November 9, 2009

Movie Monday

In order to avoid a post completely dedicated to missing SoldierMan, I'm moving Theater Thursday to Movie Monday.

Saturday night, I went with some friends to see Disney's new A Christmas Carol.


Synopsis: Ebenezer Scrooge has put his life into his life savings, forgoing all relationships beyond purely pragmatic ones. At the beginning of the film, his deceased business partner visits him on Christmas eve. He tells Scrooge that, in order to avoid an eternity of ethereal misery, he will be visited by 3 spirits.
There are a lot of red herrings surrounding this movie giving the impression that it could be a kid's movie: It's animated, it's Disney, it's 3-d. It worked so well that I forgot, going in, that A Christmas Carol is meant to be a "scared straight" experience. And this version definitely kept that "put the fear of God (or at least Death)" feel in the story.

It's a pretty intense experience, magnified by the 3d aspect of the film. There are multiple jump scenes, and one of the people in our group actually screamed at one point. And these aren't people like me, who never watch scary movies. Which probably explains why it was released so much closer to Halloween than Christmas - it's really a ghost story, not a Christmas story.

Something I was impressed with is how much of the original language from the book was kept in the film, even though it's a 21st century animated film. And not just the famous lines, "God bless us, every one," and "Bah, humbug!" So that was impressive to me, a book-to-film-adaptation purist. And Jim Carrey, of whom I normally can't take more than 3 minutes, was fantastic! Of course, the fact that he had a very strict script for an animated film played a part in that, I'm sure.

Just for good measure, let me reiterate: this is not a fun kid's movie! I think older children can appreciate it, but if it were my kids, I wouldn't be taking anyone younger than 4th grade. There are a few moments of comic relief, but this isn't a Jim Carrey comedy. And it's all the better for it.

There is a star-studded cast of Carey, Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright Penn, and others. The soundtrack is INCREDIBLE (on my wish list) merging various Christmas songs in dramatic fashion. The visual effects are impressive without being gimmicky. It should transition well to DVD when the time comes. I definitely recommend this movie, but you might want to screen it first if you have little kiddos.

For a more culturally-relevant review, hop over to Big Hollywood for their take on it. Good food for thought.

4 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you posted about this! I kinda sorta wanted to go see it, but not being a huge Jim Carrey fan myself, I was hesitant and going to spend my money on it. I think I will now. The fact that it's more on the scary side intrigues me!
    And don't worry about talking about missing him too much... understandable!

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  2. i do not really like 3D movies so i am waiting for this one to come out on DVD. sounds like i am going to like it!

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  3. We saw it in IMAX 3D and loved it. Becky said the same thing you did about wanting the sound track.

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