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How the Grinch Stole  Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
Director: Ron Howard
Cast : Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Kelley

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Synopsis; Inside a snowflake exists the magical land of Whoville. In Whoville, live the Whos, an almost mutated sort of munchkinlike people. All the Whos love Christmas, yet just outside of their beloved Whoville lives the Grinch. The Grinch is a nasty creature that hates Christmas, and plots to steal it away from the Whos which he equally abhors. Yet a small child, Cindy Lou Who, decides to try befriend the Grinch.

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Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas Full Movie: Someone once asked Dr. Seuss if they could secure the movie rights to his 1957 Christmas classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. He turned them down, insisting that no one could do better than the marvelous Chuck Jones TV special from 1966 (also in mind, perhaps, was his bitter experience writing the script to 1953’s The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T). When the good Dr. died in 1991, his widow, Audrey Geisel, still obstinately refused to sell the movie rights. But with the commonplace use of CGI effects becoming a reality, Mrs. Geisel had a change of heart. Universal made her a generous offer she accepted; she also accepted the casting of Jim Carrey as the title character. Supposedly she was satisfied with the final result. Well, Mrs. Geisel, that makes one of us.

Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas Full Movie: The film was given a $123,000,000 budget (which is more than even Heaven’s Gate cost, including the adjustment for inflation), which obviously went towards the very elaborate makeup, set design, and special effects (which are undermined somewhat by the rather hazy cinematography). Unfortunately, it seems that none of that money was set aside to get a better script than what Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman (scribes of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, which made much better use of a high budget) turned in. Whereas the TV special was a trim 26 minutes without commercials, this film tries to fill a running time of 105 minutes with more background information about the Grinch. It turns out that, as a child, he was the subject of ridicule, including an especially humiliating experience one Christmas at the age of eight.

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Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas Full Movie: So it turns out that everything that ails our poor Mr. Grinch is directly because of the Whos. Trouble is, it seems like a rather long 105 minutes, with too much dead wood clogging up the story. That might not seem so bad if only the Grinch were a little more…well, Grinchy. The character that Dr. Seuss wrote and Chuck Jones later animated was a sly fox whose slick attempts to hijack the holiday season were undermined by his sudden change (and exponential growth) of heart. Carrey’s Grinch is a loud, hyperactive oaf and, at times, a thug who, when made the holiday `Cheermeister,’ trashes the Whoville town square in anger (hopefully the scenery tasted as good as it looked). This undermines the script’s attempt to make the Grinch more sympathetic, with all the Whos down in Whoville so unsympathetic (at least in this interpretation).

Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas Full Movie: The Whoville of Dr. Seuss’s vision was a small town populated by honest folk who knew in their hearts the true meaning of Christmas. The Whoville of the movie is a rather noisy and crowded place populated by spoiled, selfish, materialistic ninnies; an obvious attempt to comment on American consumerism. This is offensively hypocritical inasmuch as the film industry has benefitted greatly from American consumerism, and as this film contributed to it with a huge merchandising campaign.

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Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas Full Movie: The film also expands and redefines the character of Cindy Lou Who, a small but crucial character in the original. The innocent two-year-old waif who walked in on this spurious Santa is now older and wiser, constantly questioning the false values of the Whos and trying to understand the Grinch’s point of view (her one major scene from the original is re-enacted, making it seem out of character). She seems to be the only one who would ever know that Christmas is more than just gifts and decorations, thus making her a completely different, and more annoying, character.

Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas Full Movie: Those who celebrate Christmas should sooner accept a lump of coal in their stockings on the morning of December 25 than a copy of this overlong, overacted, excruciatingly tedious, ham-handed, crude attempt to turn the children’s classic into a feature film. It proves once and for all that darkness, vulgarity, manipulation, and heavy-handedness are inadequate substitutes for charm, wit, sincerity, and heart. The folks at Universal should get down on their collective knees and thank God that this truly bilious $123 million stink bomb grossed $260 million domestically or they’d not be here today. Furthermore it made Mike Myers’ The Cat in the Hat possible!

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A Christmas Carol (2009)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Cast : Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth

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Synopsis; Miser Ebenezer Scrooge is awakened on Christmas Eve by spirits who reveal to him his own miserable existence, what opportunities he wasted in his youth, his current cruelties, and the dire fate that awaits him if he does not change his ways. Scrooge is faced with his own story of growing bitterness and meanness, and must decide what his own future will hold: death or redemption.

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Watch A Christmas Carol Full Movie: I wonder if Robert Zemeckis weren’t a filmmaker if he would have become a pilot. Look at his films and you may find a recurring shot in them, if not all then at least a good lot of them: a shot up in the sky, flying around and bringing the audience along (i.e. the feather in Forrest Gump, the pull-back through the valley and mountains in Beowulf, Back to the Future with the flying Dolorean), and here too are shots like that, more than one in fact. It’s exhilarating to see Zemeckis at a mastery of this particular shot, and in the full scope and awe in 3D it’s even stronger to watch and wonder ‘how did they do it(?)’ With motion-capture, anything is possible… except, sadly, making one feel a true emotional connection to the material.

Watch A Christmas Carol Full Movie: Oh, don’t get me wrong. It’s an improvement over The Polar Express, whose creepiness was more unto itself and jarring as opposed to serving the story, and one can already see advancements in the technology from Beowulf, which was also lots of fun and had an edge to it allowed only with the digital animation. But for some reason- maybe my heart is a lump of coal or I wasn’t in the right Christmas spirit or something- the material in the film didn’t connect with me, except those moments that were funny (intentionally or not, sometimes due to Jim Carrey’s performance), and it became something peculiar. It’s a story that is practically timeless, and the director is at the top of his game, almost at the same control of the medium for a particular story like Forrest Gump or Back to the Future – maybe more-so.

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Watch A Christmas Carol Full Movie: It’s also still a WOOSH experience, not carrying the same time and effort for characters to really feel fully human before our eyes like, for example, Up did back in the summer. I mention all of this first since the story we all know pretty much (as an aside, I kept thinking back to the first incarnation of the story I saw as a child, the Muppet Christmas Carol, and marveled at how both that and this film kept much of the book’s dialog and storytelling devices exactly), and it’s almost pointless to recant it here. What is paramount to mention though is that Zemeckis, in keeping with the tone of the original Dickens text (and having the clout that he has), makes it a true Victorian horror movie.

Watch A Christmas Carol Full Movie: It should be said also that children will be hit or miss with this version; while they’ll delight and be awed by the animation and moments of craziness (my favorite being the scene with the ghost Marley and his entire presentation before Scrooge, unhooked jaw uneasily included), they may be put off by the “old” language, some of it in that olde 19th century English Dickens wrote in. Perhaps this is why, against his own better judgment, Zemeckis decided to add in a few scenes to change the very faithful adaptation, the key one being the chase through the streets of London in the Christmas-Future sequence. This is smack dab in the middle of what is the best segment of the film – seeing death as a silhouette with a bony finger and Scrooge’s stark pleas is truly chilling – and it suddenly makes it also the worst. It kills the tension and makes a strange sensation: does one laugh at a tiny-voiced Scrooge running around like a mini Daffy Duck cartoon while he’s supposed to be facing down his own demise? It’s entertaining to watch, but awkward to behold at this point of the story.

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Watch A Christmas Carol Full Movie: That the motion-capture, for all of its beauty and detail in the faces and people and locations and dazzling set-pieces, doesn’t engage on a purely spiritual level (not even to the extent that ‘Muppet Christmas’ did, that at least had the ghost of Henson on the production to keep things truly haunting), is somewhat forgivable for what Zemeckis does accomplish here. He puts a modern spin on a classic tale, makes it approximately dark and mostly uncompromising for all ages- adults will jump possibly more than the kids at the WHOA effects- and Jim Carrey is nothing short of astonishing.

Watch A Christmas Carol Full Movie: Carrey plays Scrooge in such a bravura way that only calls attention to itself as a dramatic part (only toward the end, when he becomes “happy” Scrooge are there a few unintentional laughs), and it may even be the best Scrooge seen in many years in any medium. Added to this are his *other* parts in the film, as the ghosts of Christmas past and present, the former creepy just on the pronunciation of ‘s’. Others like Gary Oldman and Colin Firth come off more or less fine if not remarkable (Oldman as Marley is fantastic – as Cratchit, a Oldman-faced Hobbit, is another thing).

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Dumb & Dumber 2 (2014)
Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Cast : Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Rob Riggle

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Synopsis; It’s been 20 years and Harry Dunn has found something out….he has a daughter Lloyd Christmas his equally dim witted friend takes one look at a picture of her develops a crush and insists the two track her down what ensues when Harry finally agrees is a bizzare encounter with an old lady and more hilarity in the form of their sheer stupidity

20 years since their first adventure, Harry finds out he has a daughter who was adopted. Lloyd and Harry try to find Harry’s adopted daughter.

Watch Dumb & Dumber 2 Full Movie: LIke many others I thought this movie was going to be that sequel you wish they didn’t make. Because I love Dumb and Dumber. And it seemed the only reason they made this sequel is because the directors and one of the actors haven’t been doing good stuff, the last couple of years.

Watch Dumb & Dumber 2 Full Movie: But surprisingly, Dumb and Dumber To is actually pretty fun. Sure some things have changed that aren’t so great. The jokes are hit-and-miss, sometimes the timing is way off and the characters of Lloyd and Harry are a little more mean-spirited and maybe even a little too dumb at times. But on the other hand everyone really did their best to make this feel like a Dumb and Dumber film. Unlike the god-awful prequel this film really feels like Dumb and Dumber and it’s actually fun to see some scenes re-created, but with a new little twist, or characters from the original film returning. And even though some jokes and scenes are forced, I have to admit the film actually had a great deal of scenes that made me laugh a lot.

Watch Dumb & Dumber 2 Full Movie: So as a big fan of the original film I was surprised that I enjoyed this film as much as I did. Let’s all not expect a masterpiece, but a film we can enjoy, that pays a nice homage to the original and well … really could have been a lót worse.

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Dumb & Dumber (1994)
Director: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly
Cast : Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Lauren Holly

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Synopsis; Lloyd Christmas is a limo driver who’s a few beers short of a six pack. His equally clueless roommate Harry Dunn is an operator for a mobile pet grooming service called “Mutt Cutts”. One day Lloyd is assigned to pick up a wealthy customer for a ride to the airport. He believes this customer – named Mary Swanson – is the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen. Little does Lloyd know that Mary is the victim of an elaborate kidnapping and extortion plot, and that the trip to the airport was supposed to be the payoff to release her kidnapped husband. Lloyd grabs the briefcase and that sets off a chain of events that see him and Harry going to Aspen, Colorado hell bent on delivering the briefcase to Mary. But along the way, they meet nearly every seedy and shady character involved in the conspiracy. But Lloyd doesn’t know that the briefcase he’s set on delivering to Mary contains nearly $5 million in cash. And his friendship with Harry is tested at every stop along the way, will they make it to Aspen and live the high life? Or face the wrath of the kidnappers and the FBI?

Watch Dumb & Dumber Full Movie: The Marx Brothers. Laurel and Hardy. Abbott and Costello. Jerry Lewis. Every generation has their dose of silliness. The 1990s had Jim Carrey. And along with him came the phenomenal hit “Dumb and Dumber,” a simple tale of two numb skulls who journey to Aspen in search of a woman and happiness.

Watch Dumb & Dumber Full Movie: Our tale begins when Lloyd (Jim Carrey) is escorting a young woman named Mary Swanson (the gorgeous Lauren Holly, who Carrey eventually married and then divorced) to an airport. He falls in love with her in the few minutes they share in the limousine, and after he has dropped her off, he watches her from the outside in his limo and sees her leave behind a black briefcase on the floor inside the airport. Rushing inside, he grabs the briefcase, only to find someone closing the gate to her plane. “It’s okay, I’m a limo driver!” he yells to a ticket checker, rushing down the airport jet way and running straight off of it, falling onto the cement runway below.

Watch Dumb & Dumber Full Movie: After retreating to his apartment, he convinces his pal Harry (Jeff Daniels) to come with him to Aspen to return the briefcase to Mary. Harry, the smarter one (or is that dumb-less one?), at first hesitates, and then reluctantly agrees, and so they are off. Little do they know that the briefcase they carry is actually ransom money that Mary was trying to pay to get her husband returned to her. Now with hitment on their tail, Lloyd and Harry make it to Aspen only to wreak even more havoc.

Watch Dumb & Dumber Full Movie: Comedic timing is everything in a comedy like this. Carrey and Daniels have chemistry and timing. Check out the scene where they are at the National Preservation Society Gala, and stand at a bar in bright, tasteless suits. The way they stand, talk, and interact is as if they really are bosom-buddies, two idiots without a clue.

Watch Dumb & Dumber Full Movie: The film is directed by The Farrelly Brothers, Peter and Bobby. You may remember them as the men who brought us the hilarious “There’s Something About Mary.” But truth be told, “Dumb and Dumber” is even better than “Mary.” Whereas “Mary” was a fun summer comedy with big laughs and tons of crude sex jokes, “Dumb and Dumber” is a true comedic gem, and carefully borders the line of tastelessness and taste, something “Mary” crosses over and never turns back to.

Watch Dumb & Dumber Full Movie: Is this movie “dumb”? Yes, absolutely. Will it offend you? Perhaps if you’re a snob. And I’m sure some film elitists will complain that there’s nothing substantial or of artistic merit here.

Watch Dumb & Dumber Full Movie: I don’t think it matters. This movie is meant to entertain and it does so wonderfully. In the past I’ve given negative ratings to films of the same genre that are just meant to be brain-less, silly fare (such as “Me, Myself & Irene”) – the difference here is that “Dumb and Dumber” manages to come across as both likable and entertaining, while still managing to feature characters we can actually, in some crazy way, find ourselves liking.

Watch Dumb & Dumber Full Movie: In the end, this is just a very funny movie that is well-made and memorable – much more so than some of its other 1990s “stupid-comedy” counterparts.

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Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Cast : Chloë Grace Moretz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Jim Carrey

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Synopsis;  After Kick-Ass’ insane bravery inspires a new wave of self-made masked crusaders, led by the badass Colonel Stars and Stripes, our hero joins them on patrol. When these amateur superheroes are hunted down by Red Mist — reborn as The Mother F%&*^r — only the blade-wielding Hit Girl can prevent their annihilation. When we last saw junior assassin Hit Girl and young vigilante Kick-Ass, they were trying to live as normal teenagers Mindy and Dave. With graduation looming and uncertain what to do, Dave decides to start the world’s first superhero team with Mindy. Unfortunately, when Mindy is busted for sneaking out as Hit Girl, she’s forced to retire-leaving her to navigate the terrifying world of high-school mean girls on her own. With no one left to turn to, Dave joins forces with Justice Forever, run by a born-again ex-mobster named Colonel Stars and Stripes. Just as they start to make a real difference on the streets, the world’s first super villain, The Mother F%&*^r, assembles his own evil league and puts a plan in motion to make Kick-Ass and Hit Girl pay for what they did to his dad. But there’s only one problem with his scheme: If you mess with one member of Justice Forever, you mess with them all.

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