Friday, December 02, 2005

Movie Reviews: Movies Based on Books

WAR OF THE WORLDS

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Stay away from this if you can. It is absolutely horrible and Spielberg should be ashamed of such a lame movie. I always liked Spielberg movies, especially since he defined the alien genre with "Close Encounters" and "ET". This movie is definitely a thriller/disaster movie. Not one to provoke you into questioning alien life forms, just know this ain't gonna happen.

With WotW, it builds up, builds up, and then fizzles out.

The problem with this was there was no hope at the end..Just flat.

Compare it to other movies with DoomsDay themes.
"Independence Day' gave you Will Smith who was gonna kick alien butt..

"Day After Tomorrow" had the climate shift disaster, but at the end, there was hope at that the snow would melt and life would rebuild. This was also the case with "Deep Impact", the meteorite movie with Tea Leone and Morgan Freeman.

Let's forget the disaster movie comparisons, and go back to aliens. It was similar to "Signs" in the way the whole world is affected by the aliens - it's not just an American thing, but hitting everyone. Makes the whole planet feel small and vulnerable. However, "Signs" was eerie. (I admit that I was afraid to walk around my house after dark for 3 days after seeing that movie, since I felt I was being watched. Having my baby monitor cross signals with our Chinese neighbors' monitor was also nerve-wracking!)

Anyway, when Spielberg's aliens scoped out the house and the folks cowered underneath, it reminded me of 'Jurassic Park' with the dinosaurs in the kitchen.

Tom Cruise. No comment. (The best acting he's done to date has been on the Oprah show jumping about Katie.)


CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY

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If you have no experience with Roald Dal's book or the other movie with Gene Wilder, then this will seem like a weird and psychedelic movie without substance.

I read the book a few times when I was 10 or something, and really liked it. I was frustrated that the movie was different than the book and things were missing. I always remembered how the grandparents all slept in bed together and Violet Beauregarde would stick gum behind her ear to save it.

To be honest, the Gene Wilder "Willy Wonka" movie had scared me when I was young. The Oompa-loompahs were freaky with their brown faces and green hair.. then kids were disappearing into tubes and tunnels. This was just not a comforting movie.

Now we have our man Johnny Depp, and I think he is a brillant actor. The fact that he played JM Barrie in "Finding Neverland" and Captain Jack Sparrow in "Pirates of the Carribbean" and is now playing this Michael Jackson-like character proves how talented and diverse he is (compared to a bland actor like Tom Cruise).

Thanks to computer imaging advances, the Oompa-loompahs have been whittled down to one man, Deep Roy. I liked his attitude and diversity too. The child actors are really good as well. I was surprised that the new Veruca Salt looks a lot like the old one. And, I love Freddie Highmore who plays Charlie; he was Peter in 'Finding Neverland'. How does a little kid like that get to be in 2 movies with Johnny Depp?

It's been a long time so I don't remember the "weirdness" of the character of Willy Wonka from the book, though it makes sense in the movie. After all, Wonka must be dysfunctional to isolate himself in a candy factory.

Anyway, this movie is rated PG - so I am right that it might be too eerie for little ones. However, they did stick with the heart of the book.
I read a review of the movie, which stated this movie was like good chocolate - sweet, but a little bitter.

1 comment:

J.Doe said...

I loved the Special effects of Day After Tomorrow, Deep Impact and Independence Day. (The stories weren't bad either)
I haven't seen War of the Worlds. Now I probably won't