Definitely found Beetlejuice screaming "NICE FUCKING MODEL!" while honking his crotch quite creepy and fun for the family, yes. His trip to that whore house was also funny.
The movie Beetlejuice is, suprisingly, not about Beetlejuice.
This well-known classic wasn't part of my childhood, unlike for most people around my age or older, but I did follow the cartoon series in the 90s. The animated Beetlejuice has always been the only version of him I've known, I used to have such a sick crush on the guy, but this year's Halloween I sat down with my family to watch the original the cartoon was based on. For the first time.
I was surprised to see all the pointless sexual gestures and jokes coming from this Beetlejuice, but was even more surprised to see how he only had a few minutes of screen time and the movie had its focus on this extremely boring dead couple. I couldn't care less about these two, but I'm still not sure if that's because they really were that uninteresting or I was just disappointed by the lack of Beetlejuice in this movie called "Beetlejuice". What about that, huh.
I found Beetlejuice to be the only exciting thing the movie offered. I read that Tim Burton added more of him after the test audience liked him, revealing the shocking truth he had even less screen time than he already had. It's confusing how Burton didn't make the movie about its title character to begin with. Imagine if The Lion King was about Zazu.
Lydia Deetz, the only other character I really remember from the cartoon series, was just shit. I'm sure I'd be less negative if I knew the movie's Lydia before the animated one, but this woman was still less impressive than the internet made me believe.
Movie Lydia is this goth girl with the blandest face in goth history, and horrible bangs, who drowns herself in self-pity till she contemplates about killing herself so she can hang out in the Netherworld, a place she knows zero about; and all of this inspired by her new, boring, dead acquaintances haunting her house. I don't remember the movie ever explaining in detail why she's sad or what her childhood was like, so her character was just stupid to me. Pathetic, almost.
While she's supposed to be a goth, for some reason she's very attracted to the rosy-cheeked Hallmark card-couple, who even become her godparents at the end of the movie, levetating her into the air while she's dancing to some conga tunes. You know, the genre of music people like Lydia really enjoy.
It feels like she's only attracted to this couple because they are dead, because surely their nice personality and semi-interest in her can't be the factor that swooned her over, as I remember her own father being just as nice to her, but getting no response.
Obviously I prefer the cartoon series, but I'm sad that I didn't even enjoy the original enough to want to see it a second time. Cartoon Lydia is pleasant and playfully freaky, a character I'd choose over a suicidal drama queen any day.
Then there's Beetlejuice himself. I understand that his downplayed personality in the cartoon can drive some fans of the original away, as there'll always be people who prefer a mean-spirited molester over a funny anti-hero, but being more crude shouldn't automatically mean it's better. The movie covered so little of Lydia and Beetlejuice, I cannot put the original on a pedestal.
available to rate....
Truly epic story of a bio-exorcist dead guy havin a good time.
Michael Keaton, you amazing dude, you.
All the cast are excellent, from Baldwin and Davis as the straight-laced Maitlands, to Jones and O'Hara as the annoying Deetzes, but the show belongs to Michael Keaton. His manic and hilarious title character is a revelation. He is absolutely brilliant.
I don't like Betelgeuse. While it's true that Keaton successfully lends him a crazy one-of-a-kind personality, his entire presence in the movie was an annoyance and didn't do anything to move the primary plot forward. The story already had a point of conflict created by the family wanting to stay and create an amusement park out of the haunted home. But then the entire film veers off the rails because we have this insane bio-exorcist who really just wants to marry an underage girl?? I could not comprehend why this even existed in the story. Then, when they manage to say his name three times (Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice) suddenly everything is fixed and now we all can live in harmony in one home. Wait, what happened to the original point of conflict? To say I was baffled is putting it mildly. I will say I also struggled with some of the weird decisions about how the world of the dead looks, and the stop-motion did not blend well with the live action, but these are minor quibbles I could have overlooked. If the film had just stuck to its original premise, and not decided that it was more important to create the titular character, I think it would have been a great success for me. Instead, it is a movie that I greatly enjoyed for about an hour, and then decided it was only OK in the last 30 minutes.
Burton teamed up with his early career favorite Michael Keaton for the title character, and in turn created what is perhaps one of the most iconic performances of all time. Beetlejuice has Burton's prints all over it on its own, but with Keaton's performance, it's classic Burton. With that said, I don't know that the film survives if you aren't keen on the overbearing style of Burton. I like his movies as much as the next guy (Big Fish is in my top 5 favorite films of all time), but besides Keaton, there isn't a whole lot to ride home about here.
Beetlejuice has had fans clamoring for a sequel for decades, and I'm not going to be the one to shut those hopes down. With the talented cast, especially where they all are in their careers now, a sequel could be interesting. But I never found Geena Davis or Alec Baldwin's characters to be all that interesting. As they weave their way through the weirdness of the world of death, the film just veers more into a meandering area.
With all the dated elements to Burton's execution, the real gems of this film come from his unique vision. If you were to walk in on this film at any particular moment, you would be able to tell that it's a Burton project, and there's something special about that. I can appreciate a unique vision, but I just wanted more of an overarching journey than a collage of creepy and just strange sequences.
+Keaton's iconic performance
-Hodgepodge of strange scenes
-Supporting characters aren't that interesting