Movie Review: Ed Wood

With all the crappy Zombie movies that I have been watching, and to be honest, bad movies in general, I figured I’d watch the bio-pic of the King of All Shit-Movie Directors
Now going into this movie, I, like most people only know a few things about Ed Wood, if anything. First might be his crapfest movies, the most famous of all being Plan 9 from Outer Space, then possibly the THREE movies that were featured in Mystery Science Theater 3000, the most of any director in the history of the MST3K Franchise.In the case of this movie, I’m not going to go over the plot here. I’m going to go over what the movie does well, what it doesn’t do well, and does it do what a bio-pic is supposed to do, teach us what makes the subject important.ed wood castI cannot overstate how awesome Martin Landau is in this movie. As someone that has seen quite a few Bela Lugosi movies here recently, Landau captures him perfectly. I do love how a lot of minor “Hey its that guy” actors and actresses are in here. The story moves, and we don’t get bogged down with any relationships that done serve to push the story forward.

The cast is a lot of fun, Sarah-Jessica Parker has never been one to impress me, unless she’s playing Steve Martins girlfreind, and she doesn’t do anything here to change that. The Real Life person she plays was the most successful person to come out of Ed Woods little troupe, with the exception of Bela Lugosi, of course. Bill Murray, for some reason, just plays a Queen version of Bill Murray. I don’t quite get what he’s doing here. The role itself just makes no sense, its almost like Ed Wood himself was a buddy of Murray and just found something for him to do whenever he popped by the set. Probably my favorite charater is The Amazing Criswell with the amazing Jeffery Jones, who might be #2 on the list of underapricated actors behind Tim Curry. Criswell might be the only one who knows what is going on at all times, and is more than willing to play his part in it, almost like he’s in on the joke, and no one else knows its a joke but him, and he’s laughing with everyone else until the check comes. Ned Bellamy and Patricia Arquette round out the major actors, but they are kinda tossed in at the end when the movie is trying to come to a close and doesn’t care anymore- everything is revolving around getting Plan 9 from Outer Space going. George the Animal Steele is a lot of fun, and pulls off playing a wrestler really well, and as for the chick playing Vampira, she looks as bored as the real Vampira must have been if she is written true to life.

ed wood and belaLet me talk about Johnny Depp. He’s on the screen at least 95% of the time, and in the room for the shots 99% of the time. It is stunning watching it how, how much of his performance from Alice in Wonderland and this one is the same. He is constantly grinning, and acting as if he knows something no one else does. The sad truth is, when he is Willy Wonka, that’s a true statement, when he is Ed Wood, he doesn’t. The problem is the opposite. Wood doesn’t know something we all know. That might be my biggest  problem with the whole script. Does Wood know that he’s making shit? Seriously. I wish the film had spent as much time on why Wood made shitty movies as to why he was a cross-dresser. Seriously, we get it. I don’t know if the film wanted to concentrate on it to show his personality, or his mania, or what, but I’m sorry to say that in the time of the picture, it was a story, but in today’s world, its just not that big a deal. A man wearing woman’s clothing- especially in the Hollywood, just doesn’t shock someone. Its like doing a movie on woman’s golf and the whole time talking about her being gay but at the same time being a Chinese spy. Might be a big deal in 1960, but in today’s world- forget the homosexual part, get to the spy part of her life! That’s the biggest problem with the movie. I don’t care about him being a cross-dresser, I care about this guy who just kept pounding out shit- and I want to know why. He has a cult following, there have been some efforts to highlight his good points, but the movie doesn’t care about it, and by extension, neither do we.

Ed Wood is a movie that only really big fans of Johnny Depp will care about. I did love that theed wood georgey have a clip of White Zombie playing when Bela and Wood are just sitting around talking. I wish the movie had more of it. The only times I really care about the movie is when Bela and Wood are together and just building a relationship. That is quickly pushed back to get to the story of Wood being a crossdresser, or Wood’s eventual breakup with Sarah-Jessica Parker. Once she’s gone, she’s gone, and no one cares. I really can’t find a reason to watch the movie, to be honest, but then again, there is a reason why I’ve watched it several times, and at times I forgot all about my notes or what I was doing while watching it. Its done that well. Ed Wood is one of those movies where you care about it until the credits roll, then you are thinking, that’s it? That’s all I get? I’ll give it a 3. Its not insulting, but it cares about things that the subject matter shouldn’t. I would think if Ed Wood saw this, he would want to talk more about THE MOVIES he made, rather than the Angora Sweaters he loved.

Bottom Line: We know Uwe Boll thinks he is making great movies, just cheaply, we know Michael Bay thinks he is making art for his audiences, we know M Night Shyamalan thinks he is being awesome, did Ed Wood ever throw in Glen or Glenda and think he’s watching greatness that the press and the public just missed?

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