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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Edward Scissorhands


An inventor creates a man, a la Frankenstein, and before he can give him real hands and replace the scissors he originally used, the inventor dies.  Years later a woman selling beauty products knocks on the door and finds the creation and takes him back home with her and introduces him into society where he falls in love with her daughter.


When I first saw this movie I didn't like it.  I thought it was supposed to be a scary movie and it didn't live up to that.  Of course, at that time I also didn't understand Tim Burton and the difference between scary and dark.  Since then I have come to appreciate Mr. Burton and love most of his work.  After re-watching this, I have a new appreciation for this film.

I don't know if it was what Mr. Burton was going for, or if I'm just reading too much into things, but this is a great story about the downfalls of suburban gossip and the ability to fit in when you are different from those around you.

Edward is welcomed into this society of housewives after they discover what he can do for them and just as quickly ostracized after rejecting one of them.  Instead of accepting him for who he is, one slight turns his world upside down from the whispered gossip that spreads like wildfire until he is eventually hunted down and chased back to his house to once again live all alone.  Anyone who has been in high-school will recognize this.  The popular people have the power to make you and then break you.  Only your true friends will stand by your side and help you through your troubles because they accept you for who you truly are and not what you can provide for them.  This is what happens with Edward when the woman who found him and her daughter, who Edward falls in love with and she in return, stage Edwards death to get the neighbor hood man-hunt to back down.

On a brighter note, this movie is full of funny moments.  Watching Edward try to fit in is full of its quirks and make for some good laughs.  Watching him try to eat peas is downright hilarious.

Johnny Depp plays Edward Scissorhands and does a kick-ass job at it.  I love Johnny Depp.  He is one of those actors that has a versatility rarely seen in actors.  Who else can go from playing Willy Wonka to George Jung (Blow)?  The way Depp plays Edward is great.  He puts just enough shyness and vulnerability into the character to make him believable.  His ability to deliver well-timed surprise and react to the things Edward is experiencing is just awsome.  Winona Ryder?  Well, I never did like her.  She is one of those bad actresses that gets good roles.  However, she doesn't do such a bad job in this either.  Possibly because she and Depp were dating at the time so their relationship is a bit more believable.  It could also be because she hadn't been in a whole lot up to that point so we didn't realize she always plays the same character no matter what she's in, but she did seem to have some deviation in this one.  Whatever the reason, I don't have much trouble overlooking the fact that she's in this and can concentrate on her character.  And Anthony Micheal Hall.  I like him.  I really do.  He makes my list of "Actors I Like."  (It's a short list.)  But he falls a little in this one for me.  He does a good job playing the popular football-star boyfriend to Winona Ryder.  He's always played a good kiss-ass, goody two-shoes, but when it comes to portraying the bullying bad-boy to Edward I just don't buy it.  Even after beefing up after his Breakfast Club days, he doesn't pull off the asshole role.

Like with other Burton films, the sets and costumes in this are top-notch and quirky as ever.  Classic Tim Burton with the odd angles and bright colors that we have come to know, identify and love so well.

The story is also a good one.  I won't go into it more here, but also remember that this is also a love story.  It's about loving someone in spite of their differences.  It's about loving them for who they are.  It's about losing your love and dealing with loss.  But it's not a romantic comedy and the love story doesn't get in the way or get too mushy.

Kid safe:  I would say yes, but for older kids.  I let my 12 year old watch it, but there is some language and sexual suggestiveness that may not be appropriate for younger kids.

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