Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

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Latte Thunder
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Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

Post by Latte Thunder » Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:34 pm

I have to admit, I had my doubts. There had been a marketing blitz for this movie for the last few weeks, and heavy advertising for a movie that far in advance is never a good sign. Add to the mix that Burton has been inconsistent over the last several years. For every Big Fish there's a Planet of the Apes. The only thing offsetting my doubt was Johnny Depp, who is one of my favorite character actors.

So we took the plunge and attended a screening among a sea of children. The result was pleasing, to say the least.

While it IS another remake, despite the claims that it's a re-envisioning of the book, it's a damn good remake. Burton takes some liberties with the original story, but it all works out even with the gaps in logic, if there is such a thing in this movie. It's probably the most visual movie he's made since Beetle Juice and every frame is extremely cool to look at. Elfman's score is typically Elfman, which leads me to wonder if he's capable of any but the creepy fantasy/toybox score.

All production qualities aside, though, the star of the show is Depp and to a lesser extent, the kid who plays Charlie (who is oddly absent from the ads). Forget all the Michael Jackson comparisons, most reviewers drawing those parallels are just regurgitating lines from the form letter press release at the Hollywood junket. I didn't catch a single whiff of Jacko in this performance. Depp plays Willy Wonka exactly as you would expect a man to be after a long self-imposed seclusion from functioning society. He's awkward and doesn't know how to talk to anyone, apparent in his wildly inappropriate dialog with the children and their parents and his apathy towards the childrens sometimes grisly fates (even if everyone turns out okay in the end). Every line is delivered as if he is barely containing a complete nervous breakdown. The children are all made up to look extremely unsettling, case in point Veruca Salt who is always shot front and center and slightly above, giving her this slightly intimidating presence.

It's an almost entirely familiar affair, but I'm going to go way out on a limb anyway and make to very bold claims. Not only is Burton's version probably the best movie I've seen this year but it's also superior to the original in almost every way.

And the Oompa Loompas rule.
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Post by Remo D » Sun Jul 17, 2005 8:11 am

"Why, yes! Everything in this room is eatable! Even I am eatable! But that would be cannibalism, and that is frowned upon by most societies!"

Had my doubts, too, but this film demands to be seen. Visually, it's Burton at his best--and yes, the Oompa Loompas rule (or should that be 'the Oompa Loompa rules?').

Super faithful to the book, but quite updated in style (the music is typical Danny Elfman, but the lyrics are pure Roald Dahl). Sorry, there's no substitute for Gene Wilder performing "Pure Imagination," but you'll be delighted to hear that there is NO FREAKIN' "CHEER UP CHARLIE" SONG!!!! YAAAAYYYYY!!!!!!

We even get the sequences in the book that the first movie left out, including the Indian prince who had a palace built from chocolate (between this and the fate of the mechanical "welcome" band figurines, I figure somebody must have LOVED "House of Wax"), the flashback to the Oompa Loompa village (yes, they even grind up the caterpillars--sheesh, it's right out of "Night of the Zombies" or some such mondo film), etc. Yes, almost everything you see is straight out of the book...

...with the bizarre exception of Willy Wonka himself. Oddly, Gene Wilder remains far more representative of the character as created by Dahl. Johnny Depp is a wonder to behold, and you'll want to check out this performance for yourself, but not once did I think of him as WONKA, strange to say. And as much as I love Christopher Lee, I could quite simply have done without the entire backstory. Sure, it makes the new movie a "new movie," but I always thought the point was that Wonka just WAS. He was the magical Candy Man, plain and simple. And I just didn't want to know about his origins--or especially his traumatic childhood. It takes something away, and I couldn't deny that to myself as hard as I tried.

HOWEVER--do NOT take this as a non-recommendation. As I said, this film DEMANDS to be seen, and you'll be missing out if you skip it.
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Post by Kimberly » Sun Jul 17, 2005 10:38 am

Latte Thunder wrote:And the Oompa Loompas rule.
They are what made me hesitant to see this film... and after the first introduction of the Oompa Loompas... I couldn't wait to see what they were going to do next...

I enjoyed this one alot... I'm with Remo though on the whole could of done with out Wonka's whole background... although I did love when Wonka would start to go into "flashback mode"...

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Post by Chris Slack » Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:49 am

I liked this a lot, it was far more bizarre and twisted than the old one.
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Post by Clark Chaos » Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:22 am

What a great movie.
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Post by Lode » Mon Jul 18, 2005 8:43 am

Saw the screening last Tuesday, and though I agree with most of you, I didn't really like the Oompa Loompa(s). The fact that it's one dude multiplied a bunch of times just made it too 'special effect'-y for me. My brain can't grasp that every Oompa Loompa can look the same. (And I liked the orange face paint from the original).
Aside from that, I loved everything else about it. The background story, the kids, the funny candies, and of course Johnny Depp. He had all of the best lines.

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Post by Lou » Mon Jul 25, 2005 8:51 am

Saw it this weekend. Tim Burton has done it again! I loved the Oompa Loompas.
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Post by Evil Red » Sun Aug 07, 2005 12:34 pm

" Everything in this room is edible except me. That would be cannibalism. "

-- Willy Wonka.
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