This is topic Beetlejuice in forum « 80's Movies at iRewind Talk.

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Posted by Kash (Member # 297) on :
The mid to late 80s were a great time to be a Michael Keaton fan. Keaton was at his most prolific; going from John Hughes comedy (Mr Mom) to social drama (Clean & Sober) and back again: in 1988, less than a year before Keaton went through the proverbial stratosphere as 'Batman'. Director Tim Burton cast his would-be dark knight as the morally dubious, wisecracking "bio-exorcist" Betelgeuse; who's recruited to
help rid a recently deceased couple's home of some unwanted residents.


Now the supernatural comedy is one of the trickiest genres to get right, its up there with black comedy and musicals but Burton & Keaton's efforts combined, along with an excellent supporting cast that includes Winona Ryder (in pre-Heathers gorgeous Goth/slightly macabre mode) makes 'Beetlejuice' one of my favourite movies from the decade.


Alec Baldwin & Geena Davis make for entertaining foils as The Maitlands; who are struggling to adjust into the afterlife, and almost immediately regret recruiting the self-proclaimed "ghost with the most". But 'Beetlejuice' is The Michael Keaton Show, and he rides it like an expert surfer on an A-frame wave; the jokes are fast & furious, ideally suited to Keaton’s manic style coupled with some hilarious bouts of comedic mumbling with furrowed brow and his trademark faux concentration.

Adam: What are your qualifications?


Betelgeuse: Ah. Well... I attended Juilliard... I'm a graduate of the Harvard business school. I travel quite extensively. I lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that. I've seen the EXORCIST ABOUT A HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN TIMES, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT... NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT YOU'RE TALKING TO A DEAD GUY... NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK? You think I'm qualified?


Preacher: Do you take this woman do be your wedded wife?


Betelgeuse: [Runs off to the side mumbling to himself] Oh geez, I don't know. I mean, it's kind of a big decision isn't it? I mean, I always said if I ever did it, I was gonna do it once and that was it.

[Runs back to the altar and stands next to Lydia]

Betelgeuse: Sure, yeah. Go ahead.

Beetlejuice spawned a good line of toys, I had about six different Betelgeuse; the illuminated yellow and blue striped jacket one was the best, well made with a good likeness to the actors they all had interchangeable heads, in an appropriately bizarre, and brilliant quirk.

Posted by Riptide (Member # 457) on :
Always loved this film, have to wach every so few years. Watching Winona in that reminds me again what the fuss about her was all about back then. Could you imagine if Geena Davis reprised her va-voom Transylvania 6-500 get up in this movie? Michael Keaton was hilarious in this too. Have Keaton and Howie Mandel ever been a movie together?
Posted by buffalo-girl (Member # 7498) on :
i agree riptide i thought winona was really cute in this movie and i love michael keaton remember him in mr. mom and the one where he was turned into a snowman after he died what was the name of that movie was it mr. Frost? something like that lol!!!
Posted by aTomiK (Member # 6575) on :
Great job Kash!
I have to watch this flick again soon.

I love most of Keaton´s 80s work:

Night Shift, Johnny Dangerously, Gung Ho etc..
Posted by Kash (Member # 297) on :
Riptide, I think this movie was 'out there' as it was, without Geena Davis getting in on the act! As far as I know, he and Mandel haven't acted in a movie together, but it'd be worth seeing if they did.

buffalo-girl, you're thinking of Jack Frost, which I've never seen; Out Of Sight was the last vintage Keaton role IMO, his one scene with Jennifer Lopez and Dennis Farrina was great.

thanks atomik, excellent films there, the one that could've been better was The Dream Team, Christopher Llyod & Keaton in the same movie? That combination alone should've equalled some kinda masterpiece. Multiplicity, though from the mid 90s, is also hilarious & quite underrated.
Posted by x0x0ilymucho (Member # 6772) on :
wasn't Christopher Lloyd in Mr. Mom with Michael Keaton, i watched recently and i think i recognized him but he had black hair?
Posted by Kash (Member # 297) on :
Originally posted by x0x0ilymucho:
wasn't Christopher Lloyd in Mr. Mom with Michael Keaton, i watched recently and i think i recognized him but he had black hair?

GREAT SCOTT! Yes, yes he was. Another good actor, hope he hasn't retired.
Posted by buffalo-girl (Member # 7498) on :
thanks kash your right it was jack frost and it is very cute and funny you should watch it? and yes it was christopher lloyd in mr. mom also great flick too!!
Posted by Riptide (Member # 457) on :
Funny with the range he can play Alec Baldwin was playing the safe and conservative husband in Beatlejuice. Wouldn't think he could after seeing something like Miami Blues.
Posted by kenkobra (Member # 892) on :
Blu-Ray version is at Target for $11.99 this week.
Posted by MarkA (Member # 8065) on :
I love this movie Micheal Keaton was awesome one of the first I saw him in, after that I made sure I saw Mr mum, Gung Ho and many others.
Posted by Pyromantic (Member # 7658) on :
This one is definetly one of my favorites in the Burton collection.

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