THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS (Ireland/Canada 2017)

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The Man Who Invented Christmas Poster
Trailer

The journey that led to Charles Dickens’ creation of “A Christmas Carol,” a timeless tale that would redefine the holiday.

Director:

Bharat Nalluri

Writers:

Susan Coyne (screenplay), Les Standiford (book)

 

The last Christmas Ireland and Canada collaborated on a film that had a setting in NYC was the film BROOKLYN that was an immense success, critically, commercially and financially.  THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS appears on paper as another perfect adaptation, that begins in NYC at Yuletide.  This is the story of how Charles Dickens came to write about A CHRISTMAS CAROL, the arguably most popular of all his novels  – yes the one where Ebenezer Scrooge turned over a new leaf after meeting the ghosts of Christmas, past present and future.

The film opens in 1943 in NYC, right after Dickens (played cheerfully by DOWNTON ABBEY’s Dan Stevens) achieved fame an success from his latest book “Oliver Twist”.  He is the toast of the town.  An appearance at a theatre shows him over celebrated amidst dancing fanfare and fireworks that shock him, literally to the ground.

The idea of making a film about the writing process of A CHRISTMAS CAROL instead of another remake make seems more logical given the uncountable number of film or TV films made already.  Unfortunately, THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS based on the reported well-researched book of the same name by Les Standiford  on the inspirations behind Charles Dickens’ beloved ‘A Christmas Carol,’ is a travesty.

For one, though the biopic reveals lesser-known details of the author’s life, these details are not so favourable, thus changing the beloved view the public has on the man – not a good idea at Christmas, the time of good cheer.  Dickens is portrayed as a man who loves fame, who is often out of touch with his family and book ideas.  He thinks he can come up with a hit at any time and the fact that he has had several flops after “Oliver Twist” never bothers him.  He does not have any financial sense.  But worse of all, director Nalluri makes the fatal mistake to reveal that Dickens steals ideas and names, and does not possess original ideas for his stories.

To make matters worse, Christmas is depicted here as dying commercially.  It is deemed to be an excuse for workers to take a day off.  Dickens is shown the awkwardness of a tall Christmas tree, and told that the Germans use it.

The film does look good with sufficiently  cheery Christmas period atmosphere with horse drawn carriages and some snow.  

The films highlights Oscar Winner Christopher Plummer in the role of Scrooge.  Plummer only briefly appears and does the customary performance that is nothing special.

THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS offers nothing more than the disgusting artificial cheer of the season.  Everyone is supposed to be in good spirits with all the problems of the world hidden away.  A predictable story, bland direction and unconvincing acting among other things result in this very bland and boring Christmas film.

There is only one word to describe THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS.  In the words of Ebenezer Scrooge: “Humbug!”

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxcnYR3mcPU

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1997 Movie Review: TOMORROW NEVER DIES, 1997

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TOMORROW NEVER DIES MOVIEGOLDENEYE, 1997
Movie Reviews

Directed by Roger Spottiswoode

Starring Pierce Brosnan, Jonathan Pryce, Michelle Yeoh, Teri Hatcher,Joe Don Baker and Judi Dench.
Review by Jesse Ryder Hughes

SYNOPSIS:

Elliot Carver is a corrupt media baron out to start a war between the United Kingdom and China. China will not let Carver have exclusive media rights in their country. He uses a GPS system to send a British naval ship off course into the South China Sea where his stealth ship sinks the vessel and steals the missiles. He then blows up a Chinese fighter plane sent to investigate making it seem like the plane and the ship attacked each other. Bond is sent in to investigate Carver after Carver leaked the information before anyone else knew about it. The Chinese send in their own spy Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh) to investigate as well. Bond and Lin team up to stop Carver from firing the British missiles at Beijing and starting a war between their countries, which is already starting to begin.

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REVIEW:

Tomorrow never dies is the most action packed Bond film in the series. It sets up the plot quickly and then it is one action set piece after the other. It is well done for the most part. The plot isn’t as complex as Goldeneye with a forced relationship between Elliot Carver’s wife Paris and Bond. The emotion feels forced within the writing as compared to Goldeneye. Other than that it is a fun ride. Michelle Yeoh is great as a Chinese agent with great martial arts, as always from her. The focus on the power of media is interesting and relevant. Carver uses it to his advantage dreaming of a world by his standards. He proves himself to be a powerful dictator and using the media to deliver his message and shape his world. It is interesting to think of the media and how it could be used for the ultimate good in mankind and the ultimate evil.

There are some great stunts involving Bond driving his car from the backseat using a remote control and being chased by a helicopter handcuffed to Wai Lin on a motorcycle. It is good to see a good evil henchman as well. (Stamper, who is scary and is obsessed with taking Bond down). Its good to know that henchmen are still fun and useful in the future.

Tomorrow Never dies may not be as sophisticated as Goldeneye in terms of an all round great Bond film, but it still does the trick and ups the ante with intricate action scenes. It is also in no way cheesy and I didn’t find myself feeling like anything was that far fetched for what it was. I always pop in Tomorrow Never Dies because it is just a fun action movie. By no means great, but a lot of fun. Michelle Yeoh has my vote for toughest Bond girl, doing all her own stunts and helping the action scenes seem more realistic.

 

TOMORROW NEVER DIES, 1997

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Happy Birthday: Jonathan Pryce

jonathanpryceHappy Birthday actor Jonathan Pryce

Born: John Price
June 1, 1947 in Holywell, Flintshire, Wales, UK

Married to : Kate Fahy (26 April 2015 – present) (3 children)

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