From the desk of The Movie Snob
Disney’s A Christmas Carol (B). This is Robert Zemeckis’s latest foray into the new-fangled motion-capture animation that also went into Beowulf and The Polar Express. I saw the 3D version, and I recommend it because the visuals of this movie are easily its strongest point. Indeed, the ghost of Jacob Marley, the black steeds pulling the carriage of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, and the disintegration of the Ghost of Christmas Present are all sufficiently intense and frightening that this movie is not really appropriate for little kids. And I gather that the movie is more faithful to Dickens’s story than some other adaptations have been, which is probably a good thing. And yet . . . the weird CGI–ness of the movie really kept me at arm’s length throughout, and I didn’t leave the theater with any warm Christmasy feelings–just a vague admiration for the technological proficiency behind the movie.
I will add that The Borg Queen started out watching the movie with me but left halfway through. She was getting motion sick from the swooping camera work (although personally I think the $5 package of Twizzlers she had before the movie also contributed to her ill health). And she generally disliked the movie as well, commenting, as many people have, on the unsettlingly dead appearance of the CGI characters. That flaw was really true of The Polar Express, in my opinion, and it is true of many of the characters in this movie too, especially Scrooge’s nephew Fred and his employee Bob Cratchit. The Scrooge character (voiced by Jim Carrey, The Truman Show) is much more lifelike, but the unreal quality of the other characters definitely dampened my enthusiasm for the film.