Usually, most films about dead people are serious, bleak, and grim as all get out. However, there are those that make fun of the deceased, while not taking themselves too seriously. There's Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, and Return of the Living Dead, among others, that have become classics in their own right. But I think my favorite has to be Beetlejuice, Tim Burton's deliciously morbid comedy classic that both celebrates the dead and also mocks them in a loving way.
Obviously, everyone by the now knows the plot of the film, but I do have to mention it a little for this Pick of the Week to work. Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis play Adam and Barbara Maitland, a kind of square couple, who both die in a car accident and find themselves as ghosts haunting their huge country estate, unable to leave. Things get hilariously more complicated as the Deetzes (Catherine O'Hara and Jeffrey Jones), along with kooky teen daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder) move in. As the Maitlands try to scare the family away unsuccessfully, their efforts attract Beetlejuice (an iconic Michael Keaton), a rambunctious spirit whose "help" becomes annoying and increasingly dangerous for both the Maitlands and Lydia.
What can one say about the film that hasn't been said already? It remains a delightfully dark and refreshing take on the dead that easily eclipses many of its comtemporaries with quirky direction by Burton, amazing performances by the entire cast (especially Keaton), iconic set pieces (including the Day-O dinner scene), and unique set design, create a film that still surprises anyone who sees it.
Despite the uninspired and very limited special features such as three episodes from the animated spinoff and a theatrical trailer, the film comes to 4K UHD this week and should be a good addition to any film lover's collection.
The Goonies: The new 4K UHD debut of Richard Donner's family adventure classic about a group of kids (Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Keri Green, Jeff Cohen, Martha Plimpton, Corey Feldman, and Jonathan Ke Quan) who find a treasure map and embark on a magical adventure, but find trouble with two bumbling criminals and their domineering mother.
Pitch Black: Arrow releases this new 4K edition of the 2000 cult scifi thriller about survivors crash-landing on a distant planet, but find that the uncomfortable heat to be the least of their worries, especially in the form of blood-thirsty creatures who wreak havoc when the planet is plunged into total darkness.
Death on the Nile: John Guillerman adapts the Agatha Christie classic with Peter Ustinov as famed detective Hercule Poirot investigating murder suspects (including Jane Birkin, Lois Chiles, Mia Farrow, Bette Davis, Jon Finch, and Olivia Hussey) on a boat in the Nile after a rich heiress is found murdered.
Evil Under the Sun: Peter Ustinov returns as Poirot in the 1982 follow-up to Death on the Nile, where he travels to an exclusive island resort inhabited by the weatlhy and famous. When a murder takes place, everyone (including Colin Blakely, Jane Birkin, Nicholas Clay, Maggie Smith, and Roddy McDowall) has an alibi.