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Edward Scissorhands: Special Edition

List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Aaron Beierle | posted August 29, 2000 | E-mail the Author
The Movie:

Although "Edward Scissorhands" did do very well and has gone on to become a cult favorite, it's hard to imagine what its road to the screen must have been like. I can only imagine what the pitch must have been like, "ok, well there's this guy - and instead of hands - get this, he's got scissors!" I'm only kidding; "Edward" is another wonderful Tim Burton masterpiece, an oddball film with a lot of heart and humor paired with all of the weirdness.

Burton does a wonderful job almost instantly creating tone and atmosphere in this fairy tale; working with production designer Bo Welch("Men In Black"), he creates a world of its own. The film stars Johnny Depp as Edward, a young man who was created by an inventor(Vincent Price), but not finished, leaving scissors as his hands. For years, he lives in a castle on mountain, looking over a chirpy suburbia not aware of his presence.

...Until one day when an Avon lady named Peg(Dianne Wiest) comes to visit and is kind enough to take him home to the family, which includes Kim(Winona Ryder), who Edward eventually falls for. At first, Edward is popular with the nosy neighborhood, who finds his use in trimming gardens or other items to be quite handy. Soon though, things turn South and opinions on Edward in the neighborhood take a turn for the worse.

Depp is quiet perfection as Edward, and Ryder is strong as the suburban girl as well. Wiest and many of the neighbors are cartoonish, but perfectly drawn. "Edward" is a sweet-natured film with great performances that is certainly one of Tim Burton's best works.


VIDEO: Fox has certainly shown much improvement with their recent efforts; "Edward Scissorhands" isn't quite as remarkable as some of their other recent titles in terms of video quality, but fans of the movie will certainly find a lot to like with the film's presentation here - the film's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and, as with almost all recent Fox titles, it's anamorphic. The film is visually fantastic, with the combination of Stefan Czapsky("Batman Returns")'s great cinematography and Bo Welch("Men In Black"), whose production design offers a lot to look at in nearly every frame(he won a British Academy Award for his work here).

As for the disc, there are only a few very minor problems that I found noticeable. There are some traces of pixelation once or twice, but I really didn't find these too distracting. The print is in impressive condition, with hardly even a tiny mark to be found, and certainly no other noticeable flaws. Shimmering pops up a couple of times, but again, nothing major. The majority of this THX-approved transfer is problem free, and definitely a pleasant viewing experience.

Sharpness is generally good although it does vary a little bit now and again, with some scenes looking slightly soft. Detail is fine as well, and even in the darker or dimly lit scenes, clarity is never lacking. Colors are wonderful, with the neighborhood's bright color palette looking well-saturated and never showing any signs of problems.

All in all, not quite perfect but still very good work from Fox. This is a THX-approved transfer, and the THX logo does play before the film. The layer change is at 56:51.

SOUND: "Edward Scissorhands" is offered in Dolby Digital 4.0, and the main element of the audio that's obviously the most important to fans of the movie is Danny Elfman's wonderful score. It sounds excellent here, mainly coming from the front and sounding dynamic and impressively crisp and clear. Surrounds really don't come into play very much, and when they do, they mainly just lightly offer Elfman's score. Dialogue is clear and clean, and although this isn't a very active or intense soundtrack, fans of the movie will be pleased with the enjoyable quality of the audio.

MENUS:: Although it doesn't compare to the menus for "The Abyss" or "Independence Day", the menu work that has been done for "Edward Scissorhands" is some of the most enjoyable, more basic work that the studio has done, with an animated main menu that has animation and a castle background; there is also animation between the main menu and sub-menus. Elfman's score also plays in the background.


Commentary: This is a commentary from director Tim Burton. This is his third commentary recently, along with Paramount's "Sleepy Hollow" special edition and "Pee Wee's Big Adventure", from Warner Brothers. His commentaries are not the best, but there are so many Burton fans out there that probably love to hear from him, so it is a treat that he's included another discussion here about "Edward".

Similar to the other commentary tracks he's done, the track for "Edward" a lot of the times seems rather "scene-specific" where he gives a general idea of his thoughts on a particular scene before another pause of silence. As with the other commentaries, it doesn't really focus on one particular topic, mainly discussing what happened during filming or what has inspired him. It's an enjoyable commentary, when Burton's speaking. There are definitely some noticable pauses throughout the commentary, but what the director does offer is good enough so that most will probably wish he'd talk more.

Isolated Score: This is an isolated score in Dolby 2.0 with a very enjoyable commentary from composer Danny Elfman between the musical passages, where he talks about working with Burton as well as many other topics.

Trailers/TV Spots: 2 Trailers, one English TV Spot and 2 Spanish TV Spots.

Soundbites: Short interview clips with Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Tim Burton, Caroline Thompson, Alan Arkin, Vincent Price and Danny Elfman.

Also: Short featurette and concept art gallery.

Final Thoughts: A very well-done film that has great performances and a wonderful look to it; Fox's DVD edition also is very nice, with good audio/video quality and a handful of enjoyable extra features.

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Highly Recommended

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