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Scrooged - Blu-ray Review

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Scrooged - Blu-ray Review

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4 stars

One of the most frustrating things this reviewer sees every Christmas is the list of perennial favourite festive season movies to watch, and this not on it. Richard Donner took time out from blowing shit up in Lethal Weapon movies to guide Bill Murray through a modernised adaptation of Charles Dickens’ immortal time: A Christmas Carol, and what a movie the man made: Scrooged.

Murray stars as Frank Cross, an insipid cold-blooded television executive yuppie whose only concern is ratings and his last ladder climb to the top of the network. He has little to no regard for the people who work under him, from his long suffering secretary (Alfre Woodard) to his underlings (including a rather under-cranked turn from Bobcat Goldthwait), will fire someone on a whim, barely gives his own brother the time of day, and who wants only one thing for Christmas: ratings! When Frank is visited by a former (read: dead) mentor (John Forsythe), and warned that he will be visited by three ghosts in an effort to change his ways before it’s too late, hilarity and some valuable life lessons ensue.

While following the conventions of Dickens’ tale fairly closely, Scrooged well and truly imbues the story with its own DNA, adding biting commentary on the over the top capitalism the Eighties to setting a canvas broad enough for its sardonic lead to stretch his comedic legs to great effect.

The cast is in spectacular form, with Murray showing how broad his talents are, portraying at first his all too familiar lechery to fear to finally a changed and upbeat man equally well; Karen Allen and Bobcat Goldthwait give the film real heart; other supports, from the ghosts to the other executives, to the long suffering censorship lady, create belly laughs every other moment.

And through the laughs, Dickens’ thematic through line is always prevalent and to Scrooged’s credit never descends into sickly sentimentality, staying relevant and true to the universe that this version presents. It is madcap, and yet relatable in many ways – the balance is delicate and impressive come the final credits.

As far as Christmas movies are concerned, this one, for this reviewer, is a must see every Christmas. It has everything one needs to get into the Christmas spirit as well as some valuable lessons entwined that reminds us we should probably try harder to treat others the way we would on December 25th. Classic Christmas movie. Go watch it!

{2jtab: Film Details}

Scrooged - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: PG-13.
Runtime:
101 mins.
Director
: Richard Donner
Writer
: Mitch Glazer, Michael O'Donoghue
Cast: Bill Murray; Karen Allen; John Forsythe; John Glover; Bobcat Goldthwait
Genre: Comedy | Holiday | Family
Tagline:
Bill Murray is back among the ghosts. Only this time, it's three against one.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I never liked a girl well enough to give her twelve sharp knives."
Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
home video Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
November 23, 1988
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 1, 2011

Synopsis: A cynically selfish TV executive gets haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

Scrooged - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

2 stars



Blu-ray Experience
3 Stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - November 1, 2011
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 2.0; Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono
Discs:
550GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: Region-free

The MPEG-4 HD transfer is a rather dark and heavily contrasted presentation that suits the movie well. Unfortunately it also seems to hide detail somewhat in the black areas of the picture that are a little too inky and don’t register as authentic to the cinematography. In contrast, flesh tones and other details are impressive; there is a steady presence of grain that is stable and natural. Over all, considering its vintage, this is a top draw transfer. DTS-HD 5.1 mix is one of the best from this era of film in this genre that I have heard: all speakers are well used, and the entire film is an immersive treat. This is not a blockbuster mix, nor is it intended to be, but for a comedy, I challenge you to find a better soundtrack. Special features, disappointingly, are non-existent. There was a rumour of a ‘Yule Love It!’ Edition DVD a few years back that listed quite a few treats but nothing bar a trailer appear on this blu ray.

Supplements:

Commentary:

Special Features:

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