2¢ Christmas, Dare to Compare

Dare to Compare: Grinch Edition

Two versions of the same story about a grouchy green guy who hates Christmas in two completely different mediums, but which one is better?

Jim Carrey’s version has always been my favorite, but I’ve enjoyed the Illumination animation adaptations of Dr. Seuss so I was more than willing to give the new animated version a shot. I’ve reviewed both versions in the past so I don’t need to do full blown reviews again so soon. Both can be found on Instagram.

The animated one wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. It added a bunch of unnecessary though interesting details like the kids trying to catch Santa in the act delivering presents and the reindeer sidekick for the Grinch. Benedict Cumberbatch is always fun to listen to even when he’s using an American accent. The movie overall is enjoyable but forgettable even though it’s my favorite of the Illumination Dr. Seuss movies.

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas live-action is one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies! One of Jim Carrey’s best roles. He was perfect as the Grinch and so funny! It doesn’t matter how many times I watch it, I laugh every single time. This version stuck closely to the original book, but still made a few changes like diving into the Grinch’s past, giving him a love interest, and giving Cindy-Lou Who a solo. It’s got lines so iconic that it’s inspired many TikTok and Instagram reel trends.

I like the new Illumination version, but the Jim Carrey version can’t be beat. His performance as the Grinch cannot be topped. They should’ve stopped here. There was no need for anymore remakes, but we all know how Hollywood likes its money. So as long as people pay, they’ll keep remaking it. For no reason. Whatsoever. You can rent or buy either version online or borrow them from the library.

2¢ After Dark, Sequels, Two Cent Halloween

2¢ After Dark: The Mask and Hotel Transylvania 4

After his rental car breaks down, shy bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) finds a mysterious mask one night floating in the sea. He tries it on when he gets home and the mask transforms him into a cartoony superhero, complete with animated antics, and brings his inner personality including newfound confidence and romantic side to the surface. He has two simple goals for using his newly acquired powers: To put a stop to the gangsters robbing the bank and win over the girl of dreams, lounge singer Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz).

It’s ironic that in real life, people wear masks to obscure who they are, but in the movie, the mask brings out the best in Stanley while bringing out the worst in the main gangster, Dorian (Peter Greene).

Jim Carrey brings his A-game and his trademark animated physical comedy as the titular character of The Mask and in my opinion is one of his best performances. You can even hear and see a bit of what he would bring to another well-known green character years later. Hint: He hates Christmas!

The Mask is funny and a ton of fun, but isn’t meant for kids. Language is frequent including such classics as damn, what the hell, son of a bitch, and several misuses of God’s name. There’s also a lot of gun violence, some for comedic reasons, and some with the intention of hurting certain characters. Whoever wears the mask can be shot at and not permanently hurt or killed. This might give kids the wrong impression. There’s a little bit of innuendo as well. This movie is fine for teens and adults, but parents will want to wait until younger kids are older for them to watch. You can stream it til the end of this month on Tubi or rent it on Amazon.

All good things must unfortunately come to an end.

Dracula (Brian Hull) is planning on retiring and giving the hotel to Johnny (Andy Samberg) and Mavis (Selena Gomez) but changes his mind when Johhny starts listing all the changes he’ll make to the hotel. To make matters worse, he lies about his reasons for changing his mind, Johnny goes to Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) for help. He wants to become a monster so that he can keep the hotel and fit in with the rest of Mavis’s family. His wish is granted, but it comes with a price: becoming a crazed, mindless beast forever. Due to the magic crystal backfiring, the monsters become humans. “It’s like Freaky Friday, but on a Tuesday though!” They have a limited amount of time to fix things before their Freaky Friday on a Tuesday becomes permanent.

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania was a great end to one of my favorite movie series. It’s so much fun! The Freaky Friday plot is perfect for animation. Brian Hull replaces Adam Sandler and is so good I can’t tell the difference! It’s too bad there won’t be any more Hotel Transylvania movies. I think they could easily keep the franchise, but four is a good place to stop. At least they ended on a high note. You can stream it now on Amazon Prime.


Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and 2

In 2020, before the world shut down, Sonic the Hedgehog raced into theaters. Based on the popular video games and anime, Sonic is a lightning fast blue hedgehog with rings that transport him to other worlds. I have no prior experience with this property other than a Happy Meal electronic game I played when I was a kid.

Sonic (Ben Schwartz) has to leave his home planet and winds up on Earth in a small town in the middle of nowhere. After causing a power outage and alerting the United States government of his existence, Sonic hides out in garage where he’s discovered by local cop, Tom (James Marsden). Evil genius, Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey), is hell-bent on capturing Sonic and eventual world domination.
After accidentally losing his world-hopping rings in San Francisco, Sonic and Tom go on a road-trip to escape Robotnik and find the rings to send Sonic to a safe mushroom planet.
This movie is a lot of fun even if you’re not familiar with any prior shows or games. It’s funny and action-packed. The cast is wonderful. James Marsden shines when acting alongside CGI characters and is the best actor to do so with previous starring roles in Hop and Enchanted. Jim Carrey is at his best when allowed to completely go nuts with the animated style of acting he’s best known for. In an interview, he stated that he wants to retire and if Sonic 2 is his last movie, he’ll go out on a high note. And speaking of Sonic 2, that review will be next.
I recommend checking this one for a fun family movie night. I rented this off Amazon, and it’s currently streaming on Paramount Plus.

Sonic (Ben Shwartz) is back for another round in a sequel that doubles up on the action and the humor with a returning cast of characters and introducing a couple of new ones.
Sonic is left home alone when Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter) world hop to Hawaii for her sister’s wedding. Then Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) manages to get off Planet Mushroom and pops by for an evening of chaos with brand new ally Knuckles the Echidna (Idris Elba) in tow. Thankfully, Sonic gets a new friend and ally in adorable little Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey) so he doesn’t have to face his enemies alone. Tails and Sonic must work together to keep an all-powerful emerald that has the power to both build and destroy worlds out of the hands of Dr. Robotnik. In doing so, Sonic learns the true meaning of heroism.

This was the BEST SEQUEL EVER!! It was even better than the original which is extremely rare to achieve! Idris killed it as Knuckles. I absolutely loved his performance! Tails is now one of my favorite characters. I might need to go back and watch some of the cartoons at some because I need more of him! He’s so cute! And kudos to casting for allowing Colleen to reprise the role she’s had since 2014. They rarely keep original voice actors in their roles for Hollywood big screen films. It’s nothing short of a miracle when they do, and she totally rocked it! Extra props for adding her name to the poster! Voice actors deserve more mainstream recognition.

I loved this movie so much! Number 3 has a lot to live up to! Stream it now on Prime Video or Paramount Plus.