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Blu-ray Reviews

HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Beetlejuice



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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted October 04 2008 - 06:56 PM

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Release Date: October 7, 2008
Studio: Warner Home Video
Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-Ray case with cardstock slipcase and lenticular cover
Year: 1988
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1h32m
MSRP: $34.99

MAIN FEATURESPECIAL FEATURES
Video1080p high definition 16x9 1.85:1480i or 480p standard definition
AudioDolby TrueHD: English 5.1, Dolby Digital: English 5.1, French 2.0 (Parisian 2.0, dubbed in Quebec 1.0), Spanish (Castillian 2.0, Latin 2S), German 2.0, Italian 2.0, Japanese 2.0Stereo and mono
SubtitlesEnglish, French, Spanish, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese and Swedish (Move and select bonus materials)



The Feature: 3.5/5
Adam and Barbara Maitland (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) are very dead, but that doesn't make them any less attached to their work-in-progress dream home. Unfortunately the worst possible people have taken over the place, intent on changing everything they loved about it. Adam and Barbara do their best to scare them away, but real estate developer Charles (Jeffery Jones), his snobby wife Delia (Catherine O'Hara) and their daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder) are nonplussed. In fact, Lydia is immediately taken with them and their non-living condition; it's a moment of pleasure in her otherwise teen angst life. Yet despite making a new friend, Adam and Barbara remain determined to reclaim their home and, against better advice, invoke Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton), a self-proclaimed "bio-exorcist" spirit. His methods at purging the living turn out wholly unpredictable and dangerous though, especially for their new friend, and the Maitlands quickly learn they probably made a big mistake unleashing the devilish spirit.

Though Tim Burton has done blockbuster films like "Batman" and "Planet of the Apes," it's the fusion of the dark and whimsical for which he's best known and "Beetlejuice" represents the first mainstream acceptance of the filmmaker's unique vision and sensibility. Much of that may be due to a story that makes some of his more eccentric qualities seem perfectly appropriate. Yet there's also a certain tameness to the film, a sort of "Burton Light" compared to later films where his vision is undeniably manifest due to more control, more budget, or both. Nevertheless, "Beetlejuice" is plenty entertaining and fun and provides an intriguing look at an early entry in a filmmaker's incredible career.


Video Quality: 4/5
Accurately framed at 1.85:1, the VC-1-encoded image is free of physical blemishes and devoid of edge enhancement. Black levels are generally deep and inky, though there are a couple scenes where things look a little muddy and contrast overall looks crushed on the bottom end. The super saturated color palette - particularly with the color red - holds up well, though some might not like the sometimes overly warm skin tones. Grain structure is nicely preserved with no signs of compression noise or artifacts. Detail and sharpness are generally very good, though a handful of shots do look a bit soft.


Audio Quality: 3.5/5
The Dolby TrueHD audio mix is mostly front focused, with only a few directional effects and some light soundtrack support in the surrounds. The center and front channels handle the job well, providing an adequately expansive, if not particularly enveloping, soundstage. Dialogue is cosistently clear and intelligible and LFE is, for the most part, non-existent.

The 640 kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 track in comparison sounds less expansive and flatter in its dynamic range, making the lossless track preferable.


Special Features: 2/5

"Beetlejuice" Cartoon Episodes: Includes episodes "A-Ha!", "Skeletons in the Closet" and "Spooky Boo-Tique" from the Saturday morning animated series. Each runs around 12 minutes and is presented in 4:3, 480p video. The quality is mostly acceptable, showing some dust and sparkle and being fairly low in resolution and detail.

Music Only Audio Track: Danny Elfman's film score gets isolated in a 640 kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 track.

Theatrical Trailer (1m27s): Presented in 1.78:1, 480p video and stereo audio.

"The Beginners' Guide to Seeing Ghosts" Pamphlet: Accordion-folded pamphlet features photographs of the film's major ghosts and eight tips on how to identify spirits.

CD Sampler: Five tracks from Elfman's orchestral score and the "Banana Boat Song" Posted Image by Harry Belafonte.


Recap

The Feature: 3.5/5
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 3.5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Overall Score (not an average): 3/5

An early and widely popular Tim Burton film gets decent audio and video treatment but somewhat thin special features. Though this Blu-Ray release is an obvious choice for first-time purchasers, with only average quality overall, it's a harder sell for those who already own previous DVD versions.
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#2 of 8 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted October 05 2008 - 02:12 AM

i would give the "special features" a 2 out of 5.
this is a weak set extras for this movie.
3 cartoons and a sampler cd track.

the iso score is good.
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#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted October 05 2008 - 03:58 AM

Thanks for the input. On second thought I have to agree with you, so I've adjusted the scores accordingly.
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#4 of 8 OFFLINE   James L White

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Posted October 05 2008 - 06:46 AM

extras or not I can't wait to own this on disc
I never bought the old DVD so the Blu Ray is a no brainer
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#5 of 8 OFFLINE   MatthewLouwrens

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Posted October 05 2008 - 06:57 AM

Still, it's good to hear that the isolated score is on the disc. The Beetlejuice score is a favourite of mine, and there was some discussion after the early press release made it sound like the isolated score had been dropped. Glad to know that's not the case.

And, since I never quite got around to buying the DVD, it's an obvious choice for this first-time purchaser.
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#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Mark Walker

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Posted July 31 2009 - 12:03 PM

This Blu-ray was $11.99 at Target this week and last.  Few extras or not, at the price it was an obvious "impulse purchase"
as long as the picture and sound quality was acceptable for my expectations of Blu-ray!
Thanks for the review!

Paramount, please release DRAGONSLAYER on Blu-ray

Dragonslayer_1981HTF_zps4e370848.jpg

 

 

Vermithrax Pejorative deserves to be seen in high-def.


#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

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Posted September 21 2009 - 04:00 PM

For Canadian HTFers (and those close to the border), this is on sale for $10 until Thursday. Hard to pass up @ that price.

"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Nicholas Martin

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Posted September 22 2009 - 04:46 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen_J_H 

For Canadian HTFers (and those close to the border), this is on sale for $10 until Thursday. Hard to pass up @ that price.
EVERYWHERE I've seen this, which for whatever reason is now quite hard to find, had it at least $32, so when I saw the one and only copy for $10 at Walmart, damn straight I picked it up.