Ed Wood – Special Edition

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Rating: R

Starring:
Johnny Depp as Ed Wood
Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi
Sarah Jessica Parker as Dolores Fuller
Patricia Arquette as Kathy O’Hara
Jeffrey Jones as Criswell
G.D. Spradlin as Reverend Lemon
Vincent D’Onofrio as Orson Welles
Bill Murray as Bunny Breckinridge
Mike Starr as Georgie Weiss
Max Casella as Paul Marco
Brent Hinkley as Conrad Brooks
Lisa Marie as Vampira
George ‘The Animal’ Steele as Tor Johnson
Juliet Landau as Loretta King
Clive Rosengren as Ed Reynolds

Special Features:
An Abundance Of Deleted Scenes From The Film, Including Bill Murray Singing “Que Sera Sera” With A Mariachi Band In A Meat Locker!

“Let’s Shoot This F#*%@r!” — Join Star Johnny Depp And Director Tim Burton As A Fly On The Wall And Go Behind The Scenes For The Making Of This Quirky Masterpiece.

Audio Commentary — Watch The Film As You Hear Recollections From Director Tim Burton, Actor Martin Landau, Writers Scott Alexander & Larry Karazewski, Costume Designer Colleen Atwood, And Cinematographer Stefan Czapsky.

“Making Bela” — In ED WOOD, Martin Landau Not Only Looked Like Bela Lugosi, But He Virtually Became The Famous Actor, A Role For Which He Won An Oscar®. See How He Made This Amazing Transformation, Along With Help From Makeup Master Rick Baker.

“Pie Plates Over Hollywood” — Production Designer Tom Duffield Shares His Insights On Realizing The Offbeat And Stunning Visual World Of ED WOOD.

Original Music Video Co-Directed By Tim Burton And Choreographer Toni Basil, With Music By Composer Howard Shore.

The Theremin

Theatrical Trailer

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 127 Minutes

Synopsis:
This film was originally released in 1994. Here’s the text from the DVD cover:

“From Tim Burton, acclaimed director of BIG FISH, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, and BATMAN, and the producer of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, comes the hilarious, true-life story of the wackiest filmmaker in Hollywood history, Ed Wood! Johnny Depp (PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, CHOCOLAT, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS) stars as the high-spirited movieman who refuses to let unfinished scenes, terrible reviews, and hostile studio executives derail his big-screen dreams. With an oddball collection of showbiz misfits, Ed takes the art of bad moviemaking to an all-time low! The all-star cast features Bill Murray (LOST IN TRANSLATION, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS), Sarah Jessica Parker (TV’s SEX AND THE CITY), Patricia Arquette (STIGMATA, LITTLE NICKY), and an Academy Award®-winning performance by Martin Landau (Best Supporting Actor, 1994) as Bela Lugosi. Hailed by critics everywhere, this laugh-packed comedy hit is sure to entertain everyone!”

Ed Wood is rated R for some strong language.

The Movie:
I hadn’t seen Ed Wood in a while, so it was a treat to get to see it again on DVD. It’s an intriguing tale of one of Hollywood’s more colorful characters. It’s easy to see why eccentric director Tim Burton would want to tell his life’s story. Thrown in Burton’s unique sense of humor and a fantastic cast and you end up with an excellent and entertaining biopic.

I’ve always been a fan of Johnny Depp and this film reinforces that. Depp has a talent for picking characters that are dramatically different from each other. When you watch him as Ed Wood, you don’t think of Edward Scissorhands. When you see him in Sleepy Hollow, he’s not remotely similar to Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s that chameleon ability that makes him such a fantastic actor. Depp plays Wood with an enthusiasm and energy that makes him likable. Even though he’s a cross dresser, a terrible filmmaker, and he has a host of other problems, you can’t help but root for him to succeed. Depp makes Wood so interesting that you want to see what the real Ed Wood’s movies were like.

Johnny Depp is backed up by a stellar supporting cast. Martin Landau plays Bela Lugosi, a role for which he won the Academy Award. It’s an impressive transformation and he is very convincing as Lugosi. And despite his addictions, his mood swings, and his other faults, you can see why Ed is drawn to him. Their friendship ends up being quite touching as Wood gives Lugosi one of his last moments as a star. Also included in the film is Sarah Jessica Parker as Dolores Fuller. Parker’s scenes where she’s acting in Wood’s films are incredibly cheesy and quite funny. Patricia Arquette plays Kathy O’Hara, Wood’s wife. Also look for Jeffrey Jones as Criswell, Vincent D’Onofrio as Orson Welles, and a shockingly gay Bill Murray as Bunny Breckinridge.

Ed Wood was filmed entirely in black and white and it helps set the mood of the picture perfectly. I don’t think it would have transported audiences back quite the same if it had been in color. The film score by Howard Shore is also excellent and wonderfully captures that weird sci-fi sound of scores from the 50′s.

Ed Wood was a highlight of Tim Burton’s filmography. It’s one of those rare biopics that it funny, touching, and unique. If you’re a fan of Burton, Depp, Landau, or Ed Wood, then this is a required addition to your collection.

The Extras:
There are quite a few extras included on this DVD. Unfortunately, there are no clips from Wood’s films and there is no biography on the real life characters from the film. Here’s what you’ll find in the rest of the extras:

Deleted Scenes – There are five deleted scenes included here. The first one shows Tor breaking through the front gate of the studio lot. The second scene shows the group running back out of the studio gate with the octopus. The next features Ed having dinner with Tor and his family. In the scene we learn that Tor’s wife doesn’t like him playing a monster. The fourth scene shows Dolores Fuller leaving Ed and him moving in temporarily with Bela. The two then ponder their past mistakes. The final deleted scene features Bill Murray singing “Que Sera Sera” with the Mariachi Band in the meat locker. This scene alone makes the deleted scenes worth checking out.

“Let’s Shoot This F#*%@r!” – This is a series of behind the scenes clips from the set of Ed Wood. They show the filming of a few key scenes including the octopus fight, the strip tease, and more. It’s amusingly introduced by Johnny Depp in drag (who notes that it’s the second time he’s played a character named ‘Ed’ for Tim Burton.).

Audio Commentary – The commentary seems like it was filmed with each individual separately. It also doesn’t seem like they were watching the movie as they recorded it. The discussion rarely seems to follow what’s on the screen. Despite this, there’s a lot of interesting discussion from Burton and everyone else about what they were trying to do with the film. If you’re an Ed Wood fan, you’ll enjoy this commentary. I just wish they had included Johnny Depp in it.

“Making Bela” – Martin Landau talks about how he transformed himself into Bela Lugosi while Rick Baker discusses the makeup design for the character. It was obviously a labor of love for all involved and it ended up being an Academy Award winning effort.

“Pie Plates Over Hollywood” — Production Designer Tom Duffield discusses how he created the sets for the film. He talks about the challenges of shooting in black and white, his choices behind some of the looks, how he matched the sets to the original Ed Wood films, and more. He also goes into detail about the “Spook House” seen in the film. This is a little long, but there are some interesting bits of info in it.

Original Music Video Co-Directed By Tim Burton And Choreographer Toni Basil, With Music By Composer Howard Shore – This is a weird music video featuring a dancer dressed like Vampira gyrating to the theme song from the film. It’s a surreal video, much like the film itself.

The Theremin – This short video highlights a bizarre electronic Russian instrument used in the score. It’s quite a strange device that provides the weird humming noise like that heard in a lot of 50′s sci-fi film scores. There’s a lot of technobabble in the feature, but it’s still good.

The Bottom Line:
Ed Wood is required viewing for fans of Johnny Depp, Tim Burton, Martin Landau, or Ed Wood. If you haven’t seen it before, then you’ll definitely want to check out this funny and unique biopic.

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