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Ed Wood (Special Edition)
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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(R)-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!
Edward D. Wood Jr. was an actor writer-director-producer, occasionally in drag, who combined meager bursts of talent with an undying optimism to create some of the most bizarrely memorable "B" movies to ever come out of Tinseltown. Though Wood died in obscurity as an alcoholic in 1978, his films have been considered cult classics for years. He is consistently voted the worst director who ever lived. You would think this an odd subject, but director Tim Burton harnesses the undying hopefulness that made Wood such a character. Shot in black and white, just like Wood's creations, this stylized, witty production captures the poetic absurdity of Wood's films and his unconventional life. Burton's recreation of Wood's wonderfully awful Plan 9 from Outer Space looks much better than the original low-budget quickie. Burton tackled an extremely strange subject matter for a biopic, but Wood is presented as naive almost to the point of delusion, so the story works. The pace sags in the middle, as the weirdness starts to wear thin, but Depp proves himself an adroit actor, even while wearing angora and a blonde wig. Wood's unconventional repertoire company is faithfully reproduced, including an Academy Award-winning Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi. Landau is pathetic, droll, and charismatic as the elderly junkie who made his last screen appearances in Wood's films. --Rochelle O'Gorman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This long-delayed DVD from Touchstone is in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The image is sharp with hardly any scratches. Sound is equally stellar, particularly in the opening credits.
Luckily, the disc is packed with extras. Most notable is a group commentary, in which Tim Burton and writers Scott Alexander and Larry Kareszewski (sic?) do most of the talking. Fans will also appreciate "Let's Shoot this F&%^&," a collection of behind-the-scenes footage hosted (rather campily) by Johnny Depp. Other featurettes are about the music, the production design, and the creation of Bela Lugosi (both with acting in makeup). There are five deleted scenes (and a hidden sixth one), one of which includes a cameo by longtime Ed Wood regular Paul Marco. A theatrical trailer and a memorable music video round out the extras.
The film has two tremendous assets: the performers and its visual style. Johnny Depp leads the cast in the title role, and it is a virtuoso performance, for he entices us to like a man whose self-blindness would normally lead an audience to reject him out of hand; the performance is incredibly witty, wildly over the top, and yet it contains just enough pathos to allow us to relate to Wood on a human level. But the real stunner in the cast is Martin Landau, who picked up a Best Supporting Academy Award for his performance as Bela Lugosi, a legendary actor who was very much a forgotten star (not to mention morphine addict) by the time Wood befriended him in the early 1950s.
As with Wood himself, the film plays fast and loose with the facts of Lugosi's life, but it nonetheless captures something very essential about both Lugosi and the Hollywood that destroyed him, something very elemental that transcends the weird comedy of the piece. And Landau gives the performance of his career; you truly believe that this is Lugosi before you, a strange but appealing mixture of faltering humanity and arrogance desperate for an audience now lost to him.Read more ›
And director Tim Burton clearly has a lot of respect for that love. "Ed Wood" follows the director during the, um, best part of his career, as well as his friendship with the fallen horror actor Bela Lugosi. This is one of the best films that Burton has ever made -- a slightly cartoonish tale about an optimistic, energetic man who wouldn't let anything stand in his way.
When playwright Ed Wood Jr. (Johnny Depp) hears about a schlocky sex-change movie, he convinces a producer to let him direct the movie... because he's a transvestite. No, I don't quite understand the logic. Then he strikes up a friendship Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau), whose drug addictions have destroyed his career. But Wood blithely casts his idol in the movie, determined to give him the recognition he deserves.
After "Glen and Glenda" bombs, Wood starts searching for independent funding for his next movie, "Bride of the Atom" -- only to encounter a lot of personal and financial disasters, including being dumped by his girlfriend and Lugosi's suicidal depression.
The next movie -- initially called "Grave Robbers From Outer Space" -- seems to be going well at first, especially since Ed has found love with Kathy (Rosanna Arquette). But then things begin to spiral off into disaster when Ed must contend with a tragic death and recalcitrant Baptists who don't understand Wood's vision. Will this movie finally crush Ed Wood's spirit?Read more ›
Shot in black and white, it is one of Burton's most auteur-ish pictures, with his entire cast playing outsiders trying to fit in, with edwoodian results. It didn't do much at the box office, but thank God for DVD and blu-ray, Ed Wood's ludicrous career can now be enjoyed at its fullest and best. Burton fans who don't know about this may very much want to join, since the film requires no knowledge of Wood's movies.
If you had the original DVD, all of the special features have been ported over, and even though they aren't too in-depth, they do mark serious scores for being very informative about the production, music, and more. (P.S.: Danny Elfman didn't score this one, Lord of the Rings' Howard Shore did, and it's perfect)
If you like BAD movies, if you enjoy Wood's productions, there's really nothing else to say but: welcome to Ed Wood Land :)
Most recent customer reviews
Tim Burton greatest film is Between this 1994 classic & His 2014 film BIG EYES.
I love that this film is in black & white capturing that classic Hollywood Noir look. Read more
A truly inspiring story of perseverance and the special features with Vampira dancing and the commentary were very nice too. A great special edition for a great film.Published 18 months ago by Liam
I think that this movie really caught the essence of Ed Wood. His peculiar habits and mannerisms, his somewhat strange relationships and his movies. Read morePublished 20 months ago by JT
I bought this as a gift for my niece and it came earlier than promised and in great shape and she loved it. Made me look good!Published on Oct. 11 2013 by lia
Johnny Depp stars as Ed Wood, arguably the worst movie director of all time, in this amusing and at times, touching story of Ed's career in the fifties. Read morePublished on Sept. 1 2011 by Kona
Very funny look at the life of Edward D. Wood Jr(played by Johnny Depp)This movie got me more interested in Ed Wood as well as Depp. Read morePublished on Feb. 22 2009 by Richard Mather
this is prolly one of the worst movies i've ever seen. it's super draggy and the plot kind of goes around in circles the only reason i bought it was because it has johnny depp in... Read morePublished on March 4 2007 by Ian Milne
This is Tim Burton saying that no matter how many people don't care about B-horror pictures, he does, and showing us that there can be poetry in them. Read morePublished on March 19 2004 by Ben Parker