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Friday, November 28, 2014

Beetlejuice (1988)

A young couple (Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis) live a seemingly idyllic life in a quiet small New England town. An auto accident sends them to an early grave but they find themselves trapped in their own home as unwilling ghosts when a new family moves in. Who doesn't like a good horror comedy? I'm certainly very partial to them whether it's ABBOT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN, the Bob Hope comedies THE CAT AND THE CANARY and GHOST BREAKERS or GHOSTBUSTERS. Tim Burton's creative and zany comedy was an almost instant classic when it debuted on movie screens in 1988. A lot of critics at the time complained that there wasn't enough of Michael Keaton as the title character but I think there's just the right amount of him. His manic energy keeps the movie's pulse beating but any more and he might start to wear out his welcome. In addition to Keaton, I have to single out the wonderful Catherine O'Hara who brings a wickedly superior attitude as the new lady of the house. Still, one wishes Burton could have come up with a fresher way to tie it all up. Danny Elfman provided the underscore. Also in the cast: Winona Ryder, Sylvia Sidney, Robert Goulet, Jeffrey Jones, Dick Cavett and Susan Kellerman.

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