Spoiled by their upbringing with no idea what wild life is really like, four animals from New York Central Zoo escape, unwittingly assisted by four absconding penguins, and find themselves in Madagascar, among a bunch of merry lemurs
It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry.
When Willy Wonka decides to let five children into his chocolate factory, he decides to release five golden tickets in five separate chocolate bars, causing complete mayhem. The tickets start to be found, with the fifth going to a very special boy, called Charlie Bucket. With his Grandpa, Charlie joins the rest of the children to experience the most amazing factory ever. But not everything goes to plan within the factory. Written by
Johnny Depp does not like the taste of "good" chocolate. He prefers the cheap, Easter-bunny type. See more »
While in the chocolate room, Mike is smashing a candy pumpkin. You see it break into three pieces before his dad comes over, however, when Mike is speaking to his dad, the pumpkin is in smithereens, and Mike is no longer standing in the pumpkin goo. See more »
This is a story of an ordinary little boy named Charlie Bucket. He was not faster, or stronger, or more clever than other children. His family was not rich or powerful or well-connected; in fact, they barely had enough to eat. Charlie Bucket was the luckiest boy in the entire world. He just didn't know it yet.
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At the very end of the movie the WB logo comes up followed by the giggling of the Oompa Loompas See more »
This is not the only awful film to be made from a children's book in the last few years: Lemony Snicket and Cat in the Hat spring to mind, and certainly, the Harry Potter movies are never much better than mediocre.
But Charlie and the Chocolate Factory suffers from the fact that it must be compared to the Gene Wilder version, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which is not only superior to it in every way, but is truly a classic film.
One might well ask why anyone would dare to remake a film that was written by Roald Dahl himself. A film that had beautiful, classic songs, biting humor, and a hilarious cast.
The answer, of course, is money.
This film was made for one reason -- to wring more money out of a Warner Brothers property. Why else remake a nearly perfect film? It's an insult to moviegoers and an affront to the many children who may never bother to watch the original now that they've seen this trash.
The thing is, the Gene Wilder version is very, very funny. Its comedy still seems edgy today. And somehow, they've managed to turn it into a movie with almost no laughs. The timing is sometimes, it seems, deliberately thrown off.
Johnny Depp's performance is, I think, his worst ever. It's just stupendously bad. Then again, he has basically nothing to work with, caught between plain, unfunny new dialogue, and struggling to go in the opposite direction from Gene Wilder's brilliance. I don't envy the task. But don't worry, Johnny got lots and lots of money for his troubles.
The new Charlie, Freddie Highmore, was decent enough in the tearjerker Finding Neverland. But here, he's just all wrong. His one acting choice seems to be "Smile Every Time You Say Something," which I last saw used by Denise Richards in Starship Troopers.
On one hand, I wondered as I was watching it whether the movie would fare better with someone who'd never seen the original. But on the other, this film is so disjointed and strange, I'm not sure how anyone could follow it if they hadn't seen the first film.
The Oompa Loompa "songs," if you can call them that, consist of CG clones singing the same rhyming lines over and over again. There is no narrative or melodic progression to the songs -- they are as two dimensional as cardboard cutouts.
Add to this bland, unimaginative mix a few ghastly changes from the earlier movie: Charlie has a father now, his family magically gets "unpoor" at the end by the dint of their own optimism, and Willy Wonka learns -- get ready for this one -- that families are not a bad thing.
It's beyond awful. Watch the original again instead, I beg of you.
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