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|Index||21 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is hardly Oscar material but it is a pleasant diversion that you
can safely watch with your kids during the holidays.
The setting in the context of a reality talk show production is a nice twist on the Christmas Carol genre.
Your kids won't understand the poignancy of Gary Coleman's appearance in this movie but you may. Gary mentions the dearth of acting roles for an actor of his height. Gary gets a lot of screen time and I enjoyed that.
William Shatner did a decent job in a self-deprecating role.
Tori Spelling was solid in her lead role.
Good lesson in "keeping people waiting"
Nice pay-off at the end of the movie. Of course, we expect a Christmas Carol remake to have a happy ending.
Ghost of Christmas Future was the weakest segment but it was short.
The reality show producer playing bad guy in Christmas past and good guy at the end of the movie was a bit confusing.
For those two reasons I had to knock off a point from 6 to 5.
Caught this thanks to recent play on premium cable.
Carol (Tori Spelling) is the star of an afternoon talk show. Unhappily, she is quite the diva and makes life miserable for those around her, especially her assistant Rebecca (Nina Siemaszko). Rebecca, a single mother, needs the job desperately and works far harder than she should to keep getting a paycheck. Now, its Christmastime, a holiday Carol hates, so she is very testy. After sending Rebecca shopping for meager presents for the staff, Carol lays down to take a nap. But, ho, ho, ho! First, she gets a visit from her deceased aunt's ghost (Dinah Manoff), the pushy woman who once acted as Carol's manager. Auntie warns Carol that she better change her ways and be kinder, for she herself has to wander the earth as a ghost, due to her past behavior. Then, just as Carol recovers from this shock, she gets a visit from Christmas Past (Gary Coleman), Xmas Present, Dr. Bob (William Shatner), and, naturally, ghastly Christmas Future. Past takes Carol back to her childhood, where her aunt manipulated the young girl into school play stardom, by hook or by crook. Then, its on to her early acting days, where Carol had a nice boyfriend but got "too busy" in her career to see him anymore. Carol also makes an invisible trip to Rebecca's very humble home, to her sister's abode and to her, Carol's, funeral, where few folks come to mourn. Will the talk show hostess change her ways? You bet! This is really a nice film, even though it is one of many modern takes on Dickens classic story. Spelling does a fine job as the insufferable Carol and the rest of the cast is very good, too, including Coleman, Shatner, Manoff, Siemaszko, and others. Two romantic male roles are filled by real lookers, although they are not household names. Originally on Hallmark, the movie also boasts nice sets, costumes, script, direction, and camera work. All in all, if you love romantic dramas or uplifting Christmas flicks, take time to find this one. Just like carol singers, the movie will put you in the right mood and attitude for the holidays.
Just finished watching this on The Hallmark Channel. Thought it was a unusual twist on the "Ebenezer Scrooge" thing. I have always liked Tori Spelling and her movies! Tori, of course, stars in another version of A Christmas Carol. Most of the time, you see men as the Ebenezer. This time they make a female do it. I like how they switched between the different ghosts/spirits. I also liked seeing William Shatner, from Star Trek fame, and Gary Coleman, from Different Strokes, as a couple of the spirits! If you haven't caught this older movie, definitely go out and rent it! I liked this movie from beginning to end! Way to go on this one!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It has been a tradition since my first VHS recorder for me to collect
several of the incarnations of the old chestnut by Charles Dickens, and
I taped this one and "Karroll's Christmas" this year. Fortunately, when
this one was run on the Hallmark Channel at the unGodly hour of 3 AM, I
was spared having to edit commercials from it. This was, however, it's
only saving grace.
The writing was excruciatingly dull with almost no clever scenes to save it from being anything more than a teeny-bopper soaper like Beverly Hills 90210. In this one, a good man who was cast aside for her celebrity seems the only logical explanation for her transformation into a Scrooge-like TV talk show hostess. It wasted Dinah Manoff who just plays bitch goddess to the other bitch goddess Tori Spelling (who, by the way, had more coats of paint on her face than some colonial houses) and Bill Shatner is perhaps one of the few fun things in this otherwise dreary adaptation.
Some of the best opportunities are wasted like the entrances of the ghosts. Aunt Marla's entrance could have been spectacularly funny in the hands of a decent writer, but this Christmas turkey didn't have one, evidently.
Tori Spelling may be a lovely person, but she has all the acting skill of a mannequin, and that makes for a bad show all by itself.
Yes, it was good to see Gary Coleman work again, but the script gives him nothing to do really except roll his eyes and spout truly lame dialogue.
And what is most infuriating was that the transformation from Scroogedom to Tori "sweet and light" is as convincing as a passionate conservative. Now, if anyone wants to write the ultimate Scrooge tale of a George Bush and Karl Rove, we might have a refreshing change from the usual bad Christmas Carol Clones.
I suppose if you're a fan of Ms. Spelling and/or 90210, this might be your cup of Christmas cheer. I'd prefer a stiff shot of scotch and a cold beer to wash it down myself. This one I just may cast away before it is with me here for a long long time.
God save us everyone!
A Christmas Carol has always been one of my favorite stories. I consider it to be the only "perfect" story ever written. I consider it wonderful that a story written in 1843 by Charles Dickens could still be as important and topical today as a newspaper headline. I feel that in this age of rampant commercialism and trivilization of Christmas that Dicken's story is as important as ever. Hollywood has always tried to take advantage of our love of this wonderful book. There have been literally dozens and hundreds of adaptations. On the radio, Scrooge was played by John and Lionel Barrymore, on the stage he was played by Olivier. In the movies, he has been played by Sir Seymour Hicks, Reginald Owen, Alastair Sim, Albert Finney, Bill Murray and Michael Caine and on television he has been played by Sterling Hayden, James Whitmore, Jack Klugman, Walter Matthau, George C. Scott, Henry Winkler, Jack Elam and Patrick Stewart. Its ironic that the best adaptation of Scrooge was done by a woman Susan Lucci in the classic 1995 Lifetime special Ebbie. THAT IS THE BEST VERSION OF THIS STORY TRUST ME FOLKS! However Tori Spelling does a fine job in this modern day version as well. Tori is the daughter of tv tycoon Aaron Spelling and got her start on her dad's tv show "Beverly Hills 90210" (boy do you suppose he helped get her the part?) I know its easy to be cynical and say that, but BUT Tori is a fine actress in her own right and to me she "earned her spurs" in this film playing a very challenging role. In playing Scrooge, you are in a sense playing three parts. Scrooge is a miserable miser in the beginning, and slowly evolving and showing remorse as the spirits visit him and then he is kind and loving in the end. To me Spelling accomplishes this very well. She plays Carol Cartman a "Ricki Lake" like tv trash host who cares only about herself and the Nielsen ratings. One night the ghost of her Aunt Marla(Marley)Dinah Manoff visits her and warns she will be visited by three....oh well you know the rest. Spelling gives a fine performance and really does well in the traditional "repentance" speech that Scrooge gives after Christmas future shows him his horrible fate if he doesn't change...(Why show me this if I am past all hope...I will change...I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year...I will live in the Past, Present and future...This is a very well made film from Hallmark and I give it high marks.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw the title and instantly knew this TV made film was going to be a modernised version of the classic Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol, and with one or two names in the cast being good I gave it a go. Basically Carol Cartman (Scary Movie 2's Tori Spelling) is the conceited, cynical, selfish and cold sensationalist TV chat show host who has been moulded by her dead Aunt Marla (Dinah Manoff). It is Christmas Eve, and with her mean behaviour at its tether, her dead Aunt comes to haunt her and tell her she is making a big mistake being like she is, she could become what she has in the afterlife. Marla also tells Carol that she will be visited by three ghosts to see the error of her ways, and hopefully change her attitude towards family, work and Christmas. So the spirit to visit is the child star Ghost of Christmas Past (Diff'rent Strokes' Gary Coleman), who takes her back to see her childhood growing up with Aunt Marla, how she got her break to becoming a star of stage and then screen, and ultimately how manipulative her Aunt really was to get her any career at all. After returning Carol is next visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present, in the form of TV nice guy Dr. Bob (Star Trek's William Shatner), who shows her what her nastiness is doing to the people in her life, including work employees and family. Finally the silent and cold looking chauffeur Ghost of Christmas Future (James Cromwell) who shows Carol how her life will turn out if she doesn't mend her ways and make amends, including of course her death. So when she wakes up she is a reformed person, starts being nice to Jimmy Fields (Final Destination 2's Michael Landes) and assistant Roberta (Nina Siemaszko). In the end, live on her show she ultimately expresses her newfound heart saying she will give loads to charity and take her crew on holiday to Hawaii, and finally spends time with her niece and sister. Also starring Paula Trickey as Beth, Jason Brooks as John Joyce and Holliston Coleman as Lily. Spelling makes a slightly cheesy but near good Scrooge figure, the supporting cast members do alright as well, particularly Coleman and Shatner, the modern day showbiz satire is amusing at times, I agree it is like a pantomime most of the time, but a not too bad seasonal comedy fantasy. Okay!
Certainly not just the 3rd female scrooge! What about Vanessa Williams in A Diva's Christmas Carol or Cicely Tyson in Ms. Scrooge, who was great by the way... Both worth watching! Cicely was fantastically mean and miserly, almost stomping on a child's fingers to stop him from picking a quarter up from the street. She got the quarter, of course. And Vanessa as the rock-star diva was cute too, another great variation of the classic story. I'm biased in that I would watch any variation of A Christmas Carol, including the animated versions, (I love the Mr. Magoo one also). It's an uplifting tale that can warm the heart of any Grinch, including me...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
***Contains SPOILERS*** **Spoiler alert**
Tori Spelling (as Carol Cartman) at her best, playing the worst sort of person. An evil talk show host who thinks only of her self, and the almighty $$$. She treats her employees, friends and family like dirt. She will stop at nothing to be in the spot light. That is until she is visited by three ghosts. I thought the first ghost was a stroke of genius. It was great to see GARY COLEMAN as the Ghost of Christmas Past. It was really nice to see him in a movie again. He takes Carol (Tori) on a tour of her Christmas days of past. Then the Ghost of Christmas present shows up, who just happened to be the awesome WILLIAM SHATNER. Wow was that a wild idea. Anyway, he takes her on a tour of the Christmas present. By this time see has begun to see the error of her ways, Only to be show her possible future. In the end, she does see her errors, and corrects them. Turning her life around, and giving all who watch an overwhelming CHRISTMAS feeling. I give this movie a must see!!!
The only thing I regret is this is a made for TV movie on the HALLMARK channel, and sadly they blitz you with tons of commercials!!! If you can get past those commercials, you got it made. This movie is awesome!!
The whole plot..a updated version of Christmas Carol in which the Scrooge character is someone in the media intent upon exploitating the Holiday for business purposes,and gets their comeuppances...was already done,and done much better in Scrooged with Bill Murray. Tori Spelling is not very good as the Carol of the title. Spelling has actually done some good work in a few Indie films,she is not without talent....but every time she gets some cred from her work in small indie films she throws it away on garbage like this. The whole Bill Shanter/Star Trek bit was about as funny as a funeral. Attempts to modernize the Dickens classic are a dime a dozen,and this is one of the weaker efforts. All in all,a waste of time.
Every year there seems to be 2-3 new versions of "A Christmas Carol".
Since the original property is in public domain (Meaning anybody
exploit material at no cost) I am afraid that we will forever see new
spins on the story however I hope that are not as bad as this version.
Tori Spelling is front and center in this edition. She plays a cheap self centered talk show host who abuses her staff and has very little to do with her own family,
The screenplay here is just awful. There is not a consistent tone to any of it. The tweaks from the original book are just not good.
Because the story of " A Christmas Carol" is well known to everyone its a problem that this film can not solve. Because we all know the story we know what is going to happen. There is no surprise element. Because there is huge lack of discovery. The film seems to run longer than the 85 minutes that it is.
I will say Tori does an okay job. I have seen this story now told too many times now.
If anybody wants to watch a good adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" then watch the 1938 Version. Its b/w and it is the versions that all further adaptions used as a template.
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