Charlie and the Chocolate Factory [Blu-Ray] Tim Burton

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory [Blu-Ray] Tim Burton
Being released on HD DVD years ago, the Blu-Ray port of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of the few remaining titles to make that transition, having been available on this format in other countries for over a year now, with the same expansive supplemental material. It's a solid release, having the same Oompa Loompa visual effects features as the DVD, along with a commentary track, features about the chocolate, a Dolby TrueHD music-only track, a look at the squirrels and their nut sorting, along with a feature about the author of the novel, Roald Dahl. Unfortunately, the clear HD image of Tim Burton's 2005 broad commercial adaptation reveals mainly how quickly the wonderment of CGI looks dated and cheaply cartoonish. From the opening scene of chocolate bars being made to the eventual trip through Willy Wonka's (Johnny Depp) chocolate factory after five children from around the world find golden tickets, the added clarity merely exacerbates the many shortcomings of a film that relies heavily on visual effects, seeing as there is little emotional core. Seemingly, the melding of Tim Burton's gothic aesthetic and outsider worldview should meld perfectly with Dahl's tale of karma and class system socialization, but beyond certain stylizations and superficial idiosyncrasies, this particular film reaches so hard for a wide audience that it winds up not appealing to anyone on a personal level. This has been a commonality for Burton films over the last 15 years, aside from Big Fish. It's as though success has either made him so much of an insider that he's lost perspective or, since he's already made his Big Fish and Edward Scissorhands, he doesn't care about saying or expressing anything anymore. Much like the recent adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, ire has been replaced by tenuous explorations of gender socialization and the follies of self-involvement, which is fine as mindless fodder for particularly undiscerning kiddies, but it doesn't hold the test of time, making a release like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Blu-Ray a bit of a moot point. (Warner)