ED WOOD works in every possible way a movie can. It’s an inspiration to all the cab-driving screenwriters and waiter/actors out there who simply won’t relent ‘til they reach their goals. It’s a love letter to a director who Burton obviously felt some sort of real connection with and had a ton of respect for. It’s a tribute to Bela Lugosi, a once world-renowned movie star that saw his career plummet due to drug addiction and a Hollywood era that no longer existed. But I mostly admire this film, and particularly Tim Burton for making Ed Wood into a hero in this film. Through all the hard times and setbacks Ed faced, he always seems to have that distinctive and endearing smile on his face, simply because he loved what he was doing and the people he was doing it with. There is a lot to admire about what Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Martin Landau have done here, transporting us to a time and place when even making bad movies had its own innocent charm. There is a lot to admire about ED WOOD…
Audio Commentary: Director Tim Burton, screenwriters Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, actor Martin Landau, director of photography Stefan Czapsky and costume designer Colleen Atwood all participate. The commentary tracks are separate for each of the participants which takes away some of the spontaneity but they all nevertheless give you everything and anything you’ll want to know about the production. It also limits the lulls, so in the end I found this to be an above average commentary track that I really enjoyed.
“Pie Plates Over Hollywood” (13 minutes): I seldom find the accounts of the production designer interesting on DVD extras but this time was different. The film’s production designer Tom Duffield speaks (among other things) of the challenges he faced when constructing sets that would have to mesh well with the black and white look the film would ultimately have. He also takes us through many of the sketches and ideas he had in his notebooks while in production. On the whole, this is one ‘set talk’ feature that I found thoroughly interesting.
“Making Bela” (8 minutes): What it took to transform actor Martin Landau into the legendary Hungarian boogeyman Bela Lugosi. Landau and makeup wiz Rick Baker take us through the journey. Landau’s explanations of what it took emotionally and physically to make Lugosi come to life and make us care for him is the main highlight here, not the same ole makeup routine talk…
“The Theremin” (7 minutes): The theremin is a special electronic instrument that was featured in the score of ED WOOD. In this feature, the film’s composer and a theremin expert both expand on the role this instrument played in the film. The instrument itself is fascinating; the talk about it is a little less so…
“Let’s Shoot This F#*%$r!” (13 minutes): This is a behind-the-scenes featurette with the king of cool, Johnny Depp. As you would expect anything hosted by Johnny Depp to be – it rocks! Seriously, this is one of the best behind-the-scenes extras I’ve seen. It actually takes you there on set rather than it being just an endless series of interviews with the cast & crew telling you how great everyone is.