Tag Archives: A Christmas Carol

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

A Christmas Carol is the progenitor of every Christmas story has been published since 1843.  The Charles Dickens novel has not only become synonymous with the holiday, but also with the idea of being kind to our fellow mortals.

The new film, The Man Who Invented Christmas, stars Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens. With the recent success of Oliver Twist,  Dickens is under pressure to write his next novel. But with the creative well running dry and his bank account running equally as dry, he has to do something. Soon the idea for his next novel will start flowing, but so will the tension with his wife, Kate  (Morfydd Clark) and his father, John (Jonathan Price). He must also contend with the characters that are talking to him, including the man who will soon be known to the world as Scrooge (Christopher Plummer) and face his own past.

 

As a writer, it is always fascinating to see how other writers go on their creative journey to create their work. As an audience member, for me at least, it is fascinating to watch how a screenwriter can expand not just upon the myth, but on the everyday human struggles of their characters, especially ones that are as well known as Charles Dickens.

I recommend it.

The Man Who Invented Christmas is presently in theaters. 

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Late Flashback Friday- Christmas Edition Part II: A Diva’s Christmas Carol (2000)

Among Christmas stories, there are few that are on par with Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. There is a reason why the story of an old miser who learns the true meaning of the season has resonated with audiences since 1843.

It’s easy to see why the story has been adapted many times over since then.

In 2000, A Diva’s Christmas Carol hit the small screen. Ebony Scrooge (Vanessa Williams) is a diva with a capitol D. While her career has been soaring, she treats her band and her manager like sh*t. Just before a performance in New York, Ebony is visited by the spirit of her late band member Marli Jacob (Chilli of TLC fame). Marli warns of the impending visit of three spirits. If Ebony does not heed the warning of the spirits, the consequences could be dire.

This version of A Christmas Carol is cute. There is nothing really intellectually stimulating about this tv movie, but it’s not completely horrible either.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Flashback Friday-Christmas Edition- Jingle All The Way (1996) & Scrooged (1988)

It’s that time of year again: Christmas. When Christmas comes, the Christmas movies follow. Some are good, some are bad and some well, let’s not venture into the arena of those Christmas movies that are not worth our time.

That being said, this post will examine two different Christmas movies to see if they live up to the standards of the holiday.

In Jingle All The Way (1996), the hottest and must have toy is Turbo Man. Every kid has to have a Turbo Man waiting for them under the tree. The problem is, like every toy that becomes the must have toy for the season, the supply does not equal the demand. Jamie Langston (Jake Lloyd) is one of those kids who is aching for a Turbo Man of his own. His father, Howard Langston, a workaholic who spends more time at the office than with his family, (Arnold Schwarzengger) is doing everything he can to get his son a Turbo Man. With Christmas fast approaching, Howard has to compete with the other parents to find his son the toy he is wishing for. That includes fighting for the last toy in town with Myron Larabee (Sinbad), who is also looking for the same toy.

What I like about this movie is that it is art imitating life. Every year, there is the hottest and must have toy that must be waiting for the children on Christmas day. The problem, that the movie perfectly represents, is that Christmas, instead of being about family, tradition and togetherness, has become a materialistic holiday. The crux of the movie, from my perspective is the importance of family and making memories will last much longer than the hot toy of the season.

Scrooged (1988), is an updated reboot of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is a television executive whose station will be broadcasting a live adaptation of A Christmas Carol. With a less than ideal childhood, it’s easy to understand why Frank is unable to enjoy Christmas. Then he is visited by three ghosts who remind him of why Christmas is important.

What I like about this movie is that it is funky late 1980’s version of the book many of us know so well. Bill Murray was perfectly cast as a cynical, slightly bitter man who needs a reminder of not only the love that others can provide, but a reminder that how we treat others comes back to us.

I recommend both.

To all who celebrate, Have A Merry Christmas.

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Flashback Friday- Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past (2009)

No one is immune from the past, no matter how much we think we are. Especially when it comes to dating.

In Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past (2009), Connor Meade (Matthew McConaughey) is a player with  a capitol P.  The list of his  former dates and girlfriends is quite extensive.  The night before his brother Paul’s (Breckin Meyer) wedding to  Sandra (Lacey Chabert), Connor goes to his brother to convince to remain single. While in the men’s room, the spirit of Connor’s deceased Uncle Wayne (Michael Douglas) visits him. Connor will be visited by three spirits, each represents a part of his dating life: his dating past, his dating present and his dating future. Will Connor remain a bachelor for the rest of his days or will he actually learn from his Uncle? And how does his former flame/the one that got away Jenny Perotti (Jennifer Garner) play a role in this scenario?

I admire the screenwriters for trying to inject a bit of A Christmas Carol in what is essentially a typical romantic comedy. Romantic comedies are a dime a dozen, it takes something special for one to stand out. Unfortunately, this film is a typical romantic comedy.

Do I recommend it? I’m leaning toward no, but someone else may like it.

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