28 October 2013

Ed Wood

Ed Wood 1994
  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Based on book: no.
  • Cast: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, Jeffrey Jones, Bill Murray, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lisa Marie
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Johnny Depp  Nightmare on Elm Street, Platoon, Slow Burn, Cry-Baby, Edward Scissorhands, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Arizona Dream, Benny and Joon, Don Juan DeMarco, Dead Man, Nick of Time, Donnie Brasco, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Ninth Gate, The Astronaut’s Wife, Sleepy Hollow, The Man Who Cried, Chocolat, Blow, From Hell, Lost in La Mancha, Pirates of the Caribbean (all four of them), Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Secret Window, Finding Neverland, Libertine, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Public Enemies, Alice in Wonderland, The Tourist
    • Martin Landau – Sleepy Hollow, EDtv, Mission Impossible (the entire series as it was broadcast) plus many other series episodes.
    • Patricia Arquette  – Holes, Bringing Out the Dead, True Romance, The Indian Runner
    • Sarah Jessica Parker – Smart People, State and Main, Mars Attacks!, First Wives Club, Footloose
    • Jeffrey Jones – Sleepy Hollow, The Devil’s Advocate, Beetlejuice, Amadeus,  
    • Bill Murray – Darjeeling Limited, Broken Flowers, Lost in Translation, The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom, Cradle Will Rock, Rushmore, Hamlet, Groundhog Day, What About Bob?, Ghostbusters
    • Vincent D’Onofrio – Men in Black, Feeling Minnesota, Strange Days, JFK,
    • Lisa Marie – Planet of the Apes, Sleepy Hollow, Mars Attacks!
  • Why? Johnny Depp. Ninth movie of JD marathon.
  • Seen: Twice.  Now: October 25, 2013.

       If Johnny Depp was trying to break what might have become a pattern of quiet introverted vulnerable young guys, he succeeded. His Ed Wood is vulnerable but doesn’t know it; he’s talkative to the point of babbling and frantically sociable. In this film we see signs of JD in his manic mode that he hones to perfection in Jack Straw.
       Here, I’m sorry to say, he hasn’t quite reached perfection though some critics regard his performance as outstanding. For me his irrationally optimistic Ed Wood doesn’t quite ring true. Ed Wood probably really was like this but the tone of the movie is an affectionate parody rather than a portrait.
       It’s supposed to be funny – isn’t it? – and Ed Wood’s encounter with the Baptists is funny. It is fun to see the making of Plan 9 from Outer Space which is truly a stupid movie (but not the stupidest I’ve seen). But generally I just feel sorry for everyone.
       You know I love JD.  I am also extremely fond of Tim Burton’s films. But I just can’t get into the spirit of this one.  Maybe next time.

2* of 5

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