How good is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory??? Roald Dahl and Tim Burton – a great combination; I came out with a grin larger than a Cheshire Cat’s and having to restrain the urge to sing and dance the Willy Wonka song. Mel and I also came out with an overpowering desire for chocolate… Lapping up the style, the dark overtones and the lavish visuals part of me was also thinking throughout the movie ‘chocolate, chocolate, chocolate…’ And since I generally believe in giving in to these impulses, naturally I stuffed myself with some quality choc afterwards… Chocolate is good… The trailer for Burton’s Corpse Bride looks wonderfully ghoulish as well.

Mel and I also caught Festival at the cinema. I expected a passable wee film about jaded comedians on the Edinburgh Fringe circuit, but it was way better. Funny, satirical, frantic and also parading its fair share of pretentious shows and, let’s be honest, the wank which goes with much of it, it was a bit like a microcosm of the Festival itself, the great bits and the wanky bollocks of it together. And Daniel Nardini getting her kit off didn’t hurt either! Actually there was a fair bit of the old rumpy pumpy in it. And we also got to play the ‘guess which Edinburgh pub they’re filming this scene in’ game.

Oh yes, Festival Time is upon us in Edinburgh, as the population will practically double in the next few weeks and the world’s biggest arts festival gets underway (with the aforementioned mix of humour, greatness and sheer art wank). Blues and Jazz Fest is underway, Fringe is about to begin (we can see them preparing one of the many venues right under the FPI store), Festival and Book Fest just after that and my fave, the Film Festival. I’ve got that week off (my first holiday I’ve taken in my new job) and I’m going to enjoy a nice load of diverse movies.

Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s MirrorMask and Romero’s Land of the Dead mixed with a new French film with Daniel Auteil and Gerard Depardiue together – I know little of this movie, but if it has these two in it I’m there! France’s two best living actors – for a movie buff this is akin to when Michael Mann put Al Pacino and Bob DeNiro together for Heat. Hopefully like last year I’ll do a write-up on a few bits of it and try and get a few pics at the Q&A’s which often accompany some of the films like I did for last August’s blog. There’s a classic retrospective on too which I need to book more of – already got A Matter of Life and Death booked, the classic war movie with a very young David Niven as a bomber pilot on a failing plane returnign from a mission, suspended between life and death. It has the classic scene of him on a literal stairway to Heaven, it really is a remarkably unusual bit of classic Brit fantasy and I’m looking forward to seeing it on the big screen for the first time, always a different experience to watching on DVD.

I also saw in the new Empire movie mag that one of the no-budget movies I reviewed last year for the Alien Online has a more general release, Primer. Made by a bunch of friends it is an intriguing time-travel-paradox story made on a shoestring and will appeal to those who enjoy very indy movies or a nice bit of cerebral SF. Looking forward to finding other little gems like this at this year’s bash – it is one of the great things about the EIFF is the chance to see some material you may otherwise never watch and I love finding an unusual indy film as much as I enjoy finding indy books for the graphic novel site; its often where you find the most challenging work in a genre.