Deluxe Edition, 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
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Beetlejuice: Deluxe Edition (DVD)
What's a couple of stay-at-home ghosts to do when their beloved home is taken over by trendy yuppies? They call on Beetlejuice, the afterlife's freelance bio-exorcist to scare off the family – and everyone gets more than she, he or it bargains for! Tim Burton guides this PG-rated comedy monsterpiece whose stars include Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, and Winona Ryder. And Michael Keaton is Beetlejuice, the ghost with the most who flings one-liners, spins into grotesque forms, gobbles insects, and who just can't leave the ladies (living or dead) alone. Ghoul love it!]]>
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Since the inception of the DVD format, I have been waiting for a proper DVD of Beetlejuice with commentary and special features.
I am sorry to say that this pathetic disc is NOT what I have been waiting for.
Though they supposedly have spruced up the picture, the ONLY special features are three Beetlejuice cartoons and I think some music track or something.
NO commentary, NO behind-the-scenes, NO nothing.
So -- NO sale.
I'm still waiting...
The cast, for the most part, is perfectly suited to the wacky material, the sets and make-up and other effects very imaginative, the story engaging. Great fun.
This new release is being marketed as the 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition. It will be newly remastered, but the extras announced so far are very limited: three episodes of the Saturday morning Beetlejuice cartoon series ("Skeletons in the Closet," "Spooky Boo-tique," "A-Ha!"), a music-only track, and the trailer. The cartoons are about 11 minutes each. Possibly more features will be announced later, but usually that doesn't happen. I've subtracted one star for the poor features in a "deluxe" anniversary edition; if they announce more features I may up my rating. The best thing is likely to be the remastering, which is needed, since the older DVD wasn't all the great. Looking forward to that.
Then again, maybe it is the mere fact that Michael Keaton gives the best performance in any Burton film; ever.
The film follows Adam and Barbara as they learn to cope with life after death. Yes, a horrific car accident leaves Adam and Barbara dead yet confined to their home. The problem is that their impatient neighbor takes no time in selling their home to an eccentric family that does not meet with their approval. Determined to remove these people from their home they enlist the help of a `bio-exorcist' to do the trick, but they get far more than they bargained for when Beetlejuice comes on the scene.
The film has been labeled as `pointless fun' by most of my friends, and to an extent I have to agree. Many would claim the film is not pointless, for it teaches lessons of acceptance and friendship, and I guess loyalty and respect, but really, are we concerned with any of that?
The acting is really good here, and it elevates the film from `pointless' to `pointless fun'. Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis (complete with those alien eyes she had popping in `The Fly') are absolutely amazing as the dead couple, Adam and Barbara. Catherine O'Hara is marvelous, award worthy even, as the insanely annoying Delia, and Jeffery Jones knows just how to compliment her as Charles. Winona Ryder is effectively weird as their daughter Lydia.
This film belongs to Keaton though, in what may very well be his finest performance, ever. There is a fine line to be ridden between hilariously on-point and drastically over-the-top; especially when you are dealing with a typically campy performance. As Beetlejuice, Keaton finds that line and rides it well, delivering an all over the place comedic performance that never feels `too much', even though it probably is. He understands how to make his characters insanity justifiably funny and makes him an iconic character. Everyone knows who Beetlejuice is, even if you haven't seen the movie.
In the end I can recommend this movie because it does the trick. It's sweet and charming in that Tim Burton style, complete with edge and creeps and hilarious thrills. It looks better than his new stuff because it still has a level of grit, and while it is not as good as `Edward Scissorhands' (his best movie, ever) it is definitely a film that every fan needs to see.