A Christmas Carol (2009)
Miser Ebenezer Scrooge is awakened on Christmas Eve by spirits who reveal to him his own miserable existence, what opportunities he wasted in his youth, his current cruelties, and the dire fate that awaits him if he does not change his ways. Scrooge is faced with his own story of growing bitterness and meanness, and must decide what his own future will hold: death or redemption.
One of my all time favorites.
Brilliant and touching
The film may be flawed, but its message is not.
While it doesn't offer any answers, it both thrills and makes you think.
The makers of this movie did an excellent job of bringing Charles Dickens's novel, a Christmas Carol, to life in a motion picture. This movie lets you experience the changes that overcame Scrooge in his journey with the three spirits as he learns to embrace Christmas in his heart once more. You start at the cemetery were Marley is about to be buried. You see a man that is so unwilling to part with his gold that he takes Marley's gold as payment for his burial. As he walks through the streets that everyone that is merry avoids him or falls silent at his approach. Skipping to 7 years later you see that he has not changed at all. Until he returns home and meets Marley's ghost and begins to fear for himself. As he travels with the Ghost of Christmas Past you see Scrooge soften and wish for the Christmases of his past. Then the Ghost of Christmas Present makes him regret that he will not have a family to make merry with come Christmas Day. The Ghost of Christmas Future then makes Scrooge strive for a chance to change himself so that he will not be remembered as the cruel, gold-lover man that people are remembering him by in the shadow he is shown. I would recommend ages 8+ to watch this as Marley dislocating his jaw is kind of gruesome.
The now quite familiar Charles Dickens novel tells of Ebenezer Scrooge (performed by Jim Carrey), a cold hearted, greedy miser who spreads around the darkness in his soul every chance he gets. One fateful Christmas Eve, he's visited by a succession of ghosts, including that of his former business partner Jacob Marley, who review for him the course of his life, and attempt to show him the error of his ways.Obviously, the main reason that this version exists is to exploit motion capture technology for everything that it's worth; time and time again we're taken on dizzying trips through and above the streets of London. It also enables its talented cast to play more than one role: Carrey plays Scrooge at various ages, and also all three of the spirits, Gary Oldman plays Bob Cratchit and Jacob Marley (and Tiny Tim!), Bob Hoskins plays Fezziwig and Old Joe, etc. As a vehicle for the abilities of some top animators, the movie does do its job.However, people should be aware that despite the presence of Walt Disney Studios as the producer & distributor, that this is actually somewhat faithful to the source material and gets pretty dark at times. It's NOT the typical Disney feature. The youngest of your kids could easily get scared by Marley's ghost and the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come.Screenwriter / director Robert Zemeckis does show some respect for the source material, but goes seriously astray at times. His version gets rather over the top; those people who appreciate the subtlety of the 1951 film adaptation will be sorely disappointed. We really didn't need a sequence of a tiny Scrooge pursued by demonic horses through London. Zemeckis' film also shortchanges some characters (like Alice, and Mrs. Dilbur) and spends not enough time in "Christmas past".Fortunately, the material still resonates. It's still got power and substance and the ability to move ones' heart; not all the extravagance in the world can really take that away."A Christmas Carol" '09 is not likely to be remembered decades from now, like "Scrooge" or even the 1984 TV version. Carrey does a likable, respectable job, but he won't make ANYBODY forget Alastair Sim.Still worth a look for lovers of this story.Seven out of 10.
An exhilarating visual array of breathtaking motion-capture animation with a touch of the macabre! Disney's A Christmas Carol directed by Robert Zemeckis is an outstanding adaptation of the literary classic. Instead of attending the cinema this week, with the box office offerings on the anemic side as we gear up for the bulk of Oscar season heavy hitters, I decided to rewatch Disney's A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens' masterpieces have long sense been a source of inspiration for film adaptations of literature. Specifically, A Christmas Carol was actually one of the earliest films period–let alone adaptations. The first adaptation of A Christmas Carol was a British film in 1901 titled Marley's Ghost. This classic work has been adapted for film, theatre, radio, and television more than 100 original/separate times, collectively. But why??? Why this novel? Quite possibly, this single work of literature has been brought to life for the stage, speaker, or screen more than any other with only a few possible exceptions. Perhaps, because it is simply timeless– transcends all generations. Writer-director Robert Zemeckis showcases his ability to put his spin on the timeless tale by perfecting the motion-capture animation techniques that made his adaptation of The Polar Express so visually stunning. Although Patrick Stewart's Scrooge in the TNT original movie from 1999 is my favorite Scrooge, I feel strongly that Zemeckis' film is closest adaptation to the spirit of the novel and brings it to life in the way Dickens himself may have imagined.Prior to analyzing this adaptation, as it is a story most of us know and cherish, I'd like to look at why. Why has this work of literature been adapted for nearly every storytelling medium? The short answer is that it is a story that is as relevant today as it was in the 1800s. Much like with his other masterpieces, Dickens captures so much about the human condition, in what amounts to a short story. The novel is not terribly long. With many in the U.S. feeling as though, much like in Dickens' world, that we are being divided up into the rich and poor, this novel rings especially true. In fact, there are definitely high profile people in our economy echoing Scrooge's words "have we no prisons; have we no work houses???" Not that we have a physical debters' prison or work houses (in the old fashioned sense), but there are certainly elements of our society which parallel them. The story hits close to home for many. Furthermore, the novel, and subsequent adaptations, are regarded so highly because Dickens encapsulated every aspect by which mankind judges one another: past, present, and future. This is the foundation of a single person or people as a unit. Through Scrooge, Dickens shows us that if we look at our past, present, and future, then we can see the impact we have on those around us and even ourselves. By seeing how we really are, we can make the decisions to develop an approach to change ourselves to be about the business of mankind.Interestingly, the ghosts show Scrooge how Christmas past was a time of magic (although it ended in heartbreak for Scrooge), Christmas present depicts how commercialism and greed have all but wiped out the magic with a glimmer of hope as shown by Cratchit and Fred, and Christmas yet to come shows Scrooge–and us–a world without the magic of Christmas: a world that we created. Another reason why this story is so powerful is because Dickens wrote the character of Scrooge to be a complex, multi-layered human who acts very much like a mirror to many of us. On the surface, he looks like a stereotypical old miser, but after looking into his past, we are given a glimpse of how he evolved–not unlike many of us. This story is also powerful for those who recognize the religious origins of Christmas or not. The focus of the story is on generosity, hospitality, love, compassion, as well as selfishness, greed, and sociopathy; but, it very much includes and makes reference to the religious underpinnings of this special time of year. Simply stated, this is a dynamic story of redemption that transcends generations of people.Zemeckis' adaptation is a beautiful usage of 3D storytelling technology. Ordinarily, I am not a fan of 3D movies, but this one is an exception for sure. I did not watch it in 3D last night, but I remember watching it in 3D when it came out in 2009 at then Downtown Disney AMC. Zemeckis is one of few directors who knows how to use 3D effectively without it seeming like a gimmick. His use of 3D in A Christmas Carol greatly enhances the visceral appeal of the movie. One of the principle differences between this and other adaptations is just how supercharged it is with visual effects, intense chase scenes, and flying through the street of London. But, as Scrooge himself acknowledged, spirits can do anything–they're spirits. Zemeckis does not hold back on the dark elements of the story. If you have read the novel, you will recognize that there are very dark parts. In many respects, A Christmas Carol is a supernatural horror film. After all, how else was Scrooge going be so scared that he would make a 180 and change his miserly ways???There are few Christmas movies that capture the spirit of the season better than A Christmas Carol. Zemeckis' adaptation is my pick for best translation of page to screen. The cinematic excellence of Disney storytelling is woven throughout this film and makes for a thrilling journey. If you are planning to watch some Christmas movies this holiday season, I highly recommend this version of A Christmas Carol. But if you have very young children, it may be a little too scary for them. Whether you are young or young at heart, the magic of Christmas rings all too loudly in this timeless story brought to screen once again.
And I say that simply because it's strong point is because it's a musical (being nominated for 4 Oscars!); and also because it's quite underrated as well. Even Jim Henson's "The Muppet Christmas Carol" is far better than this 2009 Jim Carrey version.With Christmas soon coming around the corner, I want to write this review in saying I'm still baffled to this day that Disney was what created this - all the characters are simply just motion-capture of the actors, each has such an over-the-top design, and the imagery... SERIOUSLY what is with the imagery in this movie!? It's freakin' TERRIFYING! But to be fair, I don't dislike Jim Carrey at all; I think he's got one of the kindest faces, I have been a fan of his since watching "The Grinch", of where I think he played a much more believable Christmas-hater, with really incredible makeup. But the difference between Finney and Carrey, is Finney was and still is really versatile! And I give Jim Carrey credit for *trying really hard* to play different characters... but unfortunately, I just see Jim Carrey - I don't see him playing characters! I have the same problem with Leonardo DiCaprio & Tom Cruise - I don't see them playing characters, I just see Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Cruise! But that aside, I think the only great/interesting part of this film is when in the future, the scene where Scrooge learns of Tiny Tim's death, and where Bob Cratchit stops right in front of him, not knowing he's there, to show him his grief-stricken, tearing eyes, I have to admit was really powerful! But there's just so much weirdness & bad things in this movie that it really OVERWHELMS the good stuff. I'm kinda glad I didn't see this in theaters, even though I like 3D; but it've probably given me nightmares.(Want better Disney 3D films?? Just go watch "Wreck-It-Ralph", "Frozen", "Tangled", or even "Meet The Robinsons".Again I'll say, this shouldn't be a "Disney" film (nor should "never Cry Wolf" btw.) Yes, I'll admit Albert Finney's version has got freaky imagery as well, but it's very few occasions, and it isn't over-the-top. But the film overall WORKS, and I still think is the best version ever of Charles Dicken's classic story, also because it EXPANDS on the source material in a creative way! And I believe every family in the world should own it. I'm serious; check it out, you won't be disappointed! ^^ Long story short, this isn't a good version of "A Christmas Carol", and I think it's no problem at all to say which is the best even if there are so many versions. But I've seen nearly all of them, and I'm sticking to my words.3/10