Charles Dickens is one of those authors that I can not remember a time where I wasn’t reading some version of one of his “big four” novels: A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and A Christmas Carol. Given my addictive trends to subjects that I like, it is no surprise that I always found time to watch the various versions of Scrooge’s tale. One of the earliest versions I remember watching was with Rich Little, who played all of the characters. I also remember the Henry-Winkler made-for-TV version, An American Christmas Carol. Of course most of us are familiar with Bill Murray’s comedic vehicle, Scrooged. About the only version I haven’t seen is the Patrick-Stewart version from 1999.
Now, I usually have a strict policy about not doing Christmas-based stuff prior to December 12-15. It annoys me that stores and others start pushing it in October and November. I am always amused that Mom will call me Scrooge whenever I voice this opinion. It’s not a case of hating Christmas; I just want it to be the same month.
Back to our story…
After leaving EPCOT where I was enjoying the final weekend of the Food and Wine Festival, I realized I had time to catch a late movie at a theater where I had 3 free passes. So after grabbing my ticket for the 3-D spectacle, I grabbed some concessions and headed to my seat. Now, I understand that if I go to a “family-friendly” movie in the afternoon or early evening, that I will more than likely have kids in the audience and must have tolerance for them. After I settled in a mostly-empty theater, three LOUD families walked in and took the seats surrounding me. First off, what parent thinks that taking under-5-year-olds to ANY movie at 10:30 at night is a good idea? Then you had the teenagers answering and talking on cellphones — yet I get the dirty looks for telling the kid to hang up the phone. It may take a village to raise a child, but don’t glare at me if you are irresponsible as a parent in teaching your kids manners in a theater and I step in. Just be glad I didn’t ask the usher to kick you and your family out.
The movie continues Robert Zemckis’s grand experiment with MoCap (Motion Capture); one he started with The Polar Express. Jim Carrey is our Scrooge this time around, and is supported by Colin Firth, Carey Elwes, and Gary Oldman. I love the look of the movie; Zemckis did a great job of capturing Victorian England. The casting was excellent and the animators did a tremendous job in disguising the fact that the same actor was playing multiple roles (although I still flash-backed at times to the Rich Little special). This was an improvement over The Polar Express, where audience members were sometimes disturbed by the “creepiness” of the multiple Tom Hanks.
My main criticism is one for animated movies coming out lately. I love the offering of 2-D and 3-D options; and, for the most part, the 3-D has actually enhanced the movies. What I am getting annoyed with is the inclusion of scenes that are there purely for 3-D purposes; had it been a strict 2-D movie, much of the scene would have been cut.
My advice: Don’t be a Scrooge — see it at full price and enjoy it with the family….