After Barbara and Adam Maitland die in a car accident, they find themselves stuck haunting their country residence, unable to leave the house. When the unbearable Deetzes and teen daughter Lydia buy the home, the Maitlands attempt to scare them away without success. Their efforts attract Beetlejuice, a rambunctious spirit whose “help” quickly becomes dangerous for the Maitlands and innocent Lydia.
Plot: The spirits of a deceased couple are harassed by an unbearable family that has moved into their home, and hire a malicious spirit to drive them out.
Director: Tim Burton
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Runtime: 92 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Brilliantly bizarre and overflowing with ideas, Beetlejuice offers some of Michael Keaton’s most deliciously manic work – and creepy, funny fun for the whole family.
“Warner Bro’s knocked this one out of the park.”
This movie was originally shot on 35mm, but for this 2020 release it was given a brand new 4k digital intermediate! On top of that, as per the norm with UHD releases, it was also given a HDR color grade for your viewing pleasure in HDR10. Let’s just get this out of the way now, this movie looks great through and through, and I’m really impressed!
Not only did they restore the film to its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, but there’s a new level of depth, clarity and color noticeable from the very first scene. This remaster looks great, honestly it looks like it could’ve been shot in last few years it looks so good. (You can compare it to something like the way IT was produced and shot.) I’m sure you already know know that this is a Tim Burton movie? Keeping that in mind, all the new bells and whistles of the UHD format bring his unique visuals to the forefront like never before. (The CGI is more apparent and stands out like a sore thumb, but that’s to be expected.)
When this remaster was first announced, I would’ve argued with you that a heavy layer of grain needed to be present — don’t you agree? Usually, a movie shot in the 1980’s needs a solid layer of grain to bring out all the detail, but to my surprise there’s practically none in this release and it still works. Instead, you get a film-like appearance with top notch close-ups and long scenic shots of both worlds, plus everything you can imagine in-between. Now, I could argue that this movie was made for this UHD release. It’s truly amazing that you can’t point out noise reduction and everything looks the way it does… You can see this level of detail in many places throughout the film, but what I focused on was the little things like the grime in Beetlejuice’s teeth and moss growing off of his face.
Warner Brothers traditionally has more good releases than bad, but rest assured that this is one of the good ones.
The final cherry on top definitely has to be the use of HDR, which boosts the color palette, enhancing the original look from 1988. Where can you see this the most? In Chapter 11 when the green light shines behind the drawn door, multiple times in the attic with the blue ambient hue, and finally in Chapter 23 when green light shining on the corpses above the table. (There are plenty of HDR moments, but these are the ones that shined the brightest.) Everything had a pop like never before — the saturation is there, but it’s never overbearing.
In conclusion —
Unfortunately, I’ve never been a big fan of Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice as a kid or an adult — it’s just never clicked with me. Beetlejuice’s screen time is so limited that I feel like we never get the full effect of Michael Keaton in the role — I’ve always wanted more. I can understand why you could love it, but it’s not for me and I don’t think it ever will be. Moving my personal bias aside, you can guarantee that Beetlejuice has never looked or sounded better — it’s truly a great UHD release from Warner Brothers, they nailed it.
Taking everything I’ve said into account, Beetlejuice gets my recommendation to own regardless if you’re a fan of the film or if you want a new UHD film to add to your collection. It’s almost Halloween season, so don’t miss out on this! No matter what you decided to do, you can grab a copy at your local retailer on 4K & Blu-ray today!
Are you a fan of Beetlejuice? Will you be picking it up to own? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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