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A Christmas Carol

There is a big part of me that is so angry that director Robert Zemeckis no longer directs live-action movies.  I miss films like “Forrest Gump,” “Cast Away,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” and The Back to the Future series.  Lately he’s only done these CGI animated movies, like “The Polar Express” and “Beowulf.”  However his new one, which is the next in a long line of film versions of Charles Dickens’ story is absolutely incredible!  For those of you out there that say, “Oh great!  This is being made into a movie AGAIN?!”  I say, I’m glad.  This really is one of the greatest stories ever written and the fact that it has been made so many times is a testament to that.  Is this the best version of the story?  That I’m not sure of since there have been so many great versions, but I can say that it’s in the Top 3.  What it is the best at though is 3D creativity.  This was by-far the greatest 3D movie I’ve ever seen.  You know from the opening credits that Zemeckis is going to take you on a trip through London that could never ever be done in live-action.  Because of that, the sequences are not only vibrantly gorgeous to look out, they’re creative in a way that I never would’ve imagined.  (I think a Best Director Oscar should be in consideration.)  That remarkable ingenuity not only leads to adventure and thrills but it also takes us down some very dark and scary places.  WARNING: some of these scenes are too intense for small children.  Zemeckis didn’t pull back on the reins at all and created some downright frightening images and sequences in an attempt to make the movie as close to the book as possible.  That includes some scenes that The Muppets and Mickey may have left out.  If there is anything bad to say about the movie it might be in the performances from the actors.  Don’t get me wrong; it’s amazing to see the same actors play multiple roles of all ages and sizes because they’re not really on the screen.  I’m just one of those snobs that still can’t look past the CGI characters to the human emotions behind them.  But that’s not the fault of stars Jim Carey, Gary Oldman and others.  Carey is 80% of this movie playing Scrooge (of every age) and all the spirits.  However his Scrooge is nothing more than a realistic Mr. Burns from “The Simpsons,” his Ghost of Christmas Past is a distractingly creepy gay Irishman and his Ghost of Christmas Present is merely a fat Ring Starr.  But those borrowed characters are more amusing than pitiful and don’t ruin the film at all.  Will this version of “A Christmas Carol” put you in the Christmas spirit after watching it?  I can’t imagine how it wouldn’t.  Now whether or not you can hold on to it since they released it almost 2 months before Christmas is another question.
A Christmas Carol (Rated PG)
Gavin Grade: A