Movie Review: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

There are few movies that I watch every time they are rerun on TBS. “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” is one of those movies. So you can understand my initial hesitation when I heard that it was remade and released as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a story about purity and the idea that good things will eventually go to the deserving. A basic feel-good movie. This movie carries on the feeling of its predecessor, only in a slightly more bizarre way. The movie is very dark and quirky. I almost felt as if Tim Burton (the director) used the “Batman” set for this movie. He must have had the music soundtrack of “Batman” laying around too because it is dark and ominous as well.

What livens Charlie and the Chocolate Factory up is the, once again brilliant, performance by Johnny Depp. Without a doubt this man is one the top performer of our times. He plays an eccentric, lonely and obviously off-kilter Willie Wonka to a tee. How strange of man Mr. Wonka truly is. He reminded me of Edward Scissorhands, only without the scissors.

The rest of the movie is relatively fun to watch. In one scene, they actually trained squirrels to open walnuts for the movie! The Oompa Loompas are always a welcome treat too, even if their songs aren’t as fun as in the original.

Personally, I would recommend one to see “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” It is clearly more light-hearted to watch. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory wasn’t made for the family to watch. Instead it was made for Tim Burton to do another exercise in creating strange, dark worlds inhabited by strange, dark people.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
3 Star Rating: Average


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The Critical Movie Critics

I'm an old, miserable fart set in his ways. Some of the things that bring a smile to my face are (in no particular order): Teenage back acne, the rain on my face, long walks on the beach and redneck women named Francis. Oh yeah, I like to watch and criticize movies.

'Movie Review: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)' have 8 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 13, 2005 @ 9:13 am Nashtradomus

    I took the extra step to watch the original before I went ahead and watched the remade version. Apparently I did have a lot of downtime to watch them both and some needed patience.
    This delightfully creepy 2005 remake left me asking my wife “what the hell just happened?”. It’s a Burton and Depp collaboration at its absolute weirdest. Depp’s performance was surprisingly empty though, not throughly getting into the absolute depth of Willy Wonka, which is a just a lonely lonely man and his chocolate factory. Burton’s newly fresh interpretations of the 5 golden ticket winners are hilarious and the very specific characteristics and personalities set for each of them worked well with the new remake.
    This is no sugarcoated musical. You’ll understand THAT with the opening credits, the 70s version opening with the makings of beautiful creamy chocolates bursted with absolute innocence, while the Burton’s CCF was with steel ridden machines and rectangle blocks of dark chocolates made with maddening precision and hard lines, with the orchestra raging with dark passion. But to compare these two movies would be comparing two absolutely random objects, like a notepad and rollerbades. it just doesn’t make any sense. The movies are so different from each other. Though i do still prefer the original version, it was a nice relief of not having every single character break into a 10 minutes song every scene, and the childrens characters were a little underdeveloped.
    Burtons version probably scored higher on the laughs, the overall look, the development of characters, and a storyline that didn’t follow such a predictable road, but what it does lack that the original had, was honesty. If anything disappointed me, it was the fact that the newly created Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was so commercial, and though it delivered its goods, it delivered it with all talk and no soul. Yes, and the original oompa loompas were indisputably better than Burtons version. Indisputably better.
    I rate this movie B.

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 13, 2005 @ 9:08 pm Mr. Gold

    Well said. Although, it was interesting to see a 180-degree twist on such an eclectic character, I prefer a more light-hearted and entertaining Willie Wonka.
    It is clear Tim Burton has dark, convoluted, institutionalized vision of the world. I just happen to think it is better suited for movies like Batman, Sleepy Hollow and The Nightmare Before Christmas. . .

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 14, 2005 @ 10:52 am Nashtradomus

    You actually agreed with me?! Thats fresh.

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 14, 2005 @ 2:12 pm Mr. Gold

    It pained me to do it. . .

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 11, 2007 @ 3:36 am Aspie182

    Ironic that your ratings icons are pieces of crap, because that is what this film did to the Gene Wilder adaptation: crapped on it from an almighty height. It is not a coincidence that Dahl was reluctant to let Hollywood near his writings again after that piece of saccharine garbage which still haunts my school-related nightmares hit the silver screen. Burton and Depp quite apparently “get” Roald Dahl a lot better than an overwhelming majority of people presuming to review this film apparently do.

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 29, 2008 @ 11:07 am A Person

    I think that the Tim Burton version was very good. It will never make me feel the same feeling of nostalgia I get from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, but it’s still good. This version was closer to the book and was a lot darker in some areas, but Wonka in the film wasn’t as distrbing as the Gene Wilder version.

    Still, I think people need to grow up and get over the fact that this version is different. I’m just glad that it didn’t have about a million fart jokes and the characterisation wasn’t shallow and/or stupid. A lot of children’s movies succumb to doing pathetic things like profanity and shallowness.

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    March 10, 2009 @ 5:22 am snowman!!!

    this film is awesome!!!!

  8. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 25, 2012 @ 8:24 am Someone

    I have to ask, has anyone ever actually read Roald Dahl?
    I have no idea why everyone wanted some sugarcoated niceness. That’s not his style, he took his young audience far too seriously to force feed them that crap. That’s why he was so damn popular to begin with!
    (Btw I love love love the old movie, despite it’s condescending sugarcoated sweetness.)
    Plus it’s Tim Burton mixed with Roald Dahl. I would hardly go in expecting nice and sweet. -_-

    Roald Dahl is a very dark children’s writer to begin with. So I thought Tim Burton captured the fun but unpredictable and dark factory to a T.
    I, too, would have liked the child actors to have given more heart felt reactions to the world around them. I guess maybe they represent the apathy and desensitization found in today’s youth?
    Either way, I swear I’ve seen those kids everywhere today and they annoy the hell out of me.
    So it did make it satisfying to see their comeuppance. And Veruca had a bit of spunk, I liked that.

    I will agree with you on the cold feel of the movie. The new film lacked soul and I would have liked it more if it captured the cheesy 70?s charm of the old movie and/or the childlike charm of the book.
    But I thought it was a pretty cool film and fun to look at. A refreshing change of pace, for me.
    I give the back story of Wonka a pass since it has Christopher Lee in it. Yay! Sauron (sp?)

    The songs, well, I quite enjoyed the Augustus and Veruca songs. I found it was just noise for the Teevee and Violet song, which was disappointing but kind of understandable if you know your “history.”

    Tim Burton actually took the “lyrics” directly from the book, they’re just condensed.
    The old signature songs of the Oompa Loompas everyone seems to adore is actually just the very to the point version. But compared to the book, they’re just sugarcoated niceness and what I call the “very wimpy” version. Though memorable and fun, yeah, it’s rather tame.
    The Oompa Loompa “songs” in the book are actually rather long, dark and menacing poems (more like rants in poem form, Roald Dahl liked to moralize) describing each child. These very long poems are pretty hard to put to the music that Danny Elfman chose. Since they are very long and image filled cautionary ballads told by the Oompa Loompas, whilst beating on their drums. No, seriously.
    So I give the team an A for effort, even if they are lost in the faster, noisier songs.

    So for all those who couldn’t catch what the Oompa Loompas were saying in the songs, er poems/ballads in the new movie, here’s an explanation.

    The Augustus Gloop song obviously makes reference to the greed of the character whilst explaining that the Oompa Loompas would like to boil him for a minute and turn him into fudge as punishment for his gluttony, (You know? For kids!) And to alleviate the misery he’s spread and replace it with likability. Strangely they tell the kids specifically that Augustus will not be harmed, meaning they could just be joking, or implying that Willy Wonka won’t let them enact their preferred punishment on the child.
    I liked this one in the movie. It was catchy, nice to listen to and a little bit sinister. Just like Roald Dahl.

    The Violet song makes reference to the horrific evil known as gum chewing (Roald Dahl’s personal pet peeve I always felt) and tells the story of a woman who could not stop herself from chewing all day long. Until one day, with the heightened strength in her jaw muscles caused by all that chewing, she accidentally chops her tongue out of her mouth and has to live the rest of her life as a mute. (See what I mean about sugarcoated?)
    The Oompa Loompas make it clear that they wish to help the young Violet before this happens to her, only if she learns her lesson.
    This one I couldn’t make out in the new movie and is considerably shortened. Disappointing, to say the least. But I certainly couldn’t have turned it into a song, either.
    So I give Danny props for trying and for a pretty cool beat.

    The Veruca Salt song (so dug the Beatles feel to this one) has the Oompa Loompas celebrating the fact that Veruca has fallen down the garbage chute. They make reference to her ugly nature by jokingly saying she will make a whole new set of friends, mainly garbage and that her spoiled nature is truly disgusting (really smells.) They make it clear that the father and mother is to blame and gleefully push him down as well.
    I liked this one in the movie, I felt it summed up the character perfectly.
    Nice when you hear it (beautiful on the outside) but with slightly sinister sounding lyrics (horrible on the inside.) This was the best song of the movie, in my opinion.

    The Mike Teevee “song” in both movies and book was more rant like than the others and is far less disturbing.
    For everyone who has ever asked “what’s so bad about watching TV?” when they watched either movie.
    Well, I think Mike Teevee is actually a representation of what Roald Dahl wanted to accomplish as a children’s author. So it’s no surprise that his song in the old movie is the longest and is the most rant like in the book. His goal was to stop (or at the very least, cut down) the time a child spends watching TV and for them to broaden their mind and imagination by reading books instead.
    I find that quite an admirable goal. Yeah, the moralizing is quite in your face, but it’s still a worthy goal.

    I also find it quite ironic and bitter sweet that the old movie outshines his book. It actually renders the goal of his book meaningless in a way. Because the movie was so successful it makes younger kids want to watch it on TV rather than read about it.
    (To be fair to his book in this case, it did have to be rather simplistic with little character development for his target audience to really grasp it. I feel he had no real choice but to focus on the story and black and white morality rather than 3 dimensional characters. Younger kids will get that easier.)

    Anyway, the Mike Teevee song pretty much explains the whole “TV will rot your brain” speech your parents have probably recited a thousand times to you already. The lyrics explain that the most important thing that “we’ve” every learned about children is we shouldn’t leave them in front of the TV all day. The song explains that although it may keep them quiet whilst you get on with your day, the child would be far better off if you take the TV away completely. It explains their desensitization and says that it renders the child into a brainless zombie, unable to comprehend a Fairytale or story. The Oompa Loompas also gleefully state that if they can’t get Mike Teevee back to his normal size that he frankly deserves it.

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