Mercury Video Picks 

Calling Mr. Dahl

Whether you're 6, 10, 25, or 007, the grown-up world is a frightening place. Children's author Roald Dahl does his best to create fictional worlds that, though populated by giant peaches, telekinetic first graders, and witches, speak to our very real fears of abandonment and isolation. Though Tim Burton's recent (acid) trip to Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory will undoubtedly be Dahl's highest profile adaptation, the author's work has consistently been skillfully represented on the big screen.

Matilda (1996)--Matilda, a precocious six-year-old, must endure growing up in a lowbrow family that loves its TV more than one another. With only her genius intellect, a sympathetic teacher, and newfound telekinetic powers, Matilda exacts revenge against the villainous adults in a manner that any six-year-old can appreciate--through slapstick!

James and the Giant Peach (1996)--James escapes a life of unremitting labor for his ghoulish aunts by means of a giant, magical peach. Tim Burton's macabre sensibilities give director Henry Selick's stop-motion animation an otherworldly air. Unfortunately, the Randy Newman-penned kid-friendly musical numbers are… ahem… the pits.

You Only Live Twice (1967)--Though technically not based on a Dahl book, Dahl co-wrote this otherwise unremarkable entry into the James Bond franchise. Though Bond movies aren't meant to be taken too seriously, compared with its predecessors, You Only Live Twice is the first to encroach on Austin Powers/Roger Moore territory.

The Witches (1990)--After a young boy's mother and father mysteriously disappear, he and his grandmother retreat to a seaside resort that just so happens to be hosting a convention for all of England's witches. Anjelica Huston is super hot, until you realize she's a hideously grotesque witch--which is still sort of hot.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Comments are closed.

From the Archives

More by Kip Berman

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy