Scrooged (1988)

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Scrooged © Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
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Released:  Wednesday, November 23, 1988  
Length:  101 minutes
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Genre: Comedy
Rating: Scrooged is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaSome material may be inappropriate for children under 13.


Synopsis

A network TV president is perhaps the most cold-hearted man ever, but his holiday spirit is given a painful booster shot by three vengeful ghosts. In this darkly comic updating of Charles Dicken's Christmas classic "A Christmas Carol," Bill Murray portrays Frank Cross, an evil, crass, executive who caters to the lowest-of-the-lowest common denominators, firing people whenever he wants to and for the flimsiest of reasons. Therefore, to change his cruel and tasteless ways, Cross is taken on a trip through his past to his future, accompanied by ghosts David Johansen and Carol Kane, so that he can achieve redemption.

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Scrooged images are © Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

 

Scrooged 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review


Charles Dickens was a novelist known for creating memorable characters and stories that endure.  Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, and David Copperfield were well-known books that are still studied in school today.  Each year in November another of his classics, A Christmas Carol, is revisited in various forms all over the United States.  There have been numerous stage productions and television shows and movies about Ebenezer Scrooge and thirty years ago Paramount Pictures offered their version in the form of the Richard Donner (Superman: The Movie) directed film, Scrooged.  With the Holiday season quickly approaching they have re-released the film again on Blu-ray so families can sit down in front of their televisions and enjoy a holiday tradition.

Frank Cross (Bill Murray; Ghostbusters) is the president of the television station IBC and he didn't get the job by being nice.  In that vein he has decided to produce a live retelling of A Christmas Carol, forcing his employees to work on Christmas Eve and firing his executive, Eliot Loudermilk (Bobcat Goldthwait; The Police Academy series) for disagreeing with him.   However, Frank's deceased mentor, Lew Hayward (John Forsythe; Dynasty), visits him telling Frank that he will be visited by three ghosts and he must change his ways before it's too late.

The first ghost (David Johansen; Buster Poindexter) – Christmas Past – shows Frank how he immersed himself in television after his father left. He also reminds Frank of Claire Phillips (Karen Allen; Raiders of the Lost Ark)," the one that got away" because Frank was to immersed in his corporate television career.  Then the Ghost of Christmas Present (Carol Kane; Addams Family Values) shows Frank his assistant Grace () and the struggles she endures along with Frank's younger brother James () who, while respecting Frank, is disappointed with his lack of consideration. Confronted with his awful behavior finally, Frank sees the error of his ways and tries to make amends.

One of the best aspects of this film is the cast.  Murray is perfect as the uncaring, narcissistic Frank.  He offers just the right blend of nastiness with only the slightest hint of remorse (well at least until the end).  Allen is terrific as the altruistic Claire who once loved the person Frank was before he became so ambitious. Kane is fantastic as a snarky, tell it like it is ghost.  She adds some comic relief but does it in an endearing way.

The Blu-ray is presented in 1080p resolution with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. For a movie filmed in 1988, the transfer is pretty good with excellent fine details.  The DTS-HD Master audio 5.1 is equally as strong with a full and robust soundtrack.  The combo pack has a Blu-ray disc, a DVD disc, and a digital HD download.  Unlike newer Blu-rays, Scrooged doesn't offer a litany of extras.  Unfortunately, the only extra is the theatrical trailer which is a little disappointing. 

While the story is old Donner gave it a newer feel (well for 1988 at least) and it mostly holds up through the years. With Murray at the head leading the train, this feature film has a lot to offer and is a great addition to all the holiday films in a person's collection. If you don't own this you will want to get it and share with your whole family this holiday season.  

As Christmas time is full of traditions, I say buy this movie and make a new tradition of watching it every year with your loved ones around you.  It won't disappoint and will remind you all if what is important in life and not to squander any opportunity to embrace love and family.

Grade: B



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