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Zemekis/Disney- Christmas Carol Movie

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by frogboy4, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I've been on the fence about Zemekis' motion capture since the corpse-like “Polar Express” and the much more enjoyable “Monster House”. Now he's releasing his version of motion-capture "A Christmas Carol" this weekend. Early buzz is that the characters are just as wooden as the Polar Express and the story has been turned into an adventure ride rather than a true adaptation of the text. I'm reserving my final judgment until viewing it in its entirety. I have no doubt with Jim Carrey starring in the film that it will get an instant audience. I just hope it lives up to its potential. Any thoughts? Anyone else going to see it?
  2. GonzoLeaper

    GonzoLeaper Well-Known Member

    Mainly because I totally love Christmas and the Christ of Christmas- and I love the actual Charles Dickens' book (which I've read multiple times)- I'm interested in seeing how much this movie really sticks to the book. It'd be great to see the movie really stay probably not necessarily verbatim, but at least a modernized language version of the book. I particularly love the scene when Bob Cratchit relates to his wife that Tiny Tim thought the people might like to see him in church and remember on that day the One who made the blind to see and the lame to walk. Oh, I love that! Such a great scene. And such a great message of redemption in this book- God can change anyone! God bless us, everyone!:)
  3. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    The original story just had a few passages rooted in theology, but the story itself is universal – not just for Christians. One doesn’t require religious conversion or assimilation in order to have a change of heart. Most fine art allows for the audience to hang some of their own experiences and perspectives within the piece.

    There are kind people with rich cultures and beliefs of all sorts. It would be Scrooge-minded to think otherwise. ;)
  4. JaniceFerSure

    JaniceFerSure Active Member

    I would have loved to have seen Zemekis make the movie a live movie with Jim Carrey as Scrooge, which I thought it was going to be; until I read the threads on here about it being CGI like Polar Express. I could not watch Polar Express: the characters looked bad in general(as you have mentioned stiff) & the train ride gave me motion sickness. I love the story of A Christmas Carol. I was hoping that it could be done some justice. I'll have to wait to watch this afore mentioned version when it comes to video at Blockbusters, which should not be too long.:p

    I could very well see Zemekis doing this as a live action film, only making the ghosts CGI..now that might have worked out well.:smirk:
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'm just gonna come out and say it. Does anyone know what the Christmas Carol is REALLY about? No, not so much religious themes and Christmas spirit... it was a biting critique of what was going on in 19th century England... Harsh treatment of the poor, especially by greedy industrialites and bankers. And I think that keeps getting deluded in every single retelling. This was well before American authors of the early 20th century wrote similar books and documents on the abhorrent working conditions that lead to unionization and antitrust legislation over here. That was a recurring theme in Dickens's work, especially Oliver Twist.

    I still think that the Christmas story is the setting, not the main attraction. The moral and story of this book is about how the pursuit of wealth dehumanizes the pursuer, leading them to toss away all morals, and treat everyone like garbage (or worse) to squeeze and extra penny out of them. But it also slaps the same business practices (i.e. debtors prison, slave style work houses, cutthroat lending practices) that were popular at the time.

    As far as the movie goes... I can't stop wrapping myself in the fact that it seems to be just a series of 3-D gimmicks. Scrooge flying through the air, scrooge sliding down chimney shoots into icicles, and the ubiquitous poking objects forward towards the audience. For an adaption of the story, I'd rather see more story than theme park movie ride quality special effects. Plus, I like Jim Carrey and all, but Horton hears a Who proved that the only way Jim's antics work is if we see them. The motion capture is a good choice here, but it may also just distort his own distortions. But then again, I'm living in the past, and my favorite movies were The Mask and both Ace Venturas... I did like the Truman show, though.
  6. PurpleHonker

    PurpleHonker New Member

    Well stated, Drtooth.

    As for actually leaving my house to go and sit in a theater to witness what I think will be an abomination of A Christmas Carol, I won't. I might consider it when it is out on DVD, but even that is unlikely. I couldn't make it through the Polar Express with its dreadful apearances, and, though I may be harshly prejudging this, I can only imagine this will be the same but with the added flair of an adventure ride that is both unecessary and out-of-place in A Christmas Carol.
    There is something to be said for creating an entertaining way for younger people to be exposed to stories steeped in so much history and tradition, but when the new story will most likely be so far off from the original, what is the point?

    I'll stick with the classics including A Muppet Christmas Carol :)
  7. GonzoLeaper

    GonzoLeaper Well-Known Member

    I didn't mean to say that there aren't kind people with rich cultures and all sorts of beliefs- you're certainly right on that. While it's true people can have a change of heart without joining a religion or such, what I meant to say is that I believe only by knowing Christ can one have truly everlasting change. And from what I know of Charles Dickens, I believe that he held to some form of Christianity- or at the very least professed belief in God- thus, that helps shape what I glean from the book. Just like poetry, most fine art whether in the form of songs or books allow the audience to interpret by their own perspectives and experiences and this one is mine.:super:
    Everyone is, of course, free to believe as they wish- and I think most people can at the least acknowledge the change that love and concern for others brings to Scrooge's heart. :)
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I skipped seeing the film in theaters, and found it on TV a while back... I just didn't like any of what I saw, including the deadness and flatness that was supposedly in the style of the original illustrations. I did like Eddie Deenzen, though... He has just this wonderful unique voice and all... but it just looked so... flat, dark, and it basically seemed like it was made to be a movie ride/Imax event rather than an actual film.

    Now, the characters here looks a little brighter and more likely... but it still seems they're just making odd excuses to have Scroogie fly around at the screen and poke his walking stick at the audience. When I look at Up or the re-released Toy Story 1 and 2, the 3-D effects add just a bit more, but don't take away from the film/ Heck, seems like 3-D was just an afterthought with Up, and just an excuse to rerelease TS1+2 before the big third film. Those movies are movies that just so happen to be 3-D. Christmas Carol seems to be 3-D effects that just so happen to be in a movie.

    it actually looks like this one will be close... not so much as close to the book, but it could be a lot more close than any of the hundreds of cartoon versions of it. I think the Simpsons really nailed it when they had that Christmas episode years back... the one where Homer watched the Mr. Magoo version, and then Bart tells them they've been using that old chestnut for years (showing fictitious Star Trek and Family Matters versions). It's a great story that needs to be told, but it's been done so many times. And again, they dilute the original anti-Industrial Revolution practices storyline... and frankly, we need that moral more than ever.
  9. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Actuals are in for this weekend's $200 million budget film, "Disney's A Christmas Carol" and it has greatly underperformed at $30.1 million. It will make its cash back eventually. There's some time to go before Christmas and there's a lot of re-release value in 3D theaters, television and home video. Still, the main complaint seems to be - why computer animate Jim Carrey? What's the point? The found the wiriest actor out there and found a way to make him stiff.

    Zemekis' method creates a facsimile (or goes through the motions) of something more interesting rather than the Henson Company's performance capture technology of creating spontaneity and spark.

    I hope this under-performing film tells movie makers that audiences can tell the difference between technology and personality. Both can coexist, but apparently not here. I've yet to see the film. I'll get to it.
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    It still got the number one slot in the country. And it is only the first week of November when it came out. Stores may have been ready for Christmas since before Halloween, clearing stuff out of their stores before Halloween in some cases, but I don't think the movie going public wants to see a Christmas movie just yet... but when they are ready, they'll probably go in droves. No matter how stupid a movie is, people will flock to it if it's got a Christmas theme and comes out just before Christmas... that's why the Chipmunks film did a lot better than anyone would have imagined.

    The real competition will be when The Princess and the Frog comes out. I'm hoping more people will flock to that one, m7yself. We haven't seen a traditional animated kid's movie in this country since Curious George, and even a while before that. This ugly motion capture system Zemeckis seems to be obsessed with does not make anything look good...

    Watch Horton Hears a Who. They could have done that film with anyone. If I didn't know it was Jim Carey (had it not been splattered all over the movie posters and press releases) I probably would think they just got Matt "Max Headroom" Frewer. I bet if they hired him, they could have knocked a couple mil off the budget. Without the rubber face schtick, it seems kinda pointless.


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