took the wee ones to see charlie and the chocolate factory today. there's something to be said about watching this visual feast from the first row of the theatre. i suppose it's as close as we'll come to seeing it in IMAX vision -- we cannot take the children to see IMAX films because the sound is always too loud (read, frightening for the younger ones).
in my humble smockopinion, this is a more mature version of the roald dahl classic and, if memory serves, much closer to dahl's vision. still, this film is indisputable burton; and although it is more mature with a burtonesque soundtrack (read, more eerie than the willy wonka soundtrack) and a creepier version of verucaís punishment via the trained squirrels ("don't touch that squirrel's nuts!"), i think burton took great pains to keep the movie family friendly. there is mild language, but it's said quickly [a la' the curse word in the wizard of oz that most people miss]. in fact, there is a distinctly pro-family message that is amazingly touching. i blame it on the postpartum hormones, but yes, during one scene i almost cried. as we were leaving the theatre, glynnis said, "poor willy wonka didn't have a family of his own. but, it's good that he found charlie and his family." she got the message and that's well worth the price of admission.
i made the mistake of reading a few reviewers who dogged depp's wonka, but i just didn't see their point. i thought depp did a great job. perhaps they disliked his subtlety. i thought he gave a fine performance. apparently even gene wilder has bemoaned the remake as a marketing ploy for nestle -- which is pretty hypocritical considering the original movie was a huge marketing ploy for quaker oats. i chalk it up to sour grapes.
iíve already been asked which is my favorite. i cannot answer that. and as a self-proclaimed purist, iím truly torn. all i can offer is that one is gothic where the other is psychedelic. and, i do like that we see wonka as a child and learn more about the why's of his eccentricity in burton's version. since this version has as many delicious and quotable lines as the first, it makes it all the more difficult to decide on a preference.
bottom line: we already have willy wonka in our movie collection. assuming a holiday release of the DVD, i imagine that by thanksgiving, charlie will be sitting next willy on the shelf.