FROM MY OWN PRIVATE COLLECTION "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (1971)
It's always interesting to see what films from your childhood stick, particularly when they come from genres you don't normally enjoy. Next to romantic comedies and horror films, musicals are probably my least favorite genre. And yet, this has to be one of my all-time favorite movies.
So in 2005, it was exciting to see how Tim Burton and Johnny Depp were going to approach their remake. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory actually had a lot of potential to be a better film, but it eventually lost me about an hour in, and I never really embraced it after that.
It didn't have the catchy, original songs of the earlier film. Its Oompa Loompas weren't really welcomed distractions so much as they were just distractions.
And, most of all, it didn't have Gene Wilder.
Don't get me wrong, there's no denying the versatility and range apparent in virtually all of Depp's work, but the character of Willy Wonka is undoubtedly the one Wilder is most famous for. He's approachable yet mysterious, odd but still appealing, whereas Depp's Wonka is more of a loopy, pale-faced weirdo who doesn't do himself any favors with those giant chiclet teeth.
It's hard for me to imagine why a child wouldn't love this, or a teenger or an adult, for that matter. Who wouldn't want to lick flavors off a wall or walk through a garden where everything is edible?
But be warned: my sister and I have tried the Wonka bars they sell in stores. As good as the film makes them look, you'd be better served sticking with chocolate from Hershey's.
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