Review… A Christmas Carol

christmascarolcarreyTwas the month before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring… except our new reviewer Lester Square, who took time out of his busy schedule being grumpy to go down to, uh, Leicester Square for the premiere of the new 3D fest from Robert Zemeckis. Ding dong merrily on high indeed.

A Christmas Carol

Review by Lester Square

I once spent an hour in a pub arguing with some nerd that, no, Disney didn’t invent Winnie the Pooh. Sixty full minutes talking at a turd whose only point was that because the bear sounded American, he was therefore made by Walt and the boys. Poo.

So, pushing through X-Factor contestants, Peter Andre and choking on fake snow to get into the ‘world premiere’ of Disney’s 3D version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, spirits were low. Even before Konnie Huq, wearing a green sack and spoiling my long ago teenage dreams, told everyone present they had set some sort of world record for wearing 3D glasses, I was concerned. ‘Crazy’ Jim Carrey as Scrooge would no doubt give him a West Coast drawl, Disney would make London look like New York, Tiny Tim would wear a Green Bay Packers shirt-thing. Bah Humbug.


This latest adaptation is superb.

It remains very true to the book, even to the point that it will scare young filmgoers, (which is a plus given how soft and stabby they are). And 3D might be a gimmick but it works here, swooping the audience high over the streets of Victorian London – a bonus, cos no doubt it stunk down there – making Scrooge’s fingers bonier and the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future pretty damn believable. Carrey carries the show – in an English accent – but the animation is notable in that the characters look like who they are being voiced by (give or take the Victorian clothes and hairstyles). And the story is, of course, cracking.

They even gave me free sweets to watch it. Aaah, humbugs.


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28 Responses to “Review… A Christmas Carol”

  1. Jim Carrey looks almost exactly like Wilfred “Steptoe” Bramble in that photograph. I keep expecting him to say ” ‘ARROLD!”

  2. this movie looks good. i really liked Zemeckisisisisis’s version of Beowulf, so i reckon therell be enough in ACC (what would Dickens of thought of people abbreviating one of the greatest works of fiction?) to keep me happy.
    Konnie Huq is hot, green sack or no green sack

  3. Nice review Lester – we hope to get you writing for RvR a lot more in future now youve had a taste of it – you never even need to actually meet us!

  4. Paul the Ball Says:

    isnt Winnie the Pooh American?

  5. Nah, Paul, but Eeyore is Polish, coming over here, eating our grass…

  6. Paul the Ball Says:

    youll be telling me Fievel from An American Tail: Fievel Goes West isnt American next

  7. Nobody who works in the movies is actually American, it’s an industry secret. Look at Canadian Jim Carrey.

  8. Wow, 4 stars Lester? And rumour has it you are harder to please than Scrooge himself.
    Good to have you on board; we want mo’ Lester.

    BTW Pooh is obviously American, he spells ‘honey’ ‘hunny’

  9. Lester Square Says:

    Thanks, whichever Ross you are.

    Generally, I support Scrooge’s view of the word. People are fools and should be treated as such, until they prove otherwise.

    I think the excitement of standing roughly 11ft away from Jedward at the premiere lifted my general mood. Plus, you would really have to try hard to ruin such a magnificent story as ACC.

    Terry, you are right, Carrey does look Wilfred Bramble. The young Scrooge looks like Carrey. And Bob Hoskins (Mr Fezziwigg) and Gary Oldman (Bob Cratchit) are the spit of their ‘avatar’ thingy.

    Hoskins and Oldman, the best British actors of their generation.

  10. would add Brian Cox to that list.
    cant believe hes not in this movie – maybe he couldnt squeeze all the motion capture stuff into his seven-films-a-week schedule

  11. any chance of you guys using pictures of some good looking people?
    your homepage at the moment is a who’s who of werewolves, ghosts, death and Steven Seagal

  12. mcarteratthemovies Says:

    This is destined to become an Xmas classic. At least for me it will. But I’m the girl who watches “Bad Santa” instead of “Miracle on 34th Street,” so there you go.

  13. I agree with Ross McG, this movie – along with every movie ever made – could use a hefty dose of Brian Cox. Doesn’t look like my thing, especially since Zemekis’ last 3D mess, Beowulf, sucked. Good review, though.

  14. Mikey… there is a picture of Konnie Huq in this post. Konnie Huq!

  15. Lester Square Says:

    Aiden R,

    Didn’t see Beowulf but ACC is really worth seeing. Hold your nose, go for it.

    If anyone is interested I still have humbugs left, 2 packets.

  16. bah humbug – although to be truthful i’ll be avoiding this because I find these almost real looking people very creepy… like Amanda Holden.

    oh and yes yes on all films benefiting from Brian Cox.

  17. I had to look Konnie Huq up to find out who she was, Blue Peter presenters didn’t look like that when I was a kid! Maybe I would have watched it more if they did!

    Things that make me shudder:

    Jim Carrey

    I’m not in a rush to see this one!

  18. yikes Fandango, you dont like animation? the others i can kinda forgive

  19. Toy Story and South Park were good but generally no animation isn’t my thing.

  20. With fandango on this, animation can be overrated, as anybody who has watched family Guy can testify.

    Not as much as Zombie movies though.

    Any Hollywood studio chiefs reading this, please never make another one.

  21. yeah, Zombies. almost as overdone as vampires. although I watched Shaun of the Dead last night, and you know what? after years of hating it, i have kind of warmed to it and now quite like it. i feel like a bit of a fraud, but what ya gonna do?
    surely animated movies are just movies, theyll be good movies not because theyre cartoons. when i think of how great Robin Hood the Disney version is, i dont think ‘yeah, i love the animation..’ – i think ‘its a fun movie’.
    its like people who say: i dont really like Westerns… basically what that means is theyve maybe watched some crap ones and are out to prejudice an entire genre.

  22. I could live with a few more Zombie movies as long as they are good ones, [rec] and 28 Days Later spring to mind!

    As far as your westerns analogy. It doesn’t quite work. Westerns are a genre, animation is a medium. I just don’t appreciate it the way some people don’t like music or sculpture or football. Would you say to someone who doesn’t like football “you have watched some crap games and are out to prejudice an entire sport”.

    I am also beginning to develop a dislike of 3D and overused CGI.

  23. i see your point Fandango, and i have a long history of poor analogies but i think this one works. kinda.

    there are people who say they dont like westerns, which i think – and you can disagree with me – is a pretty ridiculous thing to say
    when i say, for instance, that i dont like zombie movies, im talking complete nonsense, because i do like 28 Days Later and Dawn of the Dead. but in the back of my head i just dont think i like zombie films. yet i have enjoyed some of them, which means i do like zombie films.

    if someone said to me ‘i hate Unforgiven and I hate Young Guns and I hate The Searchers…’ firstly, i would think they were an idiot, but secondly i would respect their opinion on individual movies. individual movies that just happen to be in a genre.
    equally, when someone says ‘i hate musicals’ they are often just full of crap.

    i agree with you that animation and westerns are two different things, and to take an example someone gave above, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West is a movie in the animated medium in the western genre.
    for you to say animated movies isnt your thing is fine, as youre expressing that you like it sometimes but it doesnt really do it for you.
    its more people who say ‘i hate all animation’ who im getting at.

    if you like you can edit this argument and just quote me on the bit above where i say: ‘Im talking complete nonsense.’

    can i finish?! can i finish?!
    im finished.

  24. You actually make a certain amount of sense.

    If you actually do know someone who hates Unforgiven and The Searchers I wouldn’t bother talking to them, they are clearly stupid and the conversation will be extremely dull. Unless the person looks exactly like Angelina Jolie in which case there are other reasons for talking to her!

    As for my original statement that started all this:
    “Things that make me shudder:

    Jim Carrey”
    To qualify it there are a few animated films I like but on the whole I don’t enjoy them. If someone said lets go and see an animated film, I would need some persuading. As for the other things on the list; there are a few good Christmas movies, three or four good Jim Carrey movies. I am yet to be convinced by 3D and I think Disney are inherently evil! (not just high school evil)

  25. Hey “Paul the Ball” in response to your comment:

    “youll be telling me Fievel from An American Tail: Fievel Goes West isnt American next”

    Fievel isn’t American, he’s from Russia. Didn’t you ever see An American Tail? He and his family comes over to America from Russia on a boat to escape the cats cause they were told “There are no cats in America..” Fievel and his family were immagrants. So yeah…Fievel is definately Russian, not American.

  26. I agree with you, it is a very good adaptation.

  27. Killer punch line . . . nicely written man . . . hahahahahahahahahahahaahhahahaahahahhahaha 🙂

  28. I agree with this review – it is an excellent adaptation. I went with someone who was nowhere near as keen on it as I was and it seems their problem was that they didn’t like the characters as much as, say, those in Disney’s Christmas Carol (with Scrooge McDuck) or in the Muppet Christmas Carol, films which are, lets face it, intended only for pretty young children.

    I think the point is that animated films cannot assume parental tolerance of moronic cartoonishness. Pixar knew this and Disney have clocked on.

    It’s difficult being the latter though – being enormous (and enormously successful), Disney ‘haters’ are legion. Journalists dipping their quills in bile carp on about the inappropriate ‘rollercoaster’ of it all, that it is ‘so scary’ or ‘preposterously dark’ but if you’re in the movie business, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
    As it is, it is a very faithful and true adaptation of the book – Dickens wouldn’t be turning. If it had ‘lightened’ up, had a few more cheap laughs, thrown in an inane song or two, critics would have bemoaned the ‘lack of connection’ to the original text, the ‘Disneyfication’ of it all – of course – that Dickens would no doubt be ‘turning in his grave.’

    I think the only reviews (aside from this one) to take into account on this feature are those of your personal acquaintances.

    There is far too much bitter cynicism in movie journalism these days.

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