Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ed Wood

Director Tim Burton's love letter to arguably the worst director Hollywood ever saw has made its way to Blu-ray. Johnny Depp stars as Ed Wood in this comedic biopic surrounding the earnest, but undeniably bad, filmmaker's relationship with Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau), his crossdressing fetish, and the filming of Wood's most famous films including Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster, and Plan 9 From Outer Space.

The Blu-ray includes the featurettes from the 2004 Special Edition including the trailer, deleted scenes, and featurettes on the look of the film and recreating the look of Ed Wood's movies, composer Howard Shore's use of the Thermin in the film's score, a basic behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, Landau's performance of Bela Legosi, and audio commentary with Burton, Landau, co-writers Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander, director of photography Stefan Czapsky, and costume designer Colleen Atwood.

Shot in black in white, Ed Wood recreates the world of Edward Davis Wood, Jr. with great care and affection. Landau is amazing in the role that won him his only Academy Award and Burton fills out the supporting roles with some inspired casting that includes Jeffrey Jones,  Juliet LandauBill Murray, and Lisa Marie and George "The Animal" Steele as Vampira and Tor Johnson. And it's funny! The film is filled with terrific dialogue and both sly and obvious humor that can't help but make you smile.

Depp's earnest and hopeful portrayal and Burton's choice to make a film honoring the memory of a flawed filmmaker rather than laughing at his legacy together create a marvel. Ed Wood, along with Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Edward Scissorhands, ranks at the top of the Burton's filmography.

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