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Ed Wood (1994)

  Directed by: Tim Burton
Written by: Scott Alexander, Rudolph Grey, Larry Karaszewski
Starring: Patricia Arquette, Vincent D'Onofrio, Johnny Depp, Jeffrey Jones, Juliet Landau, Martin Landau, Lisa Marie, Bill Murray, Sarah Jessica Parker
Links: Ed Wood on the IMDb, Buy on DVD, Buy on Video, Buy the Book, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Comedy

This movie gets: 9.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Great film about bad films" - a review by em_fiction

Isn't it ironic that Edward D. Wood Jr. made some of the worst films of all time, most notably Plan 9 from Outer Space (1958), yet when Tim Burton recreates a biopic of him in a silly style not unlike his own, it becomes such a magnificent picture? And speaking of ironies, what about Martin Landau winning an Oscar for playing Bela Lugosi, while Lugosi himself (quoting his IMDb biography) "never came within a mile of one"? Well, ironic shmironic, I'll just get on with the review.

During the 1950s in America, an optimistic young man named Edward D. Wood Jr. (Johnny Depp) realises how unsuccessfully he's doing in the theatre business and decides to turn to pictures. After befriending aging horror star Bela Lugosi (Landau), Ed tries to rid Bela of his depression by bringing him back to the silver screen. The film then begins to focus on the period of which Ed makes his first few films: Glen or Glenda (1953), Bride of the Monster (1955) and Plan 9. During this period, Ed is struggling to find sponsors to fund his films and dealing with his compulsive tranvestism while Bela sinks more and more into a fragile condition.

I've never actually seen any of Ed Wood's work (for obvious reasons) but from the footage and making that I saw in this, it were absolutely hilarious, especially the horror films. Ed Wood has made such bad films, I mean so incredibly bad that now it's almost become trendy and people have actually begun to respect and even praise him for his so-called 'contribution' to cinema.

Tim Burton cleverly directs this wonderful, laugh-a-minute movie about a very interesting figure in cinema history. The very effective black-and-white creates a genuine feel of the 1950s, and the cast simply could not be anymore perfect. Johnny Depp is especially delightful in the lead role, definitely the best role I've ever seen him in any film. His flaky portrayal of Wood welcomes us to comfortably fire genuine shouts of laughter — I don't remember the last time I laughed as hard. Martin Landau is also excellent as Lugosi and blackly hilarious with his thick Hungarian accent. The supporting star-playing-star cast also includes some wonderful performances from Sarah Jessica Parker, Bill Murray, Lisa Marie, Jeffrey Jones, Patricia Arquette, Martin Landau's daughter Juliet Landau and Vincent D'Onofrio (who convincingly and conveniently plays Wood's idol, Citizen Kane (1941) creator Orson Welles).

Intelligent, interesting, engaging, very funny and spectacular, this is definitely one you should put at the top of your 'to-see' list right now!

em_fiction gives this movie 9 out of 10.
Review created on Sat 24 Jan 2004

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