I just got back from seeing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Surprisingly, I liked it just as much as, and possibly even more than, the previous adaptation (which, as a disclaimer, I haven’t seen in several years [though I saw it many times as a mini me]). I hear tell that this version is closer to the book, but as I haven’t actually read the book (yet!) I’m going to try to refrain from commenting further on that. This version definitely had more of a Dr. Seuss feel, which, IMHO is a really good thing, as it seems really fitting to the idea of the factory filled with strange contrazamgizzits and oompa loompas.
Just comparing the two movies, I find the general plots much more similar than I expected, with any changes being in the favor of the newer movie. For instance- the bubble scene was missing from this movie, but as I never felt it really “fit” in the older movie, I think that’s a good thing (I never found it fair that Charlie ends up “cheating” like all the other bad kids, yet still ends up winning). In addition, the fact that Wonka was shown more as a human with problems made me care more for the outcome, and the ending felt more… well, existent, I suppose.
I’ve heard some people complain about the “creepiness” of all the oompa loompas being played by the same actor, but I just found it rather funny (specifically, in administration). Personally, I thought the oompa loompas in the last version were much creepier, as they seemed to defy the laws of physics at will whilst having no point to the movie other than to mock bad children. Also, the greater variety in songs in this version kept the whole singing thing from getting old too fast.
As for the actors, I felt they all did quite a good job, but Veruca Salt, Willy Wonka, and Dr. Wonka were especially good.
I also really quite enjoyed the idea of trading livestock for chocolate, the 2001 bit, and the teenagers in the theater who started cracking up when Veruca Salt announced her name. Obviously, they weren’t aware that the band got their name from the first movie (or possibly, the book), and not the other way around. As I was telling happicow, five years ago this would have been a really good bit of trivia but now it’s probably been plastered all over VH1 (I wouldn’t know, as I’ve watched approximately one hour of TV in the past month) and is therefore old news. Le sigh.
Anyway, I give it 6/8ths of a bar of chocolate, just in case my inane ratings mean anything to anyone ;)