Monday, November 9, 2009

A Christmas Carol

The Film: A Christmas Carol

The Usual Suspects: Jim Carrey, Jim Carrey, Jim Carrey and, well, you know. Bob Hoskins, Colin Firth and Gary Oldman.

The Dealio: Well, I think you know the story, so all that remains is to let you know what I thought about this version. First of all, surprisingly, this was rated PG-13. And for a reason: some of the scenes were intense. I've read- you, too?- something along the lines of 'if you chose Jim Carrey to star in this and made him the major focus, why did you then rein him in?' Didn't notice much reining in, ak-shully. But did notice some areas which needed a skosh more editing. I apologise, I know I harp on this with boring frequency. But, here, we had waaaaaaaayyyyyy too long a relationship with 'mini-Scrooge' and the horses chasing him through every street, alley and culvert in London Town. I get it: the animation of the horses was awesome and harkened back to Darby O'Gill and the Little People (introducing Sean Connery!), a flick that scared the sleep out of me for one solid month. But, even though it may have taken the animators months and months to create the artwork, was it really necessary to make us, the unsuspecting audience, sit through this gag in real time?
It was highly interesting to note the comments of two little boys sitting behind us. One -with a very young-sounding voice- asked his companion (brother?) 'Is it all going to be scary like this?' And his bro/compadre whispering back, 'No. It's OK, though. I'm scared, too.' So sweet, and it swept me back decades.
And of course, the message comes through loud and clear: carry the holidays in your heart...all year long.'
The Grading Session: 4 stars out of 5. I am a huge fan of the voice talent. But. What is up with those EYES!? I have watched this studio for years- every since the Polar Express freaked me out with the woogie eyes and turned what should have been a sweet, simple message into a haunting, cautionary tale. Unintentionally. After all these years, and all the tech developments...I should think they would have figured out some way to mitigate the zombie eyes.
Lessons Learned: Out of the mouths of babes: first, Tiny Tim, who saw goodness and promise in everything around him, rather than concentrating only on the bad things that threatened to hem him in. But, also, from the young lads in the theater who were so earnest in their viewing that they disappeared into the film- and kept each other brave. Now, that's a message for ya!

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