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November 28, 1988 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-11-28

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Monday, November 28, 1988

Page7.

Murray's Scrooged

a real screamer

BY STEVE KNOPPER AND MARK
SHAIMAN
Does the phrase "It scared the Dickens out of me"
mean anything to you? Well, the new Scrooged
retells Dickens' A Christmas Carol in a hip, '80s,
Bill Murray way, which is as funny as the original is
scary.
Like Steve Martin in Roxanne and Robin
Williams in Good Morning Vietnam, Murray finds a
mature outlet for his comedic acting talents and, once
he gets plugged in, he's pretty electrifying. Murray
ends his four-year absence from starring roles and
creates a powerful Scrooge - this time in the form of
Frank Cross, the youngest television executive ever.
At first, Cross seems too outlandish to be
believable, creating such TV specials as "Bob
Goulet's Down-Home Cajun Christmas." Murray,
though, builds on Cross's wacky demagoguery and
gives him a bizarre touch that would make even
Ebenezer smile.
Cross's promotion for his network's live telecast
of "A Christmas Carol" - starring Buddy Hackett as
§crooge, Jamie Farr as Bob Cratchit, and Mary Lou
Retton as a back-flipping Tiny Tim - displays
P rugs, bombs, death, and destruction in the world
around us as reasons to stay stay home and watch TV.
But Scrooged has plenty of good reasons to take
the risk and go out to the movies, especially with its
enormous list of guest stars, the most in any comedy
film since It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World.
JFoei like aettina

As the Bob Cratchit-type, Bobcat Goldthwait goes
brilliantly insane after Cross fires him on Christmas
Eve. He first becomes a pathetic, sniveling runt with
a grudge against Cross, then comes at him like the
Terminator with a double-barrelled shotgun.
David Johansen (a.k.a. Buster Poindexter) as the
Ghost of Christmas Past steers Cross through his
former holiday experiences in an old taxi cab, taunting
Cross with supernatural hijinks, as well as bluntly
showing him his mistakes. Carol Kane steals the
show as the Ghost of Christmas Present. All aglitter
with gossamer wings and a magic wand, she shows
Cross what his family is doing on this Christmas
Eve, which really hits home for Cross. And Kane
does plenty of her own hitting, trying literally to
knock some sense into Cross, sending him reeling
with pain and the audience reeling with laughter.
A bit closer to reality is Cross's former girlfriend,
whom he contacts after a fifteen-year silence. Karen
Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark) runs an agency called
Reach Out, which helps the needy; she's a true
humanitarian, and it is hard to find a reason why she
is even interested in Cross, who tells her to fire her
volunteer helpers. But Cross is in want of help
himself, and she can't turn down a friend in need.
Another of the needy is played by the late Anne
Ramsey, who was nominated for her title role in
Throw Momma From The Train. And be sure you
catch the street band that Cross passes early in the
film - the members are Paul Shaffer, David
Sanborn, Miles Davis, and Larry Carlton.
Still, Scrooged belongs to Bill Murray. Some of
his old writer friends from Saturday Night Live,
Mitch Glazer and Michael O'Donoghue, penned the
screenplay. Says Glazer, "Bill likes to hear that we
wrote it for him. It makes him very happy. So every
chance we get, Michael and I say 'Oh, yes,
absolutely, who else?"' Maybe this is sarcastic, but it
is hard to imagine anyone else as Frank Cross. Not
many people can be that much of a creep and so
endearing at the same time.
Scrooged succeeds in putting a new twist on an
old tale. No one is surprised when Cross's inevitable
reawakening finally comes on his own television
station, in front of millions of people. But while the
ending is cheesy, Murray manages to make it
convincing enough to put tears in the audience's eyes.
We've all grown up with A Christmas Carol, and
we'll all be ghosts ourselves before it ever starts to
fade, so why not add a few laughs along the way?

(A Christmas) Carol Kane plays the Ghost of Christmas Present, a mix between Glenda the
Good Witch and a member of GLOW, who tries to beat some spirit into -Bill Murray.

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BUSTER
1:20, 3:20, 5:10. 7:25, 9:25, 11:35

Robert Redford
in The Natural
© 1984 Tri-Star
Pictures

a THE LAND BEFORE TIME
12:30, 2:05, 3:40, 5:15, 7:00, 9-35, 10:10, 11:40 al
Wat Disney's OLIVER & COMPANY
12:15, 1:50,3:25, 5:00,7:00,8:30, 10:00, 11:35r]
I FRESH HORSES
12:40, 2:40, 4:40, 7:20, 9:30, 11 :40 l
HIGH SPIRITS
12:45, 2:50, 4:50, 7:25, 9:25, 11:30
LAST RITES
3:10,5: 15,9:55,12.1s5e
A CRY IN THE DARK
12:25, 2:40, 4:55,7:30, 9:50, 12:10
IRON EAGLE II
1:, 3:00, S:10, 7:40,9:45,11:50A
ERNEST SAVES CH RISTMAS |

ROBERT REDFORD started college at the University of Colorado
on a baseball scholarship. But when he decided on an acting
career, he knew there was one place to be, one school where he'd get
the best training. The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Since 1884, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts has been
training professional actors-actors who have won nominations for
89 Oscars, 60 Tonys and 142 Emmy Awards. Many alumni, including
Peter Weller, Kate Jackson, Gary Sandy, Cleavon Little, Christine
Ebersole, Stepfanie Kramer and Scott Valentine, came to the Academy
after attending traditional colleges for a year or more and then deciding
to study acting full-time. The Academy offers a two-year Professional
,rmi:n-:- r- n i - 4 +:r. 1 -, A V . carF- mi_:-- n-___

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