Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
At this point, this thing’s locked and ready to go, and I’m amazed at how many people write us angry e-mails about what a travesty it is to remake the movie and how they won’t see it, and now even Gene Wilder’s piled on in the new ENTERTAINMENT WEAKLY. I think Wilder’s performance in the ‘70’s film was genius, but the film itself? Not so much. And if you’re a fan of Roald Dahl, you know how much of the book just didn’t make it into the film. I can’t stand the songs in that movie, either. So color me curious to get a look at this in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, here’s another review:
I just got back from a preview screening for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and I was thoroughly surprised. My opinion on this movie has jumped around a lot over its production. When the teaser trailer was released the first thing that came to my head was "This looks like crap" then I saw the theatrical trailer and I said "This looks pretty good". Then I read an Entertainment Weekly article released a few days ago and I said "This IS going to be crap".
More so to the point that when I heard about a preview screening, I didn't even want to go. But I'm glad I did. Over this film's production I have slowly but surely realized that this IS NOT a remake of the 1971 film. (Though I will still compare them), It is a new representation of the book that, that film was based on and it shows.
As predictable, Tim Burton's visual style is here in full force, the sets are bizarre and sometimes surreal, and they're just as beautiful as either of those.
The acting performances surprised me as well, Johnny Depp came off at the beginning as a Michael Jackson spin-off in a pimp coat, and that was all, but as this film progresses, you truly feel connected to Wonka, nothing you really achieve with Gene Wilder's version of the character.
Also, in the original 1971 version you don't really get the feeling that Charlie and Wonka are connected in any way. In the 1971 film Charlie and Wonka are indifferent up to the very end. In this film Wonka and Charlie slowly build a kind of non-direct friendship in which Wonka knows Charlie is the best of the bunch even before the crap hits the fan with the other kids. Depp and Highmore's performances make this believable.
In regards to the other kids, they were above average at best. There was a kind of 'Vilet and Veruca' friendship to rivalry thing going on that I don't recall being in the book, but I really didn't mind it too much. Augustus Gloop was very humorous though Mike Teevee was far more annoying then in the original.
Now, on to the Oompa Loompas.. I am very sad to say this is what I liked least about the film. Though they are played magnificently by Deep Roy, (yes they're all the same actor edited into multiple Loompas digitally), it is the musical numbers I didn't like. From everything from a Bollywood number to a Rock and Roll piece, the songs by the Oompa Lommpas are almost a downer in this film compared to being one of the best things about the 1971 version.
As far as being faithful to the book, it is enough to not make fans riot, but it does differ at times.
Overall, while it was still not necessary to make a new Willy Wonka, Tim Burton does a much better job then he did with that abomination that was Planet of the Apes.
It is a greatly enjoyable movie and I hope you don't let the haters bring you down, I'd give it an 8 out of 10.
Refer to me as NeoLink.