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Has a crazy rhythm all its own
moonspinner5528 September 2002
It may take two or three viewings to warm up to "Beetlejuice". It has a kooky, cockeyed sensibility and a rhythm that is by turns easy, lazy and frenetic. A charming couple in New England die and come back to their beloved home as ghosts, determined to rid the place of the horrendous new tenants. Possibly the most benign and engaging performance ever by Alec Baldwin; Geena Davis, Winona Ryder and Sylvia Sidney are also very appealing. The new couple from New York who take over the house (Jeffrey Jones and Catherine O'Hara) aren't as well written or thought-out as the other characters and some of their bemused, dry-ice comic lines take a few seconds to reach you. Of course, there's Michael Keaton, wildly comic as Betelgeuse. I recall hearing comments back in 1988 that Keaton wasn't around enough to make the picture worthwhile, but that's only if you watch the film for the fast quips and sight-gags. Keaton is truly wonderful, but he's also bombastic, and I felt there was just enough of him to satisfy--it's really not his story anyway, it belongs to Baldwin and Davis; Betelgeuse is used as a horny, vulgar punchline. Director Tim Burton is very careful not to overload the movie with raunch; he is surprisingly careful in setting up this story, and he works magic within a dubious scenario: a comic fantasy about dead folks which ultimately celebrates life. ***1/2 from ****
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That quote "And it keeps getting funnier every single time I see it" will be put to good use
Kristine19 November 2003
Once again I'm not sure exactly how to start this comment other than to praise Tim Burton, Beetlejuice is a movie that was based on his idea and is still remembered to this very day. He picked a great leading male, Michael Keaton as well as to pick a very strong cast that turned into what could have been a total flop into a cult classic that will be remembered for ages to come. Beetlejuice is a very strange movie that explores life after death, turning into a ghost and having to accept that you died, now move on. But what if there was one ghost who maybe had too much fun and just wanted to rock the living world? That's what Beetlejuice is about, the one zombie that you'd love to party with once but then ignore at the next party he's invited too.

Barbara and Adam Maitland decide to spend their vacation decorating their idyllic New England country home. Upon returning from the trip to town, however, Barbara swerves to avoid a dog wandering the roadway. The couple's vehicle crashes through a covered bridge and plunges into the river below, killing Barbara and Adam. The couple soon returns home in spirit form and quickly come to the conclusion that they are dead. A book entitled Handbook for the Recently Deceased confirms the couple's suspicion that they are, in fact, dead. Barbara and Adam's peace is soon shattered when their house is sold and the new residents arrive from New York City. Charles Deetz, aspiring sculptor and Charles' second wife Delia, and Charles' goth daughter Lydia from his first marriage, move into the home. Juno, who informs Barbara and Adam that they must remain in the house for 125 years. If they want the Deetzes out, it is up to them to scare them away. Although the Maitlands remain invisible to Charles and Delia, their daughter Lydia can see Adam and Barbara and becomes their friend. Against the advice of Juno, the Maitlands contact the miscreant Betelgeuse, a freelance "bio-exorcist", to scare away the Deetzes, but they have their hands full now with this crazy psycho.

Beetlejuice is an awesome movie, it's one of the funniest movies you'll see. I will be honest, it's a strange humor as it's a dark comedy, but it's all good. Seriously Michael Keaton is such a great comedic actor, he was the perfect choice, he brought the right amount of cockiness and comedy to the role. Also Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin had great chemistry as well as the perfect Leave it to Beaver-esquire type of couple that has a hard time accepting their world as the afterlife. Jeffrey Jones, Catherine O'Hara and Winona Ryder were perfect as the Deetzes, quite disturbing and awkward. I highly recommend this movie if you get the chance to see it, it's a great comedy classic.

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MisterWhiplash27 September 2000
This is one of Tim Burton's best films. His sophomore effort shows the story of a married couple (the Maitlands played with good degree by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) who die accidentally off a bridge and wind up the target for a upper-class family (including a young yet well played Winona Ryder) and a weird yet scary ghost (with the most) named Beetleguise (or Beetlejuice in a scene of laughs) played to immense complexity by Michael Keaton. Sure this plot may sound a little anti-climactic being mainly gags and not really a focused story, but so what? In a film where you see sandworms from saturn, shrimps that attach after calypso and a nut who has seen the exorcist 167 time (insert quote here), why bother with a plot. Great fun every time I watch. Reccomendable to anyone.
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Now this is life after death!
Lee Eisenberg20 September 2005
You gotta figure that only Tim Burton could come up with this! An ultra-zany story of rural couple Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara Maitland (Geena Davis), who accidentally get killed and witness a tasteless couple moving into their house, forcing them to hire "bio-exorcist" Beetle Juice (Michael Keaton), is truly something else. With a new joke almost every minute, the movie never gets dull. And how about that soundtrack? "Day-O" in the most morbid comedy ever? Yep, it's all here. Great support from Catherine O'Hara and Jeffrey Jones as the tasteless couple, Winona Ryder as their disaffected daughter Lydia, and Sylvia Sidney as afterlife counselor Juno, make this one of the coolest movies of 1988!
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Burton's true masterpiece, and one of the ten best 80s movies.
Infofreak7 December 2001
Watching this one more time on TV yesterday reminded me of the first time I saw it all those years ago at the movies when Tim Burton was just the guy who had directed that funny Pee-wee Herman movie. Walking into 'Beetlejuice' then, without knowing anything about it, was an amazing experience. Along with 'Blade Runner', 'Blue Velvet', 'Videodrome', 'Brazil', 'Paris, Texas', 'The Terminator' and 'Repo Man' it was one of the most astonishing and memorable movies of the 1980s, an era dominated by Hollywood dreck like 'Flashdance', 'Top Gun', and 'Footloose'. The whole Bruckheimer/Simpson/Spielberg/Hughes zeitgeist that dumbed down popular movies as never before. Movies like 'Beetlejuice' were a glimmer of hope in a truly awful period.

The big question is - how does it stand up today? The answer is better than ever! In fact I would argue that 'Beetlejuice' is Tim Burton's most successful and least compromised film. Everything about it is perfect. A great cast lead by the very appealing and likable Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis as the newly dead Maitlands, a star turn by Michael Keaton as the gonzo "bio-exorcist" title character, and strong support from Jeffrey Jones, Catherine O'Hara, and especially Winona Ryder (a performance that really put her on the map), as the new occupants of the Maitlands house. 'Beetlejuice' juggles gruesome, trippy and genuinely witty sequences, and ends up becoming one of the freshest and surreal movies to find a mainstream audience since the heyday of 60s/70s "head" movies. Forget Burton's more recent hit and miss big budget efforts, and try this for the real deal, Luis Bunuel meets Tex Avery meets George Romero, and then some! 'Beetlejuice' is a blast!
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Creativity at its best
Avinash Patalay21 April 2005
With ghosts and the dead, one would normally anticipate a horror movie loaded with screams and gory figures. But in Beetlejuice, we see a new dimension humour being experimented with.

Taking into the account that the movie was made in 1988 with limited special effects, Beetlejuice could be simply labelled as "creativity at its best".

Tim Burton is a pure visionary and with this movie you cannot help but appreciate the amount of creativity he has and his ability to translate it to screen.

Acting is top-rate from all fronts. One can't help but admire promising young Winona Ryder - a flower ready to bloom.

It would take a couple of viewings to be appreciate the movie in totality.
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Unique Characters & Story, To Say The Least
ccthemovieman-124 June 2006
This movie always was: 1 - very popular; 2 - very different; 3 - very entertaining; 4 - a very fast-moving hour-and-a-half of a film.

Several characters in here - mainly Michael Keaton's unique and sometimes- revolting title character "Beetlejuice"- are always fascinating to watch. With him - and the whole movie - you also get a lot of humor and scary special-effects..

It was odd to see Alec Baldwin in such a low-key role. In the '90s, he played very few of these type of guys. Davis looks and acts like...well, Davis, who has almost always played nice, cute people that viewers like. It took me four viewings before I finally appreciated Catharine O'Hara's comedic talents in this movie. Now, she's my favorite and someone I find absolutely hilarious as the messed-up wife/mother of a family who moves into a "haunted house" inhabited by Baldwin and Davis.

Keaton made himself a name as an actor with this whacked-out Robin Williams-type role, although he never really followed up with anything that was as popular as this film. Winona Rider is cute as the teenage daughter and we get other fun supporting roles from diverse people as talk show host Dick Cavett, singer Robert Goulet and actor Jeffrey Jones. All of them are good.

Tim Burton directed the film and so I wasn't surprised there were the typical occult themes with ghosts and the like, and no heaven or hell but some other strange existence being touted where dead people go....a ridiculous picture of the afterlife. However, I just chalk it up to someone just trying to make a fun, entertaining picture and on that, it succeeds.

Overall, a unique and entertaining film. It's different, to say the least!
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Tim Burton is awesome!
Peach-217 November 1998
Tim Burton's Beetlejuice is a great film. The director was given free reign to make his own film visually and it is great. The casting is good, but the standout is Michael Keaton. Keaton is absolutely hilarious in the title role. This movie is very funny and well done.
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Coxer9916 June 1999
Keaton steals the show as the title character in this off the wall comedy from director Burton. Baldwin and Davis are two new ghosts who try to scare new occupants of their home out, with the help of "bio exorcist" Keaton. Won a much deserved Oscar for its make up effects.
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Peewee's Spookhouse
tedg10 January 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

I revisited this film for a specific project. IMDB comment-writing has given me an excuse to resee and think about what films were important (or good in some way) and why. Now after almost two years, I'm developing a list of filmmakers and a few actors worth following. Should Tim Burton be on the list?

Tim has at least one rare quality of an effective filmmaker: he has the ability to shape some critical mass of the elements of his work to adhere to a coherent vision. A Burton film is pretty recognizable. But have any of his films struck me in a particularly strong way? Have any been life-altering (some by others have) or even remembered particularly fondly? The strongest candidate was this one. It is also of passing interest for Geena and Winona history.

There are only two things in this film to recommend it: Keaton's slapstick performance. But his three or four frenetic appearances alone are not enough to justify sitting front of the screen. The other element is remarkable: Efman's score. Our old Boingo man I think has literally helped Burton define himself, so the sonic texture here is more than perfect.

Burton does not go on my list of greats. But I think I'll start a list of film score composers.

A remark on the architecture. I have a special interest in how films handle space, and a part of that is the architecture. What Otho supposedly did to the outside of the house is pretty good actually, very apt for the notion of the film itself: what you see is some distance removed from reality.
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Qanqor12 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the best Tim Burton movies I've ever seen!

But that's not saying much, since I despise Tim Burton. In fact, I didn't actually *know* this was a Tim Burton film, and when I popped it in my DVD player and saw his name on the opening credits, I nearly threw up a little into my mouth. I seriously considered turning the thing off right then and there, because I had already vowed never to see another Burton film.

But I'd heard a lot of good things about this movie, so I decided to give it a chance.

And in truth, I'm kind of glad I did, because it wasn't too bad. The premise was interesting and original. It was certainly a *different* take on the afterlife, and it definitely had me at times thinking "What would I do in this situation?" Which is a good thing. I liked the protagonist couple and was rooting for them. Also a good thing.

But in typical Burton fashion, it ends up trading coherence for oddity. This occurs as soon as the title character comes in. Betelgeuse the character makes no sense. His motivations, his situation, what it exactly *means* to say his name three times, none of this ever really makes sense in any coherent, consistent way. And Burton obviously doesn't care. He just wants to make things weird and over-the-top. So in the end, the plot really degrades into making no sense and going nowhere. How exactly is Betelgeuse apparently trapped in the model? No explanation offered. Why do the ghosts suddenly turn all old and dried up during the séance? No reason offered. It just makes things weird and over the top. What would have happened if the good guys *had* managed to say his name thrice during the wedding scene? No clue, Burton can't be bothered to think through his premise in any consistent way.

The result is a flashy, busy, climax, full of sound and fury and signifying NOTHING. In a movie where the whole plot was set up to be about a ghost couple trying to drive the living out of their house, the climax ends up being about stopping this *other* ghost from marrying one of the living. The plot has Officially Gone Nowhere.

And it's a shame, really, because this started out being a pretty good movie, and really could've been much, much better than it was. Step one would've been entirely removing Betelgeuse from Beetlejuice.

Jeez, they couldn't even manage to spell the title correctly.
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Special Effects in Search of a Plot
James Hitchcock25 June 2004
When I recently reviewed his 'Big Fish' on this board, I stated that Tim Burton is generally at his best directing quirky, offbeat films such as 'Edward Scissorhands', 'Ed Wood' or 'Big Fish' itself, and less entertaining when he moves into the mainstream. Having since then seen 'Beetlejuice' for the first time, I realize that there are exceptions to that general rule. 'Beetlejuice', a black comedy about the afterlife, is hardly mainstream Hollywood fare, but I also found it far from entertaining.

The central characters, Adam and Barbara Maitland, are a nice-but-wet young couple, who live just outside an idyllic small New England town in one of those huge, rambling weather boarded mansions that looks as though it has been taken straight from an Edward Hopper painting. After they are killed in a road accident, they return to their house as ghosts. The view of life after death in this film is an unusual one, which has little in common with Christian eschatology or with traditional ghost stories. The dead are compelled to return to the house where they lived during their lifetimes; if they attempt to go outside they find themselves in a desert landscape populated by monstrous worms. (This imagery was presumably derived from Frank Herbert's science-fiction novel 'Dune' and the film that was made from it a few years before 'Beetlejuice'). They can, however, contact other departed spirits who can help them cope with the trials of the afterlife by, for example, leaving them a copy of the 'Handbook for the Recently Deceased'.

The Maitlands' main trial takes the form of Charles and Delia Deitz, the pretentious yuppie couple who buy their house. Irritated beyond endurance by this tasteless pair, the Maitlands, attempt to scare them away, but their efforts prove ineffectual because the only member of the family who can see them is their daughter Lydia who, far from being frightened by Adam and Barbara, takes a liking to them and befriends them.

Like another reviewer, I was struck by the thematic similarity to Oscar Wilde's 'The Canterville Ghost', which deals with the attempts of a ghost to frighten away an American family living in his ancestral home. (In that story too the only person to befriend the ghost is the young daughter of the newcomers). Wilde's story, although it has moments of pathos, is also a satire directed against both the traditionalism and snobbery of the British aristocracy (represented by the ghost) and the materialism and brashness of the American nouveaux-riches. 'Beetlejuice' also contains some satirical material, chiefly at the expense of the pretentiously bohemian Deitzes, who redecorate the Maitlands' house in a garish modernistic style and fill it with Delia's abstract sculptures. (It is never explained why a couple with such radically contemporary tastes would actually want to buy a Victorian mansion in the first place). Modern art, however, is a notoriously difficult subject to satirize, largely because it is impossible for the satirist to come up with a concept which is more extreme and exaggerated than the artists' own ideas. Delia's sculptures might look like pretentious tat, but one can see aesthetically similar items in established museums or in galleries bearing price-tags marked in thousands of pounds. Lydia, a follower of the then-fashionable 'Goth' cult, claims that she can see ghosts because she is 'strange and unusual'. The film loses the chance to make the point that the Goth movement, like most teenage cults from the Teddy Boys to grunge, was not so much strange and unusual as an alternative way to be conformist.

Satire, however, is largely abandoned when the title character enters. Despairing of their own ability to scare away the intruders, the Maitlands engage the services of Betelgeuse, a 'bio-exorcist' who specializes in helping ghosts rid their properties of the unwanted living. (Although the film is called 'Beetlejuice' the name of the character is spelt 'Betelgeuse'; I can only presume that the producers wanted to change the spelling to something more user-friendly and failed to realize that we actually see the name written down several times in the film).

From this point on the film becomes an ever-more frantic slapstick comedy as Betelgeuse makes increasingly manic attempts to get rid of the Deitzes. Betelgeuse is played (in bizarre makeup) by Michael Keaton, in one of the most frenetic, over-the-top pieces of acting in the modern cinema. (Even some of Jim Carrey's efforts look restrained by comparison). The other characters fade into the background, and any attempt at a plot degenerates into a series of stunts and gimmicky special effects. The film certainly shows evidence of Tim Burton's vivid visual imagination, but he seems unable bring any discipline to his talents. 'Beetlejuice' is an inventive but disappointing film, even when viewed as a pure comedy, and lacking the wisdom and philosophical insight that Burton was able to bring to 'Edward Scissorhands' or 'Big Fish'. 4/10
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A Bit Dated But Still Awesome
denis88821 June 2014
Many older movies date not so gracefully, and when you watch them after awhile, crappy video effects, or bad montage and cutting are so obvious that the whole movie turns sour or very silly. Beetlejuice aged gracefully, thanks to a huge injection of healthy humor, spellbinding star cast, excellent calypso songs, awesome plot and very cynical twists in the story. You saw it, you know it. What else can be added to this great film? Winona Ryder is very cool choice here, she is dark, moody and way way out there, but her deep sense of humor helps her get through all the initial sadness. Great work by Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin also add much to the whole crazy vertigo of gags, jokes and laughs. Good camera work also helps, and even old-fashioned video effects do not spoil the party and do not steal the infectious joyousness of the story. Highly recommended
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Shake shake shake Señora, shake your body line...
catherine27 November 2006
OK, we're talking about one of the greatest films guys..Ever since I was little it was my first favorite movie, i've seen it like a hundred times(I do have a life) and I never get tired of it!!Tim Burton is a complete talented freak who I love!Beetljuice is extremely funny and creepy(especially the part with the exorcist movie)Not to mention the closing song '' Jump in the line'' I used to get up and dance and wished that I could float like Winona Ryder!Excellent, what can I say? My mother once threw the tape cause she got tired of me watching it all the time,of course the TV showed it again and i taped it again!Michael Keaton rocks!Ah, Ah, Ah... Nobody says the "B" word!
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This film's popularity perplexes me.
BA_Harrison22 December 2013
When their attempts to scare away the obnoxious new owners of their home prove less than successful, recently deceased couple Barbara and Adam Maitland (Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin) turn to outrageous 'bio-exorcist' Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) for help.

They played Harry Belafonte's 'Jump in the Line (Shake, Senora)' at my work's Xmas 'do' this year, which made me realise that it's been a whopping 25 years since I last saw Beetlejuice (as well as making me painfully aware that dancing the conga when sober isn't anywhere near as much fun as it is while plastered—next year, I drink!). Sadly, a quarter of a century later, the film isn't anywhere near as much fun as I remembered it to be…

There are plenty of creative ideas and director Tim Burton's morbid style is much in evidence, but the film as a whole proves to be far less than the sum of its parts—a series of quirky, macabre, but not very funny gags with little in the way of a decent story to tie it all together. Keaton is also rather irritating as the 'ghost with the most'; thankfully he gets precious little screen-time (despite the film being named after his character), but Winona Ryder, an actress that I simply cannot abide, is sadly present throughout.
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Unique, Bizarre, and Fun, but Far From Perfect
RbDeraj7 February 2015
The plot of this movie is definitely a unique one that has never been done before, that is for sure. The Maitland couple dies and starts their afterlife but are confined the their house that they previously owned. But as they are just ghosts, a new family moves in which is made up of a money scheming father, a artistic greedy stepmother, and a lonely daughter. The ghost couple make friends with the daughter, but it is their goal to make this obnoxious nuisance of a family and their cronies to leave the premises and themselves in peace. While they attempt to go through with their plans and figure out this new strange existence, they run into and seek the help of a "bio-exorcist" or scarer-of-the-living named Beetlejuice. He turns out to be crude unconventional rebel rouser and a real problem.

With a story as zany and morbidly themed as this, Tim Burton was the only logical choice, naturally the man for the job. This film also brought us one of many wonderful collaborations with the musical genius Danny Elfman. A side to Michael Keaton that I had never seen before was revealed through his character, it added a new depth to his skill in acting. While I did enjoy the overall idea of the strange and unusual film, it was far from perfect. The makeup was exquisite which it deservingly won an Academy Award for, but some of the other effects looked straight out of fake looking theme park attraction. It had the meticulously detailed diorama and the up close version that was even more fascinating when they switch over to that world, yet they also had ridiculously cheesy characters that brought the overall appearance down. I thoroughly enjoy stop motion animation but it's presence in much of the film seemed out of place and unnecessary.

To be honest, I am surprised that this film is so popular. It seems like a film that would appeal to very few, yet it draws people in. This movie made it on the American Film Institute's list of 100 Greatest Comedies. While I did find some parts amusing, a lot of the humor was really corny. The singing scenes were simply awful and I found Beetlejuice more offensive and annoying than comedic. The story also seemed to not be very focused. We had about seven main characters and no sense of direction. While I did love some aspects of it, I found more of it to just be disappointing.
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Absurd and tasteless comedy
osen18 April 2005
An absurd and tasteless comedy. I felt embarrassed for Alec Baldwin. The initial idea was interesting, and could turn into a very funny movie: a couple of nice ghosts got scared of a bunch of obnoxious alive people. Also it could be quite amusing to spoof the modern bureaucracy, showing it in its "afterlife". And Keaton's character could be something more than just incoherent ghost-clown. But the development of those ideas got lost in the dense woods of director's mind and his perverted sense of humor. Or better to say, total absence of good sense of humor. I am completely bewildered by the success of this film. It made the list of 1,000 best (according to the last edition of New York Time's movie critics)?! Excuse me! But then again: Breakfast at Tiffani did not make the list, and The Breakfast Club did.
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Am I missing something? Because . . .
patrick powell9 April 2009
Beetlejuice is one of those films you feel guilty about not liking more. Sounds daft, I know, but it's a bit like not liking as much an aunt everyone else insists is a real sweetie, but with the best will in the world you just can't see it. I mean, Beetlejuice is by Tim Burton, right, and an early masterpiece, right; and Michael Keaton in the title role, delivers a barnstorming performance, right; and it's full of examples of Tim Burton's celebrated off-the-wall, wacky humour right, with loads of imaginative special effects, right. And anyway, everyone, and I mean everyone thinks it's really, really good and really, really cool and just, you know, brilliant, I mean really, really brilliant, right. So if you disagree and, you know, you don't get it, it's your problem, man, because everyone else thinks it's really, really cool and really, really brilliant. But unfortunately I don't think it is really, really good and really, really brilliant. The real problem is that I don't think I even have a problem — I just don't think Beetlejuice is quite as good as everyone, and I mean, everyone, right, says. It's rather like Robert De Niro's performance in Mean Streets: everyone says it's pure genius, then you see it, and you think: aren't they exaggerating just a little, I mean, just a little? It's good, yes, but . . . Beetlejuice is this film I had heard so much about, which was truly original and with which Tim Burton first made his name (or something). But I had never seen it because somehow I didn't when it first came out, and then it was never in a cinema near me or else when it was shown on TV, I didn't get to hear about it until it was too late. But I also made a mental note that I simply must see it and when I found that one of our local supermarkets was selling a copy for £4, which is my sort of price, in it went into the shopping basket. In the event, I didn't get to slip it into my DVD player (i.e. my iBook) until a few weeks later, but when I did, I couldn't get rid of the niggling suspicion that I was in for something of a disappointment. Now, it would be pointless to go into chapter and verse pointing out a flaw here and a flaw there, because, quite truthfully Tim Burton does have a rather extraordinary imagination and in many respects Beetlejuice is streets ahead of the competition. You might even say that Burton re-wrote the rules for making films in a certain kind of genre, although I would be hard-pushed to give that genre a name. But let me give just one example: the Maitland's are in so many ways such caricatures that you assume such characterisation will be part of the plot. But it isn't. Then we are presented with the Deetz family and their camp interior designer and again the characterisation is so broadbrush that you wonder just at what level the whole thing is being pitched. Well, actually, it doesn't matter. This is cartoon stuff, except that it doesn't feature animation but acting. OK, fair enough. Then we get to Keaton giving an undoubted tour de force but in an odd sort of way it never really takes off. We are informed that at one point he was someone's assistant but his behaviour became so extreme that he had to be let go. Well, perhaps I'm being a little over-pernickety here, but I want some sort of back story which would help flesh out Beetlejuice. But all we are led to believe is that he should, on no account, be invoked. Naturally, he is invoked, but oddly the film finishes quite soon afterwards (in an ending which involved a deus ex machina of such obviousness that I would bet my shirt the writer simply did not know how to end his story. In fact, apart from the fact that one could dies and wants to scare another couple out of their home, what was the story. When the film came, I was even taken by surprise: was that it? I thought, for although by now Beetlejuice had already been running for 90 minutes odd, in a sense it was only just getting going. But no, that was it, like it or lump it. Perhaps, I am expecting too much. Perhaps I am being too serious. Perhaps I should just relax and get into the spirit of the film (and no silly pun intended there). The trouble is that Beetlejuice could have been so much more. We often say that so-and-so was more than just the sum of its parts, and hope to indicate that it included an x factor which raised it above the rest. Well, for me Beetlejuice is, in a sense, less the sum of its parts. It seemingly has everything, but . . . Oh well, I'll just have to firm a sub-group of those who don't think this is the best thing since sliced bread.
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Delightful Comedy
Claudio Carvalho21 October 2006
In New England, the couple Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin) is in love for each other and for their beautiful house. While driving back home from the town, they have a car accident, falling from a bridge into a river and dying, but becoming trapped afterlife in their home. When their house is sold to Charles Deetz (Jeffrey Jones), his wife Delia (Catherine O'Hara) decides to redecorate the place with new painting and furniture. Barbara and Adam unsuccessfully try to scare them, and they become connected to their Gothic daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder), who is able to see them. However, they decide to hire the services of the "bio-exorcist" ghost Beetle Juice (Michael Keaton) but when they see how dangerous he is, they call-off his services. But Beetle Juice wants to get married to Lydia to definitely return to the world of the living.

The first feature of Tim Burton is a delightful comedy, where he introduces a calling card of his dark style with nice characters in a very funny story, great make–up and special effects and a stunning and hilarious performance of Michael Keaton. The annoying music of Danny Elfman is the only negative point of this highly recommended movie. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Os Fantasmas se Divertem" ("The Ghosts Have Fun")
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A child wonderland, mature nightmare
MoonwalkerFairy5 June 2004
It is always amazing to think about our childhood as a different era. We like to think of our infant years as living life as a different person. After recently watching this film, I found this to be inevitably true.

At a much younger age I had the privilege of watching Tim Burtons 'Beetlejuice' and was taken aback by this wonderment of fiction versus reality. Ghosts, ghouls, a freaky child, a scary woman and a clown-like rogue who everyone can't help but love - Beetlejuice. Sounds like the perfect recipe for a good comedy, well not if you're over the age of ten.

Beetlejuice - revisited was a disappointment. I was alarmed at the wooden performance given by Alec Baldwin as Adam, a man who is recently deceased and has to face life as an immortal along with his wife Barbara - Geena Davis. Now I do understand that it is a family comedy and brilliant acting is not essential but I was alarmed that he actually agreed to star in this film.

The story is pretty straight forward. Adam and Barbara become the undead, and a new, obnoxious family move into their home. Adam and Barbara still live there, but as they are dead they cannot be seen, except by the family's goth-like daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder.) The couple take a liking to Lydia and she begins to help the couple in their distress. They are unable to come to terms with their new selves and are drawn into dealings with the great 'Beetlejuice,' a helper of the recently deceased. However, as time passes Beetlejuice's antics as a troublesome rogue become too much for everyone.

Overall it is a good film for children, it has the impish comedy seen in films like 'Home Alone,' and it would most definitely occupy a younger viewer. An advantage is that it stars Michael Keaton as the indelible 'Beetlejuice' and his performance is worthy of a look., as always.
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One of the most fun half-movies ever made
Charles B. Owen17 September 2001
This movie is well worth watching, though I think the problem more often is accomplishing NOT watching it during one of its 30-40 showings a week on Comedy Central, WGN, TBS, TNT, or the Disney Channel.

I find myself watching Beetlejuice every now and then when it comes on, but have noticed that I always turn it off half-way through. The opening of this movie, with Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis as the daffy and clueless Maitlands, then the fun advent of Catherine O'Hara as the ditzy artist without a clue and Jeffrey Jones as her suffering and pretentious husband is an absolute riot. As the Maitlands try to run these flakes out of their home we get a thoroughly wacky view of the afterlife. I must admit I'm not that thrilled with the stereotypically Goth character in Winona Ryder (she is capable of much better). But, this stuff is darn fun. The scenes in the afterlife office are particularly fun.

Then Michael Keaton positively steals the show. And, he should be arrested for it. Keaton plays "the ghost with the most", an obvious stand-up act that takes over the remainder of the movie. Any possibilities for interesting scenes are robbed by an endless tirade of "I'm gross" jokes. He's not that bad at it, but it's BORING. You rapidly get fatigued and tune it out. It's like they decided to take several strong actors and turn them all into props. It ruins the entire second half of the movie.
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Great Dark Comedy
sblair8017 December 2007
This is a classic example of Tim Burton's macabre humor and fantastic mind. Beetlejuice puts you into a world where both the "Living and the Dead" come together. The Maitland's (Baldwin and Davis) are a happy married couple living in a sleepy Conneticut town and who are getting nestled in for their vacation together at home. The peace and quiet comes to a tragic end when they meet their deaths in a car accident. Now as ghosts, they witness their beloved home being taken over buy New York yuppies and make an unlikely alliance with the families daughter (Ryder). To make sense of what to do in the after life, the Maitland's look to seek the aid of Beetlejuice! The "Ghost with the Most". From there, everything turns into a hilarious and horrific adventure where Micheal Keaton shines with his comedic talents. This movie is a must for any horror and comedy fan, and a no brainier for Tim Burton fans out there.
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Loony surrealist classic!
NateWatchesCoolMovies26 October 2015
Tim Burton's Beetlejuice was not marketed as a surrealist film when it came out, and as such no one remembers it for the batshit crazy journey into the absurd that it treats you to. It's touted as a slightly subversive, yet also vaguely family friendly ghost romp, and yes, that's the jist of it, yet hidden beneath the lines that people can read between if they are keen enough, is a completely organic stream of nonsensical, almost dreamlike events, threaded together by a shaky theme of life after death. Michael Keaton portrays rambunctious zombie bio exorcist Betelgeuse in a face smacking, loony toon of a performance that's the best of his interesting and varied career. He's a whackjob wonder, a perverted pile of silliness with a mean streak a mile long and a penchant for all kinds of bizarre paranormal mischief. He's called to action when a quaint, naive New England couple (gorgeous Geena Davis and an oh so young Alec Baldwin) perish in an auto accident and are looking to rid their home of its insufferable new inhabitants. They arrive in the form of gag inducing trendy NYC interior designer Otho (Glenn Shadix RIP) who acts like he walked right out of a satirical episode of South Park), Charles (Jeffrey Jones the lovable bugger) and Delia Deetz (a spastic Catherine O Hara) and their cutie daughter Lydia (an emo Winona Ryder, one of my first movie crushes ♡♡). They walk right in like they own the place (well.. they kinda do) with dastardly plans to remodel it to their eyebrow raising yuppie fashion fanaticism. Baldwin and Davis see no other option but to summon Keaton, by saying his odd name three times. After that, all bets are off as Betelgeuse leers right out of the astral plane to cause no end of trouble for literally everyone, including himself. Keaton soars like he hasn't since then, giving a performance that makes the Joker, the Mask and Bugs Bunny seem like introverts. There's a constant cascade of phenomenal practical effects and gooey makeup on display, as well. When Davis and Baldwin venture into the afterlife beyond their home into the cluttered bureaucracy of the spirit world, we're treated to all sorts of sights, sounds and an out of this world creative aesthetic that honestly seems like Burton entered someone's dreams on the night before Halloween and pulled out all kinds of wonder for the viewer to behold. From a DMV like waiting room for deceased souls, to a football team that doesn't realize they're dead yet, to a massive snake with Keaton's ugly mug on the end of it, there's just no stop to the jaw dropping spectacle on display. Sylvia Sydney is dryly hilarious as an otherworld-weary afterlife caseworker, and there's fun bits from Robert Goulet, Dick Cavett and more as well. For something truly unexpected, endlessly creative and undefinable, check it out. Although I assume that anyone reading this has at least seen this five times, if not more. I've lost count.
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Fantastic movie
raykilleen31 October 2014
Incredibly funny movie. Shows the comedic genius of Michael Keaton. He should have won an Oscar for his performance.

Dinner scene with the Day Oh song one of the all time great scenes. You have to be dead to not laugh out loud.

Absolutely great casting. The top 4-5 stars in the movie were perfect in their roles. Catherine O'Hara, Michael Keaton, et al were perfect in their roles.

Special effects, especially the close up of the fly early in the movie were incredible.

Overall definitely a five star movie.
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Stop motion animation at it's finest!
zombiefan8914 November 2013
By far my favorite Tim Burton movie as a kid! You can really see the effort and creativity that went into the making Beetlejuice! Few companies even use stop-motion animation anymore in favor of bad CGI! I have to say, I quite surprise that the stoic Batman, Michael Keaton portrayed, was the zany Beetlejuice just one year prior! Keaton definitely has a very broad acting range! Beetlejuice is like one of those fast-talking salesman stereotypes, but it really works! This is also one Geena Davis's best movies, although I found Davis and Baldwin to be rather bland. Honestly, you could switch Baldwin out with David Yost, and Davis with Andie MacDowell, and I don't think anyone would've noticed. Wynona Ryder is very believable teenager with an insufferable family, as intended. Overall, it was a great cast. The story is very straight forward ghosts want humans out of their house.
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