19 November 2009 | Doylenf
A new twist on "A Christmas Carol" with Jim Carrey in several roles...
From an artistic viewpoint, the new Robert Zemeckis film from the man who gave us THE POLAR EXPRESS, is another of his animated features using the motion picture capture technique that allows the actors to play several roles. The cinematography is exceptionally well done.
JIM CARREY, as miserly Ebenizer Scrooge, looks nothing like his real self. He's a perfect Scrooge, using his voice and mannerisms to great effect, never overplaying the role as you might expect he would.
The visit from three spirits is more frightening than usual, since Zemeckis decided to throw everything he could into startling special effects--sometimes with very gruesome results. The sight of Marley's Ghost with a flapping jaw that has to be realigned by Marley is just one of the "extra" touches. Some of the "spirit" scenes are too intense for small children, more likely to frighten them than anything else.
There are times when the story remains very faithful to the Dickens book, sometimes even word for word. But when Zemeckis decides to show off that the camera can do with flying aerial scenes zooming over Victorian London, it begins to stray a bit. Biggest stray is a chase scene that has a miniature Scrooge going through drain pipes to escape an oncoming coach and horses trying to run him down.
The lovely score by Alan Silvestri blends perfectly with the on screen action and includes a number of traditional Christmas favorites. GARY OLDMAN and COLIN FIRTH do well in key supporting roles but it's really Carrey's show all the way. He plays several main characters with great skill.
Not quite as festive as you might expect, it's a darker version of Scrooge, handsomely executed so that many of the scenes look like Victorian illustrations from the novel.
Warning: This is not a child's version of the tale. Parents should be advised that some of the content is too gruesome for young kids.