Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ed Wood (1994)

Ed Wood (1994)
"Honey, what if I'm wrong? What if I just don't got it?"
"Ed, it was only one review."
"Orson Welles was only 26 when he made Citizen Kane. I'm already 30."
"Ed, you're still young. This is the time in your life when you're supposed to be struggling."
"I know. But I'm scared it's not going to get any better than this."

"Burton's faithfulness and Depp's striking performance makes this biography a terribly sad film, for success that's never met, with a side of hatred and mockery as a legacy."

I've never had a film that told me to kick myself in the balls before, until I saw Tim Burton's Ed Wood. I, like many people watched Citizen Kane for the first time, and after feeling underwhelmed at 'the best' film ever, I decided to go the other way and watch 'the worst'. With my endeavour I watched Plan 9 From Outer Space and whole bunch of films from the infamous Edward D. Wood Jr. Of course, like most the world, we all laughed and enjoyed the absurdity of his films - full of countless mistakes so obvious I'm not sure how post-production didn't die of laughter, and pretty much anything else that could go wrong with a movie, did. Although I don't believe Ed Wood's films are 'the worst', and he didn't merit the Golden Turkey for 'Worst Director of All Time', he certainly fits a template of public demand, ridiculously entertaining. Anyway, back to the kicking of my balls, which I intrigued you with earlier, Ed Wood is sad! I wouldn't compare Ed Wood to the likes of Kramer vs. Kramer- in the sense of tear jerking. However, Ed Wood may not bring you to tears, it does make you question your own self-worth, especially if your aspiring into the film industry like little naive me. What this film tells is the unfortunate tale of a director (which we can all relate in some degree) just never making it, and leaving a terribly humiliating legacy, and to see Johnny Depp's smile after the biggest rejection of what he tried so hard, I just want to kick my own balls for ever mocking his films. 

Full of Carey-like energy!

It's a fairly truthful biography, although not perfectly accurate, it follows the general idea. Edward D. Wood Jr. - a man born with one of the coolest names ever, continues his life ambitions to become a director, following the footsteps of his idol, Orson Welles. Through pristine black and white, we are served a comical and often strikingly accurate portrayal of the infamous director. Although much of the details are fiction, you get a very satisfying feeling while the film 'nit-picks' the mistakes of Plan 9 (among others), and even re-enact them perfectly. With that said, I never had the urge to wander off and play Tetris like I usually do, there I was, three in the morning, thoroughly entertained and laughing. 

The performances and plot are made for each other, the relationship between the two are best describable as covering your body in butter, then sliding down a giant pile of butter - smooth. What makes Ed Wood such a fun and enjoyable film is the entertaining, yet faithful plot, and the comical performances. Johnny Depp is perhaps one of the most enjoyable actors ever; with every role, he emits an energetic burst of excitement. In this particular role, he has a painful optimism, which makes me just want to drown him with money in the hope he can make something good! Depp fills the shows of a legend in filmmaking, and adds dynamic of sympathy, which previously never occurred to people, but now Plan 9 brings me closer to weeping than laughing. 

Cameos, cameos and cameos!
Let the towns people celebrate in Tim's latest contribution to the world. Burton, directing or not, has always brought a gothic aesthetic to all his works. Burton has always had what I would call reliable work, and to some degree always making entertaining films, despite their quality. Although Burton never seemed to quite make his masterpiece, he's perhaps been close (not necessarily directing), and Ed Wood is his success, however, I do feel he could maybe make a larger impact. As far asEd Wood goes, its brilliantly directed, and adds to its overall, likeableness. 

Overall, like butter on butter, with some extra butter, Ed Wood is smooth, it's a film of extreme likability and quality. Burton's faithfulness and Depp's striking performances makes this biography a terribly sad film, for success that's never met, with a side of hatred and mockery as a legacy. I think Ed Wood's greatest achievement is to not only tell a quality story, but to send a fear into any aspiring filmmaker, that you may one day fail, go into porn and be known as 'the worst'.


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