ORBzine - Movie Reviews August 2005


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Tim Burton has created a magnificent version of the Roald Dahl classic. Burton's unique style I believe perfectly suits the macabre imagination of Roald Dahl.

Johnny Depp makes the role his own, his plays a truly wonderful Willy Wonka, he makes him more eccentric and darker than Gene Wilder's interpretation in 1971. He is not the father like figure that Wilder was. When the kids meet their demise you can see that he enjoys it which I believe really make the character more interesting.

The Oompa Loompas are all played by the mini actor Deep Roy and I think he does a good job giving each Oompa Loompa a different feel. The songs that they sing are actually based on the songs they sang in the original book by Dahl, and by using these songs captures the authors original dark tones and not feeling like a light musical that the 1971 version was.

Freddie Highmore brought a sensitive performance and had the right look for Charlie, looking starved to death. He makes you feel for his plight and you really felt he was a good kid who loved his family. I liked the way Willy Wonka took a liking to Charlie more in this version, which I thought was nice as compared to the other kids he looked thin and unimposing.

Tim Burton made you really hate the other kids but I liked that because you are not suppose to like them, and there is satisfaction when they get their comeuppances.

The set pieces are pure Burtonesque, the Buckets' house is very unique and is small and slanted and looks out of place with the rest of the street. This felt like traditional Burton a la Edward Scissorhands.

Go and see this film.

Neill Stringer
Live Long and Prosper

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  • Fantastic Four

    How do you make a movie about a group of superheroes? Do you hire a lot of famous film actors, like in X-Men ? In this case, instead of using a cast of expensive Hollywood pros, the Producers cast an ensemble of successful US Television stars [and Ioan Gryffuds - 101 Dalmations ].

    Reed Richards [Gryffuds] and his love interest, Sue Storm [ Jessica Alba ] talk her old boyfriend, corporate CEO Viktor Von Doom [Julian McMahon - Charmed , Nip Tuck], into letting them use his space station. Unfortunately, space radiation contaminates them all.

    Back on earth, they start to suffer side-effects. Vic from The Shield grows super-strong, but his skin turns to stone. Storm's brother bursts into flames. Storm herself can turn invisible - but her clothes don't so she has to go naked to disappear. This is beyond the point of disbelief - could Jessica Alba stand in front of us without anyone noticing? ;-)

    They all use their powers to help others. For example, during a multiple pile-up on the Brooklyn Bridge. To sneak past the NYPD cordon, Sue has to strip off. The scene is so disjointed and poorly edited it makes no sense, and is about as gratuitous as anything in a film by the man behind the previous version, Roger Corman .

    No good deed goes unpunished, according to the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition. And sure enough, the superheroes become worldwide celebrities. Stalked by the paparazzi, they try to cope with their fame.

    Meanwhile, Von Doom has also developed superpowers. Thanks to helping Reed Richards his financial empire has been ruined. the poor man has no option but to go insane and try to kill the 4 superheroes. The so-called Fantastic four then gang up on this poor, dysfunctional individual. How heroic!

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