran out of ideas a long time ago. Willie Wonka with Gene Wilder was a classic. Even making a remake would suck. I never did see the point of this movie. Willie Wonka had a dentist father who didn’t want him to eat candy so he built a chocolate factory? Is this some kind of sick joke that somehow got greenlighted after Pirates of the Caribbean made money? Johnny Depp is apparently going to be a pirate for the rest of his life.
    Willie Wonka was kind of Addams Family strange, but Johnny Depp is just weird. He hasn’t made anything since 21 Jump Street that didn’t make him seem like an escaped insane asylum inmate. The oompa loompas in this movie are ALL PLAYED BY THE SAME GUY. You can complain about the Original, but these digital clones can give kids nightmares I imagine.
    That end scene where they bring the shack Charlie’s poor family lived in into the factory should be a Health Code violation. This is a candy factory.

    Joshua Sinistar

    April 8, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    • I liked Johnny Depp in the movie The Ninth Gate. One of his adult movies.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 8, 2017 at 6:16 pm

      • I was gonna say …

        CamelCaseRob

        April 8, 2017 at 10:43 pm

      • The best thing Johnny Depp has been in is Kate Moss.

        prolier than thou

        April 9, 2017 at 4:20 pm

  5. America and much of the Anglo-Prole world are where both kids and adults are stuffed in the face with junk food.

    Why would a remake of this classic concerning choco-production have any relevance in a post scarcity economy?

    People would lose interest at the onset of the movie.

    JS

    April 8, 2017 at 8:17 pm

  6. Children’s stories from past eras were incomprehensibly violent by contemporary standards. Grimm’s fairy tales for example were cautionary tales designed to teach children the importance of staying on the straight and narrow. Child characters from these books were made to pay a high price for their errors, and often ended being decapitated or cannibalized–cautionary tales indeed!

    Roli

    April 8, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    • “Grimm’s fairy tales for example were cautionary tales designed to teach children the importance of staying on the straight and narrow”

      Actually in an awful lot of them there really is no discernible moral or message. Many of them are deeply weird to a modern reader.

      And can we really say they were ‘designed’? The Grimm brothers didn’t write the stories, they travelled round Germany collecting them. They are probably part of an oral tradition that stretches back hunderds of years. Many of them repeat themes are are obviously variations on the same story that presumably varied locally and evolved and changed in the telling over the centuries. It is possible that morals were included to instruct children, but on the other hand I can also imagine that the moral lessons are something that evolved over the centuries because people have a natural inclination towards stories that have a moral lesson; perhaps they add to a tale by providing a satisfying narrative, building expectations and providing an arc for the story. Maybe the Christianisation of the Germans inculcated some sense in people that stories ought to have a sense of right and wrong, and older, less moralistic stories were added to in order to give them this dimension.

      I only say all this because I read all the Grimm tales not long ago as part of an effort to learn to read German, and it got me musing on the subject of fairy tales. In all their other-worldy weirdness there must be a lot that can be deduced about the way common people really saw the world at that time.

      Think of the English fairy tale (not a Grimm tale, admittedly) of Jack and the Beanstalk, still popular in England at Christmas pantos. The plot is brilliantly and unashamedly nationalistic in it’s storyline. And English kid basically goes to some other kingdom, robs the owner of all his riches and takes it home, and then–hooray!–he kills the owner of the loot when he tries to get it back and lives happily ever after with all his stolen money.

      Not much of a moral there, other than that English people have a right to other people’s stuff because they aren’t us.

      prolier than thou

      April 9, 2017 at 3:37 pm

  7. The 2005 movie was meant to be more like the source material. The songs in the movie were directly from the book. However, Wonka’s family is not mentioned in the book.

    Njguy73

    April 8, 2017 at 10:56 pm

  8. Speaking of weird men and children, haven’t seen the national dailies giving much coverage (any coverage?) to recent allegations of pedophilia against Seattle mayor, gay marriage icon and very vocal Trump opponent Ed Murray (the fellow currently suing the Trump Admin over his sanctuary cities policy). I know some commenters have made a connection in the past between male homosexuality and pedophilia, but, as we’ve been told relentlessly, such a connection is hate, hate, hate. I’m not sure if Lion has weighed in on this touchy subject. http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/so-many-land-mines-accusations-against-mayor-murray-stir-up-emotions/

    http://ibusinesslines.com/2017/04/08/seattle-mayor-city-attorney-sue-trump-over-sanctuary-city/

    Curle

    April 9, 2017 at 12:04 am

    • When I wrote about Milo, it was already discussed that in the gay community, there is a different attitude towards sex with teenage boys, but they don’t talk about it with non-gays.

      • I just checked and nothing from bing news on the Ed Murray story from either the WAPO or the NYT. Anyone know if those two papers covered the Milo story (where he was only talking about it not doing it)? I seem to recall the story a few years back of a conservative Idaho senator picking up men in airport bathrooms, a story that went on for several days. And that was simple adult male on male sex. And then there was the Illinois Republican who went to S&M clubs with his wife splashed for days in the headlines. Here we have the mayor of a major American city purving on underage teens, with three men claiming he molested them when they were underage (with lots of corroborating evidence) and all we get from the NYT and WAPO is crickets.

        Curle

        April 9, 2017 at 12:45 am

      • “And then there was the Illinois Republican who went to S&M clubs with his wife splashed for days in the headlines.”

        It’s too bad, because Jack Ryan was running for the seat that Obama eventually won in 2004. Sure, there would’ve been a good chance Obama would’ve won, but Jack Ryan would’ve gotten a lot further than that clown Alan Keyes.

        Then again, would John Edwards have been better in 2008? Hillary? John McCain? Meh, meh, meh!

        Sid

        April 9, 2017 at 3:13 am

  9. I think it was better not trying to explain Willy Wonka’s personality. The guy’s not a realistic character–no actual candy factory would look like that, he could never raise enough money to build all that from scratch, etc. He’s something out of a kid’s dream/nightmare. It’s like explaining the Force with midichlorians.

    SFG

    April 9, 2017 at 12:17 am

  10. > I especially liked the gum-chewing Violet Beauregarde and her MILFy mom

    I disagree. Missi Pyle is ugly.

    > 2005 Augustus Gloop is fatter and more disgusting than his 1971 counterpart, but I don’t think that’s a benefit to the movie.

    That’s because the 1971 version wouldn’t register as fat in 2005.

    ScarletNumber

    April 9, 2017 at 10:11 am

  11. Interesting Trump polls: Ras has him at 44, down 7 from mid Feb. CBS has him at 43, *up* 4 from mid Feb. Gallup has him at 40, same as mid Feb.

    I had suspected Gallup of being rigged, but it’s steadiness indicates that it is probably the most reliable poll out there.

    Trump is never going to have high approval numbers but we’d like to see his approval at around 50 in Ras and 45 in Gallup by re-election time, and at at least 47 in Ras and 41 in Gallup by the midterms.

    I believe we have some special elections this week and next week, it’s important we have strong performances in them.

    Otis the Sweaty

    April 10, 2017 at 10:31 am

  12. Doesn’t matter too much in terms of class. Both Wonka and Charlie will remain in a class below Veruca Salt, who will laugh before both of them. Charlie won’t find a mate and will have to repeat such stunt later in hsi life.

    kulmthestatusquo

    April 10, 2017 at 1:05 pm

  13. I guess nobody wanted to venture a guess how Charlie’s family living in the same shack at the Factory is actually a happy ending huh? Is this a swipe at The Beverly Hillbillies where Jed builds the cabin for Granny? You have to wonder why they even put that in there. Wonka couldn’t afford to put them in better quarters?

    Joshua Sinistar

    April 11, 2017 at 6:30 pm


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