The weekly movie reviews continue with this holiday themed flick. We’ve reviewed many of the more well known holiday flicks in the past, so be sure to search the list of past reviews for your personal favourite.
Cast, Crew, and Other Info
Bill Murray as Frank Cross
Karen Allen as Claire Phillips
John Forsythe as Lew Hayward
John Glover as Bryce Cummings
Bob Goldthwait as Eliot Loudermilk
David Johansen as the Ghost of Christmas Past
Carol Kane as the Ghost of Christmas Present
Robert Mitchum as Preston Rhinelander
Alfre Woodard as Grace Cooley
Written by Mitch Glazer and Michael O’Donoghue, inspired by the Charles Dickens story.
Directed by Richard Donner.
Complete information is available from the IMDB.
Buy from: Amazon.com
Past movie reviews can be found here.
Frank Cross, a nasty TV executive, gets the Scrooge treatment on Christmas Eve.
The return of Eliot Loudermilk.
The Ghost of Christmas Present. Characters that violent just don’t mesh with a traditional Christmas tale, especially this one.
The originality is poor. They remade one of the most frequently adapted Christmas stories out there, without really adding anything new. They dressed it as a TV executive, but it really comes across as a way to sell movie tickets to Bill Murray fans with minimal thought and development. I give it 2 out of 6.
The effects are mixed. The first visit was well done, as was the shotgun rampage (apart from the one shot “straight” upwards) while others were pretty poor. (Carol Kane looked quite obviously like she was harnessed and hanging from a wire, while the rubber characters in the Ghost of Christmas Future just looked plain bad.) I give it 4 out of 6.
The story is a little cheap. We don’t see incremental changes here. Instead, we see an incremental change when he meets the new version of Tiny Tim, and a landslide of change with the final Ghost. It was predictable, and contradictory. A dropped baby joke didn’t feel right for a reformed Scrooge, and the Ghost of Christmas Present was just wrong for the feel of the tale. If you’re going to do the umpteenth remake of a story, make sure you’re contributing something!. I give it 2 out of 6.
The acting was poor. Bill Murray was delivering lines more than acting, as were many of his co-stars. There was just a complete lack of emotional investment in the cast. It’s as if everyone involved with the project was tired of the story before they even began. I give it 2 out of 6.
The emotional response was, as you’ve probably guessed by now, pretty poor. I shouldn’t have to wait over an hour before I laugh when I’m watching a comedy. The original works because you see the great guy Scrooge used to be, so you start to care about whether or not that guy can come back. This time, the flashbacks show a lousy childhood and an early workaholic who ignores a Christmas party. You have no reason to care about the guy when you should be cheering for his redemption. I give it 2 out of 6.
The production was directed by Richard Donner, though I never would have known that if I hadn’t read it in the credits. There’s nothing of his style in this film, apart from the one moment when Lou holds Frank out over the street below. It feels like he was supervising a film run by studio execs, who were more concerned about getting a product out in time for Christmas than with making a good product. I give it 3 out of 6.
Overall, it’s one of the least entertaining versions of A Christmas Carol I’ve seen, and there are a lot of them out there. I give it 2 out of 6.
In total, Scrooged receives 17 out of 42.
Next week, we return to the alphabetical sorting with Abbott and Costello Go To Mars.
Low point? A guy getting hit in the face with a toaster? That’s comedy gold!
My high point
…has got to be Bill Murray’s reaction to Ghost Of Christmas Future. I love his performance.
I liked it
Hrrm, I saw this originally as a teen and really enjoyed it. It had enough of an edge to keep me interested and I actually did feel for Bill’s character, though for a different reason than wanting him to be good again.
I saw it as a guy who never had the chance at a happy christmas because of his messed-up childhood and his overachievment at work. The ghosts made him realize what he was missing and the opportunities he lost. I wanted him to find it in the end and it may have been sudden but it was certainly entertaining to watch him finally grasp it.
Honestly, every Bill Murray movie I’ve seen save for Lost in Translation has him delivering his lines in a sarcastic casual way that can be misconceived as him not trying. I don’t think that’s the case at all, I think it’s just his style of acting.
Bill Murray has 5 movies in my all time top 20 list and Scrooged is on there… I’m surprised I’ve got such an opposite reaction to fiziko’s because we usually tend to agree on what stinks :)