Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Review (8/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore) is a poor young boy living in a poor small house with his poor parents and his four poor grandparents. The grandparents share a bed. His father has lost his job. They eat cabbage soup. Things are not fun in the Bucket household. That is until Charlie finds a rare gold ticket that entitles him to an even rarer tour of Willy Wonka's (Johnny Depp) famous chocolate factory. There are only five tickets that were available in the entire world and five children (and a guest of their choice) have been the lucky recipients of the famous tickets. Along with Charlie and one of his poor grandfathers, Mike Teavee, Violet Beauregarde, Veruca Salt and Augustus Gloop will all tour Willy Wonka's factory and one lucky child will get the prize of a lifetime at the end of the tour, as long as they can survive the fateful singing of the Oompa Loompas (all played by Deep Roy). I'm not going to explain that - go see the movie.

Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a remake of the 1971 classic entitled Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Who has never seen Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Whoever has not should take their head out of their ass and see it right now. And I plan on doing so as soon as I get my head out of my ass. Unfortunately, I had a childhood comparable to that of Charlie Bucket so I have never seen the 1971 movie and thus, there will be no comparisons here. Needless to say, I went into this movie with an open mind and an empty head.

All kidding aside, I really had no desire to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It just seemed silly, wierd, childish and really not my kind of movie. To tell you the truth, the movie was silly, strange and childish, just as I thought it would be. But it was also far more enjoyable than I initially imagined. I have to say, I had an absolute blast watching this movie. It's funny, it is visually astounding, there isn't a moment that goes by where something isn't happening that doesn't keep you glued to the screen. The performances are wonderful. The musical bits are outstanding. The look and feel of the movie is fabulous. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a movie for one and for all, for adults and children alike to enjoy. The dynamic duo of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have hit a home run right out of the park with this one. Or, I suppose, as they say in Europe, they tapped a perfect header right into the net. Or, in the porn world, they tapped a perfect ass right into...oh forget it.

I have to say I have heard rumblings about Depp's Wonka being too Michael Jackson-ish, and yeah, I saw that here and there with his various nuances and phobias but he was still stupendous as was pretty much every single last person in the movie. I have to admit, I wondered how this movie would have played out with someone like Jim Carrey playing the chocolate connoisseur but I suppose that was just wishful thinking. Carrey would have been a treat but I don't want to take anything away from Depp either.

Overall, I really can't say enough good things about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Maybe that's because I was expecting so little and got so much. I had a fabulous time at the theatre and mark my words when I say this movie will become an instant classic. The kiddies are going to love this one and I am sure it is a movie that will be on their yearly "must-see" list for years to come.

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