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Beetle Uncensored Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 July 2004

Beetle Uncensored

Boo’s Jolly Dwarf Productions
MPAA rating: Unrated
starring: Lester Green, aka Beetlejuice
theatrical release year: 2003
DVD release year: 2004
film rating: Half Star
sound/picture: Zero Stars
reviewed by: Paul Lingas

Even though I was an English major in college, consider myself something of a writer and am definitely an educated person, I can’t even begin to think of the ways to describe just how utterly awful this program is. It mainly consists of watching a crass, loud-mouthed and often naked four-foot-something man walking around doing things so foolish and unimaginative that there is absolutely no chance for humor.

Originally appearing on the Howard Stern show, Beetlejuice became well known for his lowbrow antics. Unfortunately, over an hour of those antics are available, uncensored, on this DVD. What a travesty of American entertainment. The ostensible “skits” aren’t even true skits. In many of them, Beetle is simply walking around naked doing various things, anywhere from sitting in a dunk tank at a fair to pumping gas. In other bits, he is shown hitting one of his own team/entourage with various objects, including his fists, lamps and telephone books. This might be vaguely amusing if there was any set-up to these sequences, but they are at most about 45 seconds long each and are so randomly edited together that there is absolutely no continuity of theme. Beetlejuice also has a lot of very large breasts smacked into his face at various points. It almost sounds amusing in the sheer absurdity of it all, but the utterly poor quality of the presentation and manipulation of the situations sucks any and all humor out. In fact, the only thing amusing in the entire package is the question and answer section of the insert notes. The moral is, buy a book, not this DVD.

The picture and sound are totally lacking in any grace, much less even a fraction of an ounce of quality. The sound is often so muddy and distorted that if you want even a two percent chance of understanding what is being said, you must turn up every speaker you have attached to your DVD player way past the safe threshold, at which point the scene changes and what was said is lost. It doesn’t matter, as anything said was likely violent and crude. It is apparent that most of the sound was captured with an unenhanced camera microphone. As we all know, this results in polluted sound, as these types of built-in mics are omnidirectional and of low quality, so they pick up absolutely everything in a very poor way, resulting in the aforementioned muddiness. It doesn’t help that Beetle tends to slur a little bit. In fact, there are moments of quiet where you can hear the camera whirring, a dead giveaway of poor sound taken straight from the camera.

The picture has the same problem, as it appears to have been recorded onto Hi-8 or some equivalent low-end format. Very few of the images appear to be even close to the earliest level of DV quality. The limitations of the camera are exacerbated by the utter lack of lighting and the often low-light situations. The images are grainy, washed-out, dark, out of focus and contains a myriad of other problems. It really looks and sounds like two guys wandering around with a 1998 Sony Hi-8 cam. Make that a Sanyo, the low-end model. I’ve seen video camera phones with better image quality.

This is obviously a case of some people trying to make a few extra bucks with the absolute lowest common denominator. Unless you watch Howard Stern and can’t get enough of this type of drivel, stay miles away from “Beetle Uncensored.”

more details
sound format:
English Dolby Digital Stereo
aspect ratio(s):
1.33:1 Standard TV
special features: The Beetle Bunch, Liner Notes
comments: email us here...
reference system
DVD player: Panasonic DVD-XP50
receiver: Denon AVR-3802
main speakers: Polk RT 600i
center speaker: Polk CS 400i
rear speakers: Polk S4
monitor: 43” Sony KP-43HT20

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