Monday, August 25, 2008

Beetlejuice (1988)

Alec Baldwin, Sylvia Sidney, Geena Davis, Beetlejuice
When I was young I used to watch Beetlejuice with some regularity, this includes its lesser-known spin-off cartoon series. Having re-watched it as an adult, I'm not certain who thought it would be a good idea to turn a demonic trickster into a harmless joker and friend of Lidia. Of course, the cartoon show also left out Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin's characters.

One of the first things I noticed on this watching was how Danny Elfman-like the theme music was. Lo and behold, Elfman was the composer for the film. Of course, this makes sense given that the movie was directed by Tim Burton and Elfman is his composer of choice.1

Michael Keaton, Beetlejuice
This movie also prominently features the music of Harry Belafonte throughout. It is most noticeably used during two "haunting" scenes, one at dinner and one as a reward for Lidia's good grades. As a child, these were the first Belafonte songs I'd heard, and to this day when I hear them I think of this movie.

Finally, this movie wouldn't be the classic that it is without the ghost with the most. Keaton delivers a fantastic performance as the titular bio-exorcist. His character is slimy and disgusting and makes you feel dirty just watching him. Despite this fact, you can't help but enjoy all the scenes he's in. Even if you haven't seen this movie for years, I recommend watching it again for Keaton's performance.

Michael Keaton, Beetlejuice
Betelgeuse: I'm the ghost with the most, babe.

Notes:
1. Of course, Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder later starred in Burton's Batman and Edward Scissorhands, respectively.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Mostly this movie is awesome because it was filmed in my hometown.