"Ed Wood" releases on a single-disc Blu-ray package featuring the R-rated version of the biographical picture of Ed Wood, the man often dubbed as the worst director of all time. This critically acclaimed film is one of the earlier collaborations of Tim Burton with his long-time friend and colleague Johnny Depp. It also stars Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, Bill Murray, Lisa Marie, and Vincent D'Onofrio. It won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Landau, along with a nomination for Best Makeup.
This stranger-than-fiction tale revolves around Wood's bizarre world and his unshakeable faith and enthusiasm that his next film will turn out better than his prior offerings. The narrative focuses on his early career, a time when he faced constant failure and rejection while making the 1950s B-movies "Glen or Glenda" and "Plan 9 from Other Space." It depicts his life and the dreamers and misfits surrounding his works, which is highlighted by his deep friendship with the aging, drug-addicted, and fallen star Bela Lugosi.
This zany black-and-white film is full of offbeat sensibilities that impressively display the visual flair of its then young and visionary director. For this project, Burton clearly withholds from his signature German Expressionist style in favor of the story's own needs. He effectively recreates a Fifties Los Angeles setting through an impeccably dated cinematography and art direction. He also crafts a fine character piece dominated by strange personalities, which aptly reflect his oddball aesthetics.
The transfer successfully combines deep blacks, adequate highlights, and fine shades of gray. Image details are always sharp and clear. The picture's natural grain pattern promotes a very filmic texture for the shots. Occasional video noise and other visual flaws can be seen, but they are quite easy to let pass. There are also no artificial enhancement issues plaguing the presentation.
The film's five-channel lossless track sounds excellent in this Blu-ray edition. There is an old-school feel to the almost entirely front-centered mix. It primarily utilizes the surrounds and rears to support the often inventively goofy and at times tragic musical score. It consistently maintains crisp and intelligible dialogue, except for the synching problem on D'Onofrio's Orson Welles character, which was dubbed by a different actor in the attempt to more accurately portray the character's voice. The disc also provides dubbed audio options that include a five-channel mix in French and stereo mix in Spanish.
The package houses a decent number of extras including the audio commentary with Burton, Landau, co-writers Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander, director of photography Stefan Czapsky, and costume designer Colleen Atwood, a collection of deleted scenes, a music video for Howard Shore's title theme, the behind-the-scene featurette "Let's Shoot This F#*%@r!," a discussion of the unique electronic instrument used in the score entitled "The Theremin," the production featurette depicting Landau's portrayal of Bela Lugosi in "Making Bela," the production design featurette "Pie Plates Over Hollywood," and the film's theatrical trailer. All video materials are presented in SD format. Subtitles are available in English SDH, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
"Ed Wood" celebrates bad filmmaking and raises it to the level of a fine art form. An homage to the era and style of a struggling filmmaker typically mocked during his time, it redefines the "worst director in history" title by turning the man into a hero of his own life story. With such an inventive script, sensitive direction, stellar performances, and top-notch production values, this cult movie is a must-watch for its cinematic showcase of the interesting life of the legendary cult director.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Martin Landau
- Sarah Jessica Parker