The Goddamned Grinch Movie
*.5 BM
Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeffrey Tambor, Molly Shannon, Clint Howard, Taylor Momsen, Christine Baranski, Bill Irwin

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A guy kisses a dog's asshole in this film.

Ron Howard is apparently not the guy to do it, but someone needs to let Jim Carrey know that not every movie is Dumb & Irene. Someone needs to be on the set to accurately gauge which stupid-ass gags belong as goofball extras on the DVD reel and which ones actually make sense with the film being made. Almost none of his wacky ad-libs belong here.

The Grinch belches in a guy's face and knocks him cold in this film.

Maybe I'm putting a spin on things since I haven't seen the cartoon in ages, but my memory of the Grinch is more of a smooth-operating fiend - sure of himself and fleet-of-foot. Slippery and snake-like in his nasty old ways. Jim Carrey made a lot of noise about how the Grinch was an icon and an amazing character to get the opportunity to play. It's curious, then, that once he got into the makeup, he opted NOT to play the Grinch, but to play some random furry maniac. When I first heard of this film, I thought there was no one else with the rubbery body control that could play this guy, so I was okay with it. I still think he COULD have done a good job, and you can't really fault a guy for ad-libbing and seeing what works. But hardly ANY of his wackiness really worked within the context of THIS film, and Howard was blind to this, apparently intent on using every ridiculous tangent in order to stretch this story into a full-length marketing bonanza. Carrey needs someone with the balls to rein in a 20 zillion dollar movie star when he's too far off the map, which is where he was for most of this performance.

The Grinch sticks his face in between Christine Baranski's breasts in this film.

For a brief moment, let's try to focus on what's GOOD about the film. The sets and the makeup effects are basically the only things about the film that are true to Dr. Seuss, attempting to mimic the art style and character sketches in his books. It LOOKS Seussy. Which makes what happened to the story that much more of an abomination. Thus ends our moment of positivity. There is now a backstory for the Grinch that includes a truly disturbing looking Grinch-baby and a story of kids teasing him in school when he's apparently got a full-sized Jim Carrey head with a kid's body. Who children mock him for having a beard (when he curiously has hair everywhere else EXCEPT his chin), meaning Whoville has the same stupid jerks that live in our stupid world. Whoville was an idealized utopia kinda place. Something that made you want to be a part of it, to feel that honest joy and love of life. This movie made it into a crappy town for jerks that's also forgotten the true meaning of Christmas, and only a little girl remembers it, and she singlehandedly brings about the making of peace between the Grinch and Whos. An annoying cliche shoved into a story that was unique.

The Grinch holds mistletoe over his butt and tells Whoville to 'pucker up and kiss it' in this film.

Now, I am often easily amused by cheap poop and barf jokes, perhaps too much so, but when they show up in a Dr. Seuss tale, it just reminds you that the poor guy's dead and can't do a damn thing about any of it. His widow apparently approved this. Perhaps she was late with the rent, or there was some forclosing of something-or-other pending, or maybe she's got a secret smack habit to support. Maybe she didn't have a clue what goes into preserving her husband's vision. I did hear that she had to ask them to tone down the "bathroom humor," so there's a chance she won a lot more battles than she lost, or was too weak to fight anymore, or that was the only comment she was allowed to make... or maybe they didn't listen to her at all. Dr. Seuss was a guy with class. He wrote stories with class. This movie was like high school in the summertime. NO CLASS.

The Grinch made a joke lamenting the fact that he was speaking in rhyme in this film.

There was a "villain" in this film, AND IT WASN'T THE GRINCH! Apparently it's not a Hollywood movie unless there's some dumb schmuck with misfortune you can feel good about laughing at just before the credits roll and Faith-Ass Hill starts bellowing out some crap. This story is about the REDEMPTION of a villain once he realizes the true nature of goodness doesn't come from the shallow artifices that spring up around it. Infusing the Whos of Whoville with jerk characters and making them the teasing jerks that caused the Grinch to become a hermit in the first place just muddles the issue. One could argue that it makes Whoville seem like a place kids can more readily relate to, but the whole debate amongst the Whos about whether or not Christmas was actually ruined detracts from the beauty of joyous singing echoing throughout the valley being the first known reaction to the loss of all the presents.

If you're making a movie about one of the greatest villains of all time, and you need to include ANOTHER villain in order to make it work, you ain't doin' a damn thing right. If your movie about anti-commercialism has a vomitous marketing campaign that includes "Visa: The Official Credit Card of Whoville," you're not the only one that ain't doin' a damn thing right.

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