Saturday, July 16, 2005

review - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Incredible eye candy, but ultimately, not very filling. The audience actually clapped at the end, though, so I think this will be a moneymaker.

It's a morality tale for young children. Others will find it very tongue in cheek. At times, it's really funny with caricatures plucked from the times we live in: the hyper-competitive Jon Benet Ramsay-esque young American brat, the video-game obesessed little jerk, the upcrust neo-Royalty, estate-livin', pony-riding, super-snob spoiled British brat and the young German candy glutton (not unlike the foreign kid from the Simpsons.) Depending on your sense of humour, you will laugh your head off or find it all too silly.

Johnny Depp is superb as the loony and disturbed eccentric chocaltier, who, like Krusty the Clown, has issues with Daddy. Unfortunately, the script just doesn't take advantage of his incredible manic lunacy.

Our hero Charlie is lives in a grimey, run down shack, replete with smelly grandparents and perpetual meals of cabbage soup. Dad is unemployed. He's is played by Freddie Highmore, last seen with Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland.
The Oompa-Loopas (all cleverly played by actor Deep Roy) are like the Jango Fett clones from The Clone Wars. The glass elevator reminded me of the "elevator" from The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. The factory is a whimsical delight, an acid trip for candy lovers. Director Tim Burton once again is the master of creating an alternative world, but, in the end, it's just not enough.

I don't think I have ever seen Grant Park Mall so packed with cars on a Friday night. Of course, they were releasing the new Harry Potter book at 12:01 am and had a party beginning at 10 pm.


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