Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ed Wood. B+


Tim Burton's 'Ed Wood' is, to put it simply, a comedic biopic about who many consider the worst director of all time, Edward Wood, played by Johnny Depp. I guess Depp is good at playing characters named Edward. The movie begins when Wood is still directing stage plays. After his latest work is bashed by the critics, Wood, who aspires to be a filmmaker (Orson Welles is one of his great inspirations-Vincent D'Onofrio actually makes a brief cameo appearance as Welles near the end of the film), wonders if he'll ever make it to Hollywood. When cheap producer George Weiss sends out a request for a director for a biography of the life of Christine Jorgensen, Wood discovers that this might be his chance. After a coincidental run-in with movie legend Bella Lugosi (Martin Landau), Wood forms a friendship with the star and uses him as bait to get Weiss to sign him as the director of the movie, which Wood later entitles 'Glen to Glenda.' Wood, who has sights on making the next 'Citizen Kane,' writes, directs, produces, and stars in the film, and when it is finished is slammed both critically and financially. It's hilarious watching Wood's directing methods. He usually rushes through the shoot and after just one take he moves on to the next shot, saying: 'perfect' even if the scene is filled with errors. The acting in 'Ed Wood' is terrific. Depp of course is brilliant as the title character, and Sarah Jessica Parker, Landau, and Bill Murray have nice supporting roles. The style of 'Ed Wood' is typical Tim Burton eccentricity. It is shot in black and white (Or transferred, I'm not quite sure) and Howard Shore provides the necessary spooky score that makes for a perfect combination with the comedy present in the movie. The movie isn't perfect. I felt that it dragged a bit toward the end, and sometimes it even felt repetitive. But if you take the average comedy from Hollywood today, or even the ones that are supposed to be extremely funny, they still won't be as genuine, creative, or funny as Tim Burton's biopic of perhaps the worst director of all time.

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