Can you believe we’re halfway through this little series of themed posts already? Time sure flies when things happen. I was gonna say “when you’re having fun”, but frankly as I’ve gotten older, days just fly by like a coked up hummingbird. So anyway, let’s talk about something green and nasty. And no, I’m not talking about that moldy loaf of bread you have on your counter.
So as you probably figured out from the header image, we’re talking about “The Grinch”, a 3D-animated reimagining of the Dr. Seuss classic. It was released in 2018 and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular green git. And as in the other adaptations, he’s a little cranky about Whoville being excited and cheerful about christmas. So he may or may not start plotting to ruin it. But then you also have Cindy-Lou Who (Cameron Seely) as she plots to find a way to talk to Santa Claus. Superfluous subplot much? This suffers from some of the same issues as the Jim Carrey movie, but somehow manages to still be way less interesting than that. At least the Carrey movie was weird and batshit insane enough to be interesting. This one plays it like a lot of modern kids’ films with some pop culture schtick, lazy dialogue, and no sense of edge or personality.
And then there’s Benedict Cumberbatch. I like Benedict Cumberbatch, he’s a terrific actor. But good grief, he is actually kinda bad here, and I’m not entirely sure it’s his fault. But his performance here can never truly know what it wants to be. Is it a scheming, dickheaded affair? Sometimes. But it’s also really wacky and goofy and not befitting of either the title character of Cumberbatch’s skillset. The Grinch doesn’t feel like the Grinch, and the lead actor (who I think could make a great Grinch) feels off. Also, his design here is too cute and visually appealing. Grinch is a monster, not a plush- oooooooh, now I get it… merchandise.
So yeah, “The Grinch” 2018 is a toothless, dull, overlong, and frankly unfunny reimagining of a classic story. Maybe if you have kids or grandkids they might enjoy it… but it’s not exactly what I’d call good.
On the sixth day of christmas, Markus watched another Grinch
A version that didn’t grow his heart an inch
We’re finally here, guys. The final part of this silly series of mine. We’ve talked about all kinds of christmas cheer. From the obnoxiously sweet “Elf”, to the not very cheerful “Bad Santa”, to the commercialism-critiquing “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, to the explosive and and violent “Die Hard”. It’s really been fun doing this.
This whole thing started with “The Grinch”, so it will end with “The Grinch”. It’s christmastime in Whoville, and everyone in town is overly excited for the holiday. Except for little Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen) who just doesn’t get what the point of it all is. Oh, and the Grinch (Jim Carrey) hates it too. So he cooks up a vile plan to steal christmas from the people of Whoville. And is this any good? It’s… okay. I’m not gonna sit here and pretend like it’s one of the greatest christmas movies of all time, but I don’t think it’s one of the worst either. The biggest problem is that it takes a classic 25-minute long story and extend the runtime while also “modernizing” it. From 25, to 140. From simple humor about stealing christmas, to weird, early 2000s humor. Ron Howard directed this, but that’s quite difficult to tell. You could’ve told me that this was directed by Jerry Generic, and I would’ve believed you. It’s more concerned with weird late 90s/early 2000s filmmaking tricks rather than being interesting or making sense. Anyway, is there anything I like about this. Jim Carrey as the Grinch. Not only is the makeup/costume amazing, but his shtick works surprisingly well… even though it’s just Jim Carrey being Jim Carrey while wearing a Grinch costume. But he’s still enjoyable in the role. Taylor Momsen as Cindy Lou Who is adorable, and her performance is good… so that’s a plus. And there are some jokes here that land. Also, I like Anthony Hopkins’ narration. Not because it’s “inspiring” or “entertaining”, but more because I imagine it being Hannibal Lecter reading the story to one of his victims, and that makes this entire ordeal a bit more fun. So yeah, “The Grinch”… it’s average.
What are your thoughts on “The Grinch”? And what’s your favorite Jim Carrey movie? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Merry christmas, happy holidays, and have a good one.
Hello there! You might be asking yourself “Markus, what the hell is this?”. Well, for the past two years, in the 12 days leading up to christmas (December 24th) I have had a series of posts where each day I talk about a christmas song. I’ve had a lot of fun talking about christmas music here, and I’ve gotten some good comments from people about it all, whether it would be because they already liked the song or if it’s a new one to them. However, this year I decided to do something slightly different. For 2017 I wanted to talk about films (big and small) where christmas is featured. Of course, I missed making my first post yesterday (because “Star Wars”), so you’re getting two of these today as compensation. So, let’s get into part 1 of the 12 Films of Christmas.
So for the first one we talk about something that has become quite a christmas tradition, especially in the United States. I am of course talking about Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (the 1966 version). To be completely honest with y’all, I had never actually watched this until today. I had only caught small snippets of it in movies, TV, and internet videos. So I thought now was a good a time as any to finally watch it and see what all the fuss is about. So for anyone not aware, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is about a green creature known as The Grinch who absolutely hates christmas, and then cooks up a plan to try to steal the christmas joy from the people of Whoville. So then The Grinch’s shenanigans ensue. Did I like this? Yeah, it was alright. I obviously have no nostalgia for it since I never watched it as a kid. But as an adult I can watch it and appreciate it for what it is; A fun and innocent little short film about the christmas spirit. Boris Karloff provides the narration and also voices The Grinch here, and his delivery of everything is just perfect. Also, having the distinct designs of Dr. Seuss combined with the direction of animation legend Chuck Jones makes for some wonderfully creative and energized animation that kept me entertained. And that’s really it, it’s entertaining at best. I have no deep feelings for this since I watched this for the first time today, but I did enjoy it and can see why people love it so many years after it’s release. Really, it’s an easy and pretty fun watch if you have half an hour to kill.
Are you a fan of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”? How old were you when you first watched it? Feel free to tell me any and all thoughts in the comments below, I’d really like to hear what you guys think.
Have a good one.