Friday, November 27, 2009

Movie Review

I mentioned in a previous post that I had a home work assignment in my Advanced Composition class of doing a movie review....and here it is, The Brown Recluse first ever Movie Review:

    Jim Carrey’s whacky and extraordinary extroverted antics have dominated every movie in which he’s starred. By the age of ten years, he was a seasoned attention-getter, performing for anyone who would watch him. He even mailed a resume to The Carol Burnett Show. In junior high, if he could make it though the school day without an eruption, he was given an opportunity to do stand-up routines for a few minutes at the end of class. In typical Carrey fashion, “A Christmas Carol” was energetic to the point of hectic from beginning to end.  

    Director Robert Zemeckis (The Polar Express, Who Framed Roger Rabbit), who also wrote the screenplay, showcased his special effects genius, weaving the animation so well that one can sometimes forget it’s animation and not real actors on the screen. Rated PG for scary images, this Disney production is currently showing at the Carmike Theater. It is offered both 2D and 3D, though there is a $2.50 surcharge for 3D. In this adaption Charles Dickens Christmas classic, we have all the staples of the classic “A Christmas Carol” in the roles of Carrey, who plays the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, and Ebenezer Scrooge so diversely it’s easy to assume its four different actors. Each ghost has a journey for Scrooge; each journey is a growing experience. Rounding out the cast is Gary Oldman, Steve Valentine and Daryl Sabara, all taking on various and diverse roles. Robin Wright Penn voices the role of Belle.

    The movie begins with an ill-tempered Scrooge interacting rudely with his employee, Bob Cratchit. His nephew comes to invite him to Christmas dinner, which Scrooge declines with a snarl. Later, at home alone, Scrooge is visited by the chained ghost of his deceased partner, Marley, who tells him that he will be taking three trips with other ghosts in an effort to keep him from ending up chained for eternity like Marley. Each trip will be an eye-opener and life-changing experience for Scrooge, as he slowly begins to fully understand how his obsession with money stole his happiness. The audience can appreciate that Scrooge doesn’t want to go any further on the journeys when he understands what it is he is supposed to learn, anxiously wanting to get on to the next trip to get it all over with. But he is taken further still, until he has learned each lesson exhaustingly, and sometimes frighteningly, well. 

    With his life friendless and meaningless because of his own mean-spiritedness, Scrooge is taken on three journeys by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future, as Marley had told him. He is well aware that he is to learn something on each journey, and seems willing to learn; however, he learns more about himself on each trip than he had anticipated. Scrooge can be a little daunting to watch because he seems to personify malevolence. Until, that is, the viewer is introduced to him as a young man (yet another Carrey role) and we can see that he was not always the dour miser associated with the name. It is a little surprising to see that at one time, Scrooge laughed and loved. As the story progresses from childhood to a young adult, the viewer watches as Scrooge begins to realize all that he gave up, and how he ended up being the pathetic man he is in the present. He learns that money didn’t give him anything; instead, his greed for riches took people, love, and laughter from his life, leaving him a bitter and lonely man.   

    The animation is phenomenal and Jim Carrey’s performances are brilliant; for these two reasons teenagers and young adults may find the movie worth watching when it comes out on video. If you want to see a good Christmas movie with the children, this one is not it. At times, the animation twists and turns so much it is as dizzying as it is dazzling. The first ghost we are introduced to, which is not one of the Past, Present or Future ghosts, is akin to a horror movie character. On one of the journeys Scrooge takes, his life seems to be in real peril when he is shrunk to the size of a mouse, and chased through the streets, again paralleling a horror flick. Zemeckis’ screenplay was probably written for teenagers and young adults, which is a shame because teens most likely won’t be enthralled with this adaptation. Even with his “Whiz-kid” special effects, Zemeckis missed the mark on this one; little children should be able to enjoy “A Christmas Carol” and not be frightened. The movie would have been better rated PG 13. Overall, I give this movie one thumb down.

1 comment:

  1. sounds interesting Meg;I was debating about seeing it because how many times can you see it without it getting stale? Perhaps I'm a bit jaded because I remember the Christmas that the Christmas Carol was playing on every single TV channel and my brother went from channel to channel of it so I think I watched it a dozen times that year

    thanks for the review, perhaps I'll see it and perhaps it will put me in the Christmas spirit (or not :)



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