Monday, December 14, 2009

Disney's A Christmas Carol

Disney’s A Christmas Carol ~ I’m a sucker for Christmas movies. Whether it’s the original Miracle on 34th Street or infamous Mexican Santa Claus from 1959 or It’s a Wonderful Life or Die Hard, I love ‘em. There are those that just put me in the holiday spirit and I have to see them every year, and A Christmas Carol is the granddaddy of them all.

I have seen literally dozens of movie versions of the story, and that’s not counting all the TV sitcoms that have done their own takes, but the absolute finest one is the 1951 version starring the incomparable Alistar Sim as Scrooge. Nobody does it better, and only a few even come close. So when I heard that Disney and Jim Carrey were remaking it in 3-D, I was tentative, and when I saw the previews – I was really turned off. I did not go into this flick with a good feeling.

Jim Carrey stars as Scrooge and as the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present among other things. Actors Cary Elwes and Colin Firth also take multiple roles. It’s an interesting version of the story, if unnecessarily dark and ugly, and far too scary for the kids. The only places it truly falters are where it deviates from the actual story. The only word I have for when it turns into a thrill ride in the third act is horrendous. Why? Is there an actual ride on its way to a theme park near you? That I hated.

There are also bits where Jim Carrey shows off his Jim Carrey-ness and completely takes me out of the movie. But then again, I imagine the beginnings of this project lie with Carrey doing imitations of Alistar Sim for writer/director Robert Zemekis anyway. And speaking of Sim, his crown is still safe. This one isn’t even in the top ten versions of the story.

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