Will Do In a Pinch
2 & ½ Popcorns
By Michael S. Goldberger
If there be 25 days of Christmas,
All around the world and even
Through the isthmus,
Of Panama that is,
Then we still don’t have a “Grinch” movie
For each day,
Is what I mean to say,
For with this latest just so-so example,
Number 5, including the 1966 television special and the live action film from 2000,
We have but a small sample
Of the Grinches, I believe, there will
Be by the year 3000.
There’ll be one for you and one for me,
And surely a green, curmudgeonly Grinch for every Who,
Just wait and see,
To be the kiddy lit takeoff on Dickens’s Scrooge, decrying Christmas and all its joys, and doing His Grinchiest best to keep long awaited toys
Out of the hands of all the little girls and boys.
In this latest
Colorful and cute, but not as astute, permutation
As the version with Jim Carrey voicing the Grinch,
Benedict Cumberbatch is OK in a pinch
As the symbol of Christmas
But while this newest Yuletide killjoy hates Christmas well enough,
He isn’t as funny in his total
Of Santa, reindeers, sugar plums and the whole deal, a problem doubtless caused by the
Writers, who could have done a better
When the script directly quotes
Dr. Seuss’s original work it’s of course fine,
Whereas the in-between connecting stuff lacks ingenuity, and sometimes
Doesn’t even rhyme.
Yet for little Peggy, Dave and Bruce, who don’t yet know about Whoville, the Grinch and all that they entail,
This version won’t totally fail
To tell the tale,
At least until Mom and Dad avail
2000 iteration either through Netflix or the mail.
That said, where credit is due, the moral lesson is intact, and it’s a cinch
Moppets viewing this newest
May spot the almost
Way in which the Grinch treats his loyal dog Max,
A hint that he might not be beyond
But sad to say,
Most of the music, like the graphics, to our
‘Cept for Tyler The Creator’s nomination-worthy rap song, “I Am The Grinch”
At the closing credits, which is totally high-test.
All of which might hint that a little more creativity
For the mean one just this go-round,
Might have made for nuance
Rather than simply singing a paean
To the standard out of duty bound.
But hark, Grandma and Grandpa,
Never mind my harsh
And foppish criticism, written
Prove my witticism.
For it’s being with you and lax rules
That accompany, the free-flowing
Candy and gift of money, that
Zoey and Liam treasure more
Than what’s showing.
So if of a mind, take ‘em and enjoy
Anyway, tomorrow or today,
Out and about with the hoi polloi.
Because while the newest Grinch may be
Just a little Mediocre, what really counts is the caring,
The kindhearted message of
Joy, charity and goodness, all worth sharing.
“The Grinch” rated PG, is a Universal Pictures release directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier and stars the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely and Rashida Jones. Running time: 86 minutes