Waterfall Chocolate
Charlie and the Chocolate factory
Review by Ross Anthony

Except for the Chocolate factory and Willie Wonka, this is an excellent film. Unfortunately, those two comprise half the film.

That said, there are a few enjoyable factory scenes deserving praise. The squirrel/nut-sorting scene is absolutely adorable. And the TV transport scene has its highlights. Aside from that, the factory tour is rather tedious. Depp is not Wonka, he's Depp trying to be quirky, creepy, and charming all at once. And Oompas are fun at first, but very quickly bore. As long as they're going to use only one actor (then computer multiply him), why not get someone who can really dance? Break dance, hip-hop, something! The musical sequences are drab, sporting uninspiring songs and direction.

But the film chose the right character after which to name itself. Freddie Highmore as Charlie is absolutely solid. In fact, don't rent this, instead, rent Two Brothers where Freddie shares the screen with two tigers.

Further, the art direction and set design is inconsistent. The glass elevator almost works, but can't quite break from CGI to reality. That's too bad, this is the showstopper -- it ought be seamless. Other effects are also below expectations for this director. Still, others work fine or great. Again, kudos on the concept and execution of the squirrel scene -- it's lovely.

I also loved the design and blocking of Charlie's family home. Bent, slanting, pocked with holes out to the snow above, but warm nonetheless. The seating of both sets of grandparents in one bed is absolutely genius.

The wholesome fuzzy ending almost brings the film up to a B+ (I was admittedly choked up, tight in the throat to the point of soreness -- appropriately, very sweet).

One last word, while the film is mostly good clean family fun, it does have it's creepy moments.

This film screened at a Laemmle Theatre.


  • Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Copyright © 2005.
  • Starring Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, David Kelly, Helena Bonham Carter, Noah Tarlor, Missipyle James Fox, Deep Roy, Christopher Lee.
  • Directed by Tim Burton.
  • Screenplay by John August. Based on the novel by Roald Dahl.
  • Produced by Produced by Brad Grey Richard D. Zanuck at Village Roadshow/Warner Brothers.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:16:34 PDT