A pleasant twist on the usual CHRISTMAS CAROL adaptations.
If you're a CHRISTMAS CAROL fanatic like I am this makes a nice change of pace in your annual orgy of CAROL viewing. If you're just a casual fan or even a non-fan of the story this rendition is different enough and short enough that it should still prove enjoyable.
Martin Sheen and James Earl Jones read aloud from the familiar Dickens holiday classic with breaks here and there for background info on the author and his most popular holiday story. Sheen is adequate but sadly Jones makes the mistake of trying to read from a far-off teleprompter instead of from a hand-held book like his partner so he commits many embarrassing gaffes early on. It plays like he's a lame actor auditioning for the role of Scrooge and you keep expecting to hear the casting director bark out "Thank you! Next!" at any moment. After that awkward beginning Jones' performance stabilizes and his authoritative reading makes you wonder why Sheen was even selected to share the stage with him, especially since this first aired long before he was on THE WEST WING.
Anyone who enjoys the audio tapes of Patrick Stewart's excellent one-man stage-show of A CHRISTMAS CAROL(NOT the TNT movie version he starred in) should enjoy seeing what two other actors do with the rich material.
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