#239722 - 07/15/0504:32 PMJust Saw Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
[img]http://mywebpages.comcast.net/biffcorp/pictures/misc/catcf.jpg" align="right[/img]I'll get right to the point: Is it better than the 1971 version? Nope. (Here's the part where one might argue that the two films are too different to compare... Argue all you want, because the 1971 version is still better.)<br><br>Sure, this one is more faithful to the book, but it just falls flat of giving us colorful characters that we care about. Save for Willy and Charlie, the new film's ingredients aren't quite ripe.<br><br>In this telling, Charlie's mom and dad are present...though that matters little. There's only the mere mention of Slugworth as a competing confectioner that sells candy made from stolen recipes. And the Oompa Loompas are all played by the same actor—and scaled down to about 1/3 our size. There are songs which the Loompas sing after each naughty child's demise—each performance in a different style (a 60s song, an R&B song, etc.). Good luck even deciphering the lyrics, let alone remembering them.<br><br>On the whole, the movie felt unfinished—like there was still some editing to do. The script was weak, and when there was nothing for the characters to say or do... they said and did nothing! No music, no action, no dialog... just deadpan cuts to the next scene. For instance, when the boat is traveling down the tunnels in chocolate river, we don't get to see much else. In the 1971 version, the guests sat through crazy imagery of slugs and chicken beheadings. We see how the naughty kids are hating this silliness, while Charlie is eating it up. In this, we get just footage of the boat going through the river. I guess writing "and the boat keeps going and going and going and going..." was easier to shoot.<br><br>The writers seemed to focus their attention on Willy and not much else. The kids and parents have little to say. In fact, they're forgotten as the factory tour progresses unless they're the ones blowing up like a blueberry, or getting thrown down a garbage chute by squirrels. Oh, and the ways the kids meet their makers? Very by-the-numbers. No surprises or fancy setups. And no surprises in the effects, either. Only the squirrels in the nut room and the numbers of Oompa Loompas were visually impressive. Like I said, the rest was just as expected.<br><br>And speaking of the kids, they play a backseat to Willy and his flashbacks of his estranged childhood. As an adult, he can't even spit out the word "parents." I liked this portrayal of Willy as a recluse devoid of social skills. Lock yourself up in a factory of mini-people that look like Puerto Rican janitors and see how crazy you go!<br><br>Even though this movie has "Charlie" in the title, it's really about Willy. The 1971 version was just the opposite. In that film, Willy is a wise man that teaches Charlie about life. In this one, it's Willy that has some growing up to do.<br><br>The 1971 movie was much more dramatic. We cared more about the characters and got to see the children and their parents interact. This flick is on life support. On the rare occasion that Burton wakes up and gives us something great, the movie soars. Unfortunately, those moments are few and far between. Prepare to get antsy.<br><br>All in all I give it an "eh" rating. No thumbs up or down... sideways, maybe. 2 stars out of 4. Maybe I'll give it 3 if they ever finish editing it. I got an idea for the DVD title: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Unrated Editor's Cut."<br><br>
Yeah, I'm not surprised this one falls flat. For a few reasons. <br><br>1.) From all the trailers and previews I saw, I never bought Depp as Wonka. Not that Gene Wilder was anything special, but as a huge Roald Dahl fan, I just don't feel the story has been done right. <br><br>2.) I'm not a Tim Burton fan by any stretch. Just because something is eccentric, artistic, weird for the sake of being weird or dark and brooding, that doesn't make it cool. To me, with a Tim Burton film, especially one based on a book, you're getting his vision, not the author's. I want the book to come to life, not as a presentation of The Nightmare Before Scissorhands Wonka Beetlejuice, but faithful to the story as it was written. <br><br>It's unfortunate that one person was used for all the Oompah Loompahs. I'm getting so tired of CGI, I can barely stand it. Batman Begins was refreshing in that regard, because the CGI was used sparingly. <br><br>
I hope they did..it's in the book that way. You got the impression reading that these were the poorest people known to man. The book is all about Charlie, and everything seen through his eyes. A movie that centers around Wonka is just a hack Hollywood interpretation of a great work. <br><br>
I guess that the difference between seeing a movie or reading a book as a kid and as an adult. I never saw "Willy Wonka" when I was young and I would have probably thought that scene was kinda quirky and funny. Seeing it as an adult just made me go "Ewwww, gross."<br><br>
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Oh Sam my man I am just crushed. *sigh* I guess the only recourse left to me is to view it solely for the pleasure of Willy face time and retreat into my chocolate marshmallow wallowing fantasies.<br><br>
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