Beetlejuice: 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Tim Burton

Beetlejuice: 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Tim Burton
Twenty years after the release of Tim Burton’s visually unique and innovative Beetlejuice, the film still manages to maintain its cult status and much of the initial appeal. While visual effects, hairstyles and other aesthetics are understandably dated, the unpredictable nature of the story, fantastic performances from Catherine O’Hara and Jeffrey Jones, and deliberately dark humour keep it vital. It is true that the story eventually devolves into sitcom territory by focusing on visual gags and ignoring much of the human element involved with the afterlife but the experience is worthy of repeat viewings and succeeds in its aims, however shallow they might be. Really, the only true weakness is the mostly incongruous and abrasive performance from Michael Keaton, who bogs down the film whenever he screeches onto the screen. Scrutiny of such a ubiquitous film, however, is almost redundant. The real question here is of the quality and worthiness of Warner’s 20th anniversary DVD release. Unfortunately, it’s essentially a waste of time and money, especially for those who already have a copy of Beetlejuice on DVD. The picture and sound show little improvement, if any, over the previous issue and the special features border on pathetic. What’s offered to viewers is a "Music Only” audio track, which might be interesting for those under the influence of narcotics but will likely bore the hell out of everyone else. Also, theatrical trailers for Beetlejuice and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure add little value, and the three episodes of the animated Beetlejuice series will appeal only to a very specific demographic that watched the show on Saturday mornings in the late ’80s. Since the cartoon has yet to be issued on DVD, this may hold some value to cartoon collectors but everyone else should stick simply to purchasing the most economic version of the film, anniversary edition or not. (Warner)