November 25th, 2005


The Gobbler of Fire

goudabonbon and I have most of our family living in or near Atlanta, so Thanksgiving is like a day-long eating contest. Yesterday first we hit my parents' house at 11:30, gorged on turkey, staggered out bleary with triptophan (I'm sure it's spelled wrong), digested as much as fast as we could, then at 5 p.m. went to Lane's sisters house for round two. Urp.

1. Speaking of stuffing, I heard one of those hilariously failed ad-libbed transitions on the news Wednesday night. At the 6 p.m. news on Channel 11 (I think), a reporter said something like "It's the Thanksgiving rush, and speaking of turkeys, holiday travelers are being stuffed like turkeys at the Atlanta airport!" Uh, no. Technically, I suspect she meant that the airplanes and terminals are being stuffed like turkeys WITH passengers. Probably the passengers THEMSELVES aren't being stuffed (unless they're resorting to some very old methods of smuggling contraband through security).

2. Speaking of the holidays, whenever I go to CVS Drugstore I see the latest gift-able Christmas gizmo to give you nightmares. It's called "Singin' Santa" goes for $69.99, and is roughly a four-foot high Kris Kringle motorized mannequin who not only croons Christmas carols in a recorded voice, but "dances" along with it. I use the quotation marks because he actually swings his arms and twitches his legs (as if he'd march in place a little if his boots weren't stuck to the plastic base). Singin' Santa looks about as natural as a corpse affixed to some kind of herky-jerky clockwork to offer an eerie simulacrum of life in a grisly horror movie (I actually think somethng like that happened in 'Mindhunters.') He sees you when you're sleeping, kids!

3. Watched 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' Wednesday night and liked it mostly. The visuals are great, the rivalry between the children nicely contemporary, the Oompa-Loompas and their musical numbers surprisingly good. (Made me wonder if Deep Roy, who plays ALL the Oompa-Loompas, would be a 'Best Supporting Actor' contender for me, but with the CGI effects, the film treats him less like a performer than a prop.) Gum-chewing Violet Beauregard comes from Atlanta -- and amazingly, in the little we see of it, it's a REALISTIC spoof of Atlanta as a realm of identical suburbs and hypercompetitive Southern Barbies. On the down side, I didn't find Johnny Depp funny or likable (even though Gene Wilder is both in the previous film), and the character relationships don't really gel, even though this film puts more importance on them than the earlier one.
We noticed some amusing resemblances:
goudabonbon opined (and I think she's onto something) that Depp's Wonka, with his teeth, his haircut, his eyebrows, his kinda sallow complexion, looks weirdly comparable to Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Burton's current girlfriend. I don't know WHAT to read into that.
And I swear that Granpa Joe (isn't it Joe?), played by the wizened guy from 'Waking Ned Devine,' with his purring voice and reddish lips, has an unnerving similarity to Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious from the 'Star Wars' prequel trilogy. I expected him to say "Only through the Dark Side of the Force can you secure the golden ticket, Charlie...'

4. Saw a screening of 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe' today. I won't say much about it (my review will be out within a fortnight), but will give away my favorite quote. Narnia is inhabited primarily by talking animals and mythological creatures, and when the White Witch (Tilda Swinton) raises her army, she orders, "Prepare your troops for battle." Then her general, a big minotaur, raises his head and bellows

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