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Site created 12/15/97.


review added: 8/17/99



Edward Scissorhands
10th Anniversary Edition - 1990 (2000) 20th Century Fox

review by Todd Doogan of The Digital Bits

THX-certifiedEnhanced for 16x9 TVs

Edward Scissorhands Film Rating: A

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B+/B+/B+

Specs and Features

105 mins, PG-13, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced, THX-certified, single-sided, RSDL dual-layered (layer switch 56:52 in chapter 15), Amaray keep case packaging, audio commentary track with director Tim Burton, isolated score with audio commentary by Danny Elfman, featurette, soundbites, 2 theatrical trailers, 1 English TV spot, 2 Spanish TV spots, conceptual art, animated film-themed menu screens with music, scene access (24 chapters), language: English (DD 4.0 & 2.0) and French (DD 2.0), subtitles: English and Spanish, Closed Captioned

Kim: Hold me.

Edward: I can't.

Once upon a time, in a castle high above a small town, there lived an old Inventor. The Inventor made many curious things, mostly to help him cook and clean his castle. One day, the Inventor, while making a batch of cookies, realized that he was very lonely. He picked up a small heart shaped cookie and decided to place it in one of his creations. He would name it Edward.

Edward's job was to cut celery and he was very good at it. He would chop all day long, never once complaining. He loved the Inventor with all of his cookie heart. And the Inventor loved Edward. Slowly, the Inventor made slight alterations to Edward - eventually he looked just like a living, breathing boy. Except for two things. Both of Edward's hands were made of sharp things, things he could use to cut, chop and slice. Things that would help him to help the Inventor in his day to day chores. The Inventor loved Edward so much that he taught him how to talk, how to behave and how to appreciate the beautiful things in life. Edward, full of this new found creativity, would cut all the bushes in the yard into majestic animals, mythical creatures and playful children. He was very happy in his home.

One day, the Inventor decided to give Edward a present. He would replace the old hands with brand new ones - hands that were just as human as yours or mine. But something happened to the old Inventor. He went to sleep and didn't wake up. Edward was sad. His days, although still full of creativity, didn't compare to the old days when the Inventor would talk with him, touch him and love him. Over time, Edward grew more and more lonely. He stared down at the small town and watched the children play, and he too wanted to have fun. But Edward was too scared to go down there.

Time went by, and a friendly Avon lady named Peg came calling upon the castle. Edward watched her from the shadows and wanted to talk with her, but couldn't get the sounds out. He crawled up into the attic and tried to hide. But Peg found him in his hiding place, and she was surprised to find a boy who had scissors for hands. Being a nice lady, she felt there was only one thing to do - bring him home with her and make him part of her family.

Edward grew to love Peg's family. He loved Peg, who was always trying to help him take care of the many scars that danced on Edward's face. He loved Peg's husband Bill, who was a very good bowler, father and friend. He also loved Peg's son Kevin, who was proud of his new "brother" and took him to show and tell. But most of all, Edward loved Kim. Kim was beautiful and kind and she loved Edward back... but didn't realize it at first. Together they were a very happy family.

The small town Peg lived in was, at first, very curious about Edward. They wanted to know everything about him. As they grew to know him, they grew to realize he was very special. But the town was wrong about Edward. They thought he was special for his unique hands, not for the magic in his heart. The town took advantage of Edward, and certain bad people used Edward to do very bad things. Edward was confused by this... and so he ran away.

Edward Scissorhands is Tim Burton's most personal (and in my opinion, purest) work. In a ways, it's autobiographical. Picture a young artist living in suburban Burbank, CA, hiding in his room and drawing the things that bump around in his mind. His only friend in life was Vincent Price, who played out his adventures on TV screens and movie houses down the street. There are many kids who share Edward's struggle. So Tim tapped into something and ended up creating a beautiful fable that combines his life, Pinocchio, Frankenstein and a little bit of Beauty and the Beast and gave film lovers a wonderful gift. Edward Scissorhands is one of my all-time favorite films and I'm so glad to finally have it on DVD.

Fox has presented us with a 10th anniversary edition of Edward and it's a pretty good present. First off, the video image is anamorphic and showcases the colors in the film boldly. The pastels of the town are wondrous, and the almost black and white nature of the Inventor's castle scenes are just as bold. Blacks are deep and free of artifacts and there is no noise to be found on this disc. There are a few hiccups in the print used (like a splash of print damage at 21:13, when Edward is marveling at Kim's room) and some uncharacteristic grain here and there. But, for the most part, it's a beautiful image. The transfer is also THX-certified, even though no mention is made of this on the packaging.

The sound is presented in both Dolby Digital 4.0 and 2.0 and neither is a very dynamic track. The 4.0 sound certainly isn't bad, but it's not all that thrilling either. The dialogue channel is up front and center and comes through nicely. Oddly, the menu screens are in full 5.1 and they are pretty spectacular, both visually and sound-wise.

Because it's a "special edition," Fox has laced this disc with a handful of extras. Tim Burton makes another appearance on a commentary track, and is just as evasive as his previous appearances. The track is pretty gappy and comes off as a edited interview, where Burton will answer questions without the full information. For example, when he talks about Vincent Price, he'll say something like, "Yeah, he blah, blah, blah." In other words, it's not a liner commentary. Still, his sense of humor does come through and he does shed some light on the origins, complications and filming of the film. So it's not a bad track at all. Elfman's track, however, is much better. Here we get what is essentially an unadvertised isolated score, with Elfman interjecting between music cues about where each cue comes from and how he came up with it. He also talks about his relationship with Burton, how he got into film scoring and other fun things. It's a nice look into the inner workings of this incredibly talented artist. You'll also find a featurette that shows just how far we've come since 1990 in terms of publicity material, a set of cast and crew soundbites (which look like the original material that made up the featurette) and full frame trailers and TV spots. It looks like someone found the electronic press kit for the film done back in 1990 and put it on the DVD. That's not a bad thing, but it's not all that original. The trailers are in pretty bad condition and look very old and videoesque. Also included are some conceptual art pieces, and after the build up of instructions (use you arrow keys to go forward and back and press enter to exit the gallery) you'll find 6 pieces of art. I wasn't expecting all that much, but after reading the instructions, I was pretty excited and was set-up for about 10 minutes of toggling. Oh, well. I'm not disappointed by the DVD, but I think I would have liked a little more. I'm sure everyone at Fox tried to find better material, so I'm not going to complain.

For what it is, Edward Scissorhands is a good disc. It's not the best and it's sort of a minor let down in terms of extras. But it's finally on DVD... and that's what counts. I'm sure a lot of you out there will be happy just with that. Is it a special edition that will win any awards? No. But it's won a special place in my heart. Now if only Buena Vista will get off its butt and give us Ed Wood so I can complete my Burton collection...

Todd Doogan
todddoogan@thedigitalbits.com




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