Tag: <span>Willy Wonka</span>

I’m a grown man. Well, as grown as a man can ever be, and I’m figuring that I’ll never really stop being a small child. Not really. I mean look at the evidence; the toys of our childhood remain but are now called gadgets, as children we were never happier than when we were being looked after and now we use man-flu as an excuse to revert to that behaviour, and of course as babies we fixated on one pair of breasts and as adults, well pretty much anyones will do.

And yes, the latter still applies regardless of sexuality. Show me a gay man who doesn’t wonder over a buxom lady and I’ll show you… actually no, let’s leave that one alone for now.

As I was saying, I’m (considered by some) a grown man yet occasionally I find myself forgetting that fact and reverting to embarassingly childlike outbursts.

Let me pause here and ask you to cast your minds back to the original movie version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Got it? Now, picture Veruca Salt in the nut room, singing her little lungs out:

I want a party with roomfuls of laughter
Ten thousand tons of ice cream
And if I don’t get the things I am after
I’m going to scream

I want the works
I want the whole works
Presents and prizes
And sweets and surprises
Of all shapes and sizes

And now

Don’t care how, I want it now
Don’t care how, I want it now

Apologies, that’ll probably now be stuck in your ear for the rest of the day.

Well, to my horror I reenacted a similar scene today.

Except I wasn’t in Willy Wonka’s factory, nor was I in the egg sorting room. I also wasn’t wearing a red dress with a white lace colour (I keep that for weekends).

Instead I was at home, marvelling at the inadequacy of the customer support offered by Pixmania. Having ordered a new camera through them, they were second cheapest but I get some back through Quidco, I’ve been tracking the purchase.

It had cleared every stage in their process up to the delivery point by yesterday afternoon so when I check again just after lunch, and saw that no further progress had been made, I contacted their customer support via email asking what the delay was, and if I could get an update.

The response I got back was “Your order has been validated and is scheduled for delivery shortly.”

Yeah. I already knew that you muppets!!

And after shouting at the computer screen for a while I realised what folly it was and I slowly backed away in horror. What the hell was I doing? Pixmania clearly stated 3-4 working days from order to delivery and I am still well within that time frame, what was I getting so het up about??

With everything on-demand, instant-on, available now, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and make unrealistic expectations. Sure, the customer support email I got back from Pixmania would’ve been better received if it wasn’t so blatantly auto-generated, but what was I really complaining about?

Ahh yes, information. Or the lack thereof. Funny how that seems to be the root cause for so much tension and anger.

Anyway, I’m calm now. Almost.

Life

Movie info from IMDB
Movie reviews from Metacritic

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was an odd thing for me. I read the books as a child and can still remember both enjoying the original movie and being completely befuddled by it in what was my first experience watching a movie of a book I’d already read.

The book, like most of Dahl’s, had quite a dark tone at times, I remember not being scared as much as unsettled by it, and if you are anything like me then you’ll much prefer this movie to Gene Wilder’s sugar coated version. Although I should point out right now that the two movies, whilst sharing the same basic storyline, are as different as … well as Wangdoodles and Vermicious Knids.

Jonny Depp plays Willy Wonka, and we are given occasional flashbacks to his childhood to see just why he’s so eccentrically weird. Depp doesn’t play it for laughs and largely sets the tone this Willy Wonka has no twinkle in his eye when he’s talking to the children only when he’s talking about chocolate. This may be a children’s story but in the hands of Tim Burton it has the appropriate undertones.

The movie LOOKS great, and visually there’s always just too much going on to take in. A few weird continuity moments aside (where is it set? UK? then why use dollars?), the production and effects are excellent. Mention of Deep Roy must be made as the actor played ALL of the Oompa Loompas, reshooting scene after scene to give enough “versions” of himself that could be digitally manipulated. Apparently he got a raise for his sterling work.

All in all, it’s not as funny as the book, nor the Wilder movie, but it has it’s moments. Depp is a bit hit or miss, and there are a few longer moments that could have been trimmed. Mostly I think it’s a good marriage between author and director, with a large and very scrumpdiddleumptious helping of weird.

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