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Author: toni

~ 11/19/09


Welcome to MOVIE MATH where we review a movie and see if it adds up to family fun.


A CHRISTMAS CAROL – Okay. I gotta admit, I was not looking forward to Bob Zemeckis’ animated retelling of Charles’ Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol”. Not after the creepshow that was “The Polar Express”. That weird animation freaked me out. I didn’t know if I was supposed to root for that kid or drive a stake through his heart before sundown. So I feared the same from this movie. But we went anyway because, well, I really wanted Julia to see a version of the classic tale that didn’t feature Barbie. I mean, really. If I could apologize to Dickens, I would. Last year, we tried watching the George C. Scott version but had to stop when the Ghost of Christmas Present revealed “ignorance” and “want” under his robes in the form of emaciated children. The bad under-eye makeup didn’t stop Julia from getting really scared.  

So, with the additional lure of Digital 3-D and despite the ridiculous ticket prices, off to the multiplex we went. And guess what? I LIKED IT! Randy the perfekt husband liked it too! Know who DIDN’T like it? Julia the kid. And why was that? Well, and I quote “it was too creepy”. Which, while it didn’t work for The Polar Express, actually worked for this story because let’s face it, it’s a creepy tale. I mean Marley’s Ghost all bound up in chains? A little boy on crutches destined to die if the future isn’t changed? And again with the figures of “ignorance” and “want”… lemme tell you, the George C. Scott version had nothing on the gollum-like, feral children that Zemeckis served up. FREAKY!

But hey, to us adults, we liked that it was pretty true to the Dickens’ tale and that it all looked really cool. For little kids, not so much. Julia spent a lot of the movie with her 3-D glasses buried in my sweater and her hands over her ears.  Even the fact that the guy who plays Sirius Black in the Harry Potter movies (Gary Oldman) is prominently featured, didn’t make the movie any more palatable to her. In the end she gave it a resounding thumbs down. Which probably explains why it’s not taking the box office by storm. Despite the effects, it’s just not kid-friendly fare. But then Dickens, if he was alive, would probably tell you that.


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  1. Have you ever listened to Patrick Stewart’s one-man (all 27+ voices) reading of “A Cristmas Carol?” He does a live show occasionally, usually for one or two nights. Last time in LA tickets were $100; worth every cent. It’s available on CD, too. B

    Comment by bruce — November 19, 2009 @ 11:35 am

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