BEETLEJUICE (1988) is one of those movies I discovered in the “wrong” order. When I first saw it as an adult, I had fond memories of the 1990s cartoon adaptation, and was surprised to learn that Beetlejuice (or, if you prefer, Betelgeuse) was not actually the protagonist! This is Tim Burton at his most zany, but it is amusingly jarring to watch Michael Keaton — the star of two consecutive Best Picture winners at the Oscars — play such a lecherous ham. The whole cast is expertly chosen, especially Geena Davis and Winona Ryder, and the special effects are for the most part a fun blend of cheesy practical props, cinematic tricks and stop-motion animation. The story is forgettable and there’s not an overabundance of rewatchable scenes/quotable lines... but this is a 90-minute movie that knows what it is and emphasizes its own strengths. It’s fun! And it doesn’t need to be anything more.
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