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[personal profile] innocent_man
Ed Wood is a 1994 biopic of Edward D. Wood, Jr., one of the worst screenwriters and filmmakers ever. The movie stars Johnny Depp as Wood and is directed by Tim Burton; it's not their first collaboration, but it's one of the best ones.

Wood starts off as a struggling director/filmmaker, working as an errand boy for a studio, and then discovers that a smaller (and trashier) studio has plans to make a movie about Christine Jorgensen. He explains to the director that he should make the movie because he's a transvestite (and therefore knows what it's like to live with an embarrassing secret). His passion, and the fact that he meets and befriends an aging Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau, in easily the best performance of the movie - won him an Oscar), lands him the job. He proceeds to fuck it up, writing an autobiographical screenplay, using completely nonsensical dialog and ignoring all the tedious, nonglamorous but completely essential bits of moviemaking.

This kind of continues throughout the movie; Ed kind of bumbling his way through making Bride of the Monster and finally Plan 9 from Outer Space (we'll get to Ps). Along the way, his girlfriend Dolores (Sarah Jessica Parker, who, in the movie, actually says the line "Do I really have a face like a horse?") leaves him, and he takes up with a nice young lady (Patrica Arquette) he meets in the hospital when Bela is committed for drug abuse.

No matter how much of a fuck-up Wood is, he's presented as so amazingly positive, friendly and cheerful that it's impossible to dislike him. That said, he's completely oblivious to reality, and one wonders how much of Wood lives in Burton (whose movies are often good, but do display a kind of "ah, fuck it" towards the real world that works in some better than others). The biopic is also inaccurate on a number of points, as many are. They ignore that Lugosi was married at the time of his death, that he had a son, and various other little details. All of that said, you really do get a sense of their friendship, and how tragic Lugosi's addiction was. You also get hints of the alcoholism that would eventually ruin Wood, but the movie is just so darned positive that they don't dwell on it, which is probably for the best.

Generally, the movie is a lot of fun (much more so than any of Wood's actual movies, which, MST3K potential aside, are pretty dismal).

My grade: B+
Rewatch value: Medium-high

Next up: Edward Scissorhands

Date: 2012-09-14 12:56 am (UTC)
gamerchick: Alistair from Dragon Age, looking happy.  Text: "Alistair approves +10" (Alistair approves)
From: [personal profile] gamerchick
I love this movie. The scene where Martin Landau fights the fake octopus is easily one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

I'm also looking forward to what you have to say about Edward Scissorhands, which is another favorite of mine. I guess I still just have a thing for Tim Burton.


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