Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) Poster

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Nothing could be sweeter...
Alexis (griffin84)12 July 2005
Growing up, my favorite book was, easily, "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory". Roald Dahl's magical tale of a young boy's adventure in the strange factory was spell-binding. Though I never had a problem with the original "Willy Wonka" move with Gene Wilder (despite how unfaithful it was, it was still a cute and heart-warming movie), I was doing back-flips when I heard Tim Burton, quite possibly my all-time favorite director, would helm a new version of the movie.

First and foremost, Johnny Depp is perfect as Willy Wonka. What people don't really pick up from the first movie is that Wonka was intended to be, well, crazy. He was eccentric and freaky, the way he allowed the rotten children to get what they deserved and protected his factory like it was his child. Gene Wilder portrayed Wonka more like a fatherly-figure, and really was just too nice. Depp pulls out all of the stops as a new Willy Wonka, though there are times that any audience member will get just a bit freaked out.

What I loved most about the movie was how faithful it was to the book. Everything that was mentioned, from the chocolate palace to the hair toffee, was taken directly from the book. I was incredibly impressed.

This is definitely a movie for everyone, especially those of us who hold the original tale in our hearts. Wonka chocolate bars for all!
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The Fabulous Return of Willy Wonka
Roel5 July 2005
Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory" at the Wilkinson American Movie Day. And, oh boy, I was in delight! Don't expect a bleak remake of the amusing (and rather psychedelic) 1971-version. It is in every way a genuine Tim Burton-movie, stacked with beautiful imagery, wacky humor and bizarre characters, but at the same time faithful enough to the spirit of the novel. Roald Dahl would've been proud. It also features outstanding performances by the entire cast. Johnny Depp gives us a strange, almost creepy Willy Wonka, Freddie Highmore is a perfect Charlie, the Grandparents are lovable and wacky, and the five other children and their parents are amusingly irritating. And last but not least, an excellent soundtrack by Mr. Danny Elfman, reminiscent of both Edward Scissorhands and his early Oingo Boingo-days. Go see this with your parents, children, grandparents, movie buff-friends, nephews and nieces ... they will be equally delighted!
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Burton does it again !
EdBloom5 July 2005
I have seen Charlie & The Chocolate Factory last night and though I usually don't care very much in giving my opinion, the journey M. Burton and his team made me cross deserves an homage. Especially with all that criticism rising around the film before it has been released.

I have been a Tim Burton fan for more than a decade now; I grew up with his films. But what I have been through yesterday his really unique. I actually never thought he would offer us such a film one day. Fans of his first period, with all the lonely and desperate characters won't like it for sure. Since Mars Attacks !, and more specifically since Big Fish, Burton decided to tell things differently. His vision of the world slightly changed in every of his films : now, the rejected freak comes down to the world and stays. A world that remains frightening and weird even thought we call it "reality" but a world worth living in. And that's what Charlie & The Chocolate Factory is all about… It all begins with a main title sequence that may be one of the main weaknesses of the film. The sequence is very entertaining and visually ambitious but they decided to go with CGI and it looks like it was a decision they made in last minute. Since the film was proudly made with "real" sets, "real" Oompas Loompas, "real" squirrels, the main title looks inappropriate. It's not that important but it's a Tim Burton film and we know how much he usually works on his main title. Hopefully, Danny Elfman is there with a crazy mix of the Edward Scissorhands and Spider-Man (the music when the title of the film appears gave me shivers), a true musical roller-coaster that gives a hint on what his score will sound like through the film.

After that, it's just emotions. All kinds of them: laughs (many – the audience laughed almost every thirty seconds), tears of joy (we all know Charlie's gonna find that ticket but when he does, you just can't refrain your heart to beat faster), mercy (the way Burton depicts the social misery of the Bucket's family is really touching), amazement (the Wonka Factory and its many rooms is true wonder, one the most achieved design Burton ever offered us) and many mores. Very much like the book, even though it seems simple and childish, you would like to stop for a second to collect those feelings and try to analyze them but you don't have the time. It just never stops (I realize it might be a flaw for some people in fact). Burton never has been so generous in terms of human warmness.

Johnny Depp proposes another inventive and completely wacky interpretation here. I won't compare with Gene Wilder since I don't know the first film very well (pretty unknown flick here in Europe) and those comparisons should stop anyway. Depp makes of Wonka a tormented and unadapted character who doesn't know much about common courtesy and doesn't really care anyway. He built up his own universe in response to his authoritarian father and he's pretty proud of it. He just doesn't want those "weird" (a word he likes – you've all seen the TV spots) and boring parents with their despicable children to ruin what is life is based on. Yet… So Depp's Wonka is actually very moving and pathetic in his attempts to entertain his visitors. As Burton does everything he can to make you hate Augustus, Vercua, Violet and Mike at the moment you first see them, you get instantly closer to Wonka when you noticed he feels the same. In addition to that, John August's vision of Wonka's past (including an always perfect cameo by Christopher Lee) offers the character a real depth you didn't expect.

Danny Elfman is also one of the main attractions of the film. While his score is already classic Burton/Elfman work with some interesting experiments (the main themes are splendid), the songs he wrote for the Oompas Loompas are just so funny. Hugh laughs in the audience for some musical choices. Those songs don't intend to stay with you for months (it would have been hard as they're based on Dahl's lyrics that doesn't allow Broadway impulses), they're just off-beat numbers playing with many references in so many styles. Oingo Boingo fans have to buy the soundtrack when it'll come out, it'll bring them back 15 years ago.

What can I tell you more ? McDowell's sets are amazing, Pescucci's work is impressive as well as Rousselot's beautiful cinematography. Some Oscar Nominations should fall here.

As for the ending, without revealing it, August's additions are really touching and fit perfectly to Burton's new approach. Even though the final shot tempers the "family" theme that he developed through the film (it's still Burton, not Disney), Burton makes you feel good because he feels good (and what I'm writing here will ring a bell when you'll see the movie). I don't know for you but after so many distressed and pessimistic films, it really moved to see that he found a certain peace. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is a step forward in the direction he gave to his career with Big Fish. He lost his father, he became one, he's getting older and all those questions and doubts are expressed in many important and very complex images and scenes he imagined for the film. That's why I could call this film the "Edward Scissorhands" of his new period. Those films are very different but gave me both some very essential emotions.

Thank you, M.Burton. Thank you very much…
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Not bad, but not good, either...
Dena-215 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I know I'm in the minority here, but I wasn't jumping up and down about this movie. I loved the book as a child and loved the original film with Gene Wilder for its own original contributions...perhaps I'm biased. Still, I have always admired Tim Burton and Johnny Depp's work, and had been looking forward to this new interpretation of Roald Dahl's book.

This film was, indeed, more true to the book than the 1971 version...the squirrel room, the jungle scene, the children leaving the factory, perhaps a little "wiser for the wear." However, the character development of the 1971 version was MUCH better than were actually given an opportunity to like or dislike each character, including Willy Wonka. I did think that Johnny Depp's portrayal of Wonka was more true to the book than Gene Wilder's...Willy Wonka is supposed to be quite childish and eccentric. However, I thought that this film's preoccupation with being true to the book caused it to overlook what is more important, which is to establish the intentions of each character. At least in the 1971 version, it's pretty clear what each character's intentions are...even if establishing some of these intentions requires a conspiracy involving "Slugworth." And though I haven't read the book in a very long time, I do NOT remember any details being given as to Willy Wonka's childhood...I thought these were unnecessary, distracting, and a waste of time. This energy could have been better spent on the children's' character development, in my opinion. This is, after all, supposed to be a story for and about children.

The oompa loompas. It's true that they are physically portrayed accurately here more so than in the 1971 version, i.e. very small people and not midgets with orange skin and green hair. However, though the songs they sing here are true to the book, they are less charismatic than those of the 1971 film and sometimes seem over the top. Also, I didn't like that they were all clones of each other...I think that was a poor choice.

Finally, I was appalled with the ending...this ties in with my previous comments re: Willy Wonka's childhood. It changed the whole idea behind the story itself, which is supposed to be (from my perspective) that people can overcome their hardships to have a happy and prosperous ending, as long as they're honest, selfless, and generous. This movie changes the whole theme of the story to one that emphasizes the importance of family over any kind of material wealth or prosperity. Both are perfectly good and legitimate themes, but my reading of the book left me with an impression that Roald Dahl was more concerned with the former theme than the latter. Accordingly then, this movie did not do the book justice in the most important and fundamental way, whereas the 1971 film was able to do so despite its shortcomings.
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This film is just wrong and horrible
Steve H4 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
First of its important to say that I am a Roald Dahl fan, and indeed a fan of the original 1971 film Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory. What that film and the work of Roald Dahl have in common is charm, warmth, eccentricity etc. This Tim Burton film does not share in any of it. Having sat and forced myself to watch the entire film hoping something good would happen I was left feeling nothing but empty. I enjoyed most of Tim Burton's work and was rather excited about this film when it was announced, the trailers never gave away too much and I kept on hoping right up until the credits rolled. So whats so bad about it then? My first massive problem with the film is the reactions from the children through the film. Were they sedated during filming? Watch the scene where they tear down the chocolate river in the boiled sweet boat, does one of them even scream in delight? are they not amazed they are on a boat made from candy on a river of flowing chocolate? Most of the time they stand there looking like they would rather be somewhere else, how are we supposed to believe in the wonder of this amazing factory if the kids there aren't even impressed (too much blue screen work perhaps, means the poor actors had nothing to be amazed at)

my second not quite as massive problem with the film is Burton's muse Johnny Depp. Perhaps their relationship is getting stale but Depp's performance as Willy Wonka was nothing but irritating; less eccentric, more pathetic. The creepy grey skin, luminous teeth, puppy dog eyes and hushed voice all add up to a character that I was bored of in the first 5 minutes after seeing him. The ridiculous back story of his childhood was totally superfluous and added nothing to the film, it's like Burton really wasn't trying 'why does wonka love candy....? hmmmm maybe his father was a wicked dentist who wouldn't let him eat it... I could get christopher lee to play him! get on to casting!' Wonka was supposed to be a man with years and years of experience behind him, a weathered eccentric not an excitable/sedated puppy

point number 3 THE MUSIC, perhaps the worst score to a film I have ever heard, Danny elfman, shame on you. OK so they wanted to bring the songs up to date but jeez the music is just bad, the incidental music is bad also, its all bad.

#4 the Oompa Loompa's. this really made me sad, really sad, so in the revised book they are like miniature cavemen, in the 1971 film they are crazy psychedelic dwarfs, in this film they are... one man, one dwarf, Burton employed him in 'Big Fish' he did OK there but he is so wrong for the part of an oompa loompa and why does he have to play all of them? another gimmick that I suspect Burton really didn't waste any time over coming up with, his expressionless face might have worked as a sad clown but the cheeky Oompa Loompas? I think not there were a few god points, the authenticity (minus the stupid flashbacks) I loved seeing the candy boat in all its glory, the fudge mountain , an actual glass elevator rather than the weird gold thing in the 1971 film but who really cares about all these things when not one person in the film seemed to be impressed by it, did the crew record dry run rehearsals by accident? ( by the way the original elevator of the book didn't have rockets on the side it used sky hooks and was powered by sugar but kids would just laugh at that right?) It was nice to see charlie's dad regardless of the fact he is of no importance to the film. The sets were OK but lacked any real wow factor.

basically if you took burtons script chucked out all the nonsense hired a new director kept the sets and gave them a bit more wow and hired a new sound guy and told everyone to smile and have a laugh it wouldn't be that bad, but that didn't happen, mores the pity. OK so one day, say 30 years from now I will make it again its the only way I can resolve my issues with this disaster.

in short if you are a roald dahl fan and like the 1971 film DO NOT WATCH THIS, honestly I regret ever seeing it
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Just does not hold up to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
rzg-210 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was simply awful. Willy Wonka lacked the warmth, humor and wit that was shown by Gene Wilder in the original. The use of one person as the Oompa loompas comes off as cheap production, whether it was or not. The changes made, even subtle ones such as the order or events between Charlie finding the money and getting the last ticket and the introduction of the elevator just seem off. One of the most memorable moments is left out, which is the fizzy drink that makes Charlie and Uncle Joe float around.

The oompa loompa sequences are horrible, the main characters fail to connect with the viewer as they did in the original.. I could go on and on but will just end by saying....

This movie is proof that new technology, different actors, producers and directors do not always equal a better experience.

Save your time and your money... buy and watch the original. My 5 year only daughter even prefers it over the new.
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Garbage. Absolute, pure, filthy garbage.
amypeterson123453 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I honestly cannot see why anybody would like this rubbish over the original. Whereas the 1971 version sparkled with innocence, charm and magic, this monstrosity will leave you feeling violently ill and internally disturbed by the time the closing credits roll.

Let me begin by saying I don't personally enjoy Tim Burton's style, and didn't like the dark influence he brought to this film. Depp's Wonka is perhaps the creepiest character I've ever watched in a movie. Unlike Gene Wilder's eccentric yet loving Wonka, he openly expresses his disgust and hatred towards the children. One need only watch the scene in which a shrunken Mike Teavee is nearly stabbed by a vicious-faced Oompa-Loompa, or the one in which Veruca Salt is dragged screaming into the garbage chute while Wonka pretends he cannot find the right key to let Mr. Salt into save his daughter, to understand Wonka's cruelty. In the original, Wonka seemed merely disappointed and bored during the children's accidents, and he always kept his head; he knew no harm would befall the young troublemakers. Here, we see Wonka laughing, dancing and cheering as the Oompa Loompas sing about children being turned into chocolate and eaten.The scenes of the four naughty children's punishments were incredibly disturbing, and the jokes about cannibalism just made me cringe at the stupidity of it all.

Charlie Bucket, who should have been the main character, was a disappointment. Throughout most of the film he seems rather expressionless and bored, unlike the genuine and honest boy played by Peter Ostrum in the original movie. The 1971 Charlie had a dream; he wanted more than his poverty-stricken life, he strived to help his family out of tight situations, he wasn't perfect, but he was a believable character, and that's what made him so lovable; he was just like us all. This Charlie doesn't seem to care about anything; he seems perfectly happy with his life and hardly seems to care about getting a golden ticket. The other children are equally disappointing; Violet Beauregarde manages to pull off her characters fairly well, but even so she had little to work with.

The songs in the original were hopeful and inspiring, such as the charming 'Candy Man,' and 'I've Got a Golden Ticket,' the heartwarming 'Cheer up Charlie,' and the magnificent 'Pure Imagination.' In this new version,the only songs we get are a cheesy welcome song in which childlike puppets explode and melt into ghoulish wraith like figures, plus the nauseating Oompa-Loompa filth. The emotional 1971 ending with Wonka, Charlie and Grandpa Goe in the elevator has been replaced with Wonka refusing the other Buckets to enter the factory, becoming a hobo, and eventually reuniting with his abusive dentist father (???)

In a short review with a maximum of 1, 000 words I simply can't do justice to the badness of this movie, so I'll leave it at this: the old movie has a positive and uplifting message that will bring tears to even the coldest eye. This one crushes the viewer down into the dust while screaming its message into their face. So, unless you enjoy stupid jokes, children in despair and nauseating songs, don't waste any money on this soulless, emotionally disturbing piece of filth.
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Clownbird20 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Tim Burton kept saying he wanted to make a version much more faithful to the source material, which leaves me wondering why he didn't.

There's the awful (and unnecessary, and counterproductive) back story showing Wonka's childhood, which is nothing more than an excuse for Burton to bring in one of his horror movie heroes from childhood (Christopher Lee) while completely killing any sense of mystery Wonka might otherwise possess.

I like Johnny Depp, but his Wonka had zero warmth...and was just plain creepy and random - one minute he's snippy and/or oblivious to the kids, the next he's paternal, offering Charlie some nourishing hot chocolate because he "looks like he could use it" (and because it's a line from the book).

Wonka in the book is a spritely little gent...neither Gene Wilder nor Johnny Depp are really much like him (much less so Depp), but Wilder's interpretation always has that twinkle in his eye - you know he's a little eccentric but he's always in control. The kids in this version are all pretty good. But Wonka himself? Yikes. Give me Gene Wilder's version over creepy Johnny Depp's Michael Jackson take any day.

The Oompa-Loompa musical numbers blew. The first one, in the chocolate room, was okay. But overall, I had a hard time understanding most of the lyrics. It was all just raucous noise. Come on, Elfman, you can do better than that.

Wonka telling Charlie he can't bring his family to live with him in the factory was insane. First of all, it makes Wonka look even more like a freaky pedophile; second of all - how on earth is that faithful to the book?!

This is the second time in recent memory I've heard of a producer/director wooing the widow of a beloved children's book author and then she deciding that her dead husband would love this new big-screen version of his source material.

Somewhere, Dr. Seuss is consoling Roald Dahl.
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2005: A Film Tragedy
flyingcandy9 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was simply awful. I am waiting for someone, anyone, to point out that Johnny Depp was just terrible. The first twenty minutes, in a grandiose fashion, leads us to a giant man named Willy Wonka who can put the world on it's toes by putting gold tickets inside five candy bars. Then when you meet Wonka, he's nothing. Johnny Depp is as pale as a sheet; I'm not referring to his white makeup and fake white teeth, but his acting. He's doing an imitation of Jim Carrey doing an imitation of Michael Jackson. His Wonka not believable at all. The kids are just bad. Rich, and bad. You get the whole Hollywood push of "rich kids are evil, while poor kids are perfect", meanwhile, what about the children of Hollywood actors and producers and directors, are they exempt because their parents are artists instead of capitalists? I don't get it. I just don't get it. I really don't get this at all. This movie was so terrible. The songs were horrid. One Oompa Loompa playing them all of them was cheap and lame; and the songs made me hide my head in disgust. And there is a segment where Burton pays "tribute" to Stanley Kubrick's "2001", and it's all but blasphemous to people like me who literally worship classic films. In the original, Gene Wilder was believable. He really seemed like the character. He was the character. But Depp, as usual, was simply performing. Horrible. Horrible. One of the worst movies I have ever seen. A C.G.I. overkill.
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Bijan Borazjani24 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is a horrible horrible version of this movie. Where in the hell in the book does Wonka talk to his father. And the part where Wonka denies Charlie the factory because he wants to bring his family, absolutely ridiculous. Wonka is supposed to be an inspiration. Not a jerk who has a magical moment with his father. The characters are just completely screwed up. Why on earth would this remake even be considered good. My next problem Oompa Loompas. Where did this freakin idea come from. This movie may have been considered good only if you have never seen one: the original movie two: you have never read the book and three: you have never seen a johnny depp movie. All around a horrible movie. Never waste you time renting this.
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Did anyone NOT like this movie? (please comment only if you aren't a fan p.s. Spoilers)
love-movies23 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I was actually excited to see this movie, I wasn't expecting anything, I was just intrigued to see another Tim Burton film. The pictures in the film and the factory were spectacular and mesmerizing. Without even paying attention to the story line it was clear this was a Tim Burton film, truly fantastic. But Like watching a model trying to ponder physics, the beauty is only skin deep. Where was the heart in this movie? The acting, the dialog, the people all fell short of human behavior.

Small example: A child spoiled all her life only taunts her father with the resounding demand: "I want it Daddy." Where's the yelling, the screams, has no one EVER SEEN a tantrum??

Additional Example: The parents seemed hardly upset with their children's misfortune. As a parent would you not run out and help your daughter if she were attacked by ANYTHING much less squirrels?!

The Ompa Loompa problem: I loved them actually. Tiny, creepy, and what a great story on how they were found. They were great until they broke into a bad Britney spears song and dance. What the #*!$*#& was that?!

Flashback problem: I loved johnny's character, quirky and fun. Nevertheless, the flashbacks didn't add much at all to anything. And they were executed in the WORST WAYS i've ever seen. "sorry I was having a flashback." They are far better ways to have had those worked honestly.

The T.V. kid: was he really so horrible? I mean yes, he was obnoxious, but it doesn't take t.v. to do that. In fact, didn't t.v. just make him smart? Is it so awful that he figured out how to find the bar with the ticket? T.V. didn't turn his mind to mush, it made him the smartest kid who was just annoying and stubborn.

The ending: Horrible, horrible, horrible. I don't even want to talk about it.
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Tim and Johnny Disappoint
cnol1200027 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
If the only justification for this being a great movie is that it is true to the book, then it shouldn't have been made at all. Tim Burton has successfully digitized and sterilized the Chocolate Factory universe, and in so doing has destroyed a wonderful piece of pop culture. No longer will orange-faced, green-haired Oompa Loompas populate my imagination (and nightmares). No longer will I wonder just what in the world an American boy was doing living in a ramshackle house in a nondescript Bavarian town. And no longer will I wonder what drove Gene Wilder's Wonka to be such a lovable sadist, or just exactly what drugs he popped before taking that insane boat ride. In short, the imagination of the original film is gone, replaced with a shallow, bloated, big-budget disappointment.

When the film was first announced, I was ecstatic that Johnny Depp and Tim Burton would be taking it on. I thought only Johnny would have the skills to successfully reinvent the enigmatic Wonka, and only Burton (or maybe David Lynch) would be able to make the disturbing Oompa Loompa's even more disturbing. The film fails in both respects.

Visually, Depp does a fantastic job of capturing the essence of Wonka. His buggy sunglasses, velvet coat and top hat were faithful both to Wilder's Wonka and the whimsical nature of the character himself. But Depp's acting and/or the material he was working with fell flat. In the few lines of dialogue that actually fit into the context of the scene, Depp's delivery was synthetic and provided no insight into the character. Perhaps this was intended, but for me it backfired. If they wanted me to loathe the character, it worked. By contrast, Gene Wilder's take left no doubt about his distaste for children - Think of his wonderful eyerolling while saying, "No, please, stop.." - or his true reversal when he finally finds a child of virtue - "You did it Charlie! I knew you would!" His performance is nuanced and genuine. Depp's is taut and plastic. Where is the playful and inventive dialogue like "Oh, you should never, never doubt what nobody is sure about." and "So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it."?

Now to the Oompa Loompa's. Those little orange buggers have been scaring the hell out of me ever since I saw the original as a child. I couldn't wait to see Burton's twisted take when the movie was announced. Then I heard that the Loompas would be played by one actor, Deep Roy, and digitally reproduced. I began to worry. My worries were well justified when I saw the film and the Oompas had become a cloned and shrunken version of Roy, with only latex jumpsuits to lend any suggestion of the bizarre. The musical numbers were equally disappointing. Glitzy, fast-paced and well choreographed, they nevertheless pale in comparison to the catchy and unforgettable originals with their "doompa-dee-doos" -- on a par with the "Ohh-ee-ohhs" of the Wizard of Oz for great movie choruses sung by guys with brightly-colored faces. In fact, I don't think there was one line in any of the new movie's songs that I actually could understand. And since the musical numbers added so much to the story in the original, I definitely felt something was missing this time.

Burton has always been a master at creating otherworldly environments that incorporate just enough anachronisms and bizarre elements to keep you guessing whether the story is supposed to be set in our universe or not. He does another admirable job of it here. From the opening credits, with their depiction of a Rube Goldbergesque chocolate machine, to the imaginative nut sorting room, Burton uses his talents well to create a rich landscape. However, I think he fell short in a few spots. His take on the Augustus Gloop and Violet Beauregarde incidents is identical to the original, but with less dialogue. And the only new element in the Mike Teevee scene is the cute homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey and other cinema classics. I think a director like Burton could have gone to town, so to speak, with this material and still stayed faithful to the book.

Another element of the film that I found irritating were the flashbacks to Wonka's youth and other departures from the main story, such as the origin of the Oompa Loompa's. The biographical material on Wonka not only eliminated some of the mystery surrounding the character, but it was tired and predictable to suggest that his eccentricities were the result of his troubled relationship with his father. (Gee - Their subsequent reconciliation at the end of the movie was a real shocker once this was revealed.)

And how, how, how, Mr. Burton, could you tackle the subject of the vicious indigenous creatures of Loompaland without talking about those rotten Vernicious Knits!

Bad remakes and needless sequels are not only poor cinema, they detract from their predecessors. Unfortunately, I think Burton's film will have just that impact on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Perhaps I need to read the book again, something I haven't done since my childhood, to appreciate this movie for its faithfulness to Dahl's vision. Somehow, I don't think that will make me like it any better, though. After all, when we now see Homer in Simpsons episode DABF03 ask to see the Oompa Loompa because he's "freaky", will it strike the same chord? I think not.
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another tragic remake.
Tiger808 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Just like so many other remakes of great films, this is one that fails miserably on so many levels. First of all, Johnny Depp does not display near the wit nor the charisma that Gene Wlider did in the original. You actually see Willy Wonka before the big day arrives, which takes some of the mystery out of the character.

None of the characters are really enjoyable like in the first film. They seem to lack any real emotion or style. The special effects are overkill for the overtone of this story. It is almost like Walt Disney meets Timothy Leary. If you are a fan of the original, steer clear of this abomination.
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Burton Studied the Book's Original Illustrations
Fred18 July 2005
If Tim Burton's out there I just want to thank him for bringing the spirit of the book's original illustrations to the screen. He even matched the facial expressions to the drawings, especially in the case of Charlie's family. Charlie himself looks like one of the drawings, and the Bucket house is so much like the illustrations it caused me to realize that Burton is as visual as any movie director can be. (Recent editions feature the work of a different illustrator. I'm talking about the illustrations from the 1960s. The difference between the older illustrations and the newer ones is the older ones feature a lot of cross-hatching. I imagine the older illustrations are still available, especially in a hardcover, but you'll need to search the net.) I don't know how he did it, but he got the facial expressions of Charlie's family and of Mike Teavea's father down perfectly. He also absorbed Dahl's sense of humor. The opening fifteen minutes or so, in which the winners of the golden tickets are announced one by one, really get Roald Dahl's sense of the ridiculous. I think Burton's addition of Wonka's childhood story fits well, although I'll agree that the way this is resolved is not completely in Dahl's spirit. Even in the resolution, however, Burton maintains sly humor. It is well-acted by everybody. I'd like to say that Julia Winter, who plays Veruca Salt, has turned in a truly well-observed comedic performance. Depp converts the novel's jaunty, precise Wonka into a quirky one, but it works well, because, as in the novel, Wonka's endearing traits contrast with the fact that he's a tyrant. Roald Dahl gets a rap for his cynicism, and this movie softens his message a bit. Dahl is a bit like Orwell. Both of them point out that man, given power, will exploit his fellow human beings. CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY the movie is not quite as dark as the book. But it comes very, very close.
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Do yourself a favour and go rent the original.
musitron-116 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Absolutely awful. Sorry, it's the truth.

I wanted it to be good too. The original is brilliant, a timeless piece of pop culture. But what Tim Burton did to this film... OK, picture Fred Durst, Avril Lavigne, the Spice Girls, and the New Kids on the Block covering "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Drunk. That is really how bad this film is.

My biggest problem with the film is that they left out Charlie's sin. I mean, no fizzy lifting drinks? C'mon!! One of the things that humanized the original Charlie, the polite and thoughtful one amongst a pastiche of brats, is that Charlie too broke the rules, and reasonably invoked Wonka's wrath. Charlie's innate good nature eventually redeems him, Also, for Darwin's sake, cut out the music. "PAINFUL" is the only word I can conjure to describe it.

I will admit that I have not read the Dahl novel, so I do not know if the original included all the drudgerous background on Wonka. However, the constant flow-killing flashbacks slows the pace of the movie to a crawl, and normally Depp's acting can carry any role, but this script and character rendering were just terrible. Perhaps the background information on Wonka should have been one big chunk in the beginning of the movie, because spacing it out has no build-up value at all.

Also, worst voice on a Depp character, well, ever.

There really was nothing to redeem this piece-of-crap moneysucker. I can't believe I actually wasted $12 to see it. Between this, "The Stepford Wives," and "Godzilla," I have lost all faith in the movie industry.
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speechless (well, not quite)
wee_scottish_lassie23 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Ahem, where do I start? When seeing this movie the first thing that struck me was the "exciting" music at the beginning which reminded me a bit of Harry Potter. The opening scene was absolutely riveting, showing the wrapping of bars of chocolate. I almost fell off my sit because I was so intrigued. The beginning of the film surpassed itself in making us realize by about 2 minutes of it that it was going to be absolutely dreadful. The real fun began when we met Willy Wonka. I won't say who he reminded me of.. anyone who's seen the film would know and I don't want to spoil the pleasant surprise for those of you who haven't yet had the honour. The oompaloompa dances were possibly the worst things I have ever seen. Who choreographed them?! I want to meet this insane idiot! It literally made me want to puke. They had an eerie kind of synchronization which was so unnatural that it was scary. I admit to finding the first dance slightly amusing but by the time I'd got to the 4th I was just staring at the screen in disgust.

Words of warning: Don't go and see this sad excuse for entertainment. See the original!!
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Not very good
Tigerbrother3 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
My wife & I went to see this today (3rd August2005); we were really looking forward to it because of all the media hype and the trailer looking great.

To be honest we both love the original move with Gene Wilder (1971), I also read the book many years ago and enjoyed that as well.

This version we felt was such unadulterated rubbish that we walked out after an hour.

We felt that Johnny Depp was useless as the character as he came across way too young - after all it was supposed to be over 20yrs since Grandpa Joe worked there - Willy didn't look a day over 35 which would have meant that he was but a teenager when he opened the factory.

Deep Roy did a good job at acting as the Oompa Loompas although the musical scenes were so crap it begs belief that Tim Burton actually wasted the money doing those scenes.

I think that using a primarily British cast was a new twist! About the only things in our opinion that had improved over the 1971 version was the visual effects - these were excellent; and giving some background to some of the characters was also a good idea.

Overall given that we could only bear to watch the first hour, I would say, don't waste your money - go and rent the 1971 version from the local video store.
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Just not right...
huntsberry30 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not sure if this is a SPOILER or not, but my opinion. I was really looking forward to seeing this. I like Johnny Depp and I loved the original. I was very disappointed in this for several reasons. 1) I thought it was going to be a Part II and not a remake. Why remake something that was already great? Why not make a movie as Charlie himself grown up and running the factory. 2) Depp is quirky in a freaky, irritating kind of way, often resembling Michael Jackson in a strange way. 3) They ruined all the great songs that were in the original, with completely new, completely irritating, please turn the *@#$ off, it's killing me, kind of songs. 4) Kudos to the one guy who played ALL the oompa loompas.... again pretty strange looking and very digitized.... i like the originals much better instead of exact clone of one. 5) They changed the idea of a lot of the scenes completely... no bad/golden egg for example, no everlasting gobstoppers. 6) My kids didn't like it much either and looked kind of disturbed after the show.
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Movie not that good at all.
Johnson26 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This movie version stunk! Yes, I know it was more to the book but having Johnny Depp??? Come on. Don't get me wrong, I do like Johnny Depp. He's had his share of good and bad movies but this another bad one (I don't think he can get any worse than Cry-Baby). Anyways, I do believe they could have done better for the role of Willy Wonka! Much better. You can really tell this was a Tim Burton movie. The coloring, the acting, and the sets. How about that house?? Seemed like one small touch to it and it would just fall like a deck of cards. How can Charlie really sleep with the roof open like that? (Yea, I know, it is a fantasy book) The Oompa Loompa scenes were terrible! It was interesting that the same guy played ALL of the Oompa Loompas but the dance scenes were just plain awful. Just another part which downgraded this movie. But back to the fact that he played ALL of the Oompa Loompas, would it have hurt to get more than ONE person to play the parts??!? At least in the Mel Stuart version, they got a bunch of them to play the parts and some of them couldn't speak English! OK, time for the good parts. Tough to do. I would give this movie an 8 for the special effects. The glass elevator for instance. Traveling throughout the factory and even through the town with rockets. Nice. So having the choice of the Mel Stuart version, which got away from the book a lot but good actors, or this new Tim Burton, which stuck to the book but bad choice of actors, I would still pick the Mel Stuart version in a second!! Sorry Roald Dahl!!
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Where's the fun?
rbugden21 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Although this movie stays close to the book, it's much darker than the book or the original, despite the original including a scene with a chook getting its head chopped off.

Depp is a strange Wonka. He has no interest in children and only became a chocolatier as revenge to his father's abhorration of sweet things, because he was a dentist. Depp's Wonka is much darker than Wilder's portrayal, and it's one that probably caused nightmares.

The Oompa Loompas are played by one person who is CGI cloned a thousand times. He's not even cute! Having the same Oompa Loompa is repetitive and annoying- some variety would've been nice. The songs they sing take the lyrics directly from the book but aren't as catchy as the original's songs. I do like the different genres of music used though.

The children are just as annoying as you'd expect them to be. Freddie Highmore is wonderful as Charlie, although he doesn't come across as the centre of the movie as one might expect. The demise of each child is the highlight of each segment and really moves the film along nicely.

Where the film strays from the book are the parts that annoy me the most. Violet being overly competitive seems out of place, and the subplot with Wonka and his father is silly. It has no place in the film and delays the inevitable ending, which everyone already knows. Delaying it with an out-of-place subplot is completely pointless and unnecessary.

So why don't I like the movie? It's too dark. Wonka is a happy, loving, hyperactive character. Depp's Wonka meanders through his factory like a robot and the occasional amusing comment (when he's not having flashbacks to his demented childhood).

Give it a miss and see the original. Better still, read the book!
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I can't shake longings for Wilder and tangerine faces...
Director Tim Burton has come a long way since his first job as an animator for Disney in the early 1980's. He made several animated shorts, none of which were deemed suitable for children - an early indication of Burton's dark outlook. However, his hard work and talent did not go unnoticed. His subsequent directorial work on Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992) cemented his role as an experimental and visionary director/producer. Nobody else, therefore, was surely more suitable to adapt Dahl's much-loved novel, and nobody else was surely daring enough to attempt a re-make of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971, directed by Mel Stuart), that enduring classic starring Gene Wilder as Wonka.

Burton's repeated use of Depp in previous films (Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, and Sleepy Hollow to name just three) indicated him to be an obvious and, it could be argued, perfect choice to cast as Wonka. Depp is by far the best thing about this film. His character's whole persona - the costume and body language, the tone of his voice, his pithy lines delivered in a contemptuous and yet charming manner, are all presented in such a way to add up to a well deserved challenge to Wilder's crown. But does he steal it? I'd say he doesn't. For someone that grew up with Roald Dahl's novels and film adaptations, Wilder IS Wonka. Trying to ignore my obvious bias, I believe Depp does put up a good fight, and perhaps if the parents of the four terrible children had shown more spark, or been actors of a higher calibre, his comic moments would have had much more impact.

Burton's other muse, Helena Bonham Carter, is mis-cast as Charlie's mother. Her lines are delivered distractedly and with the air of someone very aware of her status in the film industry. Thankfully her role is quite minor and doesn't impact negatively upon the film. Freddie Highmore is fairly insipid, yet not offensive in his role of Charlie. The same description can be applied to David Kelley, who plays his Grandpa Joe. With the exception of Augustus Gloop, whose role is comparatively minor, the four ticket-winning children do not live up to expectations or standards set in the '71 Mel Stuart version. They simply serve to mildly irritate and disappoint, particularly Veruca and Violet. But I doubt anyone could match Julie Dawn Cole, the original Veruca.

A certain amount of furore has surrounded Deep Roy, the 4ft 4" tall actor who plays every single one of Wonka's all-singing, all-dancing Oompa Loompas. He also plays Wonka's therapist and, in a tongue-in-cheek moment, appears briefly on the closing sequence where he is revealed to be the narrator. The effects used to re-produce Roy as every single Oompa-Loompa I believe detract from the film. When viewing scenes, surely it's preferable to be absorbed and involved than to be distracted by special effects and wondering 'how/why did they do that?' Additionally, Roy's scenes are the only ones to feature music - there is no Wonka or Grandpa Joe breaking into song and dance in this adaptation. All we get here are the Oompa-Loompa's didactic lyrics, which unfortunately are drowned out by below-par sound editing.

In an unprecedented move, Burton and screenwriter James August have given Wonka a history. Christopher Lee, who is sadly under-used in this film, plays his father, and we get to find out exactly why Wonka is such an enigma. I won't reveal the outcome, short of saying it's pretty unsatisfying and takes away Wonka's mystery - the very thing that makes him appealing. Claims have been made that this adaptation follows Dahl's novel much more closely than the 1971 version, of which it does - everything is followed almost to the letter. Unfortunately, the Wonka/father storyline clearly undermines any attempt the film has made to stay true to Dahl's novel - should Dahl had wished there to be a father figure, he would have included that in his book. However, certain artistic license is always taken when adapting books and plays to the big screen, and this creativity is needed to keep images and story lines fresh and to prevent any static grounding.

As regards the imagery of the film, well, it's a Burton film and true to form we aren't disappointed. Typically, we enter and leave the film during gentle snow-fall. The poor Buckets' house leans pitifully to one side and almost makes you shiver when Charlie climbs into bed underneath a gaping whole in the roof. Colour is suitably hued down apart from certain scenes in the factory where the vibrant colours bring the songs and sets to life - the Chocolate Room and the Boat Ride come alive, and the Television Room almost blinds. The only fault I could find, and it is minor, is that at certain points of the Chocolate Room scene, the chocolate river where Augustus Gloop meets his untimely suction looks more like brown water than creamy chocolate. Apart from the afore-mentioned poor sound editing of the featured songs, audio here is of a top standard. Sound effects are clear, no dialogue is gone unheard and the musical score is in keeping with the tone of the film.

Verdict - It's easy to be over-picky when comparing a film not only to a novel, but also to an earlier, much loved and highly-established film adaptation. However, faults notwithstanding, this is watchable fare that should appeal to all ages. Is it a classic? No.
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The Gene Wilder version was much better
WildVector27 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
They took most of the fun and wit out of this movie compared to the 1971 version with Gene Wilder. In this one, Willy Wonka is a depressing weird loser instead of a wise prankster. He had none of the charm or appeal of Gene Wilder's Willy. All the characters were better in the 1971 movie except maybe Violet who had a little more going on this time. However her transformation into a blueberry is overdone and just looks like the computer FX it is. The oompa-loompa's are without personality and their songs are mostly unintelligible. The choreography was okay, but I couldn't help thinking, "Those CGI guys sure did a lot of work on that." Stick with the '71 version. The songs alone make it far superior to this corporate computerized makeover. The 2005 version definitely won't be remembered in 30 years.
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Great Burton film, laughable musical numbers
tangentialone23 July 2005
Tim Burton did a great job with musical numbers in Nightmare Before Christmas, but the same isn't true in the live action Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. With the exception of the musical scenes, this film is a splendid film with imagery, characters, and a general mood characteristic of Burton's films.

Burton's version is a fresh retelling of the story and is a much different film than the 1971 version. (I never thought I'd say this, but I think I prefer the musical numbers in the '71 version, poor graphics and all!). It also includes new scenes at the end which are supposedly authorized by Rohd Dahl's widow. I think the story was better as it was, but the scenes do support the additional depth Burton injected into Wonka, so I do appreciate the scenes for what they do.

Depp was fabulous (look for at least one Edward Scissorhands reference) though at times reminded me of a modern Michael Jackson (shudder). The only miscast character, in my opinion, was Missi Pyle as Mrs. Beauregard. She does play a good witch, but I'd have preferred someone else in the role.

The opening sequence has some beautiful CG, though one of the final scenes has *terrible* character animation rotoscoped in a live action scene (the Violet Beauregarde character).

90% of the movie is true magic. The other 10% is ruined by the musical acts (and I LOVE musicals). By the third number I learned it was a great time to get a popcorn refill or hit the restroom...

The film is certainly appropriate for children and adults and both will enjoy it.
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MadMax-611 July 2005
I saw this movie in Antwerp at a sponsored movie event on the 4th of July.... I was a bit reluctant to go and watch this movie but I'm glad I did! Johnny Depp is a great Willy Wonka! I never thought that there would be a version that could match or even beat the original, but this one certainly has exceeded my expectations.... The film is hilarious, speaking as an adult, I wonder how the youth responds to this, but I rate this movie 8 out of 10 stars!

For those of you expecting a copy of the original with new actors, you'll be surprised how original this version is, go and bring your entire family with you! I'm sorry for the fact that this comment looks a bit like a commercial, but I'm really enthusiastic about this flick!
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As Good As I Hoped It Would Be
ccthemovieman-115 January 2006
I was pleased to have this "Willy Wonka" re-make meet my expectations. Those expectations were high, at least in the visuals department. I expected a wild, colorful ride with brilliant hues and good special effects...and I was not disappointed.

It was inventively fun with those great visuals and another wonderful kid playing "Charlie." I doubted they could ever come up with another child as appealing and nice/wholesome as one in "Willy Wonka" but they found one in Freddie Highmore. He filled the bill magnificently, as did the "brat" kids.

A different feature of this version, as opposed to the 1970 original, was that here the Oompa-Loompas were all played by just one person, a very small Indian man named Deep Roy. One of the interesting "features" on the DVD details how difficult that was to do and how much time Roy had to put in to do all the things he did.

Johnny Depp, meanwhile, "did" what he always does - do a good job of playing a weird person. I get the feeling he relates easily to strange characters. He seems to play enough of them. This was the only part of the movie, frankly, where I preferred the 1970 version: the role of Willy Wonka. Yes, Depp was interesting as always but a little too weird, too Michael Jackson-like, for my tastes. I'll take Gene Wilder's take on the character.

Otherwise, this re-make has it all over the original, simply because it has 35 years of technology and computer work that the original wasn't able to have. It made this re-make a real "hoot" to watch. Since entertainment is what the business is called, and this movie is extremely entertaining, then I have no complaints. A fun two hours!
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