DVD Shopping Bag: Ed Wood on Blu-ray (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Source: Mania.com

It’s funny when a movie comes out, nowadays, how much hype there is. There was hype back in 1994, just not like today. Tim Burton’s bio-pic on the “worst director of all time” came and went pretty quickly. Burton had just finished Batman Returns and this was, believe it or not, a departure for the director. Personally, I was a freshmen in college, working two jobs, and just trying to keep up. I knew of Burton’s film, I just didn’t have time for something that wasn’t hyped or his usual flare. A bio-pic about the “worst director of all time”? No, thanks. 

Somewhere along the road, at the end of college, I happened to be working at a video store and saw the movie sitting there on the shelf. It was a free rental, so, at the most, all it was going to cost me was time. To be brief, I loved it. Perhaps it was all the film history/ theory that I absorbed over the 5 years in college or maybe it was the production classes, but Ed Wood really spoke to me. The “worst director of all time” was always scheming one way or another just to get his films made. Why? Because he just wanted to tell stories. I understood that and respected that. Ed became a hero of mine and in 2002, when I co-produced a film, he got me through it. 

A couple of years ago, I picked up the collector’s edition (the one that was pulled from the shelves right away) and Ed Wood on DVD became a staple of my night time viewing. There was something comforting about the movie and Ed’s resilience to never give up. Bela Lugosi also became a new favorite actor of mine and all of his work took on a new meaning. To honor both Bela and Ed, I even arranged a double feature of Bride of the Atom and Plan 9 From Outer Space at the local cinema. These two men, and all the characters in the film, have become friends, much like the misfits I knew and loved in my own life. Yet, with my most recent viewing of the film, it has now all changed. 

A couple of weeks ago, I got the Ed Wood Blu-ray. I popped on the commentary track and listened to Burton and company talk about the film. After all, it was the one special feature I never watched and a great excuse to check out the film’s resolution in 1080p. First of all, Rick Baker’s make up on Martin Landau holds up. He is still very much Lugosi and not Landau in make up. Sarah Jessica Parker, on the other hand... yikes! That is a face that should not be in 1080p or perhaps not in black and white 1080p. The camera doesn’t lie, Jessica. However, it was the commentary track that made it all different and not the film I fell in love with. 

Tim Burton, Martin Landau, and screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski reveal just how much was of this film was fabricated. It is true that not all bio-pics are honest to God gospel, but how much was made up, here, truly saddened me; the facts of which I won’t even go into. Now, I know William Wallace didn’t really do all things Mel Gibson’s film had him do. I also know that Oscar Schindler never had that “one more person” moment from the end of the film. Yet, with something as simple and non-earth shattering as the story behind the “worst director of all time”, couldn’t we get a little more of the truth?

Burton does address that in interviewing people he was getting their perspectives on what happened. He knew that if he didn’t stay true to the vision of the film, it would have easily become a film about Criswell, Bunny Breckinridge, or Dolores Fuller. All of which would have ruined the tale of friendship between Bela and Ed. Now, I have to wrestle with what’s on screen as the story of Ed Wood as more fiction than fact. It is still an inspiring piece of cinema, but it feels tarnished that so much of it was “Bullshit”. Without a definitive book on Ed Wood, how will we ever know the truth? In all the special features I have ever watched, this one was the first to actually ruin a film for me. 

 

Top 5 Picks of the Week:

1. Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray]
2. 
Princess Bride: 25th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]
3. 
Dark Star - Thermostellar Edition (Blu-ray)
4. 
Masters of the Universe (25th Anniversary) [Blu-ray]
5. 
The Hole BD Combo [Blu-ray]

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

Blazing Arrows Starring Lester Cuneo

Comanche Station Starring Claude Akins, Randolph Scott and Skip Homeier

Double Impact [Blu-ray] Starring Geoffrey Lewis and Jean-Claude Van Damme

El Mariachi / Desperado Starring Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Carlos Gallardo

Flesh & Blood Starring Tom Burlinson and Rutger Hauer

Flying Swords of Dragon Gate [Blu-ray] Starring Jet Li and Kun Chen

Flying Swords of Dragon Gate Starring Jet Li and Kun Chen

Headshot [Blu-ray] Starring Nopporn Chaiyanam

Masterson of Kansas Starring James Griffith, George Montgomery and Jean Willes

Night Riders [Blu-ray] Starring John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, Max Terhune and Doreen McKay

Night Riders Starring John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, Max Terhune and Doreen McKay

Overland Stage Raiders [Blu-ray] Starring John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, Max Terhune and Louise Brooks

Overland Stage Raiders Starring John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, Max Terhune and Louise Brooks

The Phantom Stagecoach Starring Richard Webb, William Bishop and Hugh Sanders

Public Enemies [Blu-ray] Starring David Wenham, James Russo, Johnny Depp and Jason Clarke

Red Lights [Blu-ray] Starring Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver, Cillian Murphy

Red Lights (DVD + Digital Copy) Starring Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver, Cillian Murphy

Red River Range Starring John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, Max Terhune and Polly Moran

Red River Range [Blu-ray] Starring John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, Max Terhune and Polly Moran

Three Texas Steers [Blu-ray] Starring John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, Max Terhune and Carole Landis

Three Texas Steers Starring John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, Max Terhune and Carole Landis

ANIME

Detroit Metal City: Complete Collection (2012)

Mayo Chiki: Complete Collection (2012)

Strike Witches: Season Two [Blu-ray] Starring Cherami Leigh, Kira Vincent-Davis and Anastasia Munoz

CARTOONS

Adventure Time: Jake Vs Me-Mow 3

Batman Super Villains: Catwoman

Batman Super Villains: Killer Croc Starring Kevin Conroy, Jr. Efrem Zimbalist, Loren Lester

Batman Beyond: Return of Joker / Batman Vs Dracula

Batman & Mr Freeze: Subzero / Batman Beyond: Movie

Cinderella (Three-Disc Diamond Edition: Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy)

Cinderella Trilogy with Limited Edition Collectible Jewelry Box Packaging (Six-Disc Combo: Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy) Starring Ilene Woods, Eleanor Audley, Lucille Bliss

Cinderella (Two-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging) Starring Ilene Woods, Eleanor Audley, Lucille Bliss

Superman / Batman

Thundercats Season 1 Book 3 Starring Emmanuelle Chriqui, Clancy Brown, Will Friedle

COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style

Dark Shadows (DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy) Starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter

Dark Shadows (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy Combo Pack) Starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter

Dark Shadows (Movie Only + UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] Starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter

Princess Bride: 25th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Wallace Shawn, Chris Sarandon, Mandy Patinkin

Criterion Collection

In the Mood for Love (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Maggie Cheung Man-yuk and Tony Leung Chiu-wai

HORROR

Atomic Brain Invasion Starring David Lavallee Jr., Sarah Nicklin, Michael Reed

Chained [Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo] Starring Vincent D'Onofrio, Jake Weber, Eamon Farren

Chained Starring Vincent D'Onofrio, Jake Weber, Eamon Farren

The Hole BD Combo [Blu-ray] Starring Chris Massoglia and Nathan Gamble

Hole Starring Chris Massoglia and Nathan Gamble

Hypothermia Starring Michael Rooker and Blanche Baker

Killjoy Goes to Hell Starring Trent Haaga and Victoria De Mare

Pet Sematary [Blu-ray] Starring Dale Midikiff, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby

The Road [Blu-ray] Starring TJ Trinidad, Rhian Ramos, Carmina Villaroel

The Satanic Rites Of Dracula - Special Deluxe Edition Dvd+Cd

Seance: The Summoning Starring Chris Olivero and Bobby Campo

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY

Cyborg [Blu-ray] Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Vincent Klyn

Dark Star - Thermostellar Edition (Blu-ray) Starring Brian Narelle, Dre Pahich, Dan O'Bannon and Cal Kuniholm

Iron Sky [Blu-ray] Starring Udo Kier, Julia Dietze and Peta Sergeant

Iron Sky Starring Udo Kier, Julia Dietze and Peta Sergeant

Masters of the Universe (25th Anniversary) [Blu-ray] Starring Dolph Lundgren, Christina Pickles, Billy Barty

TV LAND

90210: The Fourth Season Starring Shenae Grimes, AnnaLynne McCord and Tristan Wilds

Bonanza: The Official Complete Fourth Season Starring Michael Landon, Bill Clark, Lorne Greene

Downton Abbey Seasons 1 & 2 Limited Edition Set - Original UK Version Starring Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern

Downton Abbey Seasons 1 & 2 Limited Edition Set - Original UK Version Set [Blu-ray] Starring Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern

Heroes: Season One Starring Jack Coleman, Masi Oka, James Kyson Lee

Heroes: Season Two Starring Jack Coleman, Masi Oka, James Kyson Lee

Heroes: Season Three Starring Jack Coleman, Masi Oka, James Kyson Lee

Heroes: Season Four Starring Jack Coleman, Masi Oka, James Kyson Lee

How I Met Your Mother: The Complete Seventh Season Starring Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Neil Patrick Harris

It Takes A Thief: The Complete First Season Starring Robert Wagner

Lexx: Season 1 & 2 Starring Michael McManus, Nigel Bennett, Brian Downey

Magic City: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] Starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kelly Lynch

Magic City: The Complete First Season Starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kelly Lynch

Monk: Season Eight Starring Tony Shalhoub, Ted Levine and Jason Gray-Stanford

New Girl: Season One Starring Jake M. Johnson, Max Greenfield and Lamorne Morris

Nikita: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] Starring Maggie Q, Shane West, Lyndsy Fonseca and Aaron Stanford

Nikita: The Complete Second Season Starring Shane West, Maggie Q, Lyndsy Fonseca and Aaron Stanford

The Six Million Dollar Man: Season 2 (2012)

VR Troopers: Season One, Vol.1 Starring Michael Sorich, Mike Reynolds and Gardner Baldwin

BOX SETS

Adventure Classics Collection (Count of Monte Cristo / Last of the Mohicans / Man in the Iron Mask / Corsican Brothers) Starring Douglas Fairbanks, Louis Hayward, Randolph Scott

House: The Complete Series Starring Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps and Robert Sean Leonard

Peanuts Holiday Collection

Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] Starring Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Jr Lon Chaney 



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