Christmas Carol, A
A CHRISTMAS CAROL shares the familiar story that we have all grown to love. Ebenezer Scrooge is a grouchy, angry old man who has worked very hard and sacrificed much for his money, mostly friendship and happiness. He thinks people and their kindness are fools. He is particularly more upset during Christmas when people show the most cheer. Scrooge is haunted by the ghost of his dead business partner, Marley, who tells him that three ghosts, representing his past, present and future, will visit him. Scrooge learns of himself in all three of theses stages of life and he must have a change of heart on how he lives and treats others or it will end soon for him, unkindly.
We all know Charles Dickens classic story and have seen dozens of variations on it. The variation here is the visuals but the story seemed to somehow get worse. Maybe I’m jaded because I’ve heard it too many times but I didn’t feel like it had any new take on the subject matter. The pacing crept along like a snail. I kept looking at the clock wondering when things were gonna get a move on. It took forever to get Scrooge home to be haunted by the ghosts. To put it frank, I was bored out of my mind!
Like Tom Hanks in Polar Express, Jim Carrey plays most of the characters. He does a great job playing Scrooge, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to
Come. However, with these weird visual characters that Zemeckis does, Carrey’s face was distracting. Carrey might act different but I keep seeing his face in an odd altercation. Gary Oldman takes care of the other main characters quite well as, Cratchet, Tiny Tim and Scrooges old boss, the Ghost of Jacob Marley. He is a little more difficult to identify but like explained in our Driver’s EDitorial they all still look creepy.
There is no doubt that Robert Zemeckis is a talented man. This picture is visually dazzling. The cinematography is beautiful. The angles he chooses to shoot and the way he decides to move through the scene are nothing short of brilliant. He has come close to perfecting the 3D vision. This is a movie that is definitely meant to be seen in 3D. However therein lies the problem, because without that gimmick there is nothing new here worth watching. The visuals are not enough to carry the film, even in 3D. A CHRISTMAS CAROL sits in a weird no man’s land zone with its appeal. It’s visually stunning but as animation or motion capture, is no more kid friendly than the countless live action renditions that have been done before and better. In fact, this version is definitely more boring and may be slightly scarier with the weird human visuals. One scene in particular is of a small boy staring out a window with these lifeless eyes singing a Christmas song in a slow eerily quiet fashion. It was meant to be sad but I almost cried of fear. Kids will not know what they’re getting into. My opinion of checking out A CHRISTMAS CAROL… Bah Humbug.