December 15th, 2006

WIW - Marian

CATCF ranting, via Amazon reviews.

Those silly reviewers on Amazon never fail to amuse me...

In hunting for a Creative Zen MicroPhoto MP3-player (the same one I wanted about half a year ago) and mostly failing since the release of the new Vision M player, I found one on Amazon, complete with a bunch of consumer reviews.

95% of them were good (4-5 stars), with about 3% complaining and moaning about silly things, 2% moaning about things that may well have just been their own bad luck, and the obligatory 1% of complete incoherence.

It prompted me to find silly reviews for other things, and, naturally, the only thing I could think of was Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, purely because the reviews have always been divided almost 50/50 into love/hate.

I wasn't disappointed. The only downside is it makes me want to write my own review of the pretentious "You're all stupid" kind, pointing out, for example:

1) It's not a remake. HOW MANY FRELLING TIMES?!

2) Yes, the Oompa Loompas looked like they were "SO obviously played by the same person" - er, that's because they were. TBH that comment completely stumped me. Did he think they were just meant to look slightly similar?

3) There are plenty of 'trademark Burtonisms' if you know what they are and where to look, so the person who said there were none certainly can't call themselves a Burton fan. Alas, most of them were probably too subtle.

4) The songs may well not be as catchy as the ones from the 1973 version, but at least they remain true to Roald Dahl's text, and anyone who tries to slate Danny Elfman for the lyrics is going to get a beating for that reason alone. I was humming the Burton songs for a month or so afterwards, so go figure. The others are only so memorable because most of us grew up with them and they are, as such, deeply buried into our subconsciouses.

5) Comparing the two versions - don't. Just don't. They only compare in terms of their original influence, and if we're talking adaptation then Burton's is a clear winner. You can't compare direction, songs, Wonkas or even set design. Burton was clearly heavily influenced by Wilder's version and it's obvious in the opening credits and the factory itself.

Maybe a whole new generation of children will grow up with Burton's version instead and thoroughly hate the Wilder version as being an inferior copy... you never know. I grew up with Wilder, but I spent the majority of my teenage years discovering Burton, and I love both films. I don't understand why people can be so hostile to re-inventions of classics, especially when they're done so well.

I could go on, but if I were to do such a review it would end up being too long to publish and I would just end up being annoyingly holier-than-thou, which just isn't me in the slightest... *ahem*

It's a film that is going to divide people for a long time, I think, though it's iconic status can already be seen by the fact that the ACM's silhouettes have Depp's Wonka in amongst Buzz Lightyear, Fred Flintstone and James Bond. If anything, Burton has created the iconic pose, which I can't recall the Gene Wilder film ever did.

Damn, I need some Charlie icons...

Anyway, that's enough from me. I now have some work to be getting on with, and anyway David (work David, not Mum's David) is putting up Christmas decorations so I should probably look busy...

PS: Lloyd is not allowed to comment on this entry by virtue of the fact that I will probably end up punching him.
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