Sunday, December 20, 2015

Movie Review: "A Christmas Carol" (1999)

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Movie"A Christmas Carol"
Director: David Jones
Year: 1999
Rating: UR
Running Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Ebenezer Scrooge (Patrick Stewart) is a greedy man who runs a counting house and only cares of money and profit. He has no desire to offer charity or to help or be with his fellow man, even on Christmas, which he believes to be a humbug. One Christmas eve night, he is visited by the ghost of his old business partner Jacob Marley (Bernard Lloyd), who shows Ebenezer the torturous fate that awaits him if he doesn't change his ways. Jacob offers Scrooge a chance at redemption in being visited by three spirits who will show him the true meaning of Christmas.

Charles Dickens' classic tale has been adapted many times over the decades, so much so that it is probably the single most recognizable Christmas story ever written, outside of the nativity. Every year since starting, we have done a 12 days of Christmas marathon, and each year, we have reviewed a different version of "A Christmas Carol," and we are in no danger of running out of adaptations anytime soon. This time around, Patrick Stewart fills the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in this made-for-TV version of the classic holiday ghost story. Being made for TV, the production values and special effects here aren't exactly top notch. Of course, none of the other or older film versions had much in the way of special effects at all. This is a pretty straightforward adaptation, keeping most the original dialogue. It doesn't bring much new or different other than a couple scenes from the book that are often left out of other versions. It feels very much like a stage play in the way it's performed, but that could be because of the man who plays Scrooge. That being said, this is still a rather enjoyable adaptation, primarily because the source material is so good, well, that and the fact that we like Patrick Stewart. He might not look like the typical Ebenezer Scrooge, but he sure as hell sounds like him! His verbose, ominous, deep voice is like butter uttering Dickens's lines, taking a commanding role as Scrooge. His performance is great, and we totally believe him as a man who both hates Christmas and giving in the beginning and reforms his ways towards the end of the movie.

This is a story that can really inspire the Christmas spirit right down to your very core. It reminds us of the importance of caring for your fellow man all the days of the year, not just at but especially around Christmas. "A Christmas Carol" shows it caring and love and joy are more important than monetary gain and wealth, and that giving to others and being kind to others is what Christmas is truly all about. If you are trying to get in the Christmas spirit, though it starts out spooky, stick with "A Christmas Carol" because it is a good way to get the mood right in your heart and soul no matter which version you watch.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ---%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "Christmas with the Cranks"

Two years ago, we were watching: "Scrooged"

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