Sunday, October 02, 2005

Movie Review: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I have never read Roald Dahl's book but, according to those who have, Tim Burton's new movie rendition, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, is faithful to it. Johnny Depp, as Willie Wonka, is excellent -- completely eccentric and crazy as he dishes out the just desserts to the obnoxious children he has invited to see his chocolate factory. Willie Wonka has decided to open up his factory to five children. Five golden tickets are hidden inside five chocolate bars, that have been distributed throughout the nation, and whoever finds them wins a trip to the factory for a day. Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore) comes from a very poor eccentric family who live in a ramshackle house on the edge of town. Charlie loves chocolate but can't usually afford it. He is lucky enough to find a golden ticket and joins four other children on the tour. They are told that one of them will win a special prize at the end of the tour. Throughout the tour, Willie Wonka disposes of the four revolting, over-indulged, gluttonous children until Charlie is left to win the prize. The factory is brilliantly rendered, and Johnny Depp is the standout star in this movie and is perfectly zany in the role. The kids are all suitably obnoxious except for Charlie who is a sickingly nice role model for all children everywhere. It's a fun movie with an overt moral message -- although I'm not sure I could live for long with a child as perfect as Charlie! My Rating: ***1/2 (out of 5) Positive Review 'Those Oompa-Loompas are the beat, and soul, of Burton's finest movie since "Ed Wood": a madhouse kiddie musical with a sweet-and-sour heart.' - Owen Gleiberman/Entertainment Weekly Negative Review 'The satirical edge has been dulled in a film that is dominated, and ultimately swamped, by its star's mannered, pixilated performance.' - Ann Hornaday/Washington Post Content Warning quirky situations, action and mild language

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