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ED WOOD Blu-ray Review

Ed Wood is out now on Blu-ray for the first time, and it has been digitally restored. This is one of my favorite Tim Burton/Johnny Depp film, and one that shows why they have had such a long working relationship. Burton and Depp seem to just get each other artistically, and it shows in this film more than ever.

The cast features a bunch of wonderful character actors, including Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, Bill Murray, and Lisa Marie. Scott Alexander adapted the screenplay from Rudolph Grey’s book. The story tells the true-life story of Ed Wood, famed as the worst director in the history of Hollywood, but at heart an enthusiastic movie fan with a passion to create. The movie follows Wood during his early career.

Do not let the fact that this film is shot in black and white turn you away from watching this masterpiece. It is truly one of the best Burton films. Just like Wood, Burton shot the film with what seems to be a low budget. One interesting bit of info is that the film was actually shot on black and white film. At the time, there were enough professional processing places that were able to handle B&W. When a director wants to do a B&W movie now, it has to be shot in color and then removed in post-production.

Depp is great in this role, I actually like him better in this film than I do in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. If you really want to see how wonderful a character actor Depp is at such a young age, then Ed Wood is the film to base that off of. He was able to hold his own with other fantastic character actors like Murray and Landau. Sarah Jessica Parker is the best she has been in this film, granted I am not a huge fan. Landau is wonderful in every role he plays, but he was meant to play Bela Lugosi. His performance is the best part of the entire film.

Howard Shore scored this film, and it is a pleasure to listen to. The sound quality of this disc is simply phenomenal with the 5.1 soundtrack. The sound mix is completely front-centered. This goes back to Burton’s choice to use B&W film, he wanted to make sure that the look, feel and even the sound of the film was not too modern. Shores score is hauntingly beautiful, and is present throughout the film through the rear channel.

If you are hoping for new special features with this Blu-ray release, you are going to be disappointed. Below are the special features:
    • Commentary with Director Tim Burton, Actor Martin Landau, Co-Writers Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander, Director of Photography Stefan Czapsky and Costume Designer Colleen Atwood: Unlike normal commentaries that are organic conversations that flow throughout the film, this is a series of interviews that have been edited together. These do not feel organic, but there are some fantastic bits of info mixed in.
    • Deleted Scenes: This is actually a worthwhile bunch of scenes to watch, even though as usual it’s good that they were left on the cutting room floor.
    • Music Video Composed by Howard Shore: Pretty cool feature, and a must-watch if you are a fan of the music.
    • Let’s Shoot This F#*%@r!: This feature is book-ended by Depp talking about the film. The middle part shows clips from the production of the movie.
    • The Theremin: Howard Shore talks about how he used a theremin in the movie, and we hear from Mark Segal on how the theremin works.
    • Making Bela: This may only be 8 minutes, but it is the best 8 minutes of the special features. Fans get to see how Martin Landau and Rick Baker recreated Bela Lugosi.
    • Pie Plates Over Hollywood: We are shown some of the challenges faced during production by Tom Duffield.
    • Theatrical Trailer

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Jim Napier

Jim Napier

Jim has been a self-proclaimed super geek ever since he got his first computer all the way back in 1992– and he has been ‘plugged in’ ever since. Fed by a steady diet of movies as a kid, he has expanded to new platforms to fuel his inner geek! Movies continue to feed Jim’s creative side, while technology is constantly changing and creating new toys that woo and draw him in!