Wednesday, July 20

[They're all basically the same, so I don't ask names anymore]
Bo Jo's

We spent the better part of my weekend out of the apartment: On Beale Street briefly (it was dead thanks to the rain and, I guess, the fact that it was Sunday night at midnight) and on Summer Avenue for several hours, combing our way through thrift store racks and antique store dust.

Bo-Jo's Antique Mall is a massive mess of objects big and small -- some treasure, some trash -- in which we could have easily spent the rest of the day. I didn't exactly see anything I wanted (except for this awesome mannequin that kept giving Phil the stink-eye), but how can you not love a place that sells real Nixon-Agnew bumper stickers for $5 and vintage beer cans -- still full! -- for $10? I posted some photos on the photoblog, but their color looks awful (no doubt because of my overzealous and Southern Comfort-inspired editing), but I'll probably take them down, fix them, and put them back up when they don't suck as much.

Okay, I've put this off long enough: It's time to talk about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Poorly explained spoilers ahead! The Oompa-Loompa songs were embarrassing and, to me, Johnny Depp ruined almost every scene he was in due to his odd interpretation of Wonka's weirdness. Watching the previews, I was so afraid this would happen. I don't care that his Wonka loathes children; that's actually a bit more in keeping with Dahl's original character. But his version of weird was so unappealing that it never crossed my mind to hope that Charlie might get to stay with him. I mean, the blank-faced flashbacks and the inability to say the word "parents" kind of puts a whole new spin on the whole story, and one that doesn't really mesh with the ostensible moral (which is that beastly, selfish children always get their comeuppance). The story works best when Johnny Depp isn't even in the frame. The opening sequence and story setup are amazing testaments to how Burton can seemingly effortlessly spin a suspenseful yet whimsical yarn, but once we go inside the factory, it's almost like Burton stopped directing and just sort of let Johhny Depp be eccentric for eccentricity's sake. The timing and pacing seemed off. It was too episodic (for this I blame the Oompa-Loompas' musical extravaganzas to which Wonka bobbed his head like a toddler) and fragmented.

Of course, I still liked the movie for the most part. Wonka had a couple of one-liners that cracked me up. And Augustus Gloop was pretty damned funny. Plus the whole thing was amazing to look at from opening credits to end credits. I also thought it was a nice touch that so many of the shots looked identical in to Quentin Blake's illustrations from the book (the tight shots of Charlie's parents, particularly).

My sister and nephews are coming to visit on Monday. We're going to the zoo, and I'm super excited because Casey and Patrick have never been to a zoo.


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