Monday, November 16, 2009

Just saw two new movies over the weekend: 2012 and A Christmas Carol. 2012 was exactly what I expected--the end of the world as a giant special-effects extravaganza--so I was neither thrilled nor disappointed. I got my money's worth.

The movie that surprised me was Robert Zemeckis's new 3-D, CGI remake of A Christmas Carol. That kind of blew my mind. My favorite version of Carol has always been the very dark cartoon adaptation made by animator Chuck Jones, because I always thought it captured the ghost-story aspect the best--it's genuinely scary and grim. When I heard that Zemeckis was doing a CGI version, all I could think of was how it would be gutted, made snarky and family-safe. Not because I didn't trust Zemeckis (I've loved a lot of his stuff), but because I didn't trust Hollywood. I could just imagine how they would pressure him to add cute sidekicks and fart jokes. And there are a couple of scenes in the movie where Scrooge has to do silly pratfalls. But this is still a beautiful movie experience, one that made the story new for me all over again. That's a big thing to say, I know, and I only say it because I was not particularly looking forward to seeing this film, but it won me over instantly. It's dark, it's scary, it's weird, and best of all it's faithful to Dickens. In fact, I can imagine a lot of people being shocked by this movie's unapologetic moralizing. I highly recommend it.


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