Over the years, there has been many different variations & renditions on English author, Charles Dicken's 1843's novel; 'A Christmas Carol' story, through film. Yet, there hasn't been many adapted movies that sway too far for the source material. That was, until 1988's 'Scrooged'. Not only did it modernization, the settling of the Christmas Carol-like scenario with a different set of time, characters & locations, but it also, in universe, make fun of premise of loosely adapting the novel, by having a cynical, selfish TV executive, Frank Cross (Bill Murray) go through the ghostly visits, while also planning a live adaptation of the book for his network. Because of that, I can say, this black comedy directed by Richard Donner is unique enough to stand on its own; as much of the humor here is focuses on the shallowness, greed, and sensation of commercial television, when it comes to the holidays. However, the strange, mood-swingy blend of mistletoe jokes with that, satirical trash television doesn't really mesh that well, together. Much of that, come from the fact that actor, Bill Murray and director Richard Donner reportedly did not enjoy working together, creating a lot of tension on set. It shows in their work. Murray still depress over the failure of 1984's 'The Razor's Edge' gave a stagnant somewhat rusty detached performance as penny-pinching TV producer, Frank Cross (Bill Murray), as he never really wanted to return to comedy after four years away from the business. Because of that, along with Murray penchant for unwanted improvisation, taking real physical abuse by actress, Carol Kane, including injuries & oddly time, mood swings, which Donner wasn't keen on, a lot of footage ended up on the cutting room floor; making the film look very sloppy & uneven in certain parts. All this detached anger & mean-spirited by both men, never truly make it seem like Cross change into a decent person, by the end of the film. Instead, the climax come across as a little too unpleasant/cynical and not enough joyful. Most of the themes of the film doesn't even seem focus on moral redemption, at Christmas, at all. I felt that the film written by Mitch Glazer and Michael O'Donoghue was a little too unfocused, spending too much time on a competitor subplot with Bryce Cummings (John Glover) & a murderous ex-employee, Eliot Loudermilk (Bobcat Goldthwait) that rarely affects the main plot. Another thing, the writing was a little heavy-hand on, showing the subliminal political/humanitarian reference to Apartheid controversy. It wasn't really needed. Another, preachy choice was showing the hypocritical when it comes to regulate violence & sexual content, with slapstick humor, & cartoony action. Because the focus was spent on that, it left little to the redemption parts. It really did seem those sequences got the short stick. Because of that, songs like 'Put a Little Love in Your Heart' perform by Annie Lennox & Al Green and written by Jackie DeShannon, Randy Myers & Jimmy Holiday seem to come, out of nowhere & seems oddly used. Nevertheless, the rest of the music choices, were alright for the most part. However, composer, Danny Elfman's score, does come across as jarring, because the fact, that he recycled parts of the tune for later films such as 1992's 'Batman Returns' & 1993's 'Nightmare Before Christmas'. As for visual & special effects, most of the effects, really does hold on, over the years. Even the makeup & puppet work for this film is still impressive. However, they did go, a little overboard at parts like Lew Hayward (John Forsythe) trying to kill Frank, by tossing him, off a building, rather than warning him about the three spirits. Nevertheless, regardless, the way, the movie was shot with the help from cinematographer, Michael Chapman was well-handle. There were parts of the film, where the spirits really did look like they were, about to jump out of the screen. As for the supporting cast that played those spirits; I also believe that they were good in their limited roles. Both, Carol Kane & David Johansen as the Ghost of Christmas Past & Present were wonderful. Even some of the acting in the non-supernatural roles, were fine, such as Karen Allen as Frank's love interest, Claire Phillips & Alfre Woodard as Grace Coolney, an employee for Frank. Even the cameos from Bill Murray's brothers, John, Joel and Brian were fine for the most part. As for the celebs cameos, such as Mary Lou Retton, Lee Majors, Paul Shaffer and others. They were also, nice to see. In the end, they all did their parts. Overall: I can't say, that this film is worth being a stocking stuffer. Don't get me wrong, it's watchable, but I seem better, holiday movies from Bill Murray, such as 1993's 'Groundhog Day'. In the end, like a blizzard on Christmas. It's a little too cold to play. Check other films, out.