Under a thick carpet of green-dyed yak fur and wonderfully expressive Rick Baker makeup, Jim Carrey is up to all of his old tricks (and some nifty new ones) in this live-action movie of Dr. Seuss's holiday classic. He commands the title role with equal parts madness, mayhem, pathos, and improvisational genius, channeling Grinchness through his own screen persona so smoothly that fans of both Carrey and Dr. Seuss will be thoroughly satisfied. Adding to the fun is a perfectly pitched back-story sequence (accompanied by Anthony Hopkins's narration) that explains how the Grinch came to hate Christmas, with a heart "two sizes too small." Ron Howard proves a fine choice for the director's chair with a keen balance of comedy, sentiment, and light-hearted Seussian whimsy. Production designer Michael Corenblith gloriously realizes the wackiness of Whoville architecture, and his rendition of the Grinch's Mt. Crumpit lair is a marvel of cartoonish, subterranean grime. Then there's Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen), the thoughtful imp who rallies her village to recapture the pure spirit of Christmas and melts the gift-stealing Grinch's cold, cold heart. You've even got a dog (the Grinch's good-natured mongrel, Max) who's been perfectly cast, so what's not to like about this dazzling yuletide movie? The production gets a bit overwhelmed by its own ambition, and the citizens of Whoville (including Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Molly Shannon, and Bill Irwin) pale in comparison to Carrey's inspired lunacy, but who cares? If a movie can unleash Jim Carrey at his finest, revamp the Grinch story, and still pay tribute to the legacy of Dr. Seuss, you can bet it qualifies as rousing entertainment. (Ages 5 and older.) --Jeff Shannon
That's what it's all about, isn't it? That's what it's always been *about*. Gifts, gifts... gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts. You wanna know what happens to your gifts? They all come to me. In your garbage. You see what I'm saying? In your *garbage*. I could hang myself with all the bad Christmas neckties I found at the dump. And the avarice...
The avarice never ends! "I want golf clubs. I want diamonds. I want a pony so I can ride it twice, get bored and sell it to make glue." Look, I don't wanna make waves, but this *whole* Christmas season is
stupid, stupid, stupid!
The nerve of those Whos. Inviting me down there - and on such short notice. Even if I wanted to go my schedule wouldn't allow it. Four o'clock, wallow in self pity; 4:30, stare into the abyss; 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one. 5:30, jazzercize. 6:30, dinner with me. I can't cancel that again. 7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing; I'm booked. Of course, if I bump the loathing to 9 I could still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear?
I am the Grinch that stole Christmas... and I'm sorry.
Aren't you going to cuff me? Beat me up? Blind me with pepper spray?
Mayor Augustus Maywho:
You heard him, Officer. He admitted it. I'd go with the pepper spray.
Yes, I heard him all right. He said he was sorry.
All right, you're a reindeer. Here's your motivation: Your name is Rudolph, you're a freak with a red nose, and no one likes you. Then, one day, Santa picks you and you save Christmas. No, forget that part. We'll improvise... just keep it kind of loosey-goosey. You HATE Christmas, you're gonna steal it. Saving Christmas is a lousy ending; way too commercial. ACTION.
BRILLIANT. You reject your own nose because it represents the glitter of commercialism. Why didn't I think of that? Cut, print, moving on.
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