- Before I saw this film, I had the view that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would have to be severely sanitized for screen. Well, I was totally wrong. The film version is pretty much as creepy and offensive as the original. I can't say I exactly enjoyed it, but it is well done.
The only element from the book that is missing is the descriptions of all the wacky sweets that Wonka invents, and tbh it's hard to translate lists of cool ideas to film, so I don't think it really suffers for that. I wasn't totally convinced by the expansion of Wonka's background and relationship with his father, but it is very Dahl-esque. (lethargic_man, did it bother you when you were growing up that there is this whole sub-genre of children's media where the villain is an evil sadistic dentist?)
It's visually, well, original is probably the best way I can describe it. It's atmospheric, and a weird mixture of stylized and shiny with obviously artificial and out of place. Again, I think that captures the spirit of the book quite well. And the Oompalumpa sequences are pretty much parodies of really really bad Europop dance videos, including Dahl's original doggerel rather than slick, professional lyrics.
- I enjoyed A good woman rather less than I expected to. Yes, the locations are very pretty, and yes, translating Lady Windermere's Fan to the English expat community in 1930s Italy was a clever move. But I am yet to be convinced that Wilde's particular style of humour can work well on screen. And the plot was reduced more or less to the level of soap-opera; it took itself too seriously, which made it seem melodramatic, and also overwhelmed the humour.
There's some lovely acting, particularly Mark Umbers as Windermere; he's just right for the setting and exactly the right mix of sympathetic and despicable. But I really didn't feel this worked as a whole.
- To be honest, I didn't actually watch this film, as such. I came in in the evening to find my cousins watching it on TV, so I joined them for about the last third of it. I am hoping to see the Harry Potter films at some stage, because all I've seen of them makes me think I'd enjoy them.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets lived up to my expectations. The acting is beautiful (especially by the adults, but the children are a lot less awful than most child actors). The sets and cinematography are just wonderful. And the story very much gains from the editing which is inevitable when a book is translated to film. CoS is early enough in the sequence to be relatively free of Rowling's too famous for an editor issues, but it still needs condensing. The scene with the spiders was beautifully scary. I'm fairly simple-minded about films, so I got a lot out of this as a very straightforwardly exciting adventure story.