Scrooged (1988) Review
Apparently this is going to be my first Christmas themed review, alright let’s get on with it. Christmas! I thought I would start with a really good Christmas story and well you don’t get any more Christmas than ‘A Christmas Carol’ and as I have my favourite on the vote at the side and it may win I will be reviewing ‘Scrooged’. Some people really didn’t like this but I saw it the other day and just loved it. The original story is as good as ever and when you add Bill Murray it’s a fantastic feel good comedy for the Murray fans out there. I generally don’t like only one star pulling a film along but this film worked for me and the rest of the characters worked great to prop up the star. I loved the alternative spin this put on the original party and although it’s been done before Murray can make me believe that a TV producer is the best modern day Scrooge. Bobcat Goldthwait near the end was hysterical.
[Props man tries to attach antlers to a mouse]
Props man: I can’t get the antlers glued to this little guy. We tried Crazy Glue, but it don’t work.
Frank Cross: Did you try staples?
A darkly comic and surreal contemporization of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, this effects-heavy Bill Murray holiday vehicle from 1988 sees the former SNL funnyman assuming the role of television executive Frank Cross, the meanest and most depraved man on earth. Cross will stoop to unheard of levels to increase his network’s ratings — even if it means mounting outrageous programs to retain an audience, such as “Robert Goulet’s Cajun Christmas” and Lee Majors in “The Night the Reindeer Died,” with an AK-47-toting Santa. Cross plots his foulest move, however, for the Christmas holiday, when he will force his office staff to mount a live production of A Christmas Carol on national television — and thus work through Christmas Eve. Cross’s life is turned upside down with visits from three ghosts: a craggy-faced cabbie known as The Ghost of Christmas Past (David Johansen); the sugar-plum fairy Ghost of Christmas Present (Carol Kane) (who gets her jollies by bonking Frank across the face with a toaster oven); and, eventually, the caped, headless Ghost of Christmas Future, who will send Frank sliding into a crematory oven.
Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended.
Story: 85% Acting: 80% Visuals: 70% Dialogue: 85%
The Laughs: 90% Style/Sound: 70% Characters: 80%
To start off let’s talk about the acting. The acting was surprisingly good at times but also ridiculous at times, which as a comedy to me works. The main Frank Cross played by the fantastic Bill Murray is a fantastic scrooge type character as a man in charge who clearly has no limits to his cruelty and lack caring, to me the character is like most of Murray’s characters but with a darker edge, if it was anybody else then it wouldn’t work but just set Murray up and you can laugh and laugh. My favourite other than Murray’s character would have to be Eliot Loudermilk played by the weirdest voice ever Bobcat Goldthwait, he plays a character completely screwed over by Cross and by the end his character ends up makng me laugh near endlessly when he gets to end of his rope and confronts Cross. Some of the characters were rediulous mainly the ghosts of Christmas but as those characters are supernatural in origin in worked for me, like the crazy ghost of Christmas present that made me laugh so it works especially as her character completely clashes with Murrays character.
So let’s talk about the visuals. The Visuals are good for a comedy like this and even if most of it looks naffe well who the hell cares am laughing my ass off, and isn’t that what Christmas is all about? The scene with the ghost of Christmas future first meets cross was fantastic, specifically when Cross opens the ghosts robe and those soul things are crying out of the ribs, now either I am sick or that was really funny in all likeliness both but anywhooooo. I really liked the way the film portrayed at times a dark story for example when he sees the homeless man he was talking to earlier frozen on the street or when he is trying to pull back the coffin from being cremated, but the reason I liked them is because the message really gets across, if he helped the homeless man he wouldn’t have frozen to death, and he won’t live forever and so he should live as much today as possible (Don’t worry, Be Happy) try not singing that in your head mwahaha.
It’s Christmas! You Watch Trailer!
The best reviews I have found would be these “Whenever Bill Murray is in a film, there’s always one simple rule. Give him a decent set-up and you’ve got yourself a classic.” Ben Falk. Truer words have never been spoken with the exception of Garfield haha Zombie land reference. Also “I found much of this irreverent modernization of A Christmas Carol to be hilarious, and I commend Murray and director Donner for giving their film a sardonic edge.” Chuck O’Leary. I did like the darker edge some of stories took to the classic tale; I am currently clapping by myself for I am an idiot. My favourite scene would have to be when Cross pleads to the cameras about being with family and being happy and all that kind of stuff, the main reason however that I like it is because it felt like he made it up on the spot and just kept running with it and felt more real because of it.