Scrooged - 4K Ultra HD Blu-rayOverview -
Richard Donner and Bill Murray team up to deliver a modernized rendition of the classic Dickens tale with Scrooged. A pitch-black dark comedy, the film is hilarious, poignant, and never loses its Dickensian charm in the veneer of 1980s new york. Now on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, the film picks up a wonderful Dolby Vision update without Paramount’s past transfer troubles looking better than ever complete with solid audio and archival bonus features. Recommended
Celebrate the 35th Anniversary of an essential holiday classic, remastered for 4K Ultra HD, and featuring hours of never before released special features. Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is a modern-day “Scrooge” – a mean, nasty, uncaring, and unforgiving TV exec ready to unleash a live broadcast of “A Christmas Carol” around the world. But, before the night is over, he’ll be visited by his dead-as-a-doornail boss (John Forsythe), a maniacal cab driver from the past (David Johansen), a present-day fairy packing punches (Carol Kane) and a ghoulish, seven-foot headless messenger from the future. Both hysterical and heartfelt, SCROOGED is an updated take on a familiar favorite. Yule love it!
This new release includes the remastered film in sparkling 4K Ultra HD, access to a Digital copy of the film, as well as over 50 minutes of never-before-released special features! Take a journey with the ghost of Christmas past to discover behind-the-scenes featurettes and an insightful commentary by director Richard Donner, now on disc for the first time. The full list of bonus content is below:
· Commentary by director Richard Donner
· A Christmas to Remember
· Updating Ebenezer
· Bringing the Ghosts to Life
· The Look of Scrooged
· On the Set with Bill Murray
· ShoWest Clips with Bill Murray
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
I don’t really have too much to add about Scrooged beyond what our pal Mr. E. Duarte wrote about it way back in 2011. All I can say is that I thought it was funny the first time I saw it as a kid, and I still think it’s a great movie - even if I have a tough time getting other people to watch it with me. Way back in the day, growing up in the '80s was great because in those days Mom and Dad would often just toss a kid any old videotape to keep them occupied. That was the case for me. My folks weren’t often ones to “preview” movies taking things at face value. In the case of Scrooged it had Bill Murray in it and it wasn’t rated R so I can imagine my dad figuring it was probably fine.
Slightly exposed nipples aside, there’s nothing really “wrong” with the film beyond its almost oppressively bleak tone. I don’t quite remember how old I was at the time; young enough to know this was not a kid’s movie but old enough to appreciate the hysterical dark humor. To this day, I seem to be the only one in my family that looks forward to watching this movie; often I have to watch it on my own. My wife's not a fan and my three-year-old would probably be freaked out by it. For their sake, I defer to the delightful The Muppet Christmas Carol.
I love seeing Bill Murray frazzled. I love all the crap poor Bobcat Goldthwait’s Loudermilk has to endure. Alfre Woodward is lovely as the Cratchit stand-in Grace. Robert Mitchum is hilarious as the executive obsessed with entertaining cats and dogs. Hell, I even wish the fake Lee Majors movie at the beginning was a real thing! Scrooged might not be on everyone’s “must-watch” list come Christmas, but it’s on mine. Probably not a great movie for little tots in the room, but if you've got an angsty teen it's a good one to get them in the Christmas spirit.
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Scrooged visits Physical Media Collectors of Christmas Present with its first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release from Paramount. A single-disc plus digital release, the film is pressed on a BD-66 disc and is housed in a standard black case. The Insert art is the ugly cover art from the last special edition, but thankfully the slipcover replicates the classic poster artwork. The disc loads to a static image main menu with standard navigation options.
There are good days to be reviewing a Paramount catalog release, there are rough days, and then there are great days. I’m chalking up this new 2160p Dolby Vision transfer in the latter category. Scrooged has always had a pretty decent life on home video but this new 4K is terrific. Facial features, fine lines, clothing textures, the ‘80s decor, the grimy New York streets, and the decayed remnants of one particular ghost are all on display. Film grain is naturally rendered and pleasingly cinematic without any smartness or bitrate dropouts. Textures and fine details remain consistent throughout without issue. The Dolby Vision HDR grade is equally lovely letting the deep unsettling blacks look nice and inky with stronger shadows and a better three-dimensional sense of depth. Whites in the snow and the television set are brilliantly crisp. Primaries get ample attention and there are some really nice spectral highlights to observe. Skin tones are natural and healthy without looking too pink or peached out orange. All around a pretty damn terrific transfer.
On the audio front, the film rides in with what sounds like the same respectable DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix. This isn’t the most audacious surround track ever presented but it’s effective. Kicking on my receiver’s DTS Neural:X function added a little more spacing and depth to the track, especially for the bigger active scenes like when Laudermilk has all the crap happen to him on the New York streets or on the big Christmas Special set. Dialog is clean and clear throughout without issue. Scoring by Danny Elfman is appropriately bleak and creepy in that delightful signature Elfman style.
Thanks to some readers for throwing some info our way, while these extras are technically "archival" they haven't seen the light of day on disc until this release. Apparently, they were prepped for a Blu-ray release years ago but were pulled. Thanks to all who chimed in on that note.
On the bonus features side, there’s nothing new here. All of these extras have been seen and heard in previous releases but they’re still worth checking out. The highlight is the Dick Donner audio commentary. I’ve always liked his candor and cadence with commentaries where he fills in plenty of production details and trivia but also marvels at events on screen and that's true here.
- Audio Commentary featuring Richard Donner
- A Christmas to Remember (SD 14:04)
- Updating Ebenezer (SD 13:34)
- Bringing the Ghosts to Life (SD 9:53)
- The Look of Scrooged (SD 6:22)
- On the Set with Bill Murray:
- Brother’s Apartment (SD 3:22)
- Frisbee the Dog (SD 3:41)
- Showest Clips with Bull Murray:
- The Best Money Can Buy (SD 1:15)
- Now Everybody Get Up! (SD 00:59)
Scrooged might not be everyone’s favorite holiday flick - but it’s one of mine. I love heartfelt classics like A Christmas Story or It’s A Wonderful Life, but sometimes I really need a dark sense of humor to face the holidays. Richard Donner and Bill Murray apparently didn’t get along during filming but the show is a hoot nonetheless. It’s a great updated version of the iconic Dickens story while staying true to Donner’s biting sense of humor and Murray’s natural comedic timing. Now on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, the film looks terrific and ready to brighten your Yuletide collection. The Dolby Vision transfer is genuinely excellent, the audio is solid, and the archival bonus features are well worth digging into if you haven't been through them before. Recommended
Order your copy of Scrooged on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
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