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Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Review Thread

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Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Review Thread

Old 07-15-05, 07:25 PM
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Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Review Thread

Well, I did a search and apparently this movie has yet to get its own review thread (there were a couple devoted to trailers). I guess you were all waiting for me to start one, so here goes. Since I have yet to actually see the movie (going tonight), I'll just say that I seriously cannot wait. I am so glad I wasn't scheduled to work tonight. Fate, man, fate. This is probably the movie I've been looking forward to most this year (perhaps tied with Batman Begins) since I'm a huge Johnny Depp fan and love almost everything Tim Burton has directed. I've read a couple of comments about how Depp's performance is actually the worst thing about the movie, but I'll reserve judgement till I see it. Even in atrocities like Secret Window, he's alway given a solid performance. Although, to be honest, I was a bit put off by what I saw of him in trailers. Oh well, I hope I'm pleasantly surprised. As I was with Pirates Of The Caribbean. If anything, I'll at least have the visuals to keep me entertained.

Anyways, if you've seen the movie, feel free to share your thoughts.

K
Old 07-15-05, 07:39 PM
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I thought it was very entertaining, tied with War Of The Worlds for my favorite movie so far this summer. I liked it better than the original, but the two friends I went with didn't (but they did think the movie was very good). Depp does great, and for once I was surprised to see the movie's best lines weren't in the trailer. I expected little from this film after seeing the trailers, but thankfully that wasn't the case.
Old 07-15-05, 08:32 PM
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I'd give it 3, maybe 3.5, out of 4. Some things are better than the original and some thing are not. I think they could have done a much better job with the oompa loompas here, they just don't look very cool. Gene Wilder i'd say is only slightly better in the willy wonka role, Depp is pretty damn good himself. The visual look of everything, however, is hands down better here. From the sets, to the costumes, to the lighting, its perfect! I highly recommend checking this out, it is very different, yet in some ways similiar, to the original.
Old 07-15-05, 08:40 PM
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I was surprised to see how well reviewed this is, at 83% on Rotten Tomatoes right now. I hadn't had really high hopes for it but it sounds as if it's decent. Still might wait for the DVD tho... Movie overload at theaters lately, reminding me how much I hate theaters.
Old 07-15-05, 09:46 PM
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I was pleasantly surprised by this film, and 20 minutes into it, I was really into it, laughing at all the silly gags, and taking in the bizarre set design that enhanced the look and feel of the film. Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka is very strange, in an odd way, you never quite know what depths lie his mischievious streak, perhaps that's the idea, but a little off-putting, nonetheless. Using one guy for all the oompa loompa's was a push for me, some of it was good, but such uniformity in a race sort of dulls my interest in them, even if they have different voices. The children are pretty good in their roles, Freddie Highmore continues to impress with his wisdom beyond his year, and his earnest portrayal of a boy with a good set of values, in spite of temptation that awaits him. The film seldom drags, lots of funny little quips, and big sight gags were a treat, plus I almost fell out of my seat towards the end of the film as Mike TeeVee's segment came to bear. That was good stuff.

Tim Burton's directorial flavor certainly enhanced this film, and this is the sort of material that suits his odd cinematic eye, and he does a fine job transporting the audience to another place while maintaining that fine line between humorous winks to the audience and out and out strangeness for such an environment that is the Wonka Chocolate Factory.

I give it 3.75 stars, or a grade of A- (deducting for Johnny Depp's choices while portraying Willy Wonka as he did.)

Last edited by Patman; 07-15-05 at 09:51 PM.
Old 07-15-05, 10:09 PM
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Saw the film this afternoon and really liked it- I still like the original, but being that this is more a version towards the book- there were a few flaws (Nothing major) The cast was good, the songs were good (The lyrics were originally from the book so if you may have a hard time hearing some of the lyrics check out the book, Elfman did a good job with the score and music, the sub-plot was interesting (which was not in the original).
Depp took the character to a different level but he did pull it off.
Gene Wilder played it his way and I really liked what he did.
The kids roles were not recreated from the original which was a great decision.
Both versions are good.

The narration added a nice touch as well.

3 1/2 out of 4 stars- New Version
3 1/2 out of 4 stars- Original 72 version
Old 07-15-05, 10:22 PM
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I thought it was great.

I liked the child actors better in this one than the original, and the ending in this one was much better than the ending in the original. The set design was awesome, and Christopher Lee is always good.

I didn't like Johnny Depp as much as Gene Wilder, but he was still really good.

Hard to pick which one I like better between this one and the old one, mainly because they are surprisingly different.
Old 07-15-05, 10:55 PM
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I just finished watching it, and I left with mixed feelings. Depp gave a solid performance as Mr. Wonka, much more mischevious and odder than the original Mr. Wonka. I prefer Depp in the role although some lines did feel forced and reminescent of Jim Carrey in his comedic roles. The Oompa Loompas were never my favorite part of the original and continue to be the least favorite part in this version. The songs were pretty catchy, and I'm still humming the Willy Wonka song from the trailer and the beginning. As far as the story, I think I prefer the original with Mr. Slugworth trying to buy off the children. This version felt a little too touchy-feely towards the end for me.
Old 07-15-05, 11:10 PM
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I saw it the other day and really enjoyed it... It had classic Burton visuals and great creepy performances...Deep Roy really steals the show, the Oompa Loompas were incredible... the only thing is, I am 24 years old and really like it, but I think kids will HATE this thing... I mean, it's creepy and weird throughout and a bit mean spirited... not sure how well it'll play with the young crowd it's been marketed too.... but Burton did not disappoint and I think it was better than the original.

MATT
Old 07-16-05, 03:20 AM
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I thought it was an excellent movie brought down to very good by a terrible subplot (Wonka's childhood).
Old 07-16-05, 03:48 AM
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i really liked it and thought johnny depp was great. the kids were also all excellent and fit their roles perfectly (except mike tv and the changes they made to him which sorta bugged me).

this movie was definately much funnier than i expected with all the little odd retorts and one liners depp spouts. not to mention the hilarious looks of restrained disgust he displays throughout the movie every time an adult speaks. he really can't stand adults!

there were some scenes from the old movie that i really missed, but i guess those either weren't in the book or didn't fit the new movie properly. the lack of the weird scary scenes during the boat ride threw me off. i thought burton would go all out with that, but i guess that wouldn't fit a more harmless yet "zany" willy wonka that depp played. i also missed the spies popping up in different places during the tv news coverage.

the added willy wonka's past flash backs explain why he became obsessed with candy, but failed to explain how he became so incredibly bizarre.
Old 07-16-05, 04:03 AM
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I'd never been WOWED by any Tim Burton film up until 'Big Fish' (made me cry like a baby). Otherwise, I'd found them to be visually interesting but ended up with a stale headache by the end due to terrible pacing... With 'Charlie,' I was thoroughly entertained by its ...delicious bizzarness. Perhaps the most fun Burton flick that I've experienced. I can't say I took home a profound feeling as I did after Burton's last effort, but it's darn fantastic for a kid's film.
Old 07-16-05, 04:05 AM
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I saw it tonight and liked it very much, but then I have yet to see a Burton film, let alone a Burton-Depp pairing, that I didn't like.

However, I didn't find this version to be any more or less true to the source material than the Gene Wilder version. In that version, the Slugworth subplot and Fizzy Lifting drink scene were added to provide the opportunity for Charlie to perform an act of nobility, thereby earning the prize. In this version, the Wonka childhood was added to set up a similar climax to the story. In most other regards, both are about the same as far as the liberties they take from the original story.

I can understand some of the liberties taken in 1971. For example, how could you reasonably portray a hundred trained squirrels without the availability of CGI? Puppetry and stop-motion animation would have jarred people out of the film. And, being a full musical, the changes to the boat scene and other scenes worked fairly well.

Similarly, most of the liberties taken in the new version also work fairly well. However, my biggest disappointment is the porttrayal of Wonka. I don't know whether it was Johnny Depp's choice, or Tim Burton's, but the impression they gave me of the character is that he is on the border of madness, and that is just not the way the character in the book is represented. Granted, they probably wanted to create some distance between this Wonka and Wilder's version but alas, Wilder's was much, much closer to Dahl's character, though still not a perfect portrayal. Wonka was the master of his domain, and never not in control of what happened in his factory.

It's ironic that both versions felt the need to add subplots. It would have been interesting to build on the implication that Charlie was preselected to win, and that the other childrens' own ignorance, greed and avarice whittle them away, allowing Charlie to "win" by attrition. That is the way the book ends, and I think it could have been enough for the film.

Still, I really enjoyed Burton's overall take on the story, and the performances wree very good, especially Deep Roy as the entire Oompa Loompa population.

A solid 3.5 out of 4 from me.
Old 07-16-05, 10:17 AM
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I reread the book last night and noticed it had the boat ride song. I had forgotten about that. I guess even though this new version was supposed to be closer to the book, it couldn't use the boat ride song because Wilder had performed it in the first movie. I think it would have been interesting to see how Johnny Depp performed it.

I enjoyed this movie alot and like the way Depp portrayed Wonka. Wilder still holds a warm place in my heart because he was first though. I look forward to buying this movie on DVD to enjoy for years to come.

Side Note: There was a family of 6 sitting in front of my wife and me at the theater. The couple had 4 kids ranging from age 2 to 6. At one point, all four kids were gathered around the mother for something. They didn't seem to interested in watching the movie. There was an adult male sitting a couple of rows up from us that had a loud bellowing voice. Everytime he said something, it was projected loudly. I can't understand why someone would bring small children into a theater when they aren't trained to sit still through the entire film. And I can't understand why people feel the need to talk during films.
Old 07-16-05, 02:23 PM
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Overall, I enjoyed it very much. Great visuals, awesome performances, and fantastic music courtesy of Danny Elfman.

However, I found that when a character in this movie said a line or did something that was also in the original, it really bugged me. I guess I've seen the original so many times, I'm just expecting certain lines to be read a certain way.

Also, like the original, there is an inherent problem with the middle of the film - it gets somewhat repetitive watching each child meet their demise. Could we have a room where a kid doesn't get into trouble? (Of course, maybe Wonka devised the tour so that each room played into a particular child's weakness.)

My last complaint is that the childhood subplot wasn't really necessary and felt tacked on.

I have to say though, these are just minor complaints. I still loved the movie, will most likely see it again in theaters, and will definitely buy it on dvd. Also, you might want to bring some candy to the theater with you because you'll be craving some by the time the film is over.
Old 07-16-05, 02:49 PM
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Haven't seen it yet but I'm reserving my spot for when I do. Hopefully tomorrow.
Old 07-16-05, 05:31 PM
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I saw it this morning in IMAX and all I can say is wow. After Burton's past decade of filmmaking full of films that were completely terrible (with Big Fish being the only exception), he's right back on track with his re-imagining of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I went in not expecting a remake, but a faithful adaptation of Dahl's original novel. While it is more true to the novel than the '70s film, there's still a bit more I would've like to seen in the film.

While the original film holds a place in my heart as I've been a fan of it since I was a child, Burton's film is easily on par with it. Both films do have their positive and negative aspects to them. While I thought the preformances from the child actors were much stronger in Burton's version, I believe that the preformances from the adult actors were much stronger in the original film. Yes, that means Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka (despite the fact the man hates the character and the film) is superior to that of Johnny Depp's. Gene Wilder played the character with heart who contains a child-like innoncence. Johnny Depp plays the character like some sort of manchild who has no conception of the real world. Depp was good, but he wasn't as good as Wilder.

Burton's version also happens to be more epic in scope than that of the original film. Things in Burton's vision are bigger and are more amazing, especially when presented in IMAX. The visual effects are mostly fantastic, especially when involving the Oompa Loompas as here they are presented as they were originally imagined in the book: as tiny people and not midgets. However, the visual effects do have their downside, especially when it involves that of the full-size human actors (e.g. the boat sequence). The costume design and set design is simply superb. [It's even better than that of next week's The Island which blew me away in terms of set design.] Burton simply knows how to make a movie look good, and for something in terms of this, it works like gangbusters.

However, the original film has a lot more depth than that of Burton's. What felt lacking to me in Burton's version is that the film simply lacks a consistent pace. Here, the audience is presented with a fantastic first act, but the second and third acts feel like just one big mesh-up. Especially since the third act completely lacks a climax, because Burton's version has zero conflict. With the original film, you actually felt worried that Charlie may not get the chocolate factory and he'll give Wonka's secrets away to that bastard Slugworth. Here, Slugworth is mentioned in passing within the film's first fifteen minutes only and the film in the end feels like it's an exercise in giving four terrible kids morality lessons and giving the good kid the prize at the end. Charlie has no questions against his morals (such as the fizzy lifting drink or giving the everlasting gobstopper to Slugworth as in the original film). He basically is given nothing really to do and he's automatically given the factory just on the basis that he didn't fuck up. Hell, he had no chance to fuck up in this one. That's just a little thing that bugged me as I believe all stories should have a conflict of some nature. Oh well.

However, neither film follows the book's ending.

Spoiler:
I wanted that son of a bitch Willy Wonka to take Charlie, Grandpa Joe, and the rest of the goddamn Bucket family into space so I can get a sequel. Sure, it'd be one hell of an expensive movie, but who cares? It'll be fucking sweet!

Other than my little nitpicks, the film is a total blast. Hell, I even enjoyed Wonka's back story (something that wasn't in the book or the original film) and the new songs (which happened to be in the original book).

Last edited by Matthew Chmiel; 07-16-05 at 05:43 PM.
Old 07-16-05, 07:04 PM
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Just got back a little while ago and I dunno what I saw... it was weird, fun, odd, and just plain goofy in parts. Ill have to see it again on DVD to tell if I truly liked it or not. It was definitely not your average Wonka movie.
Old 07-16-05, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by joefrog91

Side Note: There was a family of 6 sitting in front of my wife and me at the theater. The couple had 4 kids ranging from age 2 to 6. At one point, all four kids were gathered around the mother for something. They didn't seem to interested in watching the movie. There was an adult male sitting a couple of rows up from us that had a loud bellowing voice. Everytime he said something, it was projected loudly. I can't understand why someone would bring small children into a theater when they aren't trained to sit still through the entire film. And I can't understand why people feel the need to talk during films.
Perhaps because people are not training their children to respect others in public......those are the kids that, once finished eating, are allowed to run wild in restaurants, etc., to hell with the other diners peace and quiet. Then there's the adults who talk so loudly into their cell phones EVERYWHERE that you are privy to ALL their business whether you want to or not. I've been known to leave the theater and ask the manger to either quiet down the annoyances or refund my dough-ray-me....
Old 07-16-05, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Rammsteinfan
it was weird, fun, odd, and just plain goofy in parts.
Originally Posted by Rammsteinfan
It was definitely not your average Wonka movie.
Was there more than 1 previous that I missed? Your first quote pretty much nails that one too.
Old 07-16-05, 08:30 PM
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I dunno what I am saying... the movie just made me feel weird about what I just saw. C&TCF is not like the original film and probably wont be remembered as a classic like WW&TCF is.
Old 07-16-05, 09:26 PM
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I saw this yesterday and really enjoyed it. It was quite funny and Depp was wonderful as Wonka. He was the best thing about the movie. It seemed a little short however. The older film just seemed to have a lot more there than this one. All the characters seemed more fleshed out. I was really suprised how small Charlie's part was in this film. He would just dissappear for long periods of time. Anyways its still a really good movie but just not as good as the other film.
Old 07-16-05, 10:36 PM
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Spoilers

Saw it a couple of hours ago, I enjoyed it, but a little less as I keep going over the movie in my mind. Visually it's really great, which of course is a big "duh" when you are dealing with a Tim Burton movie. Heck, him and Johnny Depp and the idea of them trying to be more faithful to the book was what made me want to see the movie in the first place.

The movie is pretty flawless up until Charlie gets his ticket, then it gets pretty hit and miss, along with the obvious deja vu moments, for people like me who grew up on the book and/or the Gene Wilder classic. But there are a lot of cool moments, like seeing stuff from the novel back in i.e. the squirrel scene, instead of golden geese....the origins of the Oompa Loopa's and the cocoa beans. The Oompa Loopa song-and-dance scenes are great, especially with Elfman going into Oingo Boingo mode on most of their songs. There's a lot of been there, done that Burton-isms and Elfman-isms. For example.... snowing with a children's choir on the soundtrack as we look upon a highly stylized broken house that Edward Scissorhands would be right at home in. They aren't breaking any new ground here.

Depp is playing a man boy ala Michael Jackson. He's uncomfortable with dealing with people other than his Oompa Loopas as he's been a shut-in for at least a decade. He pretty much does what he wants whenever he wants and nobody tells him otherwise. What was pretty cool was also how his isolation from society caused him to be stuck in the 60's/70's as far as the lingo he uses, the way he dresses, and it even is evident in the stylings of the Oompa Loopa songs.

The dramatic plot devices that were invented for the Gene Wilder version are gone here... no "Slugworth" trying to steal Wonka's Gobbstopper, no Charlie and Grandpa breaking the rules with Charlie redeeming himself at the end. The whole ending is different, right after the glass elevator scene it gets into a whole backstory wrap-up involving Wonka and his dentist father (Christopher Lee) and the possibility of Charlie not winning the factory after all.

One thing that really bothered me was the Charlie finding the Golden Ticket scene. Tim really *****ed up on this. First, Charlie finds $10 in the snow. At this point, all the tickets have been found (remember... the 5th one ended up being a hoax, but it hasn't been revealed as a hoax just yet in the movie) so why does he bother getting a bar of candy with the $10? (And why not 10 of them instead of just 1?) Especially when, as Rachell reminded me during our late lunch, Charlie's always putting his family first before his needs. Heck, he was willing to sell off his ticket to provide for his family for chrissakes, does it make sense that he would go buy chocolate for himself, especially when he had no chance of getting a ticket? No, he would have taken the $10 back home for his family to eat a decent meal for once. IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE I TELLS YA!!! Plus, there was no emotional weight to the ticket reveal, he just busts the bar open and finds it, no dramatic tension whatsoever. Oh and after he finds the ticket THEN it is brought to his attention that the 5th ticket was a hoax by a customer reading the newspaper. Lame.

Anyways, yeah, you should definitely see it, it's a fun time. I don't know if I would buy it on DVD, I had a little bit of empty feeling after watching it, similar to coming out of A Series Of Unfortunate Events (the story line was really simplistic) but in this case, I think it was because of familiarity with the story via the first movie version and having read the novel, with no new ground being covered. Kids should love it, our audience really got into it and clapped after it was over.
Old 07-16-05, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by darqleo

One thing that really bothered me was the Charlie finding the Golden Ticket scene. Tim really *****ed up on this. First, Charlie finds $10 in the snow. At this point, all the tickets have been found (remember... the 5th one ended up being a hoax, but it hasn't been revealed as a hoax just yet in the movie) so why does he bother getting a bar of candy with the $10? (And why not 10 of them instead of just 1?) Especially when, as Rachell reminded me during our late lunch, Charlie's always putting his family first before his needs. Heck, he was willing to sell off his ticket to provide for his family for chrissakes, does it make sense that he would go buy chocolate for himself, especially when he had no chance of getting a ticket? No, he would have taken the $10 back home for his family to eat a decent meal for once. IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE I TELLS YA!!! Plus, there was no emotional weight to the ticket reveal, he just busts the bar open and finds it, no dramatic tension whatsoever. Oh and after he finds the ticket THEN it is brought to his attention that the 5th ticket was a hoax by a customer reading the newspaper. Lame..
I totaly agree on your point here- It is a minor flaw that I noticed right away- It seemed kind of rushed for him to find the $10 and buy a chocolate bar and the store clerk did not give him any change?- the 5th ticket was never mentioned previous to him going into the store and then it appears as a headline?- In the original version this scene gets the thumbs up instead- The other flaw I saw was the sarcastic remarks of Gene Wilder were top notch- The parents in the original were much better for example Roy Kinear is an English actor and did a great job playing Veruca's father in the original-The new version the father had no substance and there was no chemistry. It was kind of lacking in this version- but overall I enjoyed it- and will always like the original
I searched my DVR for Gene Wilder- and it should be interesting what he thinks of this version he will be on Conan this Tues night.
Old 07-17-05, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by brtcmfn
I totaly agree on your point here- It is a minor flaw that I noticed right away- It seemed kind of rushed for him to find the $10 and buy a chocolate bar and the store clerk did not give him any change?- the 5th ticket was never mentioned previous to him going into the store and then it appears as a headline?- In the original version this scene gets the thumbs up instead- The other flaw I saw was the sarcastic remarks of Gene Wilder were top notch- The parents in the original were much better for example Roy Kinear is an English actor and did a great job playing Veruca's father in the original-The new version the father had no substance and there was no chemistry. It was kind of lacking in this version- but overall I enjoyed it- and will always like the original
I searched my DVR for Gene Wilder- and it should be interesting what he thinks of this version he will be on Conan this Tues night.
I disagree about the parents.

I liked the parents much much more in this version.

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