OOne of the best movies in recent memory has arrived from Touchstone DVD in an impressive collector’s edition. Tim Burtons “Ed Wood” stars Johnny Depp as legendary bad film maker Edward D. Wood, whose life and cinematic missteps are chronicled in this impressive film.
Depp plays the cross-dressing Wood as a man who is desperate to make films and is willing to go to any lengths to get his films made. Wood sees himself as an Orson Welles in the making as he writes, directs, produces, and if necessary acts in his works. The only issue is his passion is widely ignored by the studio and he is forced to eek out a living working on the studio backlots while writing at night and creating plays in the local community theaters while his girlfriend Dolores (Sarah Jessica Parker), holds a regular job to pay the rent in between acting in Ed’s various projects.
Fate steps in when Wood is given a large supply of stock footage from the studio as wood sees an entire film around the footage, which is fortuitous, as Wood also learns of a gender changing film to be made and pressures the low-budget studio to allow him to write, direct, and act in the film. Wood’s fortunes also take an upswing when a chance encounter starts a friend ship with screen legend Bella Lugosi (Martin Landau), who has fallen on hard times and is more than happy to work in Ed’s productions.
Despite the impression by many in the industry that Lugosi has passed on, Woods is thrilled to have a name actor on budget that he can shop to studios to sell his films. The fact that one film after another goes down in flames both commercially and critically is of little consequence to Woods as he is convinced his breakout film is right around the corner.
What follows is one zany adventure after another as Ed and his zany brand of misfits keep trying to get it right, and find new and creative ways to finance and make their movies. Ed also has to deal with his secret fetish and the impact that it has on the women in his life.
The acting in the film is solid as it is clear that the cast shares director Tim Burton’s passion for the material. Landau won an Oscar for his performance and supporting performances by Bill Murray and Jeffrey Jones round out this impressive film.
While the film was largely ignored by the viewing public upon its release, it has gained a growing following with its first release on DVD, and later showings at revival theaters and with the breakout success Depp has seen in the past year, the collectors edition with its large amounts of extras is a welcome release and a must for any collectors.
The new DVD release contains
o Available subtitles: Spanish
o Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
o Commentary by director Tim Burton and actor Martin Landau
o Deleted scenes
o Behind-the-scenes footage hosted by Johnny Depp
o Production design featurette and more
5 stars out of 5