Thursday, December 29, 2005

Movie Review: Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

First off, I want to say something about Gene Wilder's comments about the movie: He said that there was no reason to remake his film, and it was a shameful attempt on the part of movie studios to capitalize on it's success, capitalize on it's stars, and make some quick cash. You shouldn't say things like that before actually seeing the movie yourself.

Secondly, he was totally right.

This movie was nothing more than a misguided attempt to make money, hidden behind a gigantic plot anvil about how good kids prosper. Every good part of the original movie was carefully excised. Everything that made the original Willy Wonka such a terrific character was expunged, leaving only a slightly off-kilter, effeminate and child-hating developmentally-handicapped chocolatier in purple velvet. In particular:

All of Willy's great dialogue was removed, replaced with, really, just words. Nothing he, the new Willy, said was funny. At all. It was just words. A lot of it felt tacked on. The showpieces of the movie were the Oompa-Loompa songs, which I have to admit, were kind of cool, especially using only one guy for every Oompa-Loompa. It was cheesy, but it was neat.

The boat scene was removed. The fizzy soda scene was removed. Slugworth was removed. Wonka's office was removed. Any sign that Wonka was a human was removed. The parents were reduced to uncaring wooden caricatures. Strangely, as a high point, they found GREAT child actors for every part. Each one was expressive, verbose, emotional, and perfect for their roles (particularly Mike Teevee).

Depp, I guess, needed the money, since he sure didn't get into this movie for the artistic merit.

3.5 / 10. Only rent it if you're a Burton fan.


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