Escape to the Movies: A Christmas Carol

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so this movie is like making friends with one person in the whole world and kicking him in the balls and swearing at him in spanish....?

Hmmm, wonder how it's like dubbed...

Whew... Just tore that one down before it had a chance to get started, huh Bob? I haven't seen it yet, and I probably will still see it despite the lashing it just received. I can't remember if it was George C. Scott, but the best Christmas Carol adaptation I saw was one in black and white, probably some time in the 40s or 50s.

That may be the finest one yet, great job.

Muppet's Christmas is my favorite take on the Scrooge story. How can anyone be mean to Kermit?

Hey! I liked Kenneth Brannagh's super-literal Hamlet. Not as good as his Henry V, but still pretty damn good.

Am I the only one who hates A Christmas Carol to begin with? I mean, the whole thing is so goddamned preachy. That's actually my real trouble with Dickens: the man loves to fucking talk. He was clearly being paid by the word. And he had a social message too, which is fine, that's what art's about, but Jesus, Dickens will pack eight or nine social messages into one tome, and tell it to you straight like he's writing an essay. If he has poor but hard-working boy obtaining financial success, we'd all see the moral in that. But that wouldn't be enough for Dickens to let us go with a message based on plot and characterization, oh no. He'd need to specifically point out to us, in three pages or more, that the only reason the kid succeeded at all was because he had the moral fortitude to do so.

Thank you very much for convincing me otherwise, because I was going to go see this.

Howdy.

I see that the hipster 3D-bashing has reared its ugly head, so to chime in and give my 2 cents- that is misguided.

Marketing gimmick? Sure! Every new thing, the whole of cinema included, was likely to be branded as such. Look yonder, moving pictures!

In and of itself a reason to hate a movie though, nope. Like any tool it can be misused, but the sheer fact that 3D settings have that one extra thing about them may make a movie like Ice Age 3 rewatchable.

PS: if you diss Coraline I will murder you.

crotalidian:

Anacortian:

If one's biggest problem with foreign adaptations on one's culture's stories is the accent, one needs to apply some reason. First, foreign adaptation is just about the highest form of praise one can give a culture; parroting accents comes dangerously close to an insult regardless of how well it's done and with what sincerity. Second, Victorian English (Dickens), Middle English (Robin Hood and Shakespeare), and Old or not even English (Arther) sound regressively less like modern, true English (what they speak in London). Nobody is ever going to get the accent right, neither you nor me. Repeat after me: "Thank you for the presumed compliment of my culture."

And Moviebob, Branagh's Hamlet was great because it was unabridged.

I dont consider throwing an american into a lead role of an english story an 'adaptation' Scrooged is an adaptation and it worked becaus the story was applied to modern day new yourk and turned into a half decent black comedy. Setting the film where its meant to be set london/sherwood forest whatever but casting an american to boost the US appeal feels like butchering the Original. I agree that teh language should be somewhat adapted to the modern audience but at least keep it in the same country!

I don't think casting an American in an American rendition of a British story is as much done to appeal to Americans as it is done because Americans are the ones doing it. They can only pay tribute to the story with themselves.

The line of country is very arbitrary. I would argue that the British culture has changed so dramatically over the centuries, that America more common ground than differences with Britain than Britain has with Camelot, Boadica, et cetera. Furthermore, being a Briton does not even put you within the same people as many British legends. Keep going and you will find that Boadica can only be portrayed by a Celt (Welshman), Arther can only be portrayed by a Saxon (maybe an Angle, but not a Norman), anything about the Beatles story would require Liverpoolers, and anything Tolkien would need at least Englishmen (as opposed to Kiwis, Yanks, and Mics).

I'm glad to see one proud of their country; you have much about which to be proud. I beg you, however, to not be so racist as to prejudge that all foreign takes on your nations literature must inherently be bad ones. At the very least realize that America shares a HUGE common cultural stock with Britain and her commonwealth. The lot of us Anglophones really are very much more akin than apart.

You win this time Bob
It was the Shylock reference. I love that play
I won't see this movie

Heh, The part where Bob said "Elaborate Setpieces" and Michael Bay poped up made me smile.

I also agree that the movie is necessary to be 3D in the same way that it's necessary for a man to spend money on a golden ladder to change a light-bulb.

Yay, no bullsh-- Columbo moment at the end. Those thigns were getting on my nerves.

Other than that, finally we're back to the vitrolic Movie Bob, we missed you so much.

Hmm. To be honest I didn't feel that this movie was that bad. I mean it's the same shit served up a different way for decades now, but it's not a movie that I would call terrible. The CG is impressive enough, good voice cast, and it sticks mostly to the book, which is incredible when Disney has it's hands in the project... Eh. It would get a 7.5 out of 10 from me.

hmm...that bad,huh? hmm...my fav among the hundreds made is the Muppet version...that ones awesome =)

Not really surprised by this, there have only been two great Christmas films ever made (The Nightmare Before Christmas and Gremlins), everything else fitting in between passable and dire.

Anacortian:

I don't think casting an American in an American rendition of a British story is as much done to appeal to Americans as it is done because Americans are the ones doing it. They can only pay tribute to the story with themselves.

The line of country is very arbitrary. I would argue that the British culture has changed so dramatically over the centuries, that America more common ground than differences with Britain than Britain has with Camelot, Boadica, et cetera. Furthermore, being a Briton does not even put you within the same people as many British legends. Keep going and you will find that Boadica can only be portrayed by a Celt (Welshman), Arther can only be portrayed by a Saxon (maybe an Angle, but not a Norman), anything about the Beatles story would require Liverpoolers, and anything Tolkien would need at least Englishmen (as opposed to Kiwis, Yanks, and Mics).

I'm glad to see one proud of their country; you have much about which to be proud. I beg you, however, to not be so racist as to prejudge that all foreign takes on your nations literature must inherently be bad ones. At the very least realize that America shares a HUGE common cultural stock with Britain and her commonwealth. The lot of us Anglophones really are very much more akin than apart.

I think you're missing the point. He's suggesting that the lack of authenticity in a film can kill the mood. It's nothing to do with racism or cultural differences, it's to do with the fact an actor with a broad Alabama accent is going to struggle to make a convincing geordie. Flipping this around to a situation with a Brit in America; do you think house would be half the show it is if Hugh Lawrie had not gone to all the trouble of being a convincing American in House?

It sometimes seems like American actors can't be bothered attempting to make their characters actually fit the setting and it is annoying when they attempt to play British characters from British towns without even changing their accent. I assume the opposite way round would at the very least irk you. Obviously a poor accent might be even more offensive, but the audition process really ought to try to find someone who could do a good job of it.

Not to claim premonition, but I totally called this one. Unfortunately, I think the studios will be rewarded for this astonishingly bad, ridiculously unnecessary, audience-scorning decision. I was sitting in the theaters when I first saw the trailer for this garbage, and I was the only one who wasn't laughing at some of the stupid sight gags.

There's no reason to "re-imagine" (god damn I hate that word) this story. Even if there were, there's very little reason to do it in the creepy, uncanny valley way reminiscent of Polar Express. However, Disney has completely abandoned the business of making good cartoons, and it would be impossible to make a live action movie that utilizes the agressively irritating "new" gimmick of 3D to its fullest.

Also, has Jim Carrey made a legitimately good movie since the Truman Show? I suppose Bruce Almighty was acceptable, but every other movie has either been an attempt at "art" so self-indulgent as to be unenjoyable, or a goofy comedy so frenetic and nonsensical as to cause seizures in every single human being on earth with the lone exception of Jenny McCarthy's autistic son.

I'm glad Bob recommended against seeing this, but I'm confused as to why he felt the need to give it the benefit of the doubt in the first place.

Anacortian:

crotalidian:

Anacortian:

If one's biggest problem with foreign adaptations on one's culture's stories is the accent, one needs to apply some reason. First, foreign adaptation is just about the highest form of praise one can give a culture; parroting accents comes dangerously close to an insult regardless of how well it's done and with what sincerity. Second, Victorian English (Dickens), Middle English (Robin Hood and Shakespeare), and Old or not even English (Arther) sound regressively less like modern, true English (what they speak in London). Nobody is ever going to get the accent right, neither you nor me. Repeat after me: "Thank you for the presumed compliment of my culture."

And Moviebob, Branagh's Hamlet was great because it was unabridged.

I dont consider throwing an american into a lead role of an english story an 'adaptation' Scrooged is an adaptation and it worked becaus the story was applied to modern day new yourk and turned into a half decent black comedy. Setting the film where its meant to be set london/sherwood forest whatever but casting an american to boost the US appeal feels like butchering the Original. I agree that teh language should be somewhat adapted to the modern audience but at least keep it in the same country!

I don't think casting an American in an American rendition of a British story is as much done to appeal to Americans as it is done because Americans are the ones doing it. They can only pay tribute to the story with themselves.

The line of country is very arbitrary. I would argue that the British culture has changed so dramatically over the centuries, that America more common ground than differences with Britain than Britain has with Camelot, Boadica, et cetera. Furthermore, being a Briton does not even put you within the same people as many British legends. Keep going and you will find that Boadica can only be portrayed by a Celt (Welshman), Arther can only be portrayed by a Saxon (maybe an Angle, but not a Norman), anything about the Beatles story would require Liverpoolers, and anything Tolkien would need at least Englishmen (as opposed to Kiwis, Yanks, and Mics).

I'm glad to see one proud of their country; you have much about which to be proud. I beg you, however, to not be so racist as to prejudge that all foreign takes on your nations literature must inherently be bad ones. At the very least realize that America shares a HUGE common cultural stock with Britain and her commonwealth. The lot of us Anglophones really are very much more akin than apart.

He's Canadian, guys. I know people on this site like getting all pissy and bitch and moan about Americans, but he isn't one.

i love jim carrey so i'm sure i'll like this movie as well curse not being a movie buff

Who the Hell even releases a movie based of A Christmas Carol in NOVEMBER. That's like releasing a movie called Halloween in August.

...

God damn it.

one thing he may have forgotten to mention about dickens
he sucked
seriously i studied two of his novels in my last year at school as an advanced higher english student who loved everything about english and dickens almost killed it for me

i wasnt going to see this movie in the first place (since i saw the disney version as a kid) so now i just feel like my choice has been justified!

ZombieGenesis:
As a point of interest, what do people think the -best- adaptation of the Christmas Carol story is?

For me? Without a doubt it has to be the musical Scrooge with Albert Finney. And since I usually don't like musicals, that's saying a lot.

As for adaptation, I have to go with Bill Murray in Scrooged. It was nicely brought up to date (for 1988, anyway.), and was cleverly dark, yet funny and heart warming.

As for this version? I can't say I'm surprised by Bob's review; though it had little impact on my decision not to see it. Carey's shtick is a bit predictable these days. Disney is trying too hard to stay relevant in the new world stage of animation. And the 3D gimmick? Please; just make movies, okay?

And now I have Albert Finney and Kenneth More singing "I like life" in my head. Great...

I remember seeing the trailer for this. When I saw Scrooge shrunk to the size of a mouse and catapulted through the London skyline, I turned up the sarcasm to full and said "yes, this is exactly what Charles Dickens envisioned when he wrote this story".

I was quite chuffed with my obnoxious remark until I found out some other guy on the internet (the "Amazing Athiest", no less) had said exact same fucking thing on seeing exactly the same scene. I hate how the internet makes you feel like a plagarist, reminding you that you can never come up with something that hasn't already been done.

Gruchul:

Anacortian:

I don't think casting an American in an American rendition of a British story is as much done to appeal to Americans as it is done because Americans are the ones doing it. They can only pay tribute to the story with themselves.

The line of country is very arbitrary. I would argue that the British culture has changed so dramatically over the centuries, that America more common ground than differences with Britain than Britain has with Camelot, Boadica, et cetera. Furthermore, being a Briton does not even put you within the same people as many British legends. Keep going and you will find that Boadica can only be portrayed by a Celt (Welshman), Arther can only be portrayed by a Saxon (maybe an Angle, but not a Norman), anything about the Beatles story would require Liverpoolers, and anything Tolkien would need at least Englishmen (as opposed to Kiwis, Yanks, and Mics).

I'm glad to see one proud of their country; you have much about which to be proud. I beg you, however, to not be so racist as to prejudge that all foreign takes on your nations literature must inherently be bad ones. At the very least realize that America shares a HUGE common cultural stock with Britain and her commonwealth. The lot of us Anglophones really are very much more akin than apart.

I think you're missing the point. He's suggesting that the lack of authenticity in a film can kill the mood. It's nothing to do with racism or cultural differences, it's to do with the fact an actor with a broad Alabama accent is going to struggle to make a convincing geordie. Flipping this around to a situation with a Brit in America; do you think house would be half the show it is if Hugh Lawrie had not gone to all the trouble of being a convincing American in House?

It sometimes seems like American actors can't be bothered attempting to make their characters actually fit the setting and it is annoying when they attempt to play British characters from British towns without even changing their accent. I assume the opposite way round would at the very least irk you. Obviously a poor accent might be even more offensive, but the audition process really ought to try to find someone who could do a good job of it.

Granted.

PhiMed:

He's Canadian, guys. I know people on this site like getting all pissy and bitch and moan about Americans, but he isn't one.

I am really surprised I did not, myself, catch this one. So yeah. Dude's a born subject of the Queen. One just cannot complain in this case about his Americanism. One could only complain about his being an alien if one is willing to say that the Commonwealth has no part in British culture by virtue of the fact that Jimmy was not born on a particular island within a larger realm.

MovieBob, I am sad to say you are mistaken in your opinions of best Scrooge. Scrooge McDuck is the best by far. Although that may just be nostalgia talking.

Anyways, I have to go collect 10 bucks from my friend. I was convinced the movie would blow, he thought it would be good. Ha ha.

ZombieGenesis:
As a point of interest, what do people think the -best- adaptation of the Christmas Carol story is?

I like Bill Murray's version Scrooged. The movie is fun.

Anyway, I feel that this book is timeless because it can be easily adapted into modern language and themes. I am probably the only English major that does not want my literature to remain pure. I want to see adaptations because it tells me what the script writers thought were important. I like British literature and I've written scholarly papers on Dickens, but I am the first to admit right time and place.

Eh, I'm not really a fan of paying the extra 3.50 at the local Regal Cinemas for 3D glasses unless I know the movie's going to be very good. And just judging from the trailers I was able to tell that it was going to be a lot of excuses for there to be pointless action sequences. I mean, come on, movie, did you really have to show the Ghost of Christmas Past flying around a la Superman with Scrooge in the trailers?

Well, this just means that I'm going with Men Who Stare At Goats for my weekend movie for sure. Thanks once again!

This is my first time watching an ETTM, but I got bored after about a minute, which was about a minute after realising that all this show is is a hardly adequate rip-off of ZP.

Annoying criticism aside, the movie sucks. I haven't seen it yet, but I can gaurantee these two things:

1. It will suck.
2. Massive hordes of the common person will be crowding in to see it, then uphold it as the BUST MURVEE AHVOR.

This world dissapoints me :(

The Muppets version is still the best. The acting is surprising good, and the film is hilarious.

Just to throw a question out there: Am I the only one who isn't impressed in the slightest by their "high tech" animation? Yeah great, so the character models look nice, but for all this bragging about how they have the actors act-out the parts with the motion stickers and blah blah blah... just watching the preview I felt so many Uncanny Valley moments watching awkward-looking animations. Same goes with back when they were bragging about Polar Express. If it's such a great animation style that you're using, why can I point-out so many moments just in the commercial where a character's animation looks awkward and stiff?

As for my favorite Christmas Carol (though admittedly I haven't seen a lot), I'm gonna have to go with the Muppets. And frankly it wasn't even for their part. Michael Kane played Scrooge so well that I'm convinced he could make Barney's Christmas Carol look like an Oscar winner (Note: blatant exaggeration).

With this am more incline not to see it and it's not all because of the language i understand it perfectly well i just don't want to see another damn repeat

Ironically enough the version of this story that I remember the most fondly was the Mr.Magoo version. Mainly due to that fact that we had it on VHS and it was a regular part of the Christmas tradition to watch it when I was young.

Need to correct myself there- 3D is one of those thangs that pops every 20 years or so and is gone in a couple of them. Fer whatever reasons of costs, comfort and such it doesn't stick around long enough to be properly tamed by most directors.

So, yeah, enjoy it while it lasts or keep hope it will be over soon. Until next time.

Add:

I think there's a version of Carol y'all missed. The Blackadder version.

Albert finey holds a special place in my heart as Scrooge... I guess it all goes with which scrooge we grew up with... some grew up with Patrick Stewards, Micheal Cains and what not (Bill Murray doesn't count as well he's not Scrooge he's just a dickhead T.V station executive who embodies alot of similarities of Scrooge) I grew up with Albert Fineys... who's I have to watch every year as part of my mums silly family tradition of watching films that serve as notstalgia to the times were things were good in our house i.e not of her sons were getting arrested on the weekends.

I have to say, I completely disagree with this review. I saw it yesterday with my younger cousins, and I was really impressed. It stayed perfectly true to the original book, the 3-D aspects were phenomenal, and Carrey did all of his parts incredibly. I don't see where Bob gets the basis for slandering the story. Sure, it's a story that has been done numerous times before, but this is by far the best rendition I've had to pleasure to see.

It's a shame to hear, but not surprising. 3d is a gimmick, and so very unnecessary.

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