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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

'Christmas Carol' turns techie

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The time, not just the season, is ripe for a new version of "A Christmas Carol." When Charles Dickens wrote his classic story, it was a cautionary tale to greedy capitalists of the 19th century (Scrooge recalls his deceased partner, Jacob Marley, as "a good man of business."). Dickens' story is about as sturdy a one as we've got - it would be nearly impossible to mar what might be the finest ghost story this side of "Hamlet."

Unfortunately, our 2009 version is defined only by its technology. Animated in 3-D, Disney's "A Christmas Carol," directed by Robert Zemeckis, suffocates from its design. Despite (or because of) Zemeckis' approach to using performance-capture animation, the film comes off oddly inanimate. Jim Carrey, playing not just Scrooge but the three ghosts who visit him, clearly has the zest and range for the parts. But he - like the rest of the cast, including Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Cary Elwes - struggles to break through the film's excessive wizardry. Now showing in Storm Lake in both 3D and 2D versions. Rated PG for scary sequences and images. Running time: 95 minutes.

* Our score: Two stars out of four.

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