Sunday, November 8, 2009

Movie Review: Disney's A Christmas Carol

Disney's A Christmas Carol is a solid adaptation of the Charles Dickens' work, it just lacks the emotional connection inherent in some of the previous cinematic iterations of this timeless story.

The story of the film is the traditional story of Ebenezer Scrooge, the grouchy old penny-pincher who is in turn visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come in order to turn his life around in the right way.

In this film, the legendary role of Scrooge is played by Jim Carrey (where as he also plays the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present). I was a touch disappointed with Carrey's performance. With this being an animated film, I was expecting his portrayal to be a little more over-the-top, more scenery-chewing, but alas it was actually a very restrained performance from Carrey, and were this a live-action adaptation, he would have hit the nail right on the head.

The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis, who here continues to try and refine his favored medium of production, animated motion capture. Disney's A Christmas Carol is a vast improvement over his previous mo-cap works, The Polar Express and Beowulf, but it still doesn't manage to look as good as live-action, nor as polished as other CG-animated product; though I will say that there were certain shots where the lighting was so well designed that I was fooled momentarily thinking that some of the characters onscreen were real.

I saw this film in 3-D, the first time I've ever seen a full feature length movie in 3-D, and I came away impressed with certain aspects, while a touch frustrated with others. A simple dolly shot in 3-D looked marvelous, it was beautiful and really engrossed me into this world, as well the depth of field in a simple shot where two characters are in frame is astounding, but then whenever they did a shot of someone's hand flying out toward the audience or something, that immersiveness disappeared.

Zemeckis has definitely made a visually intriguing film, a highly original take on this classic story, while also being faithful to the source, and there are many good times to be had within. I think the best way to sum up Disney's A Christmas Carol is that it's more flash and not enough substance. The film seems to be more interested in being a whiz-bang extravaganza of impressive visuals than of creating emotional connection with the characters. It's just, whenever a sequence begins to get really intriguing emotionally, it pulls away into another crazy storm of visual pizazz.

As a whole, Disney's A Christmas Carol is a good time at the movies, though it's less of a sentimental work and more of a high octane ghost story, more interested in entertainment than anything else, but there in again, isn't that why we go to the movies in the first place?

I give Disney's A Christmas Carol a C+!

No comments:

Post a Comment