Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I watched the CBS Sunday Morning program yesterday.  The first segment was about the Up series of documentaries.  I’d forgotten that one of those movies was due to be released this year.  The first time I saw one was in 1985.  The theatre was far away from me in 1992 and in 1999.  2006 was not a good year for me financially.  The little girl in “Beast of the Southern Wild” was annoying to me.  I don’t understand why she was getting such praise for being loud and talkative.  Laura Dern talked about her parents appearing in movies by Hal Ashby, Alfred Hitchcock, and Martin Scorsese.  She was getting a divorce.  David Edelstein reviewed “Zero Dark Thirty.”  Charles Osgood said that he was about to turn 80.  He looks like he’s in better shape than my dad.  I went grocery shopping.  I bought some almonds and apples along with my usual items.  Over at the record store, I bought the Avett Brothers CD.  The football playoff game between the Ravens and the Colts was on television.  I stayed on the Internet until the Rock ‘n’ Roll Times program on KCSN came on.  It was a repeat that featured Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and The Jam, among others.  Back at home, I watched the Blu-ray disc of Tim Burton’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”  I would not say that it was a great improvement over the DVD.  There were two things I noticed.  Willy Wonka says that his chocolate river must not be touched by human hands, but after Augustus Gloop falls in, he still offers some of the chocolate to Charlie.  Who wants to drink Augustus’ sweat and urine?  Also, after the squirrels throw Veruca Salt down the hole, they still throw some trash down on top of her.  Missi Pyle of “Galaxy Quest” was Violet Beauregarde’s mother.  I hadn’t noticed that before.  I read that the list of people considered for the role of Willy Wonka included Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Christopher Walken, Nicolas Cage, Will Smith, Brad Pitt, Mike Myers, Ben Stiller, Dwayne Johnson, Bill Murray, Leslie Nielsen, Patrick Stewart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Robert De Niro, and Michael Keaton.  I liked the idea of either Christopher Walken or Robert De Niro.  Some of the actors who could have been Grandpa Joe were Richard Attenborough, Kirk Douglas, Albert Finney, Anthony Hopkins, Paul Newman, Max Von Sydow, David Warner, Christopher Lloyd, Gregory Peck, and Peter Ustinov.  I would have liked Gregory Peck or Max Von Sydow.  I didn’t like the CGI in the movie.  It was too much.  We wanted more of it to be real.  I thought they did a good job of casting the five children.  That Mike Teavee was a real turd, destroying things.  Those four kids had no self control.  I wondered how they dealt with day to day life.  The guy who played the Oompa Loompa looked like he had the most fun.  He sure had to go through a lot of costume changes, but he got to look like a rock star.  It would have been good to see at least one Oompa Loompa who looked different.  I can recall seeing only one female Oompa Loompa.  I thought the funny thing about the television room segment was that the monolith in “2001: A Space Odyssey” was turned into a Wonka chocolate bar.  I thought there was a scene with Charlie and Grandpa Joe floating around.  Well, it wasn’t in this version of the story.  I rather missed Gene Wilder and the songs from the old version.  The Burton does have songs with Roald Dahl lyrics, but Johnny Depp never wins us over.  I could have done with the story of Willy Wonka’s dentist father and the whole looking for approval thing.  The movie drags on at the end because of it.  I can say that the 2005 glass elevator looked and worked better than the old one.  I thought I detected a mixture of British and American elements in the movie.  For a kid who had grown up in poverty, Charlie sure seems careless about handling the chocolate bars.  He wasted at least two bars.  The girl who played Violet Beauregarde was constantly chewing gum.  I wonder if she had any problems with that.  I thought this movie was OK, but it doesn’t replace the Gene Wilder version in our hearts.  It doesn’t have “The Candy Man” or “Pure Imagination.”  It feels too cold, and the candy doesn’t seem like it’s enjoyable.  The Columbo episode last night was “An Old Fashioned Murder” with Joyce Van Patten, Celeste Holm, and Jeannie Berlin.  Jeannie Berlin looked very different than in “The Heartbreak Kid.”  I’m not sure I saw how the woman could have risked punishment for two murders to save her precious museum.  She certainly didn’t think her plan through too clearly.  The two Twilight Zone episodes were “Long Distance Call” and “A Hundred Years Over the Rim.”  “Long Distance Call” had Bill Mumy in it.  How many Twilight Zone episodes was he in, anyway?  Cliff Robertson was in the second one.  He traveled one hundred years forward in time and came back with a bottle of pills.  I don’t see how he could have just simply dropped his rifle.  He really needed it for survival.  This morning I saw Michelle Griego back at the morning news on KPIX.  They kept talking about how 49ers playoff tickets against the Packers go on sale at 10AM this morning.  I had to wonder how many tickets were left after all the season ticket holders had bought their share.  Some of the people who died on January 7 were Larry Williams (1980), Trevor Howard (1988), Dizzy Gillespie (1993), Avery Schreiber (2002), and Ingrid Thulin (2004).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind segment for January 7, Mirian Anderson performed at the Metropolitan Opera in 1955.  In 1992, Debbie Gibson made her Broadway debut in “Les Misérables.”  In 1994, Nirvana performed their last U.S. concert at the Seattle Center Arena.

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