Urbin Report

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Not my movie reviews...

My friend John Nowak, who survived two years living in Paris, wrote the following on the Fantasic Four and Willy Wonka:

Basically, there's five major characters. The Thing and Johnny Storm are excellent, and practically every good moment the film has deals with them. The Invisible Girl is miscast -- I don't know if it's me or the fact that Jessica Alba has a very distinctive face, but it was impossible for me to watch the film without thinking, "Look -- it's Jessica Alba with dyed hair." And I'm not even a big Jessica Alba fan. Mister Fantastic is well-acted but poorly written, and Doctor Doom is just appalling. Doctor Doom is one of those characters who makes Darth Vader look restrained and subtle; and this was neither written nor acted.

Gene Wilder played Willy Wonka as fey, in the old sense. There was something distinctly inhuman about him. Wilder's Wonka was some slightly off center trickster god, a god who tests mortals by temptation. If you pass the test, then you are blessed; if not, hoo boy you're gonna get it. Even his unforgettable entrance scene with the cane has that subtext. If you think you know what I am, you are wrong. This is your only warning. There was something fearsome and terrible in him. It would not seem too far out of place for a skeletal hand to grab one of the children and confide, "It's too late for me -- but do not vex The Wonka."

Johnny Depp plays him as a weirdo.