Sunday, July 17, 2005

Movies opening this week

A little late because of my trip to San Diego (more on that tomorrow). Also I completely forgot.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, David Kelly, Deep Roy, dir. Tim Burton)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
For all of his protestations about how this was going to be closer to the book by Roald Dahl, Burton throws in a useless backstory for Willy Wonka and a lame ending as his most significant contributions to this new film version. Yes, it looks great and has that typical Burton flair, but I found it totally pointless (while also totally entertaining). It's a shame that Burton has adamently disavowed interest in pursuing a film version of the book's sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. At least that would be something new, and a great vehicle for Burton's talent, I think. Really, I would have rather seen him tackle any of the number of other Dahl books that have yet to be adapted for the screen, or, better yet, actually come up with something original. I guess I'll just have to hold out for Corpse Bride. (Far more interesting than the film is this recent lengthy New Yorker take on Dahl's work and its unique appeal.) Wide release

Heights (Elizabeth Banks, Glenn Close, James Marsden, Jesse Bradford, dir. Chris Terrio)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
Based on a play by fellow Amherst graduate Amy Fox, so that makes me proud. If you have a low tolerance for talky movies about self-absorbed rich people, you probably won't like this, but I found enough meat on the bones in the visual style and the acting to make it an interesting enough diversion. Opened limited June 17; in Las Vegas this week

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