Sunday, November 22, 2009

Movie Review: A Christmas Carol 3D (2009)

A Christmas Carol

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Robert Zemeckis' new retelling of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is a very enjoyable experience — especially in 3D!

Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) is a nasty miser who despises most of humanity for what he sees as its spendthrift ways. He spends his life in a dark and cold office with one clerk and rejects anyone who tries to show him any hint of friendship. At the end of the day he travels back to his dingy dwelling where he huddles before a fire — alone.  And his repugnance of all things pleasurable extends to Christmas and the frivolity and graciousness that accompanies it. Even his brother's attempts to engage with him, by inviting him to celebrate Christmas with family, are spurned. Despite his own view that he is successful, we know that his life is the very opposite. But Scrooge is so set in his ways that he seems completely impervious to any possibility of change. Impossible, that is, until the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future visit Scrooge one night and take him on a journey he will never forget and that will change him forever.

A Christmas Carol 3D is truly entertaining — right from the opening sequence that has us flying over the rooftops of Victorian London. The characters of the story come alive and Carrey is brilliant as he plays about nine characters! The fact that Carrey is not immediately recognisable is good as his usual over-the-top performance doesn't intrude. And Carrey (in his first project with Disney) is supported by some great actors — Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Robin Wright Penn, Colin Firth, and Bob Hoskins. Zaneckis (the director) has provided a tightly controlled balance of seriousness and fun as the important themes of this story unfold. The animated world is rich and detailed and the representation of the three ghosts are spot on. The 3D effects are fantastic and used with appropriate effect in support of the narrative.

This timeless story of redemption is one that children and adults will both enjoy. Parents of very young children should take care, though, as there are some quite frightening scenes and the movie earns its PG rating. So take the rating seriously.

I haven't seen the non-3D version, but I would think the story will hold its power even without it. A Christmas Carol 3D is a superb Disney offering and I predict it will be one of the better Christmas movies this year. Make sure you see this one on the big screen!


Positive Review
'An exhilarating visual experience and proves for the third time he's (Zemeck) is one of the few directors who knows what he's doing with 3-D.' - Roger Ebert/Chicago Sun-Times

Negative Review
'This sad excuse for family entertainment tries to enshrine a classic while defacing it.' - Joe Morgenstern/Wall Street Journal

Content Advice
Scary sequences and images


Official Movie Site

Watch the Trailer

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