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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Edward Scissorhands: Ultimate Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)
Edward Scissorhands: Ultimate Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)
20th Century Fox // PG-13 // October 13, 2015 // Region A
List Price: $24.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Oktay Ege Kozak | posted October 22, 2015 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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The Movie:

I think the main reason Edward Scissorhands endured as long as it did, beyond the fact that director Tim Burton's contemporary fairy tale approach gives the film a unique look that makes it feel timeless and dated at the same time, is because it can be enjoyed on multiple levels, especially by audiences who grew up on this odd classic. When I first saw this bizarre tale of an artificially created man-child with scissors for hands falling for a suburban valley girl type, I was taken in completely by the tender love story. Such an unabashedly romantic reaction makes sense, since I was eleven-years-old at the time.

Yet during the ensuing 25 years, my appreciation of the film switched from the love story to Burton and screenwriter Caroline Thompson's biting satire of contemporary white suburban America, a bubble gum society that loves to exploit oddities that distract them from their humdrum lives, as long as it doesn't cause them any discomfort or confusion. Mixing an innocent fairy tale with such in-your-face satire sounds like a very atonal proposition on the surface, but the fact that it made Burton and Johnny Depp, who performed the titular role, swing for the fences in order to create a unique cinematic concoction made sure there was something inherently admirable in it.

Edward Scissorhands kick started the series of dark-ish, whimsical, and quirky modern fairy tale collaborations between Burton and Depp, a collaboration that's still going on, for better or worse, after 25 years. I'm aware that the trope of Burton directing Depp in overtly weird and eccentric performances, hiding under buckets of make up, has been wearing thin during the last decade or so, but there's a reason why it became so popular in the first place. In order to understand that, we have to go back to the beginning. Perhaps the reason why recent Burton/Depp collaborations like Dark Shadows and Alice in Wonderland felt stale was because the duo became too comfortable within the formula they created.

Edward Scissorhands caught them at a time when they felt the need to take risks in order to make a real impact into the cultural zeitgeist. Coming off of Batman, Burton needed to prove to the world that he was still a visionary director, instead of just a gun for hire. With his first starring roles on the horizon, Depp wanted to become more than just another pretty face that would be forgotten the second a younger replacement would be found. Instead of going for a charismatic bad boy role, he picked a part that required him to bring a mostly silent performance dominated by exaggerated tics and mannerisms.

His take on Edward, who falls in love with Kim (Winona Ryder) after Kim's parents (Perfectly cast Dianne Wiest and Alan Arkin) adopt him from the castle where he was created, is the link that brings the love story and the satire together. His comedic performance boosts the Being There-style satire of an idiot savant brought up and taken down by a sensationalist society, while his innocent affection for Kim eases the audience into the otherwise sudden tonal shift of a classic fairy tale.

The Blu-ray:

Video:

Edward Scissorhands' 25th anniversary edition has the exact same extras as the previous Blu-ray, so why double dip? The answer is in this new 4K master, translated onto Blu in a gorgeous 1080p transfer. The outrageous colors and expressionist contrast are vital in enjoying Edward Scissorhands, and this presentation does an excellent job in letting the colors pop and the black levels retain their intended mood.

Audio:

Edward Scissorhands comes with a DTS-HD 4.0 track, and even though a 5.1 or 7.1 remix could have been more immersive, the audio transfer truly shines when it matters most; whenever Danny Elfman's gorgeous score comes into play. Otherwise, the dialogue and sfx are mixed clearly, even though they don't have much surround presence.

Extras:

Commentary by Tim Burton: You'd expect a whimsical commentary by Burton, but the director goes into a lot more flat facts about the production, which makes this commentary a fun and informative listen.

Commentary by Danny Elfman: This is actually a half commentary, half isolated score track. In between the music, Elfman dives into his working relationship with Burton, as well as his thought patterns behind every musical cue.

Featurette: This is a 4-minute EPK-style featurette from 1990. Brief and passable.

We also get two Trailers.

I guess The Ultimate Collector's Edition comes with "Collectible Heart Cookie Cutter, Paper Doll Chain and Topiary Air Freshener". However, I got the simple single disc Blu-ray to review, so no opportunities to make heart cookies or play with paper dolls for yours truly.

Final Thoughts:

Just like most projects that take chances with their material, Edward Scissorhands doesn't always work. The typical "jerk boyfriend" character played bluntly by Anthony Michael Hall never registers as a true threat, and the satirical elements slide into unintentional farce from time to time. But it's hard not to feel a certain level of respect and affection for Edward Scissorhands, the character and the film, for its place in film history as a boisterous and energetic starting point for Burton and Depp.

Oktay Ege Kozak is a film critic and screenwriter based in Portland, Oregon. He also writes for The Playlist, The Oregon Herald, and Beyazperde.com

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