beetlejuicebluIn 1988, ‘Beetlejuice’ would be Tim Burton’s second most successful film in less than 3 years with ‘Pee Wee’s Big Adventure’ being the first. ‘Beetlejuice’ was very successful at the box office bringing in $73 million dollars with $15 million dollar budget. ‘Beetlejuice’ is the beginning of a directing style that Burton would slowly develop into a much darker direction with each subsequent release. I am a huge fan of Tim Burton’s films and ‘Beetlejuice’ has a lot of memorable scenes that I still remember 20 years later.

The story of ‘Beetlejuice’ is a rather interesting one, and very enjoyable from start to finish. Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara (Geena Davis) are in the process of enjoying life in their over sized home. Yet they continue to get pestered to sell their home because it is perceived as being too big for them. Adam tells Barbara that he needs to go to the hardware store, so she takes a car ride with him and as they go over a wooden bridge, the car crashes into this bridge as the car falls into the water underneath drowning the couple. The thing that they don’t realize is that they have died, yet their souls continue to wander in their home living out their day to day activities.

While death is their worst fate, there is something worse that sends Adam and Barbara into a whirlwind. Once they find out that they are dead, they also find out that their house was sold. Selling off their home was one of the thoughts they always fought off and now their nightmare has come true even when they are dead. The new family starts moving in and this family is so over the top that they are the kind of people that Adam and Barbara despise. The family is right from New York, with the mother Delia Deetz (Catherine O’Hara), her husband Charles (Jeffrey Jones), and step daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder) are in for some fun with more than they bargained for with this purchase.

Enter Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton), who tricks Adam and Barbara into calling his name three times. By calling his name, it brings Beetlejuice out of the seclusion that he was placed in years ago. Beetlejuice has a plan and the first part was to trick Adam and Barbara to release him of the prison he was in. The second part is to try and marry Lydia so he can be totally free. It is up to Adam and Barbara to undo the mess that they were tricked into creating.

I have enjoyed ‘Beetlejuice’ over the years and things only get better with the films release on Blu-ray. The original DVD version was released in 1998, for its 20th anniversary the film has been re-released for DVD and for the first time on Blu-ray.

Picture/Audio Quality
The print is presented in a 1080p/VC-1 encode with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This is the best that ‘Beetlejuice’ has looked yet, while the print still has grain throughout, it isn’t as apparent as it once was on the DVD. I found some scenes to be a bit washed out looking, while the colors have a decent pop.

The audio is presented in an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix. For a film that is 20 years old the audio stacks up rather well to some of today’s releases. While the surrounds aren’t working at all times, the score from Danny Elfman sound incredible throughout the film. Dialogue came through the center channel quiet clear without any issues at all. The TrueHD track though does breathe new life into the audio that wasn’t as impressive on the regular edition DVD.

Special Features

  • Soundtrack CD Sample Showcasing Danny Elfman’s Score (BD Exclusive)
  • 3 Hilarious Episodes from Animated Beetlejuice TV Series
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Foldout Booklet
  • Special Edition Slipcover

If you are a fan of ‘Beetlejuice’ and Tim Burton’s work, I highly recommend picking up the 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition on Blu-ray. While it might be slim on special features, the improved video and audio really help add some new life to an already fun little movie from the late 80’s.