The Rush/Wonka Project
By Ronnie

I came across the Rush/Wonka Project quite by accident. I was doing a search engine on “Willy Wonka” and the RUSH/WONKA PROJECT popped up. The web site told about syncing the classic Rush album, 2112, with the movie, WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. I was intrigued. I had been a huge Rush fan in high school and loved the 2112 album (yep, I know that is dating me!). Plus, I had been immensely entertained when I saw the WIZARD OF OZ synced with Pink Floyd’s DARK SIDE OF THE MOON. I sent an e-mail to the website about getting a review copy and they graciously consented. So, what follows are my thoughts on watching the Rush/Wonka Project. Note: I am reviewing the "deluxe" version of the Rush/Wonka project, that is the whole movie synced with Rush songs.

In reviewing the Rush/Wonka project, there are going to be the inevitable comparisons to the classic Wizard of Oz/Pink Floyd sync. However, there are some major differences in the format of the two movies, which effects the sync. The Wizard of Oz is basically a fantasy movie with two short reality sections at the beginning and end. In contrast, the fantasy section of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is only in the second half of the movie. That makes it difficult to make interesting syncs in the first half of the movie, when the action is just "ordinary". That is my only criticism about the "deluxe" version of the Rush/Wonka project - the ordinary, first half of the movie (leading up to the fantasy sequence in Wonka's factory) is a little boring. I found myself fast-forwarding the VCR a few times. The one exception is the sequence where Charlie finds the golden ticket, set to the Rush song, "La Villa Strangiato". The build-up in the song works perfectly with this scene! I actually repeated this section of the video. My last criticism is that I don't agree with using the live version of "Closer to the Heart" as the ending song (as Charlie, Wonka and Grandpa enter the glass elevator). Don't get me wrong, the song fits...but...I just feel that the studio version of that song is superior.

Enough of the criticisms, now I'll rant about what I DO like. The 2112 section of the sync is fantastic, a perfect mix of rock and film! I actually found more syncs than listed on the web page (O.K. - I cheated and had the list printed out to read along with the tape). There is an eerie conjunction between the music of 2112 and the fantasy sequences of Wonka and it is captured perfectly and it bears repeated viewing. I would only recommend the full "deluxe" version to hardcore Rush fans. Others not familiar with the band might find the first half tedious. But…I would heartily recommend an edited version (where the ticket winners enter the factory - to the end) to any person who enjoyed the Oz/Pink Floyd sync. Kudos to the Rush/Wonka project for bringing my attention to this emerging artform!

Click here to visit the Rush/Wonka Project web site