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Beetlejuice (1988)
Beetlejuice (1988)
1988 | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
I'm really enjoying the classic movie re-releases at Cineworld. I've been along to several in the last year and enjoyed every one of them, so when Beetlejuice came up in the listings it was a must see for me as I loved this from the very first time I saw it.

With the other releases I didn't have much to worry about, they were either brand new to me or I'd never seen them the whole way through so it was going to be a new experience... but this time... could I be risking those great memories? While it did run through my head while I waited for the film to start I wasn't going to deny myself the chance to see it on the big screen. It did bring up a few moments that made me ponder, but all in all I'm glad that I got the chance to see it in the cinema.

At 30 years old you'd expect things to be a little dated, and perhaps the general feel of the film is with some old fashioned clothing, but most of it still holds up. The one thing that makes you notice the age is the cast. Everyone looks so young!

It's a fantastic cast too. Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, Adam and Barbara, the perfect couple living a peaceful life out in the country. Winona Ryder, Lydia, the dark and brooding teenage daughter of Jeffrey Jones' Charles and step-daughter to Catherine O'Hara's Delia. We of course can't forget the film's (almost) namesake, Michael Keaton as Betelgeuse. Each one brings a little something different to the film and you get some fun interactions between them all as well as with the supporting cast.

The only real thing that struck me after rewatching this after a few years is that Beetlejuice doesn't actually feature in it as much as I remember. But then the film itself also feels quite short, which at 1 and a half hours it is, again, I just didn't remember it that way.

Some of Beetlejuice's antics may feel a little cringe worthy to newer viewers. To be fair some did to me as a seasoned veteran of the movie. But his over the top nature and motor mouth lead to some entertaining diversions throughout.

The highlights for me as always are the dance routines. (And possibly some of the earliest twerking in the movie biz?) I think we were all dancing a little in our seats as they played out in front of us.

It still brings just as much fun as it did before, it's one of those favourites that you can watch anytime you need something a bit upbeat

What you should do

You should watch this at least once. It's daft and some fun lighthearted humour to break up a dull day.

Movie thing you wish you could take home

If I could have the full backing band when I sing at home that would be great!
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams | 2017 | Children, Science Fiction/Fantasy
8.5 (185 Ratings)
Book Rating
What can be said about Douglas Adams' freewheeling science fiction comedy that hasn't been said before? Probably nothing but that doesn't mean it doesn't deserve a review.

I first came to the Hitchhiker's Guide series through this book. It was about 1981 I suppose and it was recommended by a school friend. I hadn't been aware of the radio series (although as luck would have it it was repeated on BBC Radio 4 within a few weeks) and it was a little while before the television adaptation appeared (which for all its faults - mainly a lack of budget - stayed true to the spirit of the books and the radio series rather more successfully than the film).

From the point I opened this and started reading I couldn't get enough Hitchhiker's Guide. Adams' style is so much like a swan on a lake - it all seems effortless on the surface but underneath there's a lot going on. As Adams' friend John Lloyd has commented, he had the ability to write backwards, so he would start with several pages of (what to other people would be) excellent material and after a couple of days' furious writing it would be down to 2 pages, but each sentence a carefully crafted gem. The result is like the difference between beer and vodka. You will enjoy drinking the beer but the distilled and concentrated vodka will knock you out.

There is real genius in the wit, ideas seemingly being pulled from nowhere and taking on a whole new aspect (towels for example). Delightful non-sequitors (especially from aliens who turn out to be pretty ordinary - or frequently less than ordinary), brilliant and inventive word play and sheer imagination and brio run through every page, all joined together by delightful asides from 'the book'.

The story itself is based on the radio series of the same name which was pretty much made up as it went along, Adams following whatever idea seemed to give him the best scope for a quick gag at the time. But somehow this all works and the story is remarkably coherent (although the book does veer away from the thread of the radio series at the very end). It has been said before that it resembles Gulliver's Travels as each new world reveals new wonders (or new banalities shining a light on our own humdrum existences here on Earth).

Oh the story? The book essentially follows one Arthur Dent, a completely unremarkable and normal human being apart from two things. Firstly his house is about to be demolished to make way for a bypass, a fact he was previously unaware of. Secondly his friend Ford Prefect (the book explains the name) is not from Guildford after all but from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse. When aliens show up to demolish the whole Earth to make way for an interstellar bypass, Ford saves Arthur from certain death and reveals he is a reporter for a book called The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy and he got stuck on Earth for rather a long time.

Arthur proceeds to have a rather horrible time being shot at, thrown out of spaceships, patronised and generally baffled by everything that is going on around him. But The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy is always on hand to try to explain things.

Incredibly amusing, brilliantly written and ultimately quoteable this not just a good book, it is something that really everyone should read.