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Charlie And The Chocolate Factory [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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Family adventure based on the novel by Roald Dahl. The film centres around an eccentric chocolatier, Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp), and Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore), a good-hearted boy from a poor family who lives in the shadow of Wonka's extraordinary factory. Most nights in the Bucket home, dinner is a watered-down bowl of cabbage soup, which young Charlie gladly shares with his mother (Helena Bonham Carter) and father (Noah Taylor) and both pairs of grandparents. They all live in a tiny, tumbledown, drafty old house but it is filled with love. Every night, the last thing Charlie sees from his window is the great factory, and he drifts off to sleep dreaming about what might be inside. For nearly fifteen years, no one has seen a single worker going in or coming out of the factory, or caught a glimpse of Willy Wonka himself, yet, mysteriously, great quantities of chocolate are still being made and shipped to shops all over the world. One day Willy Wonka makes a momentous announcement. He will open his famous factory and reveal 'all of its secrets and magic' to five lucky children who find golden tickets hidden inside five randomly selected Wonka chocolate bars. When Charlie finds some money on the snowy street and takes it to the nearest store for a Wonka Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight he finds a golden ticket. The family decides that Grandpa Joe (David Kelly) should be the one to accompany Charlie on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Once inside, Charlie is dazzled by one amazing sight after another.
Director Tim Burton’s take on Roald Dahl’s classic story is undeniably more faithful to the source material than the 1975 musical retelling of the same story. His Charlie & The Chocolate Factory is also a slightly darker, visually inventive film, and is ultimately a tasty treat that the whole family can enjoy.
Filling the coat of Willy Wonka is frequent Burton collaborator Johnny Depp--the pair have previously worked together on the likes of Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood and Sleepy Hollow--and what fun he clearly had. His Wonka is a kooky, isolated figure, extremely distrusting and clearly uncomfortable around the children who win a golden ticket to look round his factory. Burton invests time in his main character, giving him a rounded back story that pays dividends, and while some will inevitably prefer Gene Wilder’s edgier take on the same role all those years ago, Depp nonetheless is on strong form. The cast around him also perform well, particularly Freddie Highmore in the title role.
The story is as you’ll likely remember it, with five children given the chance to visit Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory. And what a visual treat that factory is, bursting with colour and vibrancy. Along the way, they encounter chocolate lakes, industrious squirrels and the infamous oompa loompas, and truthfully, it’s fun to be along for the ride.
Is it better than that aforementioned 1975 version? Actually, it’s just different. Each film will no doubt have its legion of fans, but the bottom line here is that Roald Dahl’s classic has provided the source for an enjoyable, well pitched movie with plenty of rewatch value. Now if only they’d go and film Charlie & The Great Glass Elevator…--Simon BrewSee all Product description
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This film settles accounts with the industrial world seen as pure exploitation of workers as long as they cannot be replaced by machines and then of machines as long as they can work as well as or slightly better than men, knowing that machines cannot go on strike and cannot steal industrial secrets and industrial property to sell them to competitors. We live in a horrible world, don’t we? At the same time he comes to terms with the industrial folly of some entrepreneurs, those who have a lot of enterprising spirit, even if at times that entrepreneurship sounds like the undertaking of workers by undertakers six feet under.
And a whole city can live at times on only one or two factories of this type and it will die if modern technology enables the boss, the owner, the industrialist, the master to get rid of all his slaves. And the film shows that contrast between the rich and powerful on one foot and the poor and closely-knit families on the other foot, by setting one of these families, with a son, a father and a mother, two grandfathers and two grandmothers, in a derelict house, a slum indeed, in a piece a wasteland on the margin, border or outskirt of the main city built around the famous chocolate factory.
After settling his own social vision that will develop all along, Tim Burton has to settle some personal accounts with fathers. I will overlook the national accounts against Germans, Bristishers and some others. Charlie is lucky because he has two loving parents and four loving grandparents. But Charlie is Tim Burton’s dream of a family and this dream is here so much attached to poverty in financial and material means that we doubt Tim Burton has ever experienced the warmth and richness of this family in heartfelt emotions, empathy and plain love. We may even think it is too much on both sides: a caricature? Maybe. But Charlie Bucket is the happiest child in the world who is loved by six people and loves the very same six people. No way for Mr. Willy Wonka to take that child away from his parents and his family. Charlie flatly refuses to follow Willy Wonka and take over the factory if he cannot take his family along.
But to make sure we understand the message against fathers and eventually for fathers, Tim Burton provides Willy Wonka with a dentist of a father who is a monster of cold dentistry and technology for the hygiene of his son’s teeth. The child is tortured with hygienic and orthopedic dentistry or just as much hygienic dental orthopedics which sounds like some squarely angular Police Department of tooth cavities. The child, Mr. Willy Wonka, will make his life and fortune in sweets and chocolates to pester, spite and reject his father who had never loved him with sweetness and honey pie affection.
And Tim Burton will arrange an ending that will reconcile the two father and son enemies. But that’s for you to see how.
Then to say something of the factory itself, it is a paradise of all kinds of sweet delicious pleasures and sights managed by the little brown midgets who can do everything from taking care of the parks and gardens, of the machines and robots, but also of the music and dances. We have thus a ballet of special effects to select the winner out of five. Easy task! One is a glutton and as such he will take a bath in the chocolate river and end up in a chocolate bar. Another one is a vain little girl whose vanity will cost her a happy swelling future, as big as an enormous balloon full of the hot air of her vanity. The third one is a vindictive boy who can only attack, assault and aggress anyone, Mr. Willy Wonka among others, and he will end up flattened down to the thickness of a sheet of paper, and slightly elongated. The fourth one is a girl and she is so spoilt that she requests, demands and orders her father to provide her with anything she suddenly wants. She just went too far and decided to take one of the trained nut-cracking squirrels of the factory who will find her to be a bad nut and she will end down more than up with her father down under in the garbage hole.
Only Charlie and his grandfather will survive the tests because he is polite, intelligent and empathetic. He understands the suffering of our Mr. Willy Wonka but he refuses to patronize him and he answers his authoritarian paternalism with a negative answer and after a while he accepts to be the go-between with Mr. Willy Wonka’s unsatisfied and dissatisfied past. And that was a biting decision to take because how could he have trusted such a frustrated and miserable man who did not know his father loved him though this father had never said, expressed or told him so.
So pick your handkerchief young boys and young girls, and older ones too, and shed a tear or two on poor Mr. Willy Wonka saved from perdition by a boy under ten. He sure deserves the chocolate factory. God bless the child! Yet that is not really necessary because the child has been blessed by himself and his selfish character.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
As soon as the opening credits of the film play... I was hit with a feeling of déjà vu, the cranking and churning of machinery whilst snow falls on a sleepy town... ah of course Burtons other collaborations with Deep namely Ed Wood and Edward Scissorhands both have similar starts.
Deep is far from his best. The original film and the book both portray Wonka as a cunning and witty character, whilst also bringing in some real humour. Deep's wonka is an amalgam of strange ideas culminating in general annoyance, paedophilic undertones and incessant irritation at this character that is in truth, no better than the children. I am unsure about what Deep was going for with this performance, but the final result is one of his shallowest to date.
Those hoping for a remake of Veruca Salt's classic "I Want the World" or those catchy "Oompa loompa oompa dee doo..." tunes will be disappointed. They've been replaced with grandiose ballads and MTV inspired rock operas with each being incomprehensible than the last.
The sets are strikingly similar to the original, but everything about Burton's movie is more polished, more produced, and simply less heartfelt. Freddie Highmore fails to ever convey any kind of true enjoyment or passion for chocolate. You begin to think...'I wish he hadn't found the golden ticket... somebody else would of enjoyed the chocolate factory more'
One good point of the film however, is Roald Dahls approval. However It's hard not to see the irony in the adaptation of a work that is essentially a diatribe against gluttony, excess, poor parenting, and media overexposure when your end product is guilty of all of those things.
Edward Scissorhands is one of my favourite films ever, and was a Burton-Deep success. However the duo have got this one completely wrong, even though I was always aware that I would still favour the original, the overall content of this film and Burtons complete misjudgement of the character he is playing only reaffirmed this view.
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