Thursday, December 2, 2010

Movie of the Week

Christmas movie time, kids.

This merry week,












SCROOGED (1988)

Starring- Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, Alfre Woodard

The greatest Christmas story of all is Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. If Dickens had been working 1988 it's likely that Ebenzer Scrooge would have been a jerk T.V. executive who treats his employees like crap, hates Christmas and tries to staple antlers to a mouse's head. Even though Dickens was long gone by 1988, filmmakers gave us a very apt update of the classic tale of redemption in the form of Scrooged. In the film, Bill Murray plays Frank Cross, a jerk T.V. executive who treats his employees like crap, hates Christmas and tries to staple antlers to a mouse's head- go figure!

Murray is the perfect blend of smug and silly as Cross, who is forced to reexamine his mistakes when three ghosts take him on a Scroogian journey of Christmases past, present and future. Along the way, Frank sees his somewhat unhappy childhood, how he won and lost the love of his life, Claire (Allen) and how he became the vindictive head of the IBC television network. Among the shows that Frank has on his network are the violent, The Night the Reindeer Died, and a cheesy, live version of A Christmas Carol that nicely parallels his own journey throughout the film. Just like you would expect, Frank is redeemed in the end, but only after some of the funniest scenes in Christmas movie history.

Of particular note are the ghosts of Christmas Past and Present who steal the show. David Johansen is the crude, cab driving, cigar smoking Ghost of Christmas Past who uses his knowledge of T.V. to call Frank on his made up childhood, and Carol Kane is the sweet fairy-like Ghost of Christmas Present who beats the snot out of Frank to get her point across. I always laugh hysterically when she hits him in the face with a toaster. Conversely, I always tear up at the end when the film's version of Tiny Tim makes us all aware of what Christmas is all about. Even though Scrooged is absolutely a comedy, it has heart and harkens back to Dickens' original message about the true spirit of the season and why people need a little love in their heart.

Things to watch for-

Bob Goulet's Old Fashioned Cajun Christmas
Five pounds of veal
Bobcat Goldthwait as the shotgun toting Eliot Loudermilk
Vodka and Tab
Robert Mitchum says 'butt head'
The Ballbreaker Suite
Mary Lou Retton as Tiny Tim

"If you TOUCH ME AGAlN, I'll rip your goddamn wings off! Okay?"

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