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Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) Print E-mail
Monday, 19 October 2009
ImageMany filmgoers were lured into this film by all the hype.  And many ended up being impressed by all the visual effects.  However, the fact remains, that the film is travesty of the entertainment industry.  It completely destroys one of the most beloved Christmas classics of our time.  The 1966 animated classic by Chuck Jones is a heart-warming tale.  This remake by Ron Howard is nothing but a boat of visual effects.  It loses everything that Seuss and Jones envisioned.

The film is full of one-liners and silly plots.  The original animated cartoon was less than one half of an hour in length.  So how do you turn the story of the Grinch into a 90-minute feature?  Well, you stretch it will nonsense plots.  Honestly, whose idea was it to introduce a love triangle between the Grinch, Martha May and the Mayor?

Jim Carrey is a funny fellow, but he turns the Grinch into a ridiculous character that doesn’t go through any real transformation.  The transformation at the end takes a backseat to the other 88 minutes of the film.  The only lovely part of this film is the innocence of Cindy Lou Who.  The character is beautifully portrayed by Taylor Momsen, who has gone on to play Jenny in “Gossip Girl,” as well as star in several feature films.

Basically, this remake does nothing to preserve the original intentions of the creators, nor does it give the audience any real heart-warming experience.  If you can look beyond the visual effects then you will easily see what a travesty this film is.

Suiting perfectly with the quality of the movie is the quality of the video transfer.  I don’t know who approved this transfer, by geez, these Blu-ray looks like VHS compared to all the other Blu-ray transfers.  However, I must admit that I never saw this film in the theater, so I can make no direct comparison.  There are only two options.  First, it could be that the production designers used way way way too much smoke on the set creating a hazy image.  Or second, the transfer contains a very weak contrast level.  I am leaning toward the latter due to all the other problems with the transfer.  The black levels are a joke.  The colors lack any vibrancy.  The greens and reds hardly pop, mainly due to the lack of a strong contrast level.  The details and textures are also swallowed up by the hazy nature of the image.  Edge enhancement is in virtually every scene.  Aside from about a handful of close-ups toward the end of the film, the film looks like it was shot out of focus.  The only upgrade with this Blu-ray is the lack of any significant artifacting, which plagued the standard DVD transfer.  I simply cannot believe this transfer.

The audio is immaculate compared to the video.  The dialogue is nicely balanced upfront.  However, there are several instances of clipped dialogue.  The frequency response of the dialogue is a bit inconsistent.  Sometimes is a full and heavy with low-mid frequencies, while at other times there is no diaphragm support to the dialogue.  The dynamics of the track are good.  The surround channels sound promising from the very opening of the film, but they quickly fade into obscurity.  This isn’t so much the transfer as the lack of creativity by the film’s sound designers.  There are several missed opportunities for surround sound design over the course of this film.  The LFE channel becomes prominent in a total of three scenes.  However, when the LFE does come in during these three shots, it is simply amazing.  Music is nicely spread over all the channels, although the rear channels don’t receive anything discreet.  Overall, the mix is front heavy.  While stuff is going on in the rears, the precedence effect makes them seem as though they are empty.  Nevertheless, this is a solid audio track that only really lacks definition by the original sound designers and not the transfer.
The Blu-ray edition of the film comes with all the original DVD bonus materials.  All the features have been left in standard definition.  First there is an audio commentary with director Ron Howard.  This track is very weak.  Howard is not engaging and doesn’t offer any real valuable information.  “Who School” goes behind the creation of the Whoville citizens.  “Spotlight on Location” is centered on Jim Carrey’s role in the film.  “Makeup Application and Design” covers the obvious.  “Set Decoration” goes behind the set design.  There are some deleted scenes and outtakes.  “Visual Effects” covers the CG part of the film.  Also available is a music video of Faith Hill’s “Where Are You Christmas?” and a theatrical trailer.  The disc is also BD-Live enabled, with Universal’s My Scenes.  The Blu-ray package also comes with a standard DVD copy of the film.

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is a poor remake with an equally bad video transfer.  There is simply no repeatability to this film.  This is one to avoid for both the movie and video transfer.

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