Scrooged 4K review

Nov 05, 2023- Permalink

In Richard Donner’s 1988 Christmas movie Scrooged, Bill Murray plays Frank Cross, a self-absorbed TV exec who is staging a live broadcast of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Cross, like Scrooge, is in need of a little three ghost therapy himself. The film also stars Karen Allen, John Forsythe, Bobcat Goldthwait, David Johansen, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum, Michael J. Pollard, and Alfre Woodard. I had a chance to take a look.

The 2160p HEVC / H.265 encoded native 4K digital transfer with Dolby Vision and HDR10 is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. It can be a roll of the dice how Paramount treats grain, but here the grain structure has been allowed to remain resulting in a natural filmic look. Details are sharp, whether you’re looking at facial features, textiles or scenery. Black levels are nice and deep with detail in darker scenes and the HDR grading allows whites to be bright without blooming. The rest of the colour palette looks great too. It’s an excellent transfer and won’t be on Santa’s naughty list.

On the audio side of things, you have the choice of an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack as well as German, Spanish, French and Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks. Subtitles are available for English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Korean, Norwegian, and Swedish. The 5.1 track is the same track from the previous Blu-ray release. It wraps various ambient sounds and action effects nicely into the surrounds and there’s some good bass in the subwoofer too. Danny Elfman’s score sounds great and dialogue is clean and centred.

The 4K release of Scrooged does come with a digital code though there may be different versions that do not. My copy did not have a code indicated on the case, so check with your retailer before purchasing. The extras were apparently made at the time of the previous Blu-ray release but not included, so in that sense they’re new. They include an audio commentary by Richard Donner, a look at the production history, cast and crew, a piece on updating the classic tale to 1988, a look at the trio of ghosts, a bit on the production design, and a pair of featurettes focusing on Murray.

Scrooged can be dark and cynical, but it also retains the redemptive heart of the original story. With excellent sound and video and a nice selection of extras, I’d recommend the Scrooged 4K.