The playfully warped imagination of director Tim Burtonis ideally suited to the task of bringing Roald Dahl's twisted-as-taffychildren's tale "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" to the bigscreen, and the sourball confection created as a result is pure movie magic.
It's so enthralling in spirit that an audible gasp of joyrose from a sneak preview audience Monday night when -- even though thisis a given point of the plot -- impoverished, good-hearted little CharlieBucket (the gifted Freddie Highmore) unwrapped his Willy Wonka chocolatebar and found one of five sparklingly golden tickets to tour the toweringtitular candy plant.
Inside the mysterious factory, Burton brings deliciousand Technicolor-bright life to Dahl's visions of chocolate rivers (I sensea theme park ride in our future), everlasting gobstoppers, magic glasselevators and Oompa Loompas, Wonka's staff of uncanny munchkins (all playedby a small, amusingly stoic actor named Deep Roy, who is made even smallerthrough CGI effects).
He also delights in dispatching Dahl's infamous quartetof other ticket winners -- spoiled brats with eerily plasticized faceswho soon fall victim to various candy-making contraptions amusingly befittingtheir particular disciplinary problems.
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