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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing special features, great movie, decent transfer of classic Tim Burton film, May 15, 2012
This review is from: Beetlejuice [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
"Beetlejuice" announced the arrival for a lot of people of Tim Burton. He had already done the exceptionally funny Pee-wee's Big Adventure [Blu-ray] which promised some great things from this former animator. Although his career has had its ups launching pop culture franchises(Batman (20th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Book Packaging)--which took the gamble and won of casting Michael Keaton a quirky vision of The Dark Knight) and his downs Planet of the Apes [Blu-ray]--where he missed the entire point of what was so appealing in the original and in the material itself)but through it all he has remained an interesting director (even if he continues to have problems with the third acts of his films).

This "deluxe" 2008 reissue of the title on Blu-ray looks decent on Blu-ray although skin textures are a bit over smooth for my taste and detail not quite as sharp as I'd hoped. The colors DO pop and while depth a hallmark of an exceptional transfer is better than the DVD it's not all it could be. While this film is nearly 25 years old, there are OLDER films that Warner has done transfers for that look better in the departments of textures and depth. The audio sounds quite nice with an immersive 5.1 mix for the film.

The problem isn't with the film itself but in calling this a "special edition" at all--while we do get three episodes of the cartoon spin off as part of the extras along with an isolated music track, we don't get a commentary track nor a retrospective documentary on the making of this film which was important to the careeres of the three main actors--Keaton (it made him a star), Alec Baldwin (ditto) and Gena Davis (it helped her career quite a bit)as well as launching Burton into his own Steven Spielberg quirky orbit as someone who could get a film green lit just by his name attached to the project alone.

The image quality for the cartoons is so-so; it's clear that the show was assembled on video and it has all the flaws for a video to DVD transfer. The shows are presented in standard definition which makes sense given the format they came from and all.

So for those fans who just want a nice looking, inexpensive version of the film in high def this edition of "Bettlejuice" will fit the bill. For those (like myself) who like the bells and whistles that SHOULD be part of a special edition this is a bit disappointing given the popularity of the film. This edition reminds me of what happened when DVD was first introduced--we got the films with little in the way of special features and while, ultimately, the film is the most important element here for those who have seen it before, the special features would have refreshed the experience and made it somewhat new again.

I'd recommend this edition although I'm a bit disappointed more care wasn't taken in preparing the 20th Anniversary release of the film. Hopefully Warner will it get it perfect one of these days.

Five stars for the film, Four (as I can't know what the interpositive or negative looks like in terms of detail--some of the issues I mentioned COULD be due to the type of film stock used-- and my memory in seeing it in theaters is just that--an inaccurate memory) for the transfer and two stars for the special features.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 23, 2012 4:26:32 AM PDT
J. Savage says:
Now, is this the original version or the edited version they pawned off on a DVD release which was missing bits here and there? Most notably some bits when they first meet Beetlejuice.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 8:34:49 PM PDT
Wayne Klein says:
This is the theatrical version. I didn't know there was an edited version but it's the same version I saw theaters back in the day.
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Wayne Klein
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

Location: My Little Blue Window, USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 174