Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Movie Review: Beetlejuice

Stars: 2 out of 5
Pros: Acting and some scenes
Cons: Overall, it was too bizarre for me
The Bottom Line:
A ghostly couple
Tries to defend their old home
Didn’t work for me

“Maybe This is Heaven.”  “In Heaven There Wouldn’t be Dust on Everything.”

I’ve heard about Beetlejuice since it came out, and I’ve always been curious about it, so when I spotted it on TV last month, I decided to record it and see what all the talk was about.  I almost changed my mind when I remembered it was a Tim Burton film.  Honestly, I kind of wish I had.

The movie introduces us to Adam and Barbara (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis), a nice young couple who have an unfortunate accident.  A fatal accident.  Now, they are stuck in their home watching in horror as a new family buys it with the intention of completely changing everything about it.  As their efforts to drive the new family out appear to be a failure, they start hearing about Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton).  He might be able to help them, but they are also hearing warnings about him.  Is it worth the risk to ask for his help?

Honestly, the premise sounds like it could be a lot of fun, and there are absolutely fantastic scenes.  However, overall, the movie didn’t work for me.  I blame that on the Tim Burton effect.  While there are a few of his films that I have enjoyed, for the most part, I find his movies to be too bizarre for my tastes, and I usually avoid them.  Even for a movie that is dealing with the afterlife, this one was pretty bizarre.  And those elements sometimes made it a little hard to follow what was happening.

But those moments that work?  They work well.  I can see why so many people have enjoyed the movie over the years.

Obviously, the movie does deal with the afterlife and ghosts.  I knew I wouldn’t agree with it theologically when I sat down to watch it.  If that kind of thing bothers you, you’ll want to avoid this movie.

The special effects are…interesting.  I read that the choice to go for a B movie look was on purpose.  They nailed it.  Stylistically, they work since they are consist from start to finish, but they absolutely date the movie now more than other movies from the era would be dated.

Speaking of dating the movie – this was a late 80’s movie.  If you didn’t look at the copyright, the styles would certainly give that away.

The acting is good.  That’s not surprising since I recognized quite a few names in the credits.  I’m blaming my issues on the production and directorial decisions.

I’m glad I watched Beetlejuice because I’ve been curious about it.  But now that the curiosity is out of my system, I don’t plan to watch it again.

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