Archive | December, 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Review

31 Dec

J.R.R. Tolkien has created a world unlike anything anyone has seen when he wrote The Hobbit and the follow up trilogy, Lord of the Rings. Peter Jackson finally brought the trilogy to life in 2001, but there’s more to the story than was shown. Now, Jackson returns to Middle Earth with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first film of a new trilogy.

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Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is a hobbit who loves his books, his garden, good food, and peace. Adventure comes looking for Bilbo in the form of the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen). Gandalf recruits Bilbo to join in an adventure with a group of dwarves, led by Thorin (Richard Armitage), to travel to the Lonely Mountain and retake the dwarves’ lost kingdom of Erebor from the dragon, Smaug. Along the way they encounter other wizards, trolls, orcs, elves, goblins, and a very familiar ring.

When I first heard that The Hobbit was going to be three movies, I wasn’t too thrilled to hear it. I automatically assumed that it was all a cash grab and that the movie was going to be so strung out and thin that it was going to be not as enjoyable. In the beginning of the movie, I believed my suspicions to be true because it took so long for the story to get started. I really enjoyed the scenes with Bilbo trying to stop the dwarves from destroying his house, but I also ready for the actual adventure to start. As the movie progressed, however, I realized that there is so much to tell in this story that three movies actually seems appropriate. Once the adventure got started, I was completely sucked in.

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Middle Earth and its various creatures look better than they ever have. Every effect is detailed to what seems like the point of obsession. This makes the experience of seeing this movie so much better than it could have been if time and effort weren’t spent making these creatures look the way they do. Gollum, played by Andy Serkis, has the best scene of the movie where he engages in a battle of wits with Bilbo. His facial expressions and movement look as clean as ever. A lot of tho might have to with the movie being shot in 48 fps. I did notice the difference between the typical 24 fps and the quicker 48. There are scenes that are so crisp, I couldn’t help but notice. Some people are complaining about this, but I was quite pleased.

The tie in with the Lord of the Rings made me giddy. I loved seeing Elrond, Galadriel, and even Saruman interact with these characters 60 years before the events of the trilogy I have grown so familiar with. I loved putting the connections together and thinking about their characters now as opposed to how they are in the other films. There was a lot more references and cameos than I thought there was going to be, and I really appreciated all of the actors getting back together to travel once again to Middle Earth (or New Zealand).

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To me, it’s too early to compare The Hobbit with Lord of the Rings because one is a trilogy and the other just has one film out. I will say that I was nervous I wasn’t going to be too impressed by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but I was blown away once again by Peter Jackson. He has recreated Middle Earth and it looks better than it ever has before. While the movie is a little slow out of the starting gate, it soon picks up and becomes an excellent adventure/fantasy. I can’t wait until next December to continue the story, but for now, I’m very happy with this movie.

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Prometheus – Review

31 Dec

The question of our existence can only be outmatched by the infinite amount of unknown questions that the universe still has in store for us, most of which we will probably never have time to ask. Prometheus is a movie that dares to ask, “what if?” To me, this is more than a science fiction movie that happens to take place in the same universe as the Alien franchise. This is a movie about philosophy, religion, and science with arguments for and against all of these points.

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After finding ancient cave drawings that point to the existence of much more powerful alien life forms that have a special connection to humanity, scientists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and  Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) lead a voyage funded by the Weyland Corporation to the moon LV-223. The moon definitely shows signs of life, especially a biosphere that contains hundreds, if not thousands, mysterious canisters. David (Michael Fassbender), an android, takes an especial curiosity to these canisters. Unfortunately for the crew of the Prometheus ship, both natural disaster and exposure to unknown biology starts to spread panic and death leaving little hope of anyone getting off the moon alive.

The plot to Prometheus is a little weird. Not the story itself, but how it’s presented. I hear a lot of complaints about how it’s slow or disjointed, and even that not enough is revealed. To me this just shows how desensitized audiences have become to straightforward storytelling. Yes, the movie is slow at points, but then erupts into satisfying sci-fi mayhem. Does this mean it’s disjointed? Not at all. Finally, of course not a lot is revealed. This is all a set up to a bigger picture. There’s going to be a Prometheus 2 and maybe even a third entry. Revealing too much would ruin the suspense and the surprises we have in store.

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Ridley Scott has never shied away from epic film making and this isn’t his first science fiction either (Alien, Blade Runner), but this is what I call epic science fiction. This movie looks absolutely huge. LV-223 looks so desolate, but also strangely majestic. I can’t take my eyes off the beautifully bleak scenery. Not only is the landscape and the ships huge, but also the feeling that one should feel while watching this movie. Nothing can get bigger than the universe, and Prometheus takes me to places I haven’t yet been in a movie. I feel like LV-223 is the farthest I’ve ever been from home. The movie also got me thinking about the absolute insignificance of our existence compared to everything else, and also made me curious as to what actually happened in the beginning and what will happen in the end. Questions that I will never know the answers to.

Let’s get out of the existential territory and talk about something more real: the performances. Noomi Rapace is a great leading lady and definitely does not have an easy part. Charlize Theron is pretty typical as the corporate ball buster, but Idris Elba does a great job as the pilot who realizes he is into something way stranger than he ever thought he’d be in the middle of. The person you’re really going to remember is Michael Fassbender as David the android. Talk about a difficult role. Fassbender is mesmerizing. His ability to make an android character who is mechanic, yet bizarrely human, believable can not be a simple task. Massive kudos.

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Prometheus is one of my favorite science fiction movies that I think surpasses Alien. It seems that you either love it or you hate it without any middle ground, and I can imagine that some people will think that the last sentence I wrote is some sort of film blasphemy. It’s existential themes and questions that still need to be answered are interesting and super intriguing. The special effects are only matched by the performances and the tie ins with the Alien universe will make any film buff squeal with excitement. I loved this movie very, very much and I can not wait to see what Ridley Scott does next with this story.

Also, to set the record straight, Prometheus is not a prequel to Alien. It is a spin off, or a tie in if you will. Things happen in it that relate to the events of Alien, but nothing that is directly connected.

Cape Fear – Review

28 Dec

For a horror movie to really be successful, it’s important that it preys on very basic and human fears. What both the original 1962 version of Cape Fear and Martin Scorsese’s 1991 remake exploits the fear of the intrusion of our personal spaces and the disruption of our lives. In this review, I’ll be talking about Martin Scorsese’s version, because this is the one I’ve actually seen. Traditionally, I can’t review a movie if I haven’t seen it, you know? So here we go.

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Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte) is a lawyer who appears to have a great life. His family has a nice standing in the town of New Essex, and the only real problem is their teenage daughter, Danielle (Juliette Lewis) going to summer school. The carpet is quickly pulled out from under them when a convict of 14 years Max Cady (Robert De Niro) gets released. Cady and Bowden of a past that doesn’t add up just right and cost Cady 14 years of his life. Now that he’s freed, he vows to have his biblical revenge on Bowden and teach him all about loss.

The terrifying thing about this movie is that it isn’t something that just happens in the movies. People’s lives get invaded, uprooted, and otherwise ruined more often than one might think and the way Scorsese plays it in Cape Fear isn’t hard to believe. The incidences with Cady start out small and act as more of an annoyance for Bowden, but as the plot slowly moves along, Cady begins moving deeper and deeper into the minds of the Bowden family until he finally reaches their breaking point.

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Robert De Niro absolutely kills it in this movie and is definitely one of his best performances along with his role in Raging Bull and Taxi Driver, both Scorsese films strangely enough. It’s easy to become immediately repulsed by his character right when you first see him in the first scene of the movie. There’s automatically something that you just hate about him that progresses throughout the movie. The other scene stealer is Juliette Lewis as the young teenager whose mind is a blank page for Cady to scribble his psychopathic mumbo jumbo. She’s innocent and relatable for everyone whose ever been a teenager. You want to jump into the scene and save her from his madness, but you have to keep telling yourself that it’s just a movie.

One thing that kind of grinded my gears was the overuse of blue screen. There’s scenes with these really over dramatic clouds and stormy weather if something foreboding or sinister is happening in the Bowden household. Having that happen once is passable on the grounds of dramatic emphasis, but more than once just takes away the realism that this movie tries so hard to establish.

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I will say that I love the helplessness that you’re bound to feel while watching this movie as a result of the helplessness of the main characters. Nolte’s character really tries to get help from the legal system, but Cady is able to find loop holes in every instance. I’m not saying that Scorsese was trying to condemn the entire legal system, but he does succeed at pointing out the problems and inconsistencies that make it very easy for intelligent and scheming people to exploit to push the law to their favor.

This was a genuinely scary and suspenseful film because of its true to life nature and the brilliant performances by Robert De Niro and Juliette Lewis. The exploration of the legal system also adds depth without really straying away from the main story. This certainly is Scorsese’s best work, and I’m not sure of anyone who would rate it higher than Goodfellas or Raging Bull, but it’s still a great piece of film making, albeit a little over the top at points, that does its job to its fullest and then some.

Ted – Review

27 Dec

Seth MacFarlane has established himself as one of the front runners of comedy. He has multiple shows on television, but his first show Family Guy has become ridiculously popular. It’s a little surprising that it has taken him so long to make a live action movie, but he finally did with his live action film, Ted.

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John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) made a wish when he was a kid that his favorite teddy bear would come to life and be his best friend. Miraculously, his wish comes true and he names his bear Ted (Seth MacFarlane). For years they are the best of friends, but when John’s long time girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) expects him to take their relationship to the next level, John has to choose between her or his best friend. Trouble also arrives in the form of Donny (Giovanni Ribisi), and obsessed fan of Ted’s who wants him all for his son.

Fans of Family Guy, like myself, should have no problem liking this movie. That being said, people who hate it will not be converted by this movie. In fact, they will probably hate this movie more than the show. MacFarlane’s signature humor is put into overdrive in Tedwith nostalgic references, crude potty humor, and of course the jokes that push lines of decency and political correctness. I can say that this combination made me laugh the entire way through the movie when I saw it in theaters and when I re-watched it yesterday. I’m sure I’ll laugh just as much when I watch it again.

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Ted’s animation looks fantastic. Instead of recording the audio and the motion capture separately, before or after shooting, Macfarlane recorded his lines and the movement live on the set with the actors. This adds a nice level of realism in the timing of the dialogue and helped the actors really get into the scene a lot better. It can’t be easy acting with nothing to act with, so MacFarlane providing his dialogue and movement must have really helped the scenes come along. Not to mention, he did all of this while directing the movie. It really shows the talent that this guy has and the reaches he’s willing to go to to make his movie perfect.

The writing is sharp and witty, and the actors all play it off perfectly. You can tell that they went off script from time to time and just let their comedic imaginations run wild. Hilarity ensues, of course. The only detraction that I really have for this movie is the plot’s predictability. Most buddy comedies that you’ve ever seen follows the same exact formula as this one. I knew exactly what was going to happen and how it was going to be resolved before the movie even started. There is a nice curve ball with Donny, the obsessed fan. That adds a nice layer is surprise that really helps the film get out of its groove.

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A lot of people aren’t going to like Ted, but I can say that about any comedy. Seth MacFarlane has his own kind, though, that seems to bother a lot of people, but at the same time others think it’s the funniest stuff ever. I don’t think Ted is the funniest movie ever made, but I will say that it’s funnier than most movies that have come out in the past ten years. I had no doubt that I was going to enjoy this movie, and I really did. If you’re a fan of MacFarlane’s tv shows, than chances are you’ll get a kick out of Ted.

Pirates of the Caribbean Series Review – At World’s End & On Stranger Tides

27 Dec

By this point, the Pirates of the Caribbean films have proved to be major box office successes. With all of this money, Disney and Jerry Brukheimer had no problem throwing in massive amounts of money for the third movie in the series. The result is the most expensive movie ever made, At World’s End, costing $300 million to make.

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Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is trapped in Davy Jones’ Locker, but Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), and Mr. Gibbs (Kevin McNally), and the rest of the Black Pearl’s crew are going in after him. Upon his release, the macrocosm of trouble is revealed. Will is willing to conspire with anyone to free is father Bootstrap Bill (Stellan Skarsgård) from Davy Jones’ (Bill Nighy) ship, The Flying Dutchman. Elizabeth Swann is made a Pirate Lord and must decide with Jack, Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), and the rest of the Pirate Brethren what to do about Lord Beckett (Tom Hollander) trying to control the ocean through the control of Davy Jones. All of this culminates in one climactic battle.

I never used to like this movie because I thought it was too confusing. If you thought there was a lot going on in Dead Man’s Chest, then multiply that by 10 and you have At World’s End. This is my third time watching the movie and I vowed to pay as much attention as I possibly could so that I could get everyone’s subplots and betrayals in order. Well, I finally understand exactly what’s going on in the movie and I have to say that this is my favorite installment in the series.

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The action in this one is stepped up in epic proportions. The final climax that takes place inside a maelstrom between The Black Pearl and The Flying Dutchman is one of the most badass things I’ve ever seen in a movie. That being said the effects are mind blowing and show the $300 million budget off beautifully. Davy Jones and his crew look as great as ever and the sets for the Pirates Brethren and the Singapore scenes look grimy and real. Finally, the locations chosen for the outdoor scenes are beautiful with the whitest sand and the bluest ocean. This movie feeds its audience just as much eye candy as your willing to take.

Seriously though, this movie’s about as confusing as any linear narrative can get. There’s more betrayals, shattered alliances, new alliances, and bargains in here than I’ve ever seen in one movie. It’s enough to make your head spin. If it’s your first time watching At World’s End, you might need to make a chart just to keep track of it all. Now that I fully understand everything, I appreciate it so much more. Critics said that the complex nature of the story is a huge step backwards, but I think it’s great. Of course it’s going to get complicated. They’re all pirates. The characters in this movie handled themselves just as they would in real life. Pirates may talk about code and honor, but they really want what’s best for themselves.

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I feel like the general consensus is that The Curse of the Black Pearl is most people’s favorite. I’d have to say that mine is At World’s End. There’s so much awesome action and adventure, deception, and plot that it can only be explained as organized chaos. It may take you a couple of times to completely wrap your head around the story, but once you do it may just become your favorite, too!

So that’s it, right? The story wraps up nicely at the end of the third one, so that must be it for Pirates. Well, it was a cool trilogy, so I’m glad… wait… there’s more? Oh no. Alright, well let’s talk about it then, the obligatory money grabber, On Stranger Tides.

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Captain Jack is still up to no good. His most recent adventure is to find the Fountain of Youth, because of his newfound fear of death. He’s not the only person who wants it though. Jack gets shanghaied by a former flame, Angelica (Penélope Cruz), to join Blackbeard’s (Ian McShane) crew. Hot on Blackbeard’s tale is Barbossa, now a member of the British Royal Navy, to exact revenge on Blackbeard for sinking the Black Pearl. These two parties are racing against the Spaniards, who also have an agenda of their own.

Take everything you love about the other films in this series, and pretty much get rid of all of them. The Black Pearl and its crew are pretty much not in this movie at all, the Pirate’s Code, Tortuga. Pretty much everything. All we have are Jack Sparrow, Barbossa, and Mr. Gibbs. This movie is kind of like going to a party held by your friend’s friend and only knowing a few people there. Everyone tries to be nice and cool with you, but you just miss your old friends and want to hang out with them instead.

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The only scene that really sticks out to me is the mermaid scene. It had this awesome supernatural/mythological feel to it that makes these movies so awesome. The scenes at the Fountain are also pretty cool, too. Everything else just falls flat, from the action to the other supernatural attempts to make this movie cooler than it actually is. Zombies? Really? Look how far this series has fallen. There used to be cursed crews because of stolen Aztec gold or because their captain failed to escort the dead to Davy Jones’ Locker. Now it’s zombies. Wow…

I love Jack Sparrow as much as the next person, but he having him lead an entire movie is a really bad idea. By the second and third movies, the films are pretty much ensemble pieces. Every character is just as important as the next. Jack’s never really the main character. In this one, he’s front and center and as silly as ever. He’s just not a good leading role. He does plenty of heroic things and has an alright head on his shoulders, but I get sick of him after a while. Luckily this is the shortest Pirates yet, clocking in at only two hours and fifteen minutes.

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If you haven’t guessed, I don’t like this movie. I was entertained in the very beginning, but slowly lost all interest in it. Blackbeard doesn’t stand up to the villains of the past and Jack isn’t a good lead character. The action is flat and the mythology stinks. Do yourself a favor, and pretend that the series ends after the third movie.

So that’s it. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is mostly a success with two great entries (The Curse of the Black Pearl and At World’s End), one pretty good entry (Dead Man’s Chest), and one awful one (On Stranger Tides). Any adventure fans should check these movies out, if by some chance you haven’t already. They’re good fun and remind me of adventure movies of old.

Pirates of the Caribbean Series Review – The Curse of the Black Pearl & Dead Man’s Chest

25 Dec

The Pirates of the Caribbean movies are modern day Hollywood masterpieces that hearken back to an adventurous time of swashbuckling film making. One can not help but think of adventure classics like Sinbad, the Sailor when watching these movies. They’re a lot of fun, but the series itself can be labeled as uneven, so this series review will take a look at the ups and downs of this billion dollar franchise.

Let’s start with The Curse of the Black Pearl.

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The city of Port Royal gets flipped upside down once the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) arrives. After the mysterious Black Pearl attacks the city in search of a missing piece of cursed Aztec gold, the governor’s daughter, Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) is taken by the ship’s Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). Swann’s love interest, blacksmith William Turner (Orlando Bloom) breaks Sparrow out of jail and the two of them set out to find this cursed crew and save Elizabeth, but as a pirate, Jack has an agenda of his own.

This is one of the most fun movies I have ever had the pleasure of seeing and it seems to get better every time I watch it. I watched it for the first time in a couple years for this review, and it was such a fun ride. The action and comedy play off each other so well with the help of an excellent cast and crew. Jack Sparrow has become one of the most famous characters of all time, thanks mostly to Depp’s fantastic performance. Rush is also a great villain and seems to love saying his ridiculously over the top pirate sayings. Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom do just fine, but nothing within the realms of Depp and Rush.

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The effects are also really fantastic and was made in a very interesting way. Whenever the cursed crew of the Black Pearl enter the moon light, they become these decaying skeletons. In order to get that effect to match the actions of the actual people in the scenes, shots were filmed with the pirate actors and then without them so their skeletons could be digitally added for the final product. A lot of work to match facial features and movement was another challenge that had to be overcome in order to get the best looking animation. It’s a scientific art form that I can’t even begin to understand and it makes me respect this movie and the work that went into it so much more.

The entire tone is reminiscent of modern films like The Mummy. It’s action packed, but it’s light hearted and has good intentions. There are some pretty scary scenes on the Pearl but the movie in entirety is a great family adventure. Hollywood doesn’t produce classics like these all the time any more, at least, not like they used to. This is a fantastic effort by Disney and Bruckheimer Studios of making a big-budgeted classic that nearly everyone can enjoy. If you haven’t seen this by any chance, check it out. I guarantee your entertainment.

Of course, there has to be a sequel to something that makes loads of money at the box office, but this isn’t really a bad thing at all. In fact the sequel, Dead Man’s Chest, is a good movie. The bad news is that even though it is a top notch second entry, it’s plagued with a very big problem.

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Some time after the events of the first film, William Turner and Elizabeth Swann are finally to be married. That is, until Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander) arrests them both and sentences them to death unless Will can find Jack and bring his compass back to Port Royal. Will soon finds Jack, but gets caught up in Jack’s mission to kill Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) and be free of a debt he made Jones years before. Add Elizabeth and the disgraced Commodore Norrington (Jack Davenport) and you’ve got a mosh pit of motives that all clash and bring about an end to the solidity of alliances.

This is a very difficult movie to summarize in a paragraph. There are so many characters with different plots and subplots that, if you don’t watch out, you may lose track of. I wouldn’t call this movie confusing, but it is packed. There’s a lot that happens in the broad range of two and a half hours, and even that’s not enough time. This is really the only problem with this movie, but it weighs the movie down big time. Not enough time is spent on certain parts of the story because if it was, then the movie would stretch on for a very long time.

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I will say that everything else about Dead Man’s Chest surpasses its predecessor. This movie is a lot darker and adult friendly. Bill Nighy is absolutely menacing as Davy Jones and really brings the myth to life and more. The CGI and special effects in this movie add to this as well, and not just with Jones. The crew of the Flying Dutchman looks fantastic in their different stages of transformation into whatever it is they are becoming. Barnacles and shells make up most of their bodies giving them a look that I’ve never seen before.

Although I’ve complained about how the story is presented, it is a lot better and complicated than The Curse of the Black Pearl. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley have much more time to make their characters more than just the audience’s eyes and ears, and actually get to really be involved in the piracy of the other characters. Like I said before, alliances are shattered and some are strengthened, making this a movie you must pay attention during or you’ll lose who wants what and who is in league with who.

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While Dead Man’s Chest has the opportunity to be the superior movie, the presentation and pacing bear too much weight to surpass The Curse of the Black Pearl. It has a great story and a lot of characters that are getting more and more fleshed out, but it just becomes a mess. It’s certainly not a movie to be missed and is a good effort by Gore Verbinski and Jerry Bruckheimer, but don’t expect the joy you had watching the first movie.

So we got a start to the series, but we still have two more. Look out for my review of At World’s End and On Stranger Tides.

The Muppet Christmas Carol – Review

25 Dec

Ever since I was a wee lad, The Muppet Christmas Carol has been played every Christmas Eve in my house without fail. It’s a longstanding tradition, and one that I look forward to every year, so how could I not talk about this movie? This may sound corny, but this is almost more than a movie to me. It’s a reminder of how joyous this season actually is and gets me more than ready for Christmas Day. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, my favorite Christmas movie.

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Ebeneezer Scrooge (Michael Caine) is a nasty and cold business man who has no appreciation for anything besides money. That being said, Christmas is not a cheery time for him, but rather a time of foreclosures and spikes in business. One Christmas Eve night, his old partners, Jacob and Robert Marley (Statler and Waldorf) pay him a visit and warn him that if he doesn’t change his ways he will be punished with unbearably heavy chains in the afterlife. Three spirits visit Scrooge over the course of the night, representing the past, present, and future, with the mission to change Scrooge’s life for the better and save Bob Cratchit (Kermit the Frog) and his family.

The Muppet Christmas Carol is a great way for kids to really appreciate Charles Dickens’ story of the brighter side of the human spirit. A lot of children wouldn’t want to read the book, but they shouldn’t have to miss out on the story. The Great Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat are our narrators and both do a great job at providing a clear direction of the story and also excellent comedic relief after the more heavy scenes.

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And when I say heavy, I mean heavy. This one will tug at your heartstrings harder than you may think. When Tiny Tim sings “Bless Us All,” a small little tear always seems to form in my eye. Then I have to pretend I’m itching my face so my family doesn’t notice, and the whole thing just becomes a project, but I digress. What I’m saying is that this is a very emotional movie with one scene being fun and light hearted and the next stepping into a depressing realm of truthful sadness. In order to perfect your soul and appreciate what you have, you must first realize what you don’t have and Scrooge learns that the hard way.

Michael Caine’s performance as Scrooge is great. I’ve seen other adaptations of Dickens’ novel, but since I grew up with Caine’s version, he will always be my favorite. Scrooge’s character arc may be one of the most famous in the history of storytelling, and Michael Caine plays it very well. It’s easy to hate him in the beginning, feel sorry for him in the middle, and in the end you want to be his best friend.

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Finally, I’d just like to comment on the remarkable sets. The streets are both cold but inviting and you automatically feel right at home with your surroundings. There’s also some instances, especially on Cratchit’s street, where the buildings look like they come out of some old German Expressionist film. The houses are crooked and the door ways are tilted in some obscene angles. It’s a minor way of really making this movie look different in its own special way. There’s also excellent uses of miniatures in the beginning when the credits roll. The viewer is treated to an aerial view of the city, complete with snowy rooftops and worn chimneys.

The Muppet Christmas Carol is a beautiful movie and will forever be my favorite Christmas film. It teaches its viewer, no matter what age, to appreciate your life and the lives of everyone around you not just during Christmas, but the whole year round. The music is excellent and will have you humming the songs for days to come, the jokes are always funny, and the performances by Caine and the muppets (and their puppeteers) are memorable. I love this movie so very much and can’t wait to watch it again next year.

Happy Holidays, everybody!