Film Forum

Episode Recap

Episode 1

July 12, 2005

Films Reviewed: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Four

Commentary: The works of Tim Burton

Featurette: Behind the Scenes of Fantastic Four

Regarding Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:

Matt: Well, it didn't make me forget Gene Wilder, but Johnny Depp wasn't trying to.  The film's story is more timeless than I gave it credit for, and all the same lessons taught still need to be learned by every generation.  Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are now four for four in their collaborations (discussed later).  Three stars.

Aron: Well, the film's production values are of the highest quality.  The acting was all well and good, but the film's sound mixing was a big problem.  The Oompa Loompa (all played by a short person named Deep Roy) songs, where the film drives home its messages, are barely understood.  The story remains intact, but there is no warm and fuzzy Willy Wonka.  But I did like it.  Three stars.

Average Rating: *** (out of ****)

Regarding Fantastic Four:

Aron: Wow!  This is everything I was expecting out of a title like "Fantastic Four"!  The special effects and action were all fantastic!  This film belongs at the top of recent comic book adaptations, hands down.  And the actors really accept their parts (especially in the film's smaller moments).  I can't wait to see this one again!  Four stars (natch!)

Matt: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's first title for Marvel Comics comes across well.  The comic is not the social statements that X-Men or Spider-Man are, but the film is undeniably fun.  Michael Chiklis and Chris Evans make a great combo as The Thing and the Human Torch, respectively.  Not the greatest comic adaptation, but it didn't need to be.  Three stars.

Average Rating: ***1/2 (out of ****)

Commentary:  Tim Burton has made quite the name for himself, twenty years after his big break in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.  Aron and Matt took a few minutes to explore his other works, including four films with Johnny Depp.

Featurette: Behind the Scenes of Fantastic Four, starring Michael Chiklis, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Julian McMahon