On Christmas Eve I went with Owen to see the latest screen adaptation of Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL - if you are going to see a version of it then Christmas Eve would appear to be the best day of all.
It is directed by Robert Zemeckis and it uses the motion capture animation that he used in his earlier seasonal animation THE POLAR EXPRESS. Happily the new film is a distinct advance from that film but there is something about the process that truly gives me the creeps.
I look at it is another step away from using actors in film and as such, I find it difficult to reconcile with - especially in a film that so much relies on the all-too human failings of Scrooge. Another problem I have with it is that although in-depth detailing has gone into the work on Scrooge and the characters of Bob Cratchit (modelled on Gary Oldman who provides the voice), Mr. Fezziwigg (Bob Hoskins) and Scrooge's nephew Fred (Colin Firth), all the other characters have slightly bland, ever-smililng faces. Its like watching a production done by "special" people. The film was also made utilising 3-D technology however the screening we went to was in 2-D so there was a lot of noticeable reaching in and out of the sides of the frame and probably one too many whooshing journeys over the rooftops and along the gutters of Olde London Towne.
However I can't say I was ever bored during it's 98 minute running time as it zips along at a rare old pace. The film also doesn't sugarcoat the more nightmarish aspects of Scrooge's long journey into night and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future are well realised and give the film an eerie atmosphere that might spook some of the wee uns. But then... it has to happen sometime. I particularly liked Marley's Ghost, seemingly floating through the underworld, a haunting haunted figure. So there you go... overall a nice way to usher in Christmas Eve night with Mr. Scrooge proving that even a grasping moneylender can change his ways.
Ah Mr. Dickens that you should be alive at this hour!