Showing posts from January 1, 2023

Twelve Hundred Ghosts (2016)

As soon as I heard this existed, I knew it had to be the last version of A Christmas Carol I watched and reviewed for this project. Twelve Hundred Ghosts is, at least in theory, a supercut of more than 400 adaptations, homages, and reimagined spins on a Christmas Carol, arranged and edited by Heath Waterman, who completed the project over a year and a half. So that certainly puts the fifty-some-odd versions I covered here this year to shame. I do want to return to that "supercut" moniker. Strictly speaking, it's not inaccurate, but I don't think it does justice to the experience of watching this. Waterman isn't simply cutting between scores of adaptations across multiple mediums; he's creating a montage that explodes both the original narrative, as well as the incredible breadth of media it's inspired. He uses split screens to combine versions from different eras and styles, he plays audio tracks over incredibly different films, he includes audio plays, re

A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong (2017)

I stumbled across this looking for adaptations of A Christmas Carol, and it sounded both interesting and significant (at least in England - I don't believe this has gotten any kind of release in the states). For reasons I'll get to in a moment, I'm glad I gave this a chance. First, I want to explain to the best of my ability what this is, which is a little difficult as the background on this BBC comedy Christmas special is substantial. I'm going to try and cover this quickly, with the caveat I haven't seen any of Mischief Theatre's other work. A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong is the second BBC holiday special produced by Mischief Theatre. The first, Peter Pan Goes Wrong, is itself a sequel to The Play That Goes Wrong. All of these (along with several other plays and a later TV series) center on a fictitious acting troop called the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society who are supposedly performing the plays in question. The joke is that the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Soc

A Christmas Carol (2015)

This is a one-hour musical adaptation where the lead actor, writer, director, producer, and songwriter are the same person. That's kind of impressive, regardless of how the movie came out, but it tells you a great deal about the budget. Or lack thereof. Yes, this is one of those cases where I spend a lot of time trying to decide what kind of curve to grade on. The production values aren't in the same league as the stuff I usually look at. This doesn't have elaborate sets, intricate costumes, expensive digital effects, and the like. In short, it doesn't look or feel like a "real movie." And that's okay. I try and approach things like this as test runs for ideas and talent. Frankly, after watching dozens of these, I'm more interested in whether original elements of these offer anything of value than I am in whether they rank among the top 30 best adaptations. So, with that in mind, let's explore Anthony D.P. Mann's take on A Christmas Carol. The

A Christmas Carol (2012)

This low-budget Irish production sells itself as the "darkest" adaptation ever made, which is what put it on my radar. Before we even touch on that - or anything else about this - I need to take a moment and focus on another adjective in my opening sentence, namely "low-budget." Because when I say this looks as though it was made for very little money, I'm not exaggerating. The phrase "independent movie" covers a large range of films, from student projects to elaborate arthouse pieces that look as good or better than Hollywood productions. Sadly, this is closer to the former. Much closer. Honestly, I wondered if it might be a school project for a while. That's not to say it's bad, exactly. When you're looking at movies made under these kinds of constraints, that term loses significance. This is an ambitious movie, and without fully understanding the filmmakers' goals in undertaking the project, I can't even begin to offer insight on

A Christmas Carol (2000)

Let it not be said this British TV version is short on ambition. Set in what was then modern-day London, it centers on "Eddie Scrooge," played by Ross Kemp. Eddie is a loan shark whose partner, Jacob Marley, was gunned down years earlier. The movie actually opens with a flashback to that event, though we don't learn who the killer is yet. We then follow Eddie through Christmas Eve, as he collects on debts, harasses people, is dismissed by his ex, Bella, and is a jerk to his employee, Bob Cratchit. He also ignores his nephew's pleas to attend Christmas dinner, though there's at least a reason for their falling out: his nephew is a cop. That night, Eddie sees an image of Marley appear in a poster asking for information about Marley's murder. Then Marley shows up in Scrooge's apartment. The meeting is brief, but - as you'd expect - he warns Eddie he'll be visited by three ghosts. The first of said ghosts is Eddie's father, who punches his way out