so - took my wife on a double date with our son and his girlfriend to see Nutcracker and the 4 Realms this evening. Since the movie has been discussed in anticipation, now it is time to share thoughts about the movie now that I have seen it.....
Earlier today I was expecting to write about the Lone Ranger movie - as an old school Lone Ranger purist the new movie was a poor representation of the original characters - at best it was a gross retelling of the story that in no way represented the intent of the original TV series. This is what I expected from Nutcracker....that was the comparison I expected to make.....
but I was wrong. The movie was not based on the storyline of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker - but another story using some of the characters called The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. I won't say too much about the plot for those that want to see the movie - but it is a different story all together - somewhere between Alice in Wonderland and Narnia. Clara is an intelligent young girl whose mother has passed and left her a puzzle box gift. Her Uncle Drosselmeyer knows she has to journey to the land of the realms to restore the balance her mother had there when she was queen. Aside from the names of the characters and the fact that the story happens at Christmas - there is nothing much else it has in common with the Nutcracker ballet. Even the Nutcracker music is more for ambiance than part of the storyline (the ballet shows up in the story to tell the narrative of Clara's mother). (by the way - some of the stuff in the trailers is not even in the movie...)
Part way into the movie my wife and I looked at each other and predicted who the true villains and heroes of the story were - it wasn't that deep. It was a lot of CGI and a pure steampunk fantasy. But we had a nice evening out. Time well spent with family. Don't expect a big Hallmark Christmas movie. Don't expect the Nutcracker ballet. It's just another Disney fantasy movie....
I had seen this discussion in the sidebar previously....
I did not see it in the theatre - but I did pick up a copy and I have to say I was impressed.
I would agree that the title is a little pompous - Charles did not invent Christmas - to me the movie played not as a documentary but more as a historical fiction - a story build around what we know of his life and the history of the time - no one can know what was in his head, but the movie did a great job of capturing his imagination - his characters were real to him - he spoke with them - and they "haunted" him....
I think the idea of "inventing" was more to the place where his publishers commented that Christmas was passe - not all that much more than an "excuse to pick a mans pocket every 25th of December" - Charles used the story and his characters to compel an understanding of the dreadful price of greed and the richness vs. being loving and giving. (note the historical reference in the end that due to his book charitable giving exploded) With this story Charles created a fresh inspiration to what had for many become a mundane holiday....
Most interesting to me was that Charles identified primarily with Scrooge - Scrooge was his own personal demon that he could not reconcile - it was not until he recognized that he could change that he was able to let Scrooge change and be redeemed.
Perhaps a little heavy and slow at times - but overall I really enjoyed the movie - at the end it conveyed not much more than the same moral lesson than "A Christmas Carol" - but it does so through the story of the life of Dickens - not Scrooge....
By Michael Rielly
Tis the Season for Christmas Movies
May 22, 2018
A new survey commissioned by MyMerryChristmas.com has determined that 46 percent of annual Christmas movie watching happens between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
The survey, conducted over a three day period offline in 7 American cities, reveals some surprising facts about summer Christmas movie watching in America.
More than 1 in 3 Americans will see something Christmas-related at home during the dog days of summer and of those a whopping 82 percent watch a Christmas-themed show on purpose.
The primary reason people watch so much Christmas during the off-season? Simple. There just isn’t time to see it all when it is Christmas in December.
MyMerryChristmas.com has conducted regular surveys since 1998 and this survey actually stemmed from another that wanted to determine if President Trump had actually affected how people were saying “Merry Christmas”, as he has claimed (he hasn’t, by the way).
But one of the ancillary questions on that survey, asked many times before in the past, was about Christmas movies. In studying those results a curious trend emerged that caused us to commission another survey just about Christmas movies.
Perhaps most revealing in the survey was not the fact that Christmas movies are watched but rather which Christmas movies were viewed during the summer months. Of more than 1800 respondents, here is the compiled top-ten of Christmas movies of summer:
Bad Santa The Muppet Christmas Carol The Polar Express Scrooged The Santa Clause While You Were Sleeping Home Alone Die Hard Christmas Vacation Elf This is a vastly different list than you traditionally see about Christmas movies in December. Some of these movies traditionally never make the top 25 much less the top 10 in December.
But where are the customary classics like It’s a Wonderful Life?
Those movies, the survey says, are seemingly reserved as must-watch, during the season.
The summer top ten tends to be movies that respondents claim they just didn’t get time to watch the previous year.
The Hallmark Channel made a splash in the news early this year for their announcement of the production of 34 new Christmas movies in 2018.
That heavy production schedule is indicative not only of how popular Christmas is as a movie theme but also of the appeal of year-round Christmas movies. Hallmark famously airs Christmas movies of the past to terrific ratings during the months of summer – a counter-trend to traditional television viewing habits in America.
Another interesting tidbit revealed by the summer Christmas movie survey is that the decline of Hollywood’s traditional summer blockbuster has seen the gap filled by the tried-and-true Christmas movie. 76 percent of respondents said they spend more time watching Christmas movies during the summer and less time watching the latest release at the local theater simply because old Christmas movies are more reliably entertaining.
For more information about our Christmas summer movie survey, please take a listen to the latest episode of the Merry Little Podcast.