is a sample entertainment blog entry.
THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Budget: $150 million
Opening Weekend: $56 million
Writer: John August based on the book
by Roald Dahl
Director: Tim Burton
Set Tutor: Susan Weeks
Copyright Holder: Warner Bros. Entertainment
Oompa Loompa! Charlie and the Chocolate
Factory was fun fun fun. I'm a big fan of the first
Chocolate Factory movie (The one with Willy Wonka in
the title) and was a little worried about "remaking"
such a classic. But I wholeheartedly recommend Charlie
and the Chocolate Factory.
In some ways, I like it better. We get
more of a backstory for Mr. Wonka, we see Charlie genuinely
happy in his humble home, and the factory makes great
use of modern visual effects.
Is there anything I didn't like? Well,
the editing of the oompa loompas showed that we're not
used to making musicals anymore - that, or those sections
were a little rushed. I don't know. I'm sure kids, with
their less-critical minds won't care a fig, but I found
the first song from the oompa loompas jarring. Also
- they never actually sing the words "oompa loompa"
which was such a memorable part of the first movie.
But I liked how each song was sung in a different modern
style. It made me look forward to the next one to see
what they would do with it.
I spent some of the time trying to figure
out why the oompa loompas looked familiar. A quick trip
over to Internet Movie Database tells me the actor (Deep
Roy) was Mr. Soggybottom in Big Fish. I can rest easy
now. Another tidbit from IMDB's bottomless well of knowledge:
Nestle provided 1,850 bars of real chocolate for the
film, and the giant pink sugar canes, giant humbugs
and lollipops in the trees were also real. Now there's
product placement for you.
But back to what I loved. The ending!
Absolutely adore it. It's a little different from the
first movie, but personally I think it's better in every
way. Charlie makes a tough choice, and isn't rewarded
in the usual Hollywood way. He shows real courage and
stands up for himself. Bravo.
I also thought the timing of the release
interesting - the same Friday all the bookstores in
town were having their big Harry Potter parties at midnight.
Most of the kids in my town seem to have had a great
day - their parents packed the movie theaters for Charlie
to keep all the kids awake long enough to go to Harry.
Then everybody stayed in Saturday reading. I think Charlie
got half the opening weekend sales it deserved, because
Harry stole it away. But I bet the DVD sales for this
movie are anything but disappointing.
What does a set tutor do?
She doesn't quiz the backdrops on algebra - she helps
the child actors keep up with their schoolwork while
they're on set. The movie was shot from June through
October of 2004, and it's impossible to make a movie
and go to school at the same time. But the kids still
have to learn their abc's, even when they're working
in the biggest chocolate factory ever.