Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Tim Burton

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Tim Burton
The most recent trend in the home DVD market? Release a barebones version quickly (especially if it's the holiday season) and then release a second extras-loaded "special edition" sometime the following year. That said, this extras-starved version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory unquestionably falls into the former category. Burton's remake, for the most part, captures the essence of both Roald Dahl's novel and the 1971 filmic adaptation. However, this is not to say that liberties weren't taken with the story — they certainly were — but the good news is the spirit remains intact. When underprivileged Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore) discovers one of five winning tickets inside the wrapper of a chocolate bar, he's invited to tour the mysterious Willy Wonka chocolate factory. Along with the four other winners, all spoiled and greedy brats, and their parents, they get to spend a full day with Mr. Wonka (Johnny Depp) inside his miraculous factory, which is not as harmless as it first appears. And by the end of the day, all the kids have been treated to what they ultimately deserve (whether it's an unfortunate accident or the much sought after grand prize). Like all Burton films, the set design is outstanding and the modern effects technology successfully builds on the special effects of the earlier version, but fans of that film will note the absence of several key scenes, including the one in which Charlie and his grandpa become weightless, and the addition of a mostly unnecessary back story for Wonka. The Oompa Loompas' songs have been modernised and are borderline cheesy and they undoubtedly will only serve to date the movie. And while the casting of the kids and their parents is virtually flawless, Depp's weird, overly childlike and sometimes seriously creepy Wonka can't hold a candle to Gene Wilder's inspired portrayal in the '70s version. Depp just comes off as being too over-the-top. Still, Burton was the best man to helm this remake, because love it or hate it, instead of a simple rehashing he offers viewers a re-imagining (in classic Burton style). The bare minimum extras are infinitely less forgivable, however, and are limited to the theatrical trailer, a documentary about one man's journey to becoming the Oompa Loompas and an instructional segment on how to do the Oompa Loompa dance yourself. Since the double-dip fancy-schmancy edition is probably lurking just around the corner, it seems fair to say that this would make a better "renter" than permanent addition to your collection. (Warner)