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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a christmas classic!
this is an absolute delight to watch. one of the best versions of a christmas carol ever, probably the best since the allistair sim version. while it might be a bit too dark for young children, the whole family should enjoy this. it's very faithfull to the book, and indeed i was mouthing lines of dialogue before the characters! there are a few comedy slapstick scenes...
Published on 25 Nov. 2009 by Mr. R. W. Graham

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly imaginatively conceived and executed - until it turns into a theme park rollercoaster ride
Robert Zemeckis' A Christmas Carol is one of those films that almost finds new cinematic potential in Dickens' most famous and beloved tale before losing its way in his eagerness to show off his new technology at the expense of the story. It certainly starts off decently enough with Jim Carrey's animated Ebenezer Scrooge taking the coins from his dead partner Jacob...
Published on 21 Jan. 2012 by Trevor Willsmer


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly imaginatively conceived and executed - until it turns into a theme park rollercoaster ride, 21 Jan. 2012
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Robert Zemeckis' A Christmas Carol is one of those films that almost finds new cinematic potential in Dickens' most famous and beloved tale before losing its way in his eagerness to show off his new technology at the expense of the story. It certainly starts off decently enough with Jim Carrey's animated Ebenezer Scrooge taking the coins from his dead partner Jacob Marley's eyes ("Tuppence is tuppence"), but you do start to wonder just why Zemeckis felt the need to render it in hugely expensive motion captured CGI - or at least until the camera takes exhilarating flight and soars above the rooftops and through the streets of a festive Victorian London. It's a joyous and expansive bit of showoffery that's a much more sophisticated throwback to putting the Cinerama cameras on a rollercoaster back in the 50s, setting the time and place and even finding time to give a brief nod to Seymour Hicks' 1935 version. Even when the camera comes down to earth it's often imaginatively conceived and directed despite its tendency to throw in bits of business just because they'll look good in 3D.

The computer animation at least has advanced since Zemeckis' previous MoCap epic Beowulf. There's none of the problem with dead eyes that plagued earlier Mocap films, though there's still a problem when presenting anyone who isn't a caricature or a fantastic creature: you simply wonder what is the point of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars rendering a real person into something that's neither cartoon nor convincing human. It's fine when you're dealing with the sharp chinned emaciated Scrooge or rendering Fezziwigg to something like the original novel's illustrations, but the supporting cast and bit players manage to be both undistinguished and odd at the same time. Only Belle, the one character rendered almost photorealistically as if to emphasise that she was the one genuine chance for humanity in the old miser's life, seems successful. Others, like Scrooge's nephew Fred, are particularly worrying, looking like Colin Firth after a rather nasty case of swelling. That Firth seems to play the novel's bastion of the good cheer and open heartedness of the season as even angrier than Scrooge only adds to the misjudgement - rather than countering his uncle with goodwill he seems to be so intent on starting a fight that even Mother Theresa would have been tempted to punch his lights out.

There's great atmosphere in the buildup to the appearance of Marley's Ghost and an interesting new take on The Ghost of Christmas Past, here seen as a flickering candle with a soft Irish accent and also played, like all three spirits, by Carrey. Sadly, just when you think Zemeckis might have genuinely cracked it, the film takes a serious wrong turn with The Ghost of Christmas Present, a brash Midlander in a less than successfully realised flying house with an invisible floor, which is an even worse idea than it sounds. Rather than have Scrooge in the middle of events so he can be an invisible part of all he has been missing, it keeps him at a remove, looking down. Things get even worse with his violent and painful death at the stroke of midnight, disintegrating like Dracula in daylight. His encounter with The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is another missed opportunity - there is one genuinely powerful moment on the staircase with Bob Cratchit but unfortunately Zemeckis is far more interested in diverting wildly from the text to turn it into a series of rollercoaster ride chases with a mouse-sized Scrooge through sewer pipes and across rooftops and washing lines to show off the 3D. They're not without energy and imagination, but you do wonder what on earth they're doing in this story. Things do eventually right themselves - Dickens' story is almost indestructible - but it's hard to shake the disappointment that something that started so intriguingly and showed such promise ended up more like one of those 3D theme park rides.

Naturally the extras concentrate on the mechanics of actors in green suits with reference point dots all over them going through the motions in a large green soundstage, with Zemeckis offering few comments on anything other than technical issues in the picture-in-picture featurettes on the Blu-ray. Unusually most of the other extras have also been carried over to the DVD edition - a featurette on adapting the book, with a Dickens' academic shooting herself in the foot with some rather dubious claims that the film's departures from the novel are in keeping with the author's intentions, six uncompleted deleted scenes that offer a curious mix of live action faces and crude computer animatics, and a brief featurette about one of the child performers. The Blu-ray also has a surprisingly neat interactive advent calendar.
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a christmas classic!, 25 Nov. 2009
By 
Mr. R. W. Graham (Lincoln, U.K.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Christmas Carol [DVD] (DVD)
this is an absolute delight to watch. one of the best versions of a christmas carol ever, probably the best since the allistair sim version. while it might be a bit too dark for young children, the whole family should enjoy this. it's very faithfull to the book, and indeed i was mouthing lines of dialogue before the characters! there are a few comedy slapstick scenes added on, but it's very tastefully done, indeed i think dickens himself would have approved of this film.
i admit, i did have reservations about jim carrey playing scrooge, thinking he would be dreadfully miscast, and i'm a big jom carrey fan, but somehow was expecting the worst from him, but i was very pleasantly surprised. in fact, this could very well be one of his best performances, and he plays the voices of the 3 ghosts as well. the rest of the voice cast are also excellent. in fact i'll go as far as to say that this is one of disney's best films in years, one of the best christmas films in years too, and ties with up as the best animated films of the year. i can't praise this film enough, the 3d effects are amazing. i think pixar might have some serious competition at next year's oscars!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious Christmassy version of Glorious Christmassy Favourite, 21 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: A Christmas Carol [DVD] (DVD)
I loved this film...

A Christmas Carol has been a favourite of mine since I was young. It was the only Dickens book I was interested in reading as a child and it is still the only Dickens book I have read, I have read it many times, and this film version is now my favourite visual adaptation of this book.

Seeing it at the cinema I was enamoured with it, I felt it was a visual delight. As true a version of A Dickensian London Christmas as we have come to believe. I also felt that Jim Carrey made a very brilliant Ebenezer Scrooge and was also wonderful as the three spirits, especially the Ghost of Christmas present. The supporting cast were also wonderful, especially Gary Oldman as Bob Crachit, Tiny Tim, Jacob Marley and others. I also felt the CGI dealt exceptionally well with the magical aspect of the tale and made the scenes as lifelike as animation is possible of doing.

With this in mind, I knew I wanted the DVD when it came out and I got it and was not disappointed when I watched it on the small screen.

I would strongly reccomend watching it when it is Dark to enhance the gritty feel of the film.
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73 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Es a good, e's Ebeneezer Goode, 7 Dec. 2009
This review is from: A Christmas Carol [DVD] (DVD)
Ignore those crying `bah humbug', Robert Zemeckis' motion-capture version of Charles Dickens' eternal Christmas classic is a hugely enjoyable yuletide movie, and arguably the best version ever committed to celluloid.

With Jim Carrey taking the lead and also playing the three ghosts, the film sticks to Dickens' story with only a few embellishments which only serve to make the experience more enjoyable. Dickens' overarching themes of poverty and the class schism in Victorian London are clearly flagged-up, and Zemeckis doesn't hesitate in adding scary and sinister touches - the nefarious ghost of Christmas yet to come is as frightening as you'd expect, and I would suggest a pre-screening before sitting down with children under 6. [ASIN:B000BAZD8S The Polar Express], Zemeckis' previous Christmas motion-capture effort, has often been criticised for weaknesses in some of its animation techniques - the eyes of the characters for example - but this time around these have been ironed out and the picture is superb. The 3D experience is simply the icing on the cake - most effective aspect being the falling snow.

Ultimately, this is A Christmas Carol for those who love the magic, chills, and sheer brilliant storytelling that made the novel such a classic, and I for one will be sitting down with this DVD and a glass of mulled wine for many Christmases to come - God bless us everyone!
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64 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Carol 2009, 20 Nov. 2009
This review is from: A Christmas Carol [DVD] (DVD)
There have been many many versions of this well known story ranging from the excellent Scrooge (Christmas Special Release) (Two Discs) (DVD) [1951] to modern versions Scrooged [DVD] [1988], animated editions, muppets, musicals, and now cgi. To make another adaptation of a christmas carol something has to be special about the film in order for it to find it's place in a crowded market.

This 2009 Disney adaptation filmed using motion capture breathes new life into the classic Dickens tale. The animation is everything you would expect from a Disney film. Jim Carrey is a revelation, he performs as Scrooge AND the Ghosts yet each voiceover sounds so different, Gary Oldman (Jacob Marley, Bob Cratchitt), Bob Hoskins (Mr. Fezziwigg, Old Joe) and Colin Firth (Fred) also do well in support.

The use of animation in this way allows the filmakers to use techniques not seen before in the other versions. Look out for the scenes in which Scrooge is flying over the rooftops of Victorian England and the tiny Scrooge being chased by the Ghost of Christmas future, the cinematography is stunning. The Ghosts are far scarier than I have ever seen them before.

This is not the definitive version of A Christmas Carol but is definately up there as one of the best. The story may be familiar but this film gives it a new lease of life for the 21st century generation. A definate must see.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an absolute pleasure, 13 Jan. 2012
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i had heard about this film didnt realise it had been outso long 2009 i think it was released? purchased from amazon couldnt wait to watch especially on blue ray! pumped through my 1000watt home theatre kit on my 46" led hd tv
Well this film was an absolute pleasure to watch the graphics were jaw dropping and each character such a joy to behold!
The film was very true to the original story, even the lines were true to the original too, which im so pleased they were. Right from the start i was captivated,i have watched various versions of this endless classic and always on christmas eve for as many years as i can remember.
I can honestly say its one of the best films i have ever seen and would give this 10 out of 10 wanna get into the festive mood at christmas time? Then settle down with the family, on a christmas eve, and watch this its simply magical!!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Carol, 25 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: A Christmas Carol [DVD] (DVD)
Where do i begin?
I have seen and read this fantastic story and when i saw this version i thought i'd give it a go and buy it. And boy!! WHAT a version it's out of this world and i was in tears in parts. It's worth the money to buy this dvd.
The animation in this dvd is absolutely FANTASTIC.
I hope there will be more from this group,the polar express was made by the same group who did this version of a christmas carol.
I'll give both films a 1000 stars.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, mythical masterpiece!, 24 Nov. 2009
This review is from: A Christmas Carol [DVD] (DVD)
Although this is the latest of many screen adaptations, for me it has the most traditional feel. Technology (both animation and 3D) is totally employed in service to the integrity and (dare I say) spirit of the story instead of galloping off into irrelevant set-pieces as so often happens with computer graphic effects. Finally in 2009, the technical skills are there to produce feats of wonder as magnificent as could be performed by Spirits and imagined by Charles Dickens. Be warned though, whilst the wonders are truly wondrous, the horror is also authentically horrible and not for small children of a sensitive disposition. Jacob Marley in agony and chains, his spirit doomed to be weighed down by all that he held on to so tightly in life is shocking. On the other hand Dickens' London is beautifully crafted and in 3D, the Christmas Eve snow is breathtaking. Last night, the whole theatre was full of children gasping in awe and delight.

Having set this magnificent backdrop, the characters are then exquisitely etched, from a grizzled, bitter Scrooge, to the careworn but loving Cratchit family through to all the other supporting characters. The layered crafting of each individual's characteristics such as facial expressions, manner of walking, body language gives the whole piece a richness which elevates it beyond what I've ever understood from the term 'animation'.

Whilst lavishing this praise, I must say it all pales into insignificance in the face of the genius that has gone into the conceiving and bringing to screen of the Spirits. Every second they are on the screen they are mesmerising and so perfectly interpreted for the film medium. First, Christmas Past as an ethereal, slightly mournful candle - as bittersweet as memory, as seemingly fragile as a sigh, but like the past, impossible to erase - just amazing. Then comes Christmas Present so full of the zest, abundance and joy that can only truly be relished in the moment. Finally, Christmas Yet to Come, which for Scrooge anyway, spells doom, but a doom of breathtaking power and dread.

His transformation then, is all the more beautiful and poignant. Not a dry eye in the house!

An incredible journey for the eyes, mind and heart with a really pertinent message for these materialistic but economically hard times, especially at Christmas. Bring on the DVD!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Merry as a schoolboy...., 7 May 2014
On Christmas Eve, crotchety miser Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his dead partner Jacob Marley.

Scrooge is told that what they do in life will determine what happens to them in the afterlife.

Marley tells Scrooge that he will be visited by three ghosts and to take heed of what happens. The first spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Past, shows Scrooge that he was once a happy young man, carefree and in love but money became his greatest desire.

The Ghost of Christma Present shows him how others, including his nephew Fred and his clerk Bob Cratchit, The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, shows Scrooge the fate that awaits him......

We all know the story of this film, and its been filmed numerous times since cinema began, but it's pleasing to say that Zemeckis has made a brilliant interpretation of the age old classic.

But it's a dark movie, and sometimes very unnerving, so if you have younger children, i'd give it a miss.

Carrey and the rest of the cast are on top form, and the Animation is fantastic in 3D. It's lighted in a very miserable way, mirroring the main character.

But when he starts to learn the true meaning of Christmas, the film becomes brighter and more warmer, I think a lot of people who criticised the aesthetics and the lighting, didn't get what Zemeckis' intentions were.

But watching it in 2D, my only gripe is that the characters have 'dead eye' which is not noticeable in 3D.

It's a great film to watch on Christmas eve, and really does make you feel warm inside.

But still not a patch on 'Scrooged'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Carol - BluRay, 1 Dec. 2010
Well the feelgood factor is present in the Robert Zemeckis production, although I felt that the Tiny Tim character should have been given greater prominence. Nevertheless, the production is both spectacular and moving seeing this awfully mean man, being terrified of the thought of poverty, having his character totally transformed by the chance to look back on his past in which he treated everyone badly. Looking at the possible future repercussions, Scrooge finally realises with great regret the error of his past ways. He could for instance have had a happy marriage and children with his lady friend whom he left to be an old maid. But what happiness for us all, his eventual transformation brings!

In all its many versions, the story never ceases to arouse my emotions, and is a good reminder especially at Christmastime of our responsibilities in relations to other human beings. We also remember what an extraordinary story teller Charles Dickens was. The end will bring a tear to many an eye. There were cynical reviews from some critics when the film was first released, but my advice is to ignore these, and enjoy its considerable warmth and happy ending. Incidentally I never liked Jim Carrey, but his animated persona does the film credit. I did feel however that the ghostly apparitions are likely to prove very scary for young children, so I will not show the film to my grandchildren till they are much older.

Actually I bought the 3D version which is only a little more expensive; because it is an investment for the future for when I can afford a 3D projector. At the moment the 3D disc does not give any picture, not even a double image even though I have an updated PS3 player. The Bluray package does however contain a 2D version which will do nicely for the time being. I am able to project the Bluray image using an HD projector in a small room which seems to match the memorable 3D IMAX experience I saw a year ago in the cinema.

My final words are those uttered by the crippled Tiny Tim, "God Bless us Everyone".
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A Christmas Carol [DVD]
A Christmas Carol [DVD] by Robert Zemeckis (DVD - 2010)
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