A Christmas Carol (2009)

DVD Cover (Walt Disney Studios)
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Overall Rating 68%
Overall Rating
Ranked #956
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Connections: A Christmas Carol

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Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey
Steve Valentine
Steve Valentine
Daryl Sabara
Daryl Sabara
Sage Ryan
Sage Ryan
Amber Gainey Meade
Amber Gainey Meade
Review by Tobes
Added: December 19, 2009
Taking a piece of literature and turning it into a feature film is a risky endeavor. By taking your own vision and projecting it into a form everyone can see, you're instantly setting yourself up for constant criticisms thoughout the film..."Well this isn't how I pictured this city to look at all"..."She shouldn't look like that, I thought she would be ______"..."He lived in the book, why did he die in the movie"...The more well known the book/story is, the more this will inevitable happen as well.

I mention all of this, because 2009's A Christmas Carol, will take most preconceptions of what Dickens' story portrayed, and twist them visually in some strange ways. One quick thing to note about the movie, is that only a handful of characters look "good" in the animation style that the film uses. Scrooge, the ghosts, and one or two other main characters look normal, but the rest of the people in this world are extremely creepy looking, almost like something you would see from Lord of the Rings.

The film opens with Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) seeing his dead partner's corpse, pronouncing him dead, rips off the funeral workers (setting his "scrooge" ways in action), and leaves the morgue, which starts a fly-by of the city and it's villagers while Scrooge is traveling to work. Upon arriving to his office, the movie fast forwards seven years into the future, and starts the classic tale we all know. We meet Cratchit (Gary Oldman), who is extremely creepy looking, and we meet two of the charity collectors who Scrooge decides to take down a few notches. Scrooge's nephew Fred (Colin Firth) comes to invite him to family dinner, but Scrooge quickly points out how much Christmas is worthless, and he wouldn't dare be bothered to arrive. At the end of this work shift (Dec 24th), Cratchit asks to have all of Christmas off, which sets Scrooge off into another one of his trademark fits, but is eventually allowed to spend the day with his family, only if he comes into work early on the 26th.

This is the point where the film takes a lot of weird turns, and if you truly enjoy the classic film/novel versions of Christmas Carol, you will probably not enjoy the next 40-50 minutes of the movie.

Scrooge gets home, and upon arriving to his front door, sees a ghosts face on his door knocker. He gets startled, and falls down his front steps in what looks to be a painful way. One thing throughout this movie, is that Scrooge is constantly falling/getting beat up, and it never seems to affect a man who must be 60-70 years old. While sitting in his bedroom, he starts to hear his door rattle, and then the ghost of Jacob Marley appears. By appears, I mean throws ghostly metal boxes through the door at Scrooge, and then eventually comes in after them. They talk about the three ghosts coming to visit Scrooge tonight, and Marley lets him know the times they are coming.

/* I don't know if it was just me, but if you listen to the times that the ghost gives for the visits, they don't match up with the timeline of the movie */

Marley's ghost does all sort of weird things while he's talking, such as ripping his jaw off, and then slapping it up and down on his mouth, to talk to Scrooge, and then pulls it over his face to finish the conversation. This is one of those weird moments that started to "ruin" the movie for me. I realize it's a retelling, and the director can do whatever he wants, but it just seems like they want to make the movie "extreme".

Marley's ghost leaves, and the story progresses as you would expect. The Ghost of Christmas Past (Jim Carrey), which is a ghost body with a candle's flame for a face/head, shows Scrooge his sad childhood. The Ghost of Christmas Present (Jim Carrey), is a big jovial man (about 20-30 feet tall) who shows Scrooge how much fun people can have being either poor, or without his miserable company. These two ghosts, while visually weird looking, are pretty spot on to how the original book was written.

The Ghost of Christmas Future, is the one which bothers me the most. The ghost is the Grim Reaper (which is fine), but the sequence of events involving him are ridiculous. This part (maybe 5-10 minutes), is slapstick comedy, where Scrooge is somehow shrunken, talking with a squeaky "I've been shrunk" voice, and falls through street drains and runs through pipes in an attempt to get away from the ghost. This scene goes on way too long, and you'll eventually find yourself asking when the ghost will finally catch him to continue the story.

After all of the visions are done for the night, Scrooge wakes up, feels proud to be alive, and runs through town celebrating his new found love for everyone. There's a few touching moments here as Scrooge rights his wrongs, but nothing that wouldn't be expected.

As a whole, the entire movie is one of those feel good Christmas stories, where you can watch it with your family, and maybe learn a life lesson or two throughout. The major flaw I see with this adaptation, as I said earlier, the visuals will either make or break this movie for you, but other then that, I have no real complaints.

Rest Easy Soul #1: Rest Easy Soul - added 12/22/2009, 03:12 PM
This movie is not for kids, it even had a few parts that made me jump. I much prefer the older BBC version or Muppets Christmas Carol.
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