Just come back from the cinema and have to say I’m a little
disappointed. I know everyone seemed to love this film, but really I
felt let down. Johnny Depp was amusing. Liz Smith as Grandma Georgina
was fantastic and the film was genuinely funny for the most part. But
the film just wasn’t right.

  • Willy Wonka was just plain weird at points. Not quirky, not
    eccentric, but outright weird. The inability to say parents was
    annoying and he wasn’t quite right. He should have been more furious at
    Augustus for drinking the chocolate instead of a bit concerned. He
    should have been more concerned with warning the children about the
    results caused by their behaviour. Instead, at one point he almost
    seemed sadistic, enjoying Veruca Salt’s fate.
  • Talking of Veruca, for a brat, she wasn’t nearly brattish enough. I
    want someone more like a young Bonnie Langford.
  • Mike Teavee was obsessed with computer games rather than TV.
  • The whole back story bothered me. There was no need to include it and
    there certainly was no need to change the ending. It failed to leave
    room for the sequel.
  • The whole spy aspect of the book was removed for no good reason. I
    want my ever-lasting gobstoppers, dammit.
  • The style of the outside world was too dark. I know it is Tim
    Burton’s style, but it isn’t Roald Dahl’s.
  • The look of the film was too much Burton and not enough like Blake’s
  • The music wasn’t as good as I’d come to except from Danny Elfman.
    The Oompa Lumppas’ songs just didn’t seem right. The incidental music
    was typically Elfman/Burton, but that just made it sound like
    Batman/Edward Scissorhands.
  • Charlie’s comments about their first song being a touch rehearsed
    wasn’t expanded as well as it could have been. It was only mentioned
    after Augustus’ song.
  • There was too much american slang in the film. Everything was candy,
    not sweets. Charlie had dirty pants. Vacation rather than holiday.
  • The perspective room at the beginning of the film was ruined by some
    really bad editting. It could have worked so much better if they had
    shown them walking up the the small door, rather than cutting to them at
    it already.
  • Wonka described everything in the garden as eatable, not edible.

On the plus side, having Deep Roy playing every oompa-lumppa was

I think basically, I prefer Gene Wilder. Sorry guys; close, but no

And I seem to have nearly burnt my kitchen down grilling sausages

Finally got around to watching the director’s cut of Donnie Darko.
Overall I think it is an improvement on the theatrical release,
especially with the addition of the pages from the Philosophy of Time
Travel interspersed throughout the film. It makes it a little easier to
understand what is going on and the film feels more like it makes sense.

Two changes bothered me though. One was the changed graphics as time
is reversed and the montage during the party. They reminded me a little
bit too much of Robocop and Terminator. The other thing, which, for me,
really let the film down was the changing of music from Echo and the
Bunnymen – The Killing Moon to INXS – Never Tear Us Apart in the opening
scenes. I’ve blogged
about how I really enjoyed the opening
scenes to this film and I just didn’t feel that INXS gave the scene the
same magical quality that the original did. It is a shame, because it
let down what was otherwise a really good Director’s Cut.

Warning: Spoilers

Just finished watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind again. I
never really agreed with the ending of the film when I watched it at the
cinema. Something about it didn’t quite sit right with me. The last
10-15 minutes felt a little bit tacked on and didn’t quite fit with the
rest of the film. I don’t know if this is because I wanted it to end
differently. I always felt that they shouldn’t have found out that they
erased each other. I think they should have just fallen in love with
each other without knowing that they had already fallen in and out of
love with each other before. I think at the time I felt as if they had
rewritten the ending after initial screenings

Having seen it a second time, I think I have changed my mind and
think that the ending works a lot better than I thought initially. They
decide that they want to be with each other even though they know that
they are likely to find massive faults with each other in the

One thing I’ve missed about living in a city is having an art house
cinema nearby. When I was at university I was less than 100 yards
from the Hyde Park
. So I was quite pleased when this
weekend I had chance to see two films at my new local arthouse, The
Duke Of York. I was watching the local news on Friday evening when
they had their “What’s On” section at 18:50 and mentioned that
Napoleon Dynamite
was opening at the Duke
Of York
. I checked the
showing times only to discover it started at 18:45. I did notice,
however, that the next day they were showing Garden State before
Napoleon Dynamite.

Garden State

Garden State is the first film written and directed by Zach Braff (he of J.D.
in Scrubs fame). It tells the story of Andrew “Large” Largeman (Braff), a reasonably successful actor
in L.A. who returns to his roots in New Jersey when his mother dies.
Large takes this chance to take a break from the lithium pills he’s
taken since he was ten. While he’s at home he catches up with old
friends and meets Sam (Natalie Portman).

Garden State is a visually beautiful film and highly stylish, but you
get the feeling Braff is trying too hard on occasions, with moments
like the slow motion in the hotel lobby or the lingering shots of
Large’s hands on the girl’s thigh during the game of spin-the-bottle.
Natalie Portman redeems herself after the abysmal acting in Attack of
the Clones, but I still don’t think she was outstanding. The film was
funny and had a superb soundtrack. If you enjoyed Donnie
Darko, but want a film that is more amusing and makes more sense then
I think you you’ll enjoy this film.

Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite is an unfashionable kid, dealing with the double
heartache of being unpopular at school and living with his 32 year
old brother who cruises internet chatrooms for women and his uncle,
a failed american football player. When his new best friend, Pedro,
stands against the popular girl, Summer, for class president, they
have to work hard to win.

This is a strange film. Deeply funny at points, annoyingly
cringeworthy at others. The film seems set in the 80s yet there are
numerous references to the Internet. There were way too many
instances of boom in shot for it be by accident and that just annoyed
me. It didn’t add anything to the film. I never felt massively
connected with the main character and I think I cared more about
Pedro than I did for Napoleon. Despite these faults I enjoyed the
film. I laughed so much at points to make up for the films
shortcomings. I would definiately recommend it, although I suspect I
prefered Garden State.

Donnie Darko is on Filum Four right now. The opening credits have just
reminded me exactly why I love this film. It is a perfect combination of
music and cinemaphotography.

If you haven’t seen this film yet, then you should be ashamed of

Oh and this film is the reason I’m secretly in love with Drew