Viewed – 05 September 2009 Blu-ray
This is such a classic film for me. Probably best watched at Christmas, this enchanting, modern-fairy tale is so touching and magical yet also strange and off centre in a way only director Tim Burton seems able to convey. A very personal project for the director, this tells the story of an artificially created man, Edward (a near un-recognisable Johnny Depp) who’s creator (the late, great Vincent Price) dies before he is complete, thus leaving him with scissors for hands. When a kind hearted avon-lady comes knocking at the spooky old mansion on a hill overlooking the suburban paradise below, Edward is transported into the lives of a group of quirky characters, most notably Winona Ryder’s cheer-leader blonde school girl with a scum-bag boyfriend (former teen movie regular Anthony Michael Hall).
Very simple at it’s heart, what makes this film so memorable is the almost overwhelmingly innocent performance of Depp’s Edward and the subtle, believable love story between him and Winona Ryder’s Kim. The moment when she asks him to hold her and he returns a heart-breaking ‘I can’t’ as he goes to embrace her, should be up their with ‘don’t put baby in the corner’ for classic movie moments. Add to this the enchanting score by Burton regular Danny Elfman and also Burton’s stunning set design (check out the amazing tree sculptures and the Gothic architecture of the mansion, not to mention the pastel colouring of the suburban street), and this is one of those cinematic visions that works on almost every level. Ok, any believability or logic is mostly ignored and there are some moments that do make you uncomfortable (such as the moment Edward is almost seduced, which sits uneasily within the context of an otherwise kid-friendly movie). Yet these are small quibbles in an otherwise heart-warming, feel good movie everyone should see at least once.
The blu-ray sadly, is underwhelming with a picture that although decent, is nothing you might expect from the format, and the DTS HD Master Audio track is serviceable at best. Extras consist of an irritatingly quiet commentary by Burton, and another by composer Elfman, and then we just get a pathetic featurette that offers nothing but for a few talking heads, shot at the time of the production, lasting only four minutes. A real let down.
Verdict: 4 /5