Director – Tim Burton (Frankenweenie, Edward Scissorhands)
Starring – Alec Baldwin (Great Balls of Fire!, The Shadow), Geena Davis (A League of Their Own, The Fly), and Michael Keaton (Night Shift, Batman)
Release Date – 1988
Rating – 4.5/5
4K Release – 3/5
Tagline – “The name in laughter from the hereafter”
I, for the life of me, can’t figure out why I’m here writing a review for one of the most iconic films to ever be released but here I am. Beetlejuice is one of those movies that I’ve watched so many times that I can’t remember the first time I’ve seen it. Hell, I can’t remember the first 100 times I watched it. It seems like its one of those movies you watch several times a year because it pops up on cable so often. You never willingly toss this one in because it plays so much that you may be sick of it.
I’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t seen this movie the first time. Anyway, the film recently got a 4K release and I was lucky enough to get it in for review. Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful I got it in for review but reviews are usually to help sell the product when Beetlejuice is Beetlejuice. Everyone has seen it by this point.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows Adam (Baldwin) and Barbara (Davis) who perish in an automobile accident. Stuck in their home, they try to make the best of it until businessman Charles (Jeffrey Jones), his narcistic wife Delia (Catherine O’Hara), and daughter Lydia (Ryder) move in threatening to change their peaceful home into an upstate New York apartment. They try to scare them out of the home but fail miserably so they turn to bio-exorcist Beetlejuice to rid them of the family but that turns out to be distasterous for everyone involved. **spoiler Alert**
I know my introduction painted the picture that I don’t like the film. I do but I’ve seen it so many times that I would be shocked to meet someone that hasn’t seen this film at all. The movie is damn near perfect and a staple in most homes during the Halloween season.
The acting in this one is absolutely unforgettable. Michael Keaton is absolutely insane in the title role. His portrayal of Beetlejuice is absolutely iconic and his dialogue in this film is legendary. I often quote the Beetlejuice lines daily to the point I’m sure my family and co-workers hate the film. The remainder of the cast is just as fantastic. Baldwin, Davis, Ryder, and the rest of the team do a phenomenal job. There is no weak links in this chain.
The story for this one is a splendid mesh of comedy, horror, and fantasy that creates a world of it’s own that spawned an animated series. The horror elements take the backseat in this one but the comedy and underworld are brilliant. Honestly, just watch the film so I don’t spend the day talking about how brilliant it is.
Finally, there is no blood for you sickos out there. However, we get so many amazing moments full of practical effects, puppetry, animation, and so on. The gags the film offers are iconic and features on so many shirts, posters, tattoos, and so on. You really need to see this to appreciate it. Overall, Beetlejuice is as perfect as you can get with a movie. The DVD I had was solid enough quality but this 4K release is god damn amazing. The image and sound quality are out of this world on this release. I highly suggest upgrading your DVD copy but if you have the blu I wouldn’t double dip at this time.
Three Episodes of Beetlejuice Animated Series