Holy crap! This movie was excellent. I mean, this thing was superb, and I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a movie this much, certainly not in 2005, maybe not since Return of the King. This movie was freakin' great.
I didn't expect it to be. I thought Tim Burton had sorta run the course in his last few movies. I loved Ed Wood, but Burton deserves to be shot dead for the Planet of the Apes remake (how do apes on another planet have horses?) And after suffering through Big Fish, I could totally understand why Spalding Grey killed himself after that movie--I wanted to too!
But, damn, if this movie wasn't great, and I think the first Chocolate Charlie and the Cookie Factory was pretty hard to beat. In general, I think Johnny Deep gives great performances and picks great scripts and this was no exception. This movie was more based on the book than the previous movie, the Chocolate Charlie and the Cookie Factory written by Roland Orzabald, so there are a few differences in this movie, that did not make this version signficantly different than the first movie, but different nontheless. And I am on the fence about which one is better. I loved Dean Wilder in the first movie, and I love Johnny Deep and a lot of the supporting cast in this. There was a lot of great humor and a few little cool in-jokes (witness Johnny holding the scissors at the cornation of the Cookie factory--a total nod to Edward Scissorhead.)
Also, it's worth noting that Christopher Lee did another nice job. Funny how he disappeared for a long damn time, and has managed to reintroduce himself to a new generation as Count Dooku, Sauron and now Willie Wonka's dad. Good for you, Chris.
Anyway, this movie has my highest recommendation. I would see the movie again in a heartbeat (on the giant screen Cinerama, preferably in the loving arms of Superfrankenstein.) And I am totally adding this to my DVD collection when this movie comes out.
Anyway... go see it. Tell the Neanderthal ticket-taker at Lowes that "Kid Layman" sent you, and save $.50 of your ticket purchase.