“The Grinch”

Will Do In a Pinch

2 & ½ Popcorns

By Michael S. Goldberger

film critic

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

Of the

2000 iteration either through Netflix or the mail.


That said, where credit is due, the moral lesson is intact, and it’s a cinch

That perspicacious

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


Is perfunctory

At best,

‘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,

Mind you,

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

Somewhat to

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