Beetlejuice appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. The transfer reproduced the film well.
Sharpness usually remained crisp and accurate, as the movie offered only a few examples of soft or fuzzy images. Some effects shots lacked great delineation, but most of the film seemed well-defined.
I noticed no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge enhancement seemed absent. Grain felt fairly natural, and source flaws also failed to create concerns, as no specks, marks or other defects caused distractions.
Colors seemed successful. The film tended toward a somewhat extravagant palette, with hues that varied from natural to ghoulish. The transfer pulled them off well, and the disc’s HDR added punch to the hues.
Black levels seemed to be deep and rich, and shadow detail looked nicely opaque but not overly thick. HDR brought nice impact to whites and contrast. The movie looked better than expected.
Beetlejuice boasted a remixed Dolby Atmos soundtrack, and it provided an involving and active presence. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Danny Elfman’s score emanated boldly from the various channels, and it added a great deal to the presentation. Some good ambience also appeared in the various speakers; the elements showed solid localization and they meshed together well.
In addition, audio quality appeared strong, as the score continued to shine. Elfman’s music provided clean, robust tones that displayed fine dynamics.
Dialogue was slightly stiff at times, but for the most part speech sounded reasonably natural and distinct, and I heard no problems related to edginess or intelligibility.
Effects were also clear and accurate, and they showed no signs of distortion. Ultimately, this soundtrack worked well for its age.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the 2008 Blu-ray? The Atmos mix was a bit more involving than the old release’s 5.1, while visuals seemed better defined and more vivid. This became a nice step up over the Blu-ray.
Though the 4K UHD comes with no extras, a few materials appear on the included Blu-ray disc. We get the film’s theatrical trailer as well as an option to watch the film with a music only soundtrack. The latter offers Elfman’s score with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, which makes it a nice treat for fans of movie music.
Next we locate three Beetlejuice Cartoon Episodes. The disc features “A-Ha!”, “Skeletons in the Closet” and “Spooky Boo-Tique”. Each one lasts 12 minutes, 15 seconds.
Ignoring the events of the movie, the Maitlands are nowhere to be found, but Lydia is best pals with Beetlejuice and we follow their adventures. Despite the macabre settings, this is pretty typical Saturday morning wackiness. It’s not terrible, but it’s not particularly amusing either.
As a film, Beetlejuice doesn’t compete with the best work from Tim Burton, but that statement relates more strongly to the high quality of his other efforts, for Beetlejuice remains a funny and effective flick. The 4K UHD offers very good picture and audio but supplements seem forgettable. I’d like a stronger batch of bonus materials, but this still offers a quality disc for a fun movie.
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