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Review

Harry loved Zemeckis' A CHRISTMAS CAROL, but with mild trepidations...

Hosting the IMAX 3D screening of A CHRISTMAS CAROL at our local IMAX last night was bittersweet. Sweet, because we were seeing A CHRISTMAS CAROL before its world premiere in Hollywood tonight... Bitter, because my sister, nephew and wife could not attend. That wasn't at all a distraction during the movie, it was just... as I was leaving the theater with Father Geek - I found myself missing my own larger family. People were wishing each other Merry Christmas and talking about decorations - and I realized right then and there that this movie accomplishes exactly what it is supposed to. It conjures the joy, wonder and that desire one has for the Christmas season. I can say, with absolute certainty that I've never seen A CHRISTMAS CAROL produced like this. Not only was this IMAX 3D, but the camera moves and tracks with the characters as though it itself was a spirit. It was absolutely mesmerizing. The design of the characters comes straight out of the original illustrations for the original CHRISTMAS CAROL edition. The result is something never entirely human, never exactly a cartoon.... but some strange, bizarre hybrid. To me, this was a terrifying distraction when you got to the younger characters. I had literally zero connection to TINY TIM, instead... my connection was forged through Gary Oldman's Bob Cratchit and Carrey's Scrooge. The three ghosts of CHRISTMAS' past, present and future are pretty damn spectacular.... as are how they show Scrooge his past, present and future. The best of the Ghosts in my opinion was the Ghost of Christmas Present. Jesus god, what a nightmare of a jovial spirit. The laugh, the look on his face... how his face continually aged through the sequence unto the character's own death at the striking of Christmas' midnight. Everything about that character... how he took Scrooge on his journey... it was magical, beautiful and like nothing I'd ever seen before. I found the script exemplary. Written for the screen by Robert Zemeckis himself, and it is perhaps the most literate telling of A CHRISTMAS CAROL that I've seen... That said... A CHRISTMAS CAROL is a most human of stories to me. My top three favorite Scrooges were Alastair Sim's 1951 SCROOGE, that mid-80's George C Scott portrayal for television and lastly Albert Finney's performance in SCROOGE (1970). I also love Scrooge McDuck's portrayal in MICKEY'S CHRISTMAS CAROL along with Michael Caine's Scrooge in THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL. So where does Jim Carrey and the performance capture lay? Well, frankly... it is amongst the very best. I guarantee that had Jim Carrey gone through the BENJAMIN BUTTONS process like Brad Pitt.... and had this film been made that way - we'd all uniformly be talking about this being an Academy Award worthy performance. The Scrooge character in the film looks quite amazing - but it is just a bit lacking. It just doesn't come to life like that. God, I would kill to see the money put on screen here, but with the ambition of making it look real. To me, the "Performance Capture" medium should be used incorporation with every other technique out there... especially live action. The fact is that in this medium - animators are king. This medium is about exaggeration, stillness and subtlety. But you compare the "performance" of Tiny Tim's face in this - then compare it to the "performance" of Russell in Pixar's UP - and you'll get what I'm talking about. For example... Scrooge's body and costume design were absolutely fantastic... But as he crept along the cobblestone streets for his fateful meeting with his ol' partner... while creepy, I found myself wanting that character to move with more gravity, as though life was oppressive to him. That's one of those things that animators can do in animation, that performance capture merely renders as a normal motion, not an extraordinary motion. I'm hoping on Spielberg and Peter Jackson's TINTIN that they'll play with the medium and allow WETA's animators to enhance the performance capture beyond its human limitations. I know that's an awful lot of criticism for a positive review, but the story is so well done, the voice work and the overall look is unique enough, while not entirely satisfactory - that I can't help but love it. ESPECIALLY due to the stunningly wonderful score by Alan Silvestri which made me want to go caroling immediately after. Like I said, the movie made me want to rush home to my wife and cuddle and watch something poignant. Something sublimely genius. So we put UHF on the Netflix Instant Queue - a film she'd never seen and we laughed and laughed and had such a jolly good time. After all, it isn't the money you have, but the joy you share that makes for a good life. That message comes through loud and clear. The reason to go is that this is a tremendously entertaining and viscerally dynamic telling of A CHRISTMAS CAROL that has atmosphere, scares and solid performances throughout. And one of the great Alan Silvestri scores. I will be seeing this again, but at a regular 3D screen, as I found the glasses at the local IMAX to be a bummer, and I had slight ghosting problems throughout. Hoping that clears up via digital at the 4K Digitals they have at the Drafthouse.

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 3, 2009, 3:43 p.m. CST

    First

    by ahughes8491

    I really can't wait to see this

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Harry just called UFF "something poignant. Something sublimely g

    by Glory_Fades_ImMaxFischer

    Pretty much why I don't take any review Harry writes that serious.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 3:45 p.m. CST

    UHF = "Poignant, Sublimely genius"

    by Glory_Fades_ImMaxFischer

    Had to say it again Harry..wow..

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST

    patrick stewart

    by therealrockinrolla

    now he was a great scrooge

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 3:52 p.m. CST

    what does harry's wife do..

    by emeraldboy

    anyway.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 3:54 p.m. CST

    also question for the big man

    by therealrockinrolla

    im concerned jum carey is gonna be silly and odd like he was in the mask and every other movie really. does he?

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 3:57 p.m. CST

    therealrockinrolla

    by HEADGEEK

    No - he's playing Scrooge and disappears in that role and the others that he's playing.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Carey's Performance

    by wampa_one

    Here's hoping it's more Truman/Majestic than Ace Ventura. Something tells me it will be.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 3:57 p.m. CST

    IMAX 3D

    by keyframe

    I have to say that I too was pretty underwhelmed by the IMAX 3D experience for the first part of Half-blood Prince. Lots of ghosting that I chalked up to live action as opposed to CG, which is the majority of the stereoscopic I've seen. The 3D panel at Fantastic Fest had plenty of live action stuff that looked beautiful, which leads me to believe it might just be something with the setup at Bob Bullock. That said, at this point I think I would only attend a screening there if the film was shot or rendered in IMAX resolution. The 3D is subpar at this point and the bigger screen effect can be achieved by just sitting closer at a regular theater.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 3:58 p.m. CST

    not content to ruin one xmas classic...

    by TheBaxter

    now jim carrey has to ruin another! does anyone honestly believe this won't be a piece of shit on the level of his grinch movie? the fact it's in imax 3d should be the ultimate confirmation... there's no point in putting this in 3d if it's done as a straight christmas carol movie. instead of that creepy ghost of xmas future in a hood with long skeletal fingers, he'll be flying around and out at the audience. and there'll be at least one scene of scrooge talking out of his butt, or one of the cratchit kids farting after eating the xmas goose. btw -- harry's uhf comment? that was what is commonly known as "a joke". maybe not all that funny, but probably better than any of the jokes in this shitfest movie.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 4:01 p.m. CST

    So, Will This Or Will This Not Be...

    by FreeBeer

    ...like watching a traditional Christmas Carol flick, but with a drunken man's vomit and balls in my eyes??

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 4:05 p.m. CST

    My favorite Scrooge

    by TheNorthlander

    Bill Murray.<p> Although imdb lists 70 performances of that character. I remember George C. Scott was pretty good as well.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Was at the screening last night,

    by Accordion27

    When the Ghost of Christmas Present came onscreen, all I could think was, "My God, that looks like Harry! I hope he dresses up like that for BNAT and laughs heartily all day long!" That said, while I enjoyed the film, it didn't move me like past Christmas Carols have. I completely agree with your views on the score though. Silverstri blew away the work he did on the Polar Express. PS: Bonus points to you for showing your wife UHF. By far one of my favorite comedies, nay, films.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 4:06 p.m. CST

    As good as Beowulf?

    by BigMCA

    I don't know...I consider Beowulf in IMAX 3D to be a phenomenal experience. I'm hoping this is similar...?

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST

    I saw it last night

    by McJakeG

    The whole Imax 3D is what got me to see Christmas Carol again. For the most part it is very fun to watch as they keep finding ways to have scrooge fly around the town. The movie itself is very odd. They seemed less interested in letting ghosts get their point across and more interested on the cool animation effects that they could pull off. The movie is pretty intense and scary, even for me, and almost all of the dialogue will go over children's heads. Tl;dr - Muppets was better.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Nice to give props to Silvestri

    by ScoreKeeper

    It was a fantastic score!

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 4:32 p.m. CST

    I was there last night as well.

    by The Brain Machine

    I thought it was a fantastic version of the story, and I pretty much loved every minute of it. Agreed about the score - it was pretty great, and I plan on looking for the CD when it's out. The arrangements of classic songs, and fantastic new Silvestri is great. <br> <br> I did find the extended "roller-coaster ride" visuals durring The Ghost of Christmas Past sequence went on too long, but over all - a great theatrical experience, and I hope people will go see it. Carrey is really quite reigned in, and he embodies Scrooge wonderfully. <br> <br> Bob Hoskins plays Fezziwig in an absolutley phenominal dance sequence that left my jaw on the floor... great stuff. <br> <br> Don't write this one off - it's classic Zemeckis, with humor, scares, and a huge heart. Highly reccommended even with its Mo-Cap flaws - It's getting better, but still has a ways to go. I wish this was coming out a little closer to Christmas, but Avatar will rule the 3-D scene then I suppose...

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 4:34 p.m. CST

    So is it better or worse than Polar Express?

    by Ronald Raygun

    Alot of people really hate Polar Express, but I find something sort of cozy about that movie, especially when watching it right before X-mas.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 4:37 p.m. CST

    BigMCA

    by The Brain Machine

    Personally, I loved Beowulf as well - it gets a bad rap, but the 3-D was amazing. A Christmas Carol is just as impressive - it's a great ride. Obviously you've go some drastic style differences, but if you enjoyed Beowulf, you'll probably love this one too.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 4:39 p.m. CST

    I heard that Zemeckis' A Christmas Carol is a...

    by Trannyformers_Apologist

    photo-real game-changing, revolutionary epic masterpiece this generations Star Wars<P>

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Ronald Raygun

    by The Brain Machine

    I've enjoyed all three films of his mo-cap trilogy, and feel they have each gotten better than the previous. It is a fantastic companion to The Polar Express.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Look forward to this..

    by Mel Garga

    and I don't hate on mo-cap. Glad to hear Silvestri did the score.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Easy there, Tranny...

    by The Brain Machine

    Those are big words - nothing can live up to that kind of talk. Some people will likely really dislike the film. Many here on the board flat out hate the whole Mo-Cap feel. I for one have really enjoyed watching Zemeckis push the boundaries. <br> <br> If you go in with those kind of expectations - you might be dissapointed.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 4:54 p.m. CST

    movie affecting theatre

    by CandyKate

    I absolutely love this story, and was planning on attending the play until... I saw the previews for the movie! I LOVE 3D, and I love Christmas, and I love Christmas Carol and am so excited! I couldn't help feel badly though for our local theatre who is also presenting Christmas Carol this year (brand new). I'm sure their tickets will drop significantly due to the movie being out. I'm not sure how many people would want to view it twice?

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 4:56 p.m. CST

    I feel like I'm in an odd Time-Warp right now

    by The Brain Machine

    After the screening last night, I am here working in my studio recording a Christmas album with local Austin musicians. <br> <br> Chestnuts roasting on and open fire... good stuff, but it's gonna be a long season.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Have to chuckle Harry

    by skimn

    "we put UHF on the Netflix Instant Queue - a film she'd never seen and we laughed and laughed and had such a jolly good time. After all, it isn't the money you have, but the joy you share that makes for a good life."...as you view it on your bigger-than-life screen in HD.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Would a non-3D showing adversely affect my appreciation?

    by MemBirdman

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Movie was extremely faithful to the book

    by MovieSquad

    But with added 3-d escapades mainly of Scrooge surfing, sliding, flying, and zooming around the town. I found it to be visually interesting, but I was honestly a bit bored since the script was so completely faithful, that I knew every line in advance. This will be great for younger generations who have not experienced A Christmas Carol, but if you've read it and seen it before, this is a faithful retelling with added visual gumdrops. Harry, I totally agree with the Bob Bullock glasses. They are uncomfortable, and I did see the same ghosting which I've never noticed in 3-d movies at the Alamo. Plus, the Bob Bullock IMAX smells like a retirement home which I never understoon, and it grosses me out every time I'm there. Thanks for the tickets though, and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Scorekeeper! since you're here..

    by T 1000 xp professional

    I saw and HEARD Bertolucci's "The Sheltering Sky"..... wow....You surely must like it.... pretty random but pertinent to my week. That is all :)

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Aint It Robert Zemeckis News?

    by RICHARD_GERE_RAPED_MY_GERBIL

    Coming up next on Aint It Robot Zemeckis news:<p>ROBERT ZEMECKIS MIGHT DO BTTF4! OR HE MIGHT NOT.<p>A ZEMECKIS MOVIE A DAY: CASTAWAY<p>QUINT TALKS TO BRUCE WILLIS ABOUT "DEATH BECOMES HER"... AND A LIITLE BIT ABOUT "THE EXPENDABLES"<p>WILL ROBERT ZEMECKIS HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE NEXT STAR TREK MOVIE? HE SAYS NO!<p>MORE STUFF THAT MIGHT HAPPEN WITH ROGER RABBIT 2 OR MIGHT NOT!

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Again, I ask why???

    by caprica

    I've now gotten to the point where I hate performance capture with a white hot passion. There is simply no reason to use it. Hey, let's take a good actor like Carrey with a wonderfully expressive face and make him look animated! Let's tale a good actor and hot chick like Angelina Jolie and make her look animated too! And let's pull everyone out of the film because they are staring at the fake eyes of not quite human beings for a story--wait for it--about human beings! Zemekis has now wasted his later career on a fascination with admittedly fascinating technology instead of making good films. Jesus Christ, Beowolf could have been great as a live action film. Christmas Carol already has been. Stop for God's sake.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 5:27 p.m. CST

    Bill Murray in Scrooged.

    by Det. John Kimble

    nuf sed.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 5:29 p.m. CST

    yer mama: AIR SUPPLY - I'M ALL OUT OF LOVE

    by RICHARD_GERE_RAPED_MY_GERBIL

    I reckon.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 5:32 p.m. CST

    And the thing about a mocap character is he's got lifeless eyes.

    by Det. John Kimble

    Dead eyes. Like a doll's eyes. When he's onscreen lookin' at ya, he doesn't even seem to be livin'... 'til he starts yappin, and those dead eyes roll over white and then... ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin'. The theatre turns red, and despite all your poundin' and your hollerin' those mocaps come in and... they rip your suspension of disbelief to pieces. You know by the end of that first showing, lost a hundred audience members. I don't know how many mocaps there were, maybe a thousand

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 5:34 p.m. CST

    Det. John Kimble

    by RICHARD_GERE_RAPED_MY_GERBIL

    STOP DOING DRUGS.<P>That is all.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Good news

    by slone13

    <p>I'm a huge Christmas Carol (and Zemeckis) fan.</p> <p>I'm surprised we haven't been inundated with all the "mo-cap blows" assholes posting their drivel.</p>

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 5:40 p.m. CST

    yer mama

    by Bouncy X

    that song Seth is singing is "All Out of Love" by Air Supply. i know its scary that i recognized it but i'm old so. lol

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 5:45 p.m. CST

    Nothing says Christmas like 20 or 30 icicle blows to the...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...testicles.<P>Except maybe landing on a ten inch icicle followed by a Victorian gay joke.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 5:56 p.m. CST

    ...let me guess, after the repeated testicle icicle...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...assault Scrooge warms them up by thrusting them at an outdoor barrel fire while being serenaded with "...chestnuuuuts roasting on an ooooopen fiiiiree..."

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 6:14 p.m. CST

    I have no interest in seeing this story again

    by JuanSanchez

    It's been done. And I hate mo-cap. Two strikes.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Det. John Kimble - fucking brilliant

    by JuanSanchez

    Well done.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST

    slone13

    by caprica

    How can you say the mocap complaints are drivel? The technology is being RESOUNDINGLY rejected at every turn by moviegoers--not an opinion, a fact. Now I don't go to talkback often, and I imagine the debates have likely gotten wearisome. But I couldn't stop after this film--let's take humans that would be easy to have beautiful performances from and make them less good and less emotional, as even Harry notes.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST

    It's not how much money I have that truly matters...

    by MediaGold

    What really matters to me is that I can see my toes.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 6:23 p.m. CST

    It's way too early to be starting the Christmas season

    by IndyGold

    I realize AICN got an extra early sneak peek, but these Christmas movies are released way too early, it's like how the summer movie season now starts in the first week of May. And literally, a day after Halloween and stores where I live in Canada had Christmas decorations already up. I don't want to be a troll or sound like Scrooge but a 2 month long Christmas season is overkill.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 6:58 p.m. CST

    I know I'll be mocked for this...

    by delatao

    but when we lined up at Bullock for the Star Trek preview I was so impressed that crowd had figured to line up in a circle surrounding the very pleasant area in front of the theater. You could see everyone talking to their friends and it really contributed to my excitement for the film. Last night there was a very boring line from the front door out to the street. mebbe Trekkers are just more logical about how to gather in a large group? greatly enjoyed the film but was slightly unimpressed with the 3D. It gave me the odd feeling of somebody very gently pressing on my eyeballs. That said the movie was amazing and Carrey did disappear into his roles. The only time I became aware it was him was as the Ghost of Christmas Past.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 7:22 p.m. CST

    The only "mild trepidation" Harry felt was...

    by Rocco Curioso

    IN HIS PANTS. It's time to come to terms with your mancrush on Jim Carrey, tubs. Maybe he'll go over to the dark side, dump Jenny McCarthy, and the two of you can run off to Bora Bora together.<P>They say Christmas is a time of hope. Have at it, hoss.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 7:34 p.m. CST

    I can't believe how much I'm looking forward to this

    by SoylentMean

    I've seen this story so many times, yet each incarnation piques my interest. I guess that's the genius of Dickens. My favorite version has always been Mickey's Christmas Carol, but there's always room for more. <P> I love the Christmas season and I love the schmaltzy fun of Christmas movies. I'm definitely checking Zemeckis' version out on Friday.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 7:36 p.m. CST

    The overkill slapstick violence...

    by bierce

    ...being done to Scrooge in the trailer was a little too "Tom & Jerry" for me. Plus, why was Scrooge yelling, "Humbug!" all the time, like it was an all-purpose exclamation? I think Mr. Magoo probably made a better Scrooge than this one.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 8:33 p.m. CST

    MICHAEL CAINE

    by kolchak

    = BEST. SCROOGE. EVER.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Scrooge McDuck was the best

    by Adelai Niska

    Unrelated to that- Is Harry saying that he wants them to spend all the money mo-capping expensive actors, just to have animators do the motions anyway?

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 8:55 p.m. CST

    This looks TERRIBLE

    by D.Vader

    And I stopped trusting Harry's insane opinions recently. So I still fully expect this film to suck. <p> And way to go, spoiling the movie too there Harry. Not everyone has read the story, so I have no idea if the Ghost of Christmas Present is supposed to "die" at midnight or not.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 8:56 p.m. CST

    YER MAMA is a marketing A-HOLE

    by bunkyboo

    who is being paid to push OLD DUNG in the film fan forums. Time for the ban hammer!

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Please...Murray and Stewart are #s 1 and 2...

    by akiraclass

    Has nobody here SEEN the Patrick Stewart version? Scrooge McDuck my ass....

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 9:39 p.m. CST

    So the trailer is misleading then?

    by Lord Elric

    Because the trailers for this made it look more like something out of SCROOGED then Dickens. All bombast and exaggeration. So, this really is A CHRISTMAS CAROL and not THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS 2, right? I love Zemeckis's work and enjoyed the hell out of Beowulf. I'd hate to break what's been a pretty good over two decades streak.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 10:02 p.m. CST

    Beowulf 3D

    by KevinMuller

    What a breath taking experience. I hope this film recreates that feeling I had two years ago.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 10:14 p.m. CST

    "People were wishing each other 'Merry Christmas'..."

    by D.Vader

    Who are the assholes that do this shit before Thanksgiving? I hate that the Christmas season is now more than two months long. Its not longer special. Fuck you.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 10:15 p.m. CST

    By the way, I hear Robert Zemeckis is an asshole

    by D.Vader

    From a friend of a friend.

  • You really are an idiot, Harry. <p> How can you not expect us to say that when you make completely IDIOTIC comments like that? Especially when the trailers and commercials focus on Scrooge being shrunk to the size of a chipmunk and going ice-cicle surfing? <p> "Literate" indeed. For fuck's sake, you're so damn amateur.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Spot On, Det. John Kimble

    by WriteFromLeft

    Two things that don't work for me are motion capture dead eyes and puppet eyes, like The Dark Crystal. Don't get me wrong--I love love Pixar and some of the Muppet movies, but when animators try to imitate life-like organic things, it not only doesn't look right, all I can think of is, why not use real humans? Todd McCarthy said the same thing in his Variety review, and I agree. That having been said, you have to love Harry's enthusiasm for cinema, even if you don't agree with his opinions.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 10:25 p.m. CST

    I wonder why Harry ignored all the criticisms we have so far...

    by D.Vader

    Namely, the ridiculous looney tunes shit that happens in all the commercials. Everyone is bitching about it, and yet Harry didn't mention it at all... strange.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 11:09 p.m. CST

    Harry, you crap on Astro Boy but you love this????

    by FeralAngel

    My god I can barely stand to look at the trailers for this animated zombie-fest. Have you had your eyes checked lately? Maybe Lasik is the answer. You say that there's no Astro Boy in Astro Boy when in fact that film was extremely faithful to the source material (aside from the Obama-lovin' political shit some dickless Hollywood wonder farted into the film - but that's a tiny part of it), and yet you're fine with this horrible computer-generated nightmare that turns Dicken's story into the Spiderman ride at Universal theme parks? Geez, Harry...you disappoint me...seriously.

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 11:23 p.m. CST

    Detective Kimble...

    by kisskissbangbang

    Great post. But are you saying you don't want a 3D mocap version of _The Indianapolis: Dead In The Water_?

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 11:26 p.m. CST

    "as though it itself was a spirit"

    by white_vader

    What, like the Richard Williams version? But obviously you've only seen Scrooge McDuck...

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 11:31 p.m. CST

    "loved it ---- with mild trepidations"

    by white_vader

    Do you just open the dictionary and just pick words at random to throw in? Trepidation comes BEFORE, not AFTER. I know I get on your arse about your shitty "professional" writing, but for fuck's sake man, you're getting worse by the minute! I think you meant RESERVATIONS. <p> Oh hang on, of COURSE you didn't open a dictionary... have you heard of them? And you comment on "literary". My God big guy...

  • Nov. 3, 2009, 11:35 p.m. CST

    While I'm cranky - I will hate Polar Express for all time

    by white_vader

    for the disingenuous bullshit they pulled making the whole fucking thing about FAITH - but NOT in Jesus Christ, in SANTA! For fuck's sake!! I'm no Jesus freak, but that is so morally reprehensible it just fucking floors me, twisting children's perceptions like that. It still begs belief.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 12:30 a.m. CST

    Will Zemeckis ever direct another 100% live action film?

    by ShabbyBlue

    Seriously. It's nothing but motion capture with this guy now. It's like Lucas' obsession with CGI characters. Does Zemeckis hate directing real people as much as Lucas does? The last live action movie he did was Cast Away back in 2000. That was NINE YEARS AGO! Ugh...

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 1 a.m. CST

    carol

    by winteralfs

    Namely, the ridiculous looney tunes shit that happens in all the commercials. Everyone is bitching about it, and yet Harry didn't mention it at all... strange. --- Because that stuff makes up maybe 25% of the film. It is very adult in tone. The commercials are a bit misleading.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 1:19 a.m. CST

    The Marley scene that's still in the commercials

    by daggor

    Marley is moving around like he's in a PS2 cutscene. Is it STILL that bad? I have no doubt that Silvestri's score will be worth buying, but what I've seen of the film itself worries me. Classic Zemekis films are like precision clockwork, but this looks like little wind-up toys in a cardboard box - in digital 3D!

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 1:54 a.m. CST

    mr magoo's christmas carol ftw!

    by alice133

    marleys ghost used to scare the pee out of me.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 2 a.m. CST

    Harry, you forgot one...

    by The Fly on the Wall

    How dare you not include Bill murray in "Scrooged" on that list!

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 3:54 a.m. CST

    So, does this Scrooge talk out of his butt?

    by Rocco Curioso

    "IIII am the Ghoooost Of Anus Past!". When all is said and done, it's still a fucking cartoon.<P>Best Scrooge ever: Albert Finney. Masterful piece of work, and no sense in trying to top him.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 4:03 a.m. CST

    Saw it last night - its good....

    by wildphantom07

    Go this weekend and revel in watching stupid parents having to remove their little ones from the theatre after 20 minutes.<p> This is not what they're advertising. It's proper Christmas Carol; dark, unsettling and unrelenting. Save a chase sequence late on Zemeckis has been way more faithful than I expected. <p> Some of the motion capture bothered me, but its still a work in progress medium and has come on leaps and bounds in just a few years. Stunning looking film, and a worthy effort to add to the small number of adaptations of Carol that are actually any good.<p> Wow will Disney have a problem after opening weekend though!!!!! They need to play up its seriousness in a week's time and pull in the adults that are just not expecting what this film is.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 4:25 a.m. CST

    winteralfs

    by D.Vader

    It may make up "25%" of the film as you say, but its a HUGE part of the marketing. In fact, its the ONLY part of the marketing- they assume everyone knows the story already and just want to wow us by showing how tough of an old bastard Scrooge is by sending him flying through the air or smacking him in the face with icecicles. <p> If it IS in fact only in for 25% of the film, then its still something Harry should have damn well mentioned in my opinion. If he wanted to write a good review, I mean.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 4:50 a.m. CST

    Zemeckis: faithful, thoughtful, literary

    by Mr Gorilla

    Anyway who saw BEOWULF and has half a brain-cell would have expected this. (OK, he changed the end of BEOWULF, making the dragon B's son, but it was a GOOD change!) With Beowulf, the trailer was dumb; the movie was good. Why expect different here? OK, Zemeckis hasn't got the Pixar art of the trailer? What really matters is the film, no?

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 5:14 a.m. CST

    BIG LOB

    by GibsonUSA Returns

    Ghost of past: Wooooo!<BR> BIG LOB: Oh, this is when I kicked Cobra's ass.<BR><BR> Ghost of yet to come: Wooooo!<BR> BIG LOB: Oh, you mean I kick Cobra's ass again?<BR><BR> Ghost of present: Wooooo! <BR> BIG LOB: Brb, gotta kick some Cobra ass... <BR> Ghosts: Woo?

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 6:37 a.m. CST

    WHAT

    by chrisface2000

    so you're telling me there are scenes in this movie that AREN'T just Jim Carrey flying on some weird cone-shaped thing?

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 6:55 a.m. CST

    animated Christmas Carol from the 70s

    by durhay

    That was really good too, but I haven't seen it on TV in decades.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Zemekis 3D is literally a theme park ride

    by knowthyself

    Polar Express in IMAX 3D was such a thrilling experience. Truly a theme park ride film if I ever saw one.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 8:13 a.m. CST

    GibsonUSA Returns

    by Sailor Rip

    I usually get tired of user memes on aint it cool very quickly but I will never get tired of the Big Lob referrences. Keep it up.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 8:22 a.m. CST

    going to have to agree with everyone else

    by Larry Sellers

    The looney tunes shit that goes on in the trailers not mentioned? Yet it's still "the most literal adaptation"? Way too cartoonish for my tastes to be taken seriously as the cautionary tale it is...but it is a cartoon, so whatever. I don't care how much mocap advances, practical effects are always more impressive even if they tend to be a little on the ugly side half the time.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Okay Zemekis, it's time for a digital SPACE SCI-FI MOVIE

    by teh awesome

    Think Robotech meets Crash and Burn meets Star Wars. We need a Space Sci-Fi trilogy for the new generation! Mo-cap was MADE for this. HUGE SPACE BATTLES.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 8:48 a.m. CST

    don't believe the trailers...

    by wildphantom07

    Seriously, I cannot stress enough how completely opposite the film is with its trailers and marketing. <p> This is the Christmas Carol you wanted to see. <p> I agree that Harry didn't really play this up enough in his review. In my opinion its the main point of discussion to get you all to go and check it out.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 8:49 a.m. CST

    I'm gonna pop a mo-cap in Zemeckis' ass

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 9:22 a.m. CST

    character's own death

    by Series7

    OHHH thanks for the spoiler! GAH!

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 9:23 a.m. CST

    I'm interested in it...

    by The_Crimson_King

    so sue me, it sounds like a good movie

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 9:37 a.m. CST

    This is the Christmas Carol you wanted to see???

    by Series7

    I'm pretty sure I got that with Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 10:18 a.m. CST

    ...this looks worse than the version Bill Murray...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...wants to cook up in the 100% perfect SCROOGED.<p>You know, the one with Mary Lou Retton as Tiny Tim...

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 10:43 a.m. CST

    I've never wanted...

    by jupstin

    "a tremendously entertaining and viscerally dynamic telling of A CHRISTMAS CAROL." Subtle and poignant perhaps, but not entertaining and visceral. Those sound like action movie terms to me

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Vicerally Literal...

    by ttomato

    ...except for the "Honey I Shrunk The Scrooge" scenes. Literal in terms of dialogue. The shrinkage was a gift for younger kids as this isn't a kids movie per se in terms of pacing, dialogue and an 11th hour redemption of an Olde Man they won't relate too. The Ghost of Chrismas Yet to Come scenes were a little intense for the under 8 set. I also didn't feel much connection to Tiny Tim... the character wasn't very endearing and the rendering was the weakest character too me...I just took it for granted that Scrooge was moved by the plight of the kid. SPOILER MAYBE: I found Carrey as the Past and Present Ghosts distracting... although Past was kind of humorous in the beginning with weird mannerisms and head-bobbing. Other actors would have provided some variety in the characters...I just kept hearing Carrey doing accents. Visually stunning and very engaging... the details are almost overwhelming down to how trampled the snow looks in the streets. THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE THIS HARRY.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 11:14 a.m. CST

    too many versions...

    by badboymason

    Christmas Carol has to be the story with the most onscreen adaptions? Dracula is close but most versions of that at least vary wildly. At this point ive seen so many near identical Christmas Carols that i dont care to see another, however good it is...

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 11:35 a.m. CST

    enough mo-cap

    by Stifler's Mom

    the novelty is gone, the medium is NOT a game-changer, it's just a stunt and a pale substitute for live action.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Fuck Robert Zemeckis

    by AsimovLives

    Fuck Robert Zemeckis up his fucking ass.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    You call this a film site and don't mention...

    by Cellar Door

    Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol? I mean seriously. WTF? Mr. Magoo would kick Jim Carrey's ass while sipping a nice sherry. I say we get Magoo to do the role and get the Riverbottom Nightmare Band to do the soundtrack.<p>It's a freakin money making machine dudes.<p>Oh and I say that outside of humans playing animals, performance capture sucks. There, I said it. Doesn't make it true but if you search to the bottom of your hearts you will see the genius of that statement and promptly agree with me and be ashamed for hesitating.<p>Seriously, I don't think KFP had any PC during the dialogue scenes and that's where it counts my friends. The human brain tends to rebel against accepting what is obviously not human but close. But yet...something that acts human but isn't can work beautifully. Even exaggerated "humanity" can work but motion capture adds an approximate normalcy that human brains just take a crap on...unless it's exaggerated. Or not.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    A Disney "family" film with Jim Carrey?

    by skimn

    Of course the studio will play up the slapstick in the trailer...they know Carrey + slapstick = $$$, or at least it used to.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 1:14 p.m. CST

    It's nice to see the love for Albert Finney

    by jupstin

    I LOVE his scrooge, and the songs...they stick in my head every year. Sometimes, at work, I sing "I Hate People" to myself. It is comforting

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Caprica, you have no idea what your'e talking about

    by slone13

    <p>Mo-cap is being RESOUNDINGLY rejected at every turn by moviegoers?</p> <p>Polar Express: $304 million</p> <p>Monster House: $140 million</p> <p>Beowulf: $196 million</p> <p>You are 100% incorrect. The numbers don't lie. Get your facts straight.</p>

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Wasn't Grinch Opies fault more than Carrey?

    by Cellar Door

    Think about it...the whole Grinch as a kid...the whole history he had with the town...the whole..well..totally new story they pulled out of their ass and thought had a passing resemblance to HTGSC and thought we'd lap it up like the consuming blobs of humanity they unconsciously think we are?

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 2:21 p.m. CST

    "Most Faithful Adaptation"?!?

    by NickKlick

    Please tell me if this line made the final cut: BOB CRATCHIT: "HE TOLD ME COMING HOME THAT HE HOPED THE PEOPLE SAW HIM IN THE CHURCH BECAUSE HE WAS A CRIPPLE AND IT MIGHT BE PLEASANT TO THEM TO REMEMBER UPON CHRISTMAS DAY WHO MADE LAME BEGGARS WALK AND BLIND MEN SEE." I believe both the C.Scott and the Alaister Sim versions have this line. I have a gut feeling that Zemeckis would rather cut this from the script.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 2:38 p.m. CST

    The Mo-cap is creepy and this move looks bad

    by andrew coleman

    Real bad. The trailer just left me shaking my head. Also most find Mo-cap creepy as balls. I don't care if you toss out numbers at me. Polar Express was marketed so hard they obviously thought it was going to fail. Express was perfect for kids. But Monster House and Beowulf actually made much less then we were told they were going to make. Why? Look at Pixar and look at these movies. Pixar and Dreamworks regular stuff is cute. Mo-cap creepy shit. Zemeckis needs to start making real movies again because he is good. But this Cameron style obsession with the technology is hurting his career.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Ignorance and Want

    by NickKlick

    Do the Ignorance and Want siblings make an appearance? Or is "this most faithful edition" leave this footnote on the editing room floor?

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 2:53 p.m. CST

    slone13

    by jupstin

    Beowulf isn't really a great argument. A $196 gross isn't that great for a movie with $150 million budget. Monster House only cost half of that, so it grossed about double of it's production cost. It also didn't really attempt the whole "photo-realistic" thing. Still, there's no denying that Polar Express did quite well

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 3:06 p.m. CST

    DEVIN AND CHUD EXPOSED! SPREAD THE WORD!

    by standundermyumbrella

    Why ? Well, it is a long story and actually quite a convoluted one, long story short, Devin actually got upset that he could not attend an advanced preview (as a member of press) to see an advanced preview of a picture that shall remain nameless. He also has a personal grudge against Jim Cameron himself. This i will explain, Devin has been blacklisted by FOX execs, the reason for this is partially down to the fact that Devin was obnoxious in reviews insulted core members of various teams and insinuated lies and lawsuits. This can even be seen today in his writings on AVATAR`s plagiarism claims. There is also it has to be said a great deal of backdoor shenanigans involving Devin and the hierarchy of FOX. In short Devin is blackballed. Devin found this out via his own message board forums. Now im not standing here trying to defend FOX`s output for the last 6 years, how could i ? What i am trying to inform you on is this... This is personal, This has nothing to do with fan expectation, it has nothing to do with the progress of cinema... IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH A PERSONAL EFFORT TO DERAIL THE PRODUCTIONS IMPACT. Yes it is pathetic, yes it is childish, but if you read Devin for any amount of time, you realise childish is exactly what Devin is. the whole AVATAR deal on Chud.com is what the online industry describe as "Leaf littering" take your core audience turn them onto your ideals and use that in turn to attack your enemies. Very simple and very effective. It has been done before and it will continue to happen. It can be a good thing, however when the motives become personal and not representative of the greater fact, that is when moral issues arise. I have it on high authority FOX and in particular Jim Cameron is highly upset with Devin and the continuing abuse he keeps throwing at not just the production but the people who this movie is aimed at (which by the way, is everyone). If you were to lay out the level of abuse aimed at AVATAR and pin that to the production outgoings, you will clearly see that Chud and the level of attack has steadily gone up with the anticipation, until finally we see an attack so blatant and mean that it will make even the most skeptic sit up and pay attention, Devin is literally trying to get third parties involved to actually file lawsuits against the core creators of AVATAR, in particular James Cameron. I am told this is serious stuff, and fox is itching for Devin to step a foot out of line so he can be drawn over the coals. This is a very childish and personal situation Devin has created for himself. My guess is the biggest backlash will eventually fall on Devin

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 4:01 p.m. CST

    standundermyumbrella

    by jupstin

    huh? is this all because he said it was "evolutionary" and not "revolutionary?"

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Beowulf rocked

    by David Cloverfield

    So does Carrey, although watching him choose scripts is heart breaking, like a cute three legged puppy. Fuck, he made Truman show, Majestic, Spotless Mind, Man on the Moon and he's still remembered as Ace Ventura and Mask.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 4:13 p.m. CST

    jupstin RE: budgets

    by slone13

    <p>In this discussion, the budgets are irrelevant. When a movie makes $196 million, regardless of what it cost to make, it means a lot of frickin' people saw the movie.</p> <p>Caprica was stating that "Mo-cap is being RESOUNDINGLY rejected at every turn by moviegoers" which is simply not the case.</p> <p>Now, if Caprica had stated that Mo-cap is hit or miss when it comes to those movies making a PROFIT on their investments, he would have been accurate. But the fact of the matter is that most of the ticket buying public doesn't give a rat's ass what a movie costs to make, and it would seem, based on these films' grosses, they don't seem to have any real aversion to Mo-cap either.</p>

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Do people still go to Chud anymore??

    by Series7

    That place is a hole.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST

    That place is run by an a-hole.

    by D.Vader

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 4:31 p.m. CST

    slone13 - good point

    by jupstin

    I see what you're saying. There is no way to say that is is being RESOUNDINGLY rejected. Still, it sort of creeps me out - especially Polar Express - but the world does not make decisions based on what does and does not freak me out

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Word the FUCK up to UHF.

    by Traumnovelle

    One of my top five comedies ever. It does not get the respect it deserves. <P> Oh, and Mickey Mouse's Christmas Carol is my favorite interpretation of this story, and this one looks terrible. I am not sold on this CG mo-cap shit. With the exception of when it's needed, as with Gollum and Davey Jones and the N'avi. <P> Which leads me to, straight up, fuck CHUD. I hope all that shit you said is true, Umbrella. I can't stand that fucking site.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 6:16 p.m. CST

    "We went home and decided to watch a better movie"

    by reflecto

    What a positive review! Even Harry can't bring himself to keep licking Zemeckis' ass.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 7:19 p.m. CST

    The

    by KingKirby

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 7:26 p.m. CST

    The Muppet Christmas Carol

    by KingKirby

    My favorite version still is this one. Is it anywhere close to the original story? As about as close as Phoenix to Tucson, but the scene in the extended full screen version of TMCC where Michael Caine's Scrooge watches with heartbreaking agony as the fiancee leaves younger Scrooge (in song)is so palpable, it never fails to get me misty-eyed. I was let down when I finally bought the film on DVD to find the scene trimmed waaaay back in it's original widescreen theatrical version.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 8:15 p.m. CST

    Wishing Merry Christmas?

    by MandrakeRoot

    Just cause you watched a Christmas movie in November doesn't mean saying Merry Christmas suddenly has relevance in said month. Your crowd sounds a little off.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Mr. Magoo not on that list?

    by paulloch

    excellent music (written by the guys who did Funny Girl -- People was actually for this cartoon) and the voice performances are so moving. Jim Backus's fiexcellent music (written by the guys who did Funny Girl -- People was actually for this cartoon) and the voice performances are so moving. Jim Backus's finest rendering, he plays a classic character playing a classic character. The play within a cartoon -- briliiant. Growing up they played this every year like charlie brown and grinch, but the animation was so crude even by those standards. Still I loved it every year.nest rendering, he plays a classic character playing a classic character. The play within a cartoon -- briliiant. Growing up they played this every year like charlie brown and grinch, but the animation was so crude even by those standards. Still I loved it every year.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Why is no one talking about how UGLY it looks?

    by Bot-Bot

    Seriously, the characters are all ugly, the backgrounds are kitschy in a cheap Hallmark card way and peoples' hands still look like they're gripping air when they hold things. The slow blinking, the off-kilter human proportions, the eyes that don't match the facial expressions...it's just the uncanny valley all over again. All the comments about "some of it not quite there" sums it up. If you are constantly noticing the fact that it's performance capture, then it has failed to take you away into the story. Hyper-realism is not the goal of art, especially if it becomes the target of the craftsmen creating it. It just remains a gimmick the work never stops reminding us of, like an annoying person who keeps poking us and saying "See? see? It's well done, eh?" If you watch The Incredibles or Up, you're not trying to compare it to reality. You accept the stylized designed world and go along with the story. With this film, it's like walking onto the set of a theme park with animatronics. You notice that it's fake, but you try to go along with it.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 10:39 p.m. CST

    I say Merry Christmas in the summertime sometimes

    by CandyKate

    If you love Christmas like me, you may even listen to a few carols throughout the year...

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Reading Harry's reviews

    by Exasperilious

    makes my head hurt.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 11:16 p.m. CST

    I hope Zemeckis paid close attention to this review

    by fassbinder79

    MO CAP is killing his films he should just do these film hand drawn Zemeckis is a good director who is being hurt by the medium he has chosen animation is AWESOME just NOT mo cap go back to hand drawn like Roger Rabbit

  • Nov. 5, 2009, 1:32 a.m. CST

    "... but with mild trepidations..."

    by D.Vader

    White Vader is right, Harry. That statement makes NO FUCKING SENSE when you've already seen the movie.

  • Nov. 5, 2009, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Very boring film in places...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    I think the film looks terrific, although I do agree that the weird stylization of the characters' appearance is sometimes distracting... That said, I thought there was a 20 minute stretch there where the film was boring as all hell. Pretty much everything with the second ghost bored the shit out of me. I'm talking about the blonde laughing guy. Ugh. I've also never bought that scaring the shit out of Scrooge turns him into a legitimate nice guy. I mean, scaring the shit out of someone should suffice to make them act better, but to actually become a thoroughly nice person? Whatever. Still, this is the best version of this story I've ever seen.

  • Nov. 5, 2009, 11:18 a.m. CST

    My favorite Scrooge

    by bah

    was me, in our fourth grade production of "Cupivac".

  • Nov. 5, 2009, 11:24 a.m. CST

    NickKlick -- yes

    by bah

    They appear

  • Nov. 5, 2009, 12:04 p.m. CST

    YOU GUYS ARE FUCKING RETARDS

    by Flapjacktits

    geez some of the comments here sound really stupid!!! "Reading Harry's reviews makes my head hurt" LOL then why do you read them Einstein? I think your head hurts because it needs a brain???

  • Nov. 5, 2009, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but with money, you can afford a lot better joy!

    by blackmantis

  • Nov. 5, 2009, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Remember when Christmas used to MEAN SOMETHING?

    by Triple_J_72

    Now I'm lucky if I even get that day off. Thank you, America.

  • Nov. 5, 2009, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Zemeckis, do what you want to Dickens, but ....

    by madCanada

    ... LEAVE THE BEATLES ALONNNE!!!!!

  • Nov. 5, 2009, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Mr Magoo

    by Kontarsky

    Grew up on that and Sim version. No interest in this one. We're just clankity clank-clank...no good!

  • Nov. 6, 2009, 1:18 a.m. CST

    Muppets

    by crucifictorious

    I'll probably end up seeing this, but not until closer to christmas. The Muppet's version is my favorite too, though. I've never felt more sad at the death of Tiny Tim than in their version. I never fail to get teary eyed when it shows that shot of his little crutch leaning against the chair he sat in at the dinner table. Or when Kermit as Bob comes in and talks about how he buried him on the hill facing the pond so that he can still watch the ducks like he loved doing so much when he was alive. Kermit's so great in that scene. Its getting me choked up just typing about it haha.

  • Nov. 6, 2009, 6:29 a.m. CST

    Reviews are in and once again Mo Cap FAILS

    by caprica

    "A Christmas Carol is, in its essence, a product reel, a showy, exuberant demonstration of the glories of motion capture, computer animation and 3D technology. On that level, it's a wow. On any emotional level, it's as cold as Marley's Ghost." Yet another motion capture fiasco. Here's another critic: "Shortchanging traditional animation by literalizing it while robbing actors of their full range of facial expressiveness, the performance-capture technique favored by director Robert Zemeckis looks more than ever like the emperor's new clothes" PERFECT. Please stop Zemekis before he robs us again.

  • Nov. 6, 2009, 8:46 a.m. CST

    Yes. Audiences don't give a flying fuck

    by Larry Sellers

    about motion capture. It's touted in the media but no one ever says "Hey, let's check out that new mo-cap film this weekend! If only I could remember the name..." Animation is animation to people who aren't into technical business. I'm not saying they're unaware, but I seriously doubt that HOW a movie is animated has an affect on BO scores. That's not to say that the quality of the animation doesn't matter (it probably doesn't to kids, though), but people will see it if it looks like another over-the-top cartoon. It's inaccurate to say MOCAP FAILS AT THE BOX OFFICE because the details of how characters are rendered in a lab has little to do with how people will ultimately perceive the film. Box office numbers have more to do with word of mouth and names attached.

  • Nov. 6, 2009, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Even Monkeys hate Mo-Cap

    by Chief Joseph

    Remove spaces in URL<br><br> http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/11/091103-polar-express-monkeys-uncanny-valley.html

  • Nov. 6, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST

    YOU GET TO DRINK FROM THE FIRE HOSEEEEEEEEEEEE!

    by Murraypalooza

    HYAH!

  • Nov. 7, 2009, 1:17 a.m. CST

    madCanada's REVIEW ...

    by madCanada

    Hi Harry ... Just saw the Disney Carol. Well. Hum. Hah. Some really great things in it; Carrey is terrific. The ghosts are terrific. The whole first half is terrific. Then-- Zemeck starts being an asshole and treating the story like a basketball. Fuck him. Anyway; I think "Rotten Tomatoes"' 55% rating is about right. Fair to middling. God save us from the Zemeck Yellow Sub. I'm puking already.

  • Nov. 7, 2009, 1:25 a.m. CST

    Try motion-capturing BIG LOB......

    by GibsonUSA Returns

    Psssh, yeah right. It'll be decades before we have that kind of technology...

  • Nov. 7, 2009, 1:06 p.m. CST

    its just way too early

    by baaba_pappa

    it was only halloween last week, I want to wait for christmas to watch christmas stories

  • Nov. 7, 2009, 1:30 p.m. CST

    "I found the glasses at the local IMAX to be a bummer, and I had

    by togmeister

    Dude, seriously? It's A CHRISTMAS CAROL for crying out loud. You're SUPPOSED to see ghosts in it.

  • Nov. 7, 2009, 1:31 p.m. CST

    "I had slight ghosting problems throughout."

    by togmeister

    Dude, seriously? It's A CHRISTMAS CAROL for crying out loud. You're SUPPOSED to see ghosts in it.

  • Nov. 7, 2009, 10:53 p.m. CST

    I saw this tonight...

    by The_Crimson_King

    this is actually a really good movie, I'm dead serious, don't overlook it just because it's CGI and Mo-Cap, sadly I think most of you will....

  • Nov. 7, 2009, 11:13 p.m. CST

    as a matter of fact...

    by The_Crimson_King

    I think most of you guys decide whether you like or hate a movie before you even see it or without even seeing it at all, you decide to hate a movie because of it's trailer (forgetting that good movies can have bad trailers and bad movies can have good trailers) or you decide to hate it for a reason that has nothing to do with the movie itself (I don't like mo-cap, I don't like George Lucas, I don't like the hype etc etc), basically you guys bring too much "baggage" to a movie, just shut the fuck up and judge a movie on it's own merits, the fact that many of you hate this movie without even giving it a chance prove you have your heads far up your asses

  • Nov. 8, 2009, 5:44 a.m. CST

    I thought it was "quite good" but not great

    by football

    I enjoyed being whisked along the 19th century London streets and snow-capped buildings, but also found the story of Tiny Tim was lost, if not buried under the heavy snowfall. <p> Still, there's much to enjoy here. You could do worse this winter by wasting your bucks on Fourth Kind or Parrot Normal Activity! At least this satisfies on a number of levels.

  • Nov. 8, 2009, 7:04 p.m. CST

    The 3D is what sells it

    by Curious Jorge

    It was a good film made into a GREAT film by the 3D process.

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST

    I do agree with that...

    by The_Crimson_King

    it's been 3 films, I do agree that it's time for Robert Zemeckis to return to live action

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST

    3 CGI films I mean

    by The_Crimson_King

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 4:15 a.m. CST

    having read maybe 15 reviews now,

    by murren

    im guna pass. sounds poorly executed.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    The Muppet version is inexplicably the best

    by darthvedder81

    The sets are great. The music is great. Michael Caine is great as the "straight" man to the Muppet zaniness. They hit all the story points in a cool 90 minutes and the masterstroke of having Gonzo narrate keeps all the great Dickensian prose in the story.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    I guess it's not "inexplicable" then

    by darthvedder81

    hahaha!

  • Nov. 12, 2009, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Beowulf was better

    by SmokeFilledTavern

  • Nov. 14, 2009, 4:11 p.m. CST

    The snow was actually in the Theatre

    by drunkenmonkey73

    This was my first 3D movie, I saw it in a regular 3D Theatre, and really enjoyed the experince, I like the nice little touches, and the way the camera moved was breath taking. They showed the Trailers for Toy Sory 3 and Avatar, and now I can't wait for my next 3D experince. We should have an Imax 3D by December or the latest January, and I think Avatar will need the Imax 3D for the full experince.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 5:19 p.m. CST

    My only Christmas tradition

    by SmokingRobot

    Every year I rent 'A Christmas Carol' and run it backwards so it has a happy ending.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 3:28 a.m. CST

    best scrooge ever - Matthew McConaughey

    by The_Ritty

    now who has another line for me... Seriously though, Murray's scrooge will always be my favorite. Any canucks out here remember these old cartoons that used to play around christmas time... when I was younger I used to watch these every year and I cant remember anything about them other than they would come on only at christmas time... they were kinda dark... one was about a lonely giant in a castle I think... I dunno

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 5:13 a.m. CST

    Saw this in 3D last night

    by Mr Kite

    Don't be put off by the trailer. Its a great movie and the animation is superb. Some of the younger children in the audience were frightened at times so parents should use caution. I was amazed at the detail of the animation. Easily as good as Beowulf. Can't understand the hatred against motion capture. Anyway, this is my joint favourite Chrismas Carol movie with the Patrick Stewart Version.

  • Feb. 15, 2010, 1:57 a.m. CST

    FNjHmri

    by TmvEqK

    prDQpR <a href="http://ktjwfq.com/ ">FNjHmri</a>

  • Feb. 15, 2010, 1:58 a.m. CST

    tScRHyma

    by TmvEqK

    rVZugJj <a href="http://lgxuem.com/ ">tScRHyma</a>

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