Directed by – Robert Zemeckis
Written by – Charles Dickens, Robert Zemeckis
Starring – Jim Carrey, Steve Valentine, Daryl Sabara, Sage Ryan, Ryan Ochoa, Bobbi Page, Ron Bottitta, Sammi Hanratty, Julian Holloway, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright Penn, Bob Hoskins, Jacquie Barnbrook
I’m starting this one with the one, giant problem I had with it. It is marketed in the completely wrong manner. Maybe I haven’t paid enough attention to the commercials but I got the impression that this was for the kids. It seemed like Jim Carrey would be in pure, over the top character throughout and I would be driven nuts having to see it with the kids. After watching it, I’m wondering where the fun is for the kids at all.
It’s intensely serious. The audience I saw it with only chuckled, and I mean chuckled and not laughed out loud, twice. My kids, although not known for their bravery, spent at least 20 mins of the movie with their ears covered and their heads buried in my arms. There were some genuinely scary moments. The kind of jump scares usually reserved for horror flicks. Creepy looking ghosts bursting out and screaming and the inevitable brush with Christmas Future at the end had my kids hiding.
The dialogue is all in old English so I’m not sure my kids even got some of it. There’s no sight gags or funny jokes and wasn’t much for the kids to really like here. With all that being said, I enjoyed it. As an adult, the performances were very well done and there were quite a few moments where the emotion was strong. Strong enough to bring some to tears I would imagine. Everyone knows the story and I’m sure we all know the parts that will bring the waterworks. Tiny Tim being a strong one in particular.
What surprised me most was the performance of Jim Carrey. I had expected a flashback to his early movie days of being a total ass and I wasn’t looking forward to it. What I got instead was an amazing performance. He does an amazing job and really brought alot of emotion to the movie. The end scenes of his visit from Christmas Future and his rebirth as a happy and loving man were actually moving. I totally believed in the character and the story and while much of this can go to the actors, alot of it must go towards the animation.
It is incredible. The slightest little twitch of an eyebrow or lip was there for all to see. There were some moments where you’d almost forget it was animated at all. The ghosts were even more incredible. Realistic enough to frighten both my kids and genuinely creepy looking at times. When Scrooge is visited by his old friend Marley you can see how much work has gone into the movie. The ghost is solid and yet transparent at the same time. I’m not sure that makes sense exactly but that’s how it made me feel. Like I could punch him but could still see everything that was directly behind him. The final ghost was also well done. Crawling out of shadows and becoming solid before sinking back into them to just become a flat shadow itself.
There’s many times throughout the movie where Scrooge is quickly whisked away, flying through the countryside and darting through trees. These scenes actually made my stomach churn and I had to turn away. It reminded me of being a small kid and going to see the huge IMAX movies at Ontario Place. It really felt like I was flying around, I’m sure intensified by the 3D, and it was killing my gut! HAHA!
Overall, this movie was very well done but I still don’t think it’s a very good kids movie which is how it seems to be advertised. I’m sure most kids won’t be frightened by it like mine were, but I don’t think they would find it all that interesting either. It’s a depressing story and it’s not dressed up to be pretty here. I was really impressed by all parts of this film, from its animation to its acting to its score. It’s a very well done movie. I just wish I hadn’t brought the kids to it, they were not impressed at all.
Under the mistletoe – Will