July 15, 2005, - 6:44 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
I am generally against remakes because they are usually not even a scintilla as good. That’s why Hollywood, which has lost its creativity, but become more orthodox in its liberalism than ever, is making more and more of them.
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” starring anti-American leftist and resident of France, Johnny Depp, is no exception. I saw “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” a couple of days ago. It debuts in theaters, today. While it is the best of the remakes I’ve seen so far (in the last three years), it still doesn’t hold a candle to the original 1971 version, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” Depp is NO Gene Wilder, the original Willy Wonka (who was WAAAAY better). His androgynous obnoxious Wonka doesn’t hold a candle to Wilder’s magical portrayal of the Candy Man.
And that goes to the soundtrack. There is no Sammy Davis, Jr. version (or anyone else’s) of “The Candy Man.” Even the Oompa Loompas’ songs and incarnations were much better in the original. The candy, including the “Everlasting Gobstopper,” lickable flavored wallpaper, and a number of other such confections, and the candy wonderland in the original were much more impressive (the Gobstopper and wallpaper are absent in the new version)–odd in this day of high tech special effects and magnificent sets.
The kids are almost identical to the originals, but if you can’t improve upon them, why do it over? The TeeVee kid is updated to play video games on TV, rather than just watching. Big deal.
There is one thing better about this version, though. In this age of attacks on fathers and males, Charlie Bucket has a father. In the original, he is raised by a single mother. But in this one, there is both a Mr. and a Mrs. Bucket. And Mr. Bucket is, thankfully, portrayed as a loving, hard-working father devoted to his family.
Also, in the original, there is an FBI agent character. In this one, the FBI is missing. Too busy turning a blind eye to Islamic terrorists and pandering to them in the post-9/11 world to make it to the set, I presume.
Tags: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie Bucket, Chocolate Factory, Debbie Schlussel, Federal Bureau of Investigation, France, Gene Wilder, high tech special effects, Johnny Depp, Jr., Sammy Davis