Thursday, July 30, 2009

Movie Review: How the Grinch Stole Christmas!



How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Rated PG
3 Slimes
Copyright Universal Studios 2000

THE CHARACTERS

The Grinch: Jim Carrey! He is the… Grinch, who lives at the top of Mt. Crumpit, which overlooks the town of Whoville. He despises the Whos and Christmas with a passion after having one horrible Christmas back when he was younger. He spends most of his time messing with the Whos and ultimately tries to steal their Christmas from them when Augustus brings up bad memories. However, the Grinch in the end has a change of heart and brings back everything he has stolen from the Whos.

Cindy Lou Who: Taylor Momsen! She is the daughter of Lou Lou Who and Betty Lou Who. She is Who that has been having the Christmas blues and is very curious about the story behind the Grinch and his problems. She tries to help him get into the Christmas spirit and kind of succeeds in it.

Mayor Augustus: Jeffery Tambor! He runs the town of Whoville and hates the Grinch a lot. He tries everything to keep the Grinch away and he even ruins his enjoyment during the Christmas festival he actually attends by publicly humiliating the Grinch. This would end up leading the Grinch to steal Christmas.

Lou Lou Who: He is the father of Cindy Lou Who and is the Who in charge of the town’s post office. Unlike most of the Whos in the town, he does see the real meaning of Christmas and the happiness it brings.

Martha May Whovier: She is the Grinch’s first love and also the mayor’s as well. She is in constant competition with Betty Lou over Christmas lights.

Betty Lou Who: She is the mother Cindy Lou Who and is in constant competition with Martha May over Christmas lights.

Max the Dog: He is the loyal dog and possibly only friend of the Grinch. How those two came together is beyond me. He ends up as the reindeer for the Grinch’s plan to steal Christmas.

LESSONS LEARNED
+ If you can’t make up your mind, a dog will.
+ An entire town’s worth of Christmas decorations and presents can all fit inside of one bag.
+ A small dog can pull up the face of a mountain over thousands of pounds worth of stuff.
+ Cats are a Grinch’s worst enemy.
+ There are garbage chutes that take trash up a mountain.
+ There are small towns inside of snowflakes.
+ Whos have no sense of hairstyles.
+ Bad breath can cause some people to pass out.
+ Little girls have a better vocabulary then most adults.
+ The word Grinch is taboo in some places.
+ Echoes hate certain people.
+ Your heart size depends on your Christmas Spirit.
+ Tiny cars make big explosions.
+ Tons of accounts of burglary and breaking & entering are easily forgiven by a simple apology.

STUFF TO WATCH FOR
3 min – She’s pretty strong to hold that many presents.
6 min – The best evil smile ever!
7 min – No one finds the guy in the mask and hooded cloak suspicious?
10 min – So that explains how we get those letters in the mail.
15 min – Finally, a Christmas light chain gun!
20 min – All of that is made from the trash the Whos thrown away? See people, recycling can produce incredible things.
21 min – Umm, from a medical point of view that really isn’t a good thing.
24 min – Alright, then where do these floating umbrella baskets with the babies in them come from?
30 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A CHRISTMAS TREE!
35 min – The little girl is smarter than the politician. I’m sure this will come up at the next election.
38 min – Wasn’t that monkey on the cover of Skeleton Crew?
40 min – If you can’t scare a little girl away, you failed in horror.
44 min – I wish I do that.
50 min – Not pudding?! Then what was it!?
63 min – I’m surprised you got that stuff from the trash.
66 min – So this is how Ron Howard directs.
68 min – RANDOM FREAK OUT MOMENT!
74 min – So, those green furry hands don’t remind you of anyone?
76 min – You got to watch out for those cats.
81 min – So someone finally gets it.
84 min – Aha! That small heart is growing larger quickly… which still can’t be good from a medical point of view.
88 min – Slowmo doesn’t always work.
92 min – Darn those noninsured sled drivers!

NOTABLE QUOTES
Lou Lou Who: I'm glad he took our presents. You can't hurt Christmas, Mr. Mayor, because it isn't about the... the gifts or the contest or the fancy lights. That's what Cindy's been trying to tell everyone... and me. I don't need anything more for Christmas than this right here: my family.

Grinch's Answering Machine: If you utter so much as one syllable, I'LL HUNT YOU DOWN AND GUT YOU LIKE A FISH! If you'd like to fax me, press the star key.

The Grinch: (About Cindy Lou) Nice kid... baaad judge of character.

Narrator: The Whos young and old would sit down to a feast, and they'll feast, and they'll feast.
The Grinch: And they'll feast, feast, feast, feast. They'll eat their Who-Pudding and rare Who-Roast Beast. But that's something I just cannot stand in the least. Oh, no. I'M SPEAKING IN RHYME!

THE PLOT

I remember seeing this movie back in theaters when it first came out and I really enjoyed it. It was fun, amusing, and it had Jim Carrey in it. Now as an older teenager, my views and tastes have evolved (Well not that much, since I like watching lots of animated movies). So, do I still like this movie as much as I did when I was younger? Let’s see here.

The film begins with us coming to the small town of Whoville. In a few days, Christmas will arrive and whole town is a buzz with the Whos everywhere buying presents and setting up their houses. It is the town’s favorite holiday, so everybody is extremely excited. The only one who isn’t is Cindy Lou Who, who can’t really get into the spirit and finds all the commotion over the day a bit intense.

However, to the north of the town at Mt. Crumpit lives the Grinch, who hates Christmas. After a couple of teens, who came to his home, are scared off, the Grinch heads down into Whoville to cause some trouble. During his mischief at a local post office, he saves Cindy Lou Who from being crushed by one of the machines sorting packages. Due to this, she starts suspecting that the Grinch isn’t completely as a bad as everyone says he is. In the town, no one likes the Grinch and many of them are afraid of him.

After the following incident with the Grinch, Cindy decides to ask people around town what they know about him, including Mayor Augustus, her neighbor Martha May Whovier, and the two women who raised him. From what she learns, she discovered that the Grinch use to live with the Whos and attend the same school Augustus and Martha were in. During that time, the Grinch had a large crush on Martha, but Augustus had taunted him about. During their class’s Christmas party, the Grinch is extremely humiliated by the class and the teacher, causing him to wreck the classroom and storm off to Mt. Crumpit, despising Christmas and the Whos. I think the original story worked better when we didn’t know why he hated everyone so much, but then again, we do get interesting insight to the character.

To try to help the Grinch with his problem with Christmas, Cindy decides to volunteer him to be the Cheermeister at the town’s annual Whobilation (The town’s Christmas Event). The town reluctantly agrees to it, but doesn’t believe the Grinch will show up. So she climbs to the top of Mt. Crumpit and gives the Grinch the invitation. He doesn’t want go at first, but he ends up going when his dog, Max, opens a trap door below the Grinch that sends him to the town. You got to see it to believe it.

The Grinch shows up to the Whobilation and takes on the role as Cheermeister. Everything is going great and the Grinch is actually showing holiday spirit after such a long time. However, Augustus brings up the bad memory from the Grinch’s past and humiliates him again. This makes the Grinch to grow enrage and trash the entire celebration. After he leaves, he plans on stealing Christmas from the entire town.

The Grinch builds himself rocket sled and makes a red suit so he can sneak into the town in disguise. His first stop is Cindy Lou’s house and robs the entire house of decorations and presents. He has a run in with the little girl again as he tries to steal the tree, but he manages to fool her into thinking he is Santa Claus and that he is simply taking the tree back to his workshop to fix a light on it. People are extremely gullible.

After that, he robs the rest of the town of all their Christmas related stuff and takes it to the top of Mt. Crumpit, where he plans to dump it all down the face of the mountain. Back in the Whoville, the town is devastated by this and places the blame on Cindy Lou Who, who brought the Grinch down to their town in the first place and for ruining Christmas. However, her dad, Lou Lou Who, convinces the Whos that Christmas isn’t ruined and that they don’t need presents. All they need is each other and the Christmas spirit. With this new belief, they all begin to sing at the arrival of Christmas, which they do every Christmas. While this is happening, Cindy Lou goes to the Grinch’s home to wish him a Merry Christmas.

At the top of the mountain, the Grinch hears their singing and cannot fathom why they are, since he took everything from them. He then realizes that there is much more to Christmas and decides to bring back all their gifts and decorations. However, the sled that everything is in starts to slide down the mountain and he tries to pull it back up. He is unable to do so at first, but when he sees Cindy Lou on the sled (Don’t understand why she would be there, but whatever), he gathers enough strength to lift the entire sled back up and over his head. He returns back to Whoville with Cindy Lou and gives back everything he has stolen. Everyone accepts him back and he carves the roast beast at the town’s Christmas Dinner.

Well this movie was an interesting one, so where should I start? Starting off with the negatives, this movie wouldn’t really appeal to hardcore Dr. Seuss fans or fans of the original Grinch movie, since it may not have the same spirit as the original did or then it could be the fact that these types of people would be unwilling to accept it or even watch it because they may the adaption is automatically bad. Some parts of the movie seemed added in and don’t really contribute much to it, like how Cindy Lou’s mom is completely obsessed with winning a Christmas Lights contest. There is also the Grinch’s back-story, which may not appeal to everyone, or the fact that all the Whos are basically sucked into the commercialism of the holiday.

On the positive sides, the world that the story takes place in is visually impressive. The creators took a lot of time and put a lot of detail into how the movie looks because it feels like it for sure came out of the Dr. Seuss world, with the best example being Whoville itself. The acting was top notch, with Jim Carrey as the Grinch stealing the show as usual. Though the child actor who played Cindy Lou Who was good as well and pulled off a convincing performance. The humor was excellent with jokes that appeal to all ages; the music was good; and the story, while being different than the original, added on a lot of more depth than the original with interesting character development. Also, the moral of the story, while cliché, still works and warms me.

When it comes down to it, the movie was good. It may not appeal to everyone, but it still has a charm to it that amuses me and certainly others. Do not let the haters of the film stop you from checking it out and possibly discovering an amazing reinventing of classic show and storybook.

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