Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryRating: 

When I heard Tim Burton was remaking Charlie and the Chocolate Factory(or Willy Wonka as the case may be), I almost wet myself. One of my favorite childhood movies remade by the wackiest director ever? It was a match made in heaven. And Johnny “best actor of his generation” Depp to boot? It was a can’t miss. Well, folks, I’m here to tell you that sometimes a winning formula does not a great film make. I liken it to this one soccer team I was on in high school that was packed with awesome players. These guys were fast, could dribble and pass and shoot. They also surfed and smoked a ton of pot, but that was inconsequential. We won like one game the whole season. The lesson here is that the sum of the whole is not always equal to its parts–or however that goes. Witness this mess of a movie. The storyline is pretty much the same, but adds in some back-story on Willy Wonka that I don’t recall from the original. Charlie is like this amazing angel, and the other children represent four of the seven deadly sins, including gluttony, greed, pride and whatever. Assuming you already know these childrens’ fates, I’m wondering who these little lessons (as laid out in the Oompa Loompa’s songs) are for. Certainly not for the child who would most benefit from them, as he or she is already gone at that point. And certainly not for Charlie, who is seemingly Christ-like in his selfless kindness. Are they technically breaking the fourth wall and appealing directly to the audience? Perhaps that is the case, as the characters in the movie seem to shrug off what are horrifying things happening to their fellow factory tourists, and move on as though they didn’t just see someone turn into a giant piece of purple fruit. And on with the show … Johnny Depp, with his creepy she-male haircut and giant chompers, is honestly hard to look at. It makes the whole movie unappetizing. His goofy voice and mannerisms (which aren’t that far off from his Ed Wood character) are just plain cartoonish. I almost long for Depp to quit playing androids and go back to something real like Gilbert Grape. He’s become an automaton, and the whole thing is getting old. Perhaps it’s time that he take a break from Tim Burton and sign on for another Lasse Hallström snoozefest, or gritty, old-school Scorsese flick (if those still exist). Aren’t there any good junkie films left in the queue somewhere? Can’t he knock out a couple teeth, lose 50 pounds and put stitches in his face like Jon Voight in Runaway Train? I just felt more creeped out than entertained by this thing. All those Deep Roy facsimiles made me want to just hit the stop button. There’s just something wrong about the man, and seeing 200 of him doing his horrible dances and really bad lip-syncing made thing go from boring to unbearable. Somewhere Gene Wilder is spinning in his grave. Oh, wait …