27 November 2010

Jim is Carol, a Christmas themed one...

A Christmas Carol – Robert Zemeckis

Adapted from the famous Charles Dickens ‘ 1843 story of the same, A Christmas Carol, written and directed by Robert Zemeckis, made by Disney and told in the fashion in the vein of Zemeckis field of expertise, performance capture but this time in 3D. Finally released on DVD and 3D-VD (a name i just come up with!), where the film can be viewed in 3D if you have the right technology, it has taken over a year to come out in this format considering it was out in the cinemas for Christmas 2009, which is a ridiculously long time, but they could be said about pretty much all of Disney releases. Featuring Jim Carrey as everyone in the film (near enough), this modern retelling of the tale sees the use of the proper language from that story not adapted to sound normal, so it’s a little difficult to get into it at the beginning but it does warm over you over the course of the film. The technique of performance capture is new to Disney and to be used this well by someone familiar with the technology is astounding, i would love to see it in 3D to see the full effect but even watching it normally i got goose bumps at how realistic and beautiful it was.

You properly already know the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, a bitter old miserable man who doesn’t like Christmas anymore and sends his distasteful hatred to everyone he comes across, even his friends and work colleagues. Set during the 1800’s, London is relived in amazing detail with some breath taking sequences. On Christmas Eve, three spirits visit him to show him his wrongful ways in the form of the Ghost of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future, showing Scrooge what he is doing wrong and what he will become. Scaring him into realising what he is doing wrong. The three ghosts in question are all very dark, as the film is overall very dark and serious, for a children’s film, it’s not the light hearted, not on the fluffy side like The Muppet Christmas. I would be surprised if children didn’t have nightmares over the film and some of the horrible images like people’s old and crooked faces and the Ghost of Christmas Future is pretty much Death.

There are some fantastic sequences showing the true power of the technology along with all the facial features and tiniest movements you wouldn’t normally see but are given extraordinary significance. Just watch Scrooge’s facial expressions change ever so slightly but the detail for an animation film is mind blowing. It should be interesting to see Tintin when it arrives next year considering it’s made with the same technology but directed by Steven Spielberg.


Simon Childs

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