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February 4, 2008
Edward Scissorhands Blu-Ray Movie Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
21/3/19916/2/2008FoxTim Burton
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
MPEG-2DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0PGJohnny Depp

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Johnny Depp is brilliant as Edward.
Edward Scissorhands is widely regarded as one of Tim Burton's greatest movies, and I can't say I disagree in the slightest. Being released right after Beetlejuice and Batman there were high expectations and the movie took in an impressive $US86 million worldwide making it the 18th biggest movie of the year. Not only that but Ve Neill and Stan Winston were even nominated for Best Makeup in the Academy Awards, although in the end it lost out to Dick Tracy. The movies fanbase only continues to grow with the strong, emotional storyline no doubt a part of the reason. So what is Edward Scissorhands about?

High above the town in a lonely, gothic mansion, lived a man called Edward Scissorhands. His hands were cold but his heart was warm. You see Edward Scissorhands wasn't a real man – he was a creation. And his life forever changed the town where he lived. The creator who invented Edward, gave him everything. A heart. A brain. Even a covering of skin. But the inventor died before finishing poor Edward, leaving him with shears of metal where his fingers should have been. Edward lived alone where he could hurt no one and no one could hurt him. Until the day the Avon Lady came calling...

This movie tells the story of a rather unique individual entering a community, and how that person is then treated as the 'outsider' when he doesn't quite fit in. But this isn't a violent, depressing movie. Rather it's a beautiful tale, a love story, a story of desperation, and one of the most creative and imaginative movies ever put to celluloid.

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Is that snow? Not quite...
Without doubt it was the passion of writer and director Tim Burton was the driving force behind this movie and he's a fascinating filmmaker with some of the most creative thinking in the movie industry. This is one of Tim's earlier works, and remains one of his best movies - actually has Tim done anything one would consider bad besides Planet of the Apes which was messed up by the studio execs rather then Tim Burton himself?

The acting including Johnny Depp as Edward is simply astounding. He speaks little but his actions speak volumes. Fortunately Johnny is supported by a brilliant cast including Dianne Wiest as Peg Boggs who first finds, and then guides Edward, Winona Ryder as the daughter Kim who slowly comes to love Edward.

No matter how many times I see Edward Scissorhands I still love it. It's imaginative, delightful, emotional and inspirational. To see it released on Blu-Ray so early (yes, it is still early in the formats life) is a joy. If you've never seen this movie then you're in for something very special indeed.

Sadly while the movie is brilliant, the video transfer still leaves something to be desired. Encoded in MPEG-2 in the films original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 it's true that this is a vastly superior experience then that on the DVD. Colours are more vibrant, smaller details are noticeable and Tim Burton's visual style shines from frame to frame.

Where the problem lies though is with the stability of the print with telecine wobble present in many scenes (where the image shudders slightly from side to side). This was also evident on the DVD release mind you, but is disappointing to see remaining on the Blu-Ray release. While it is quite apparent through many parts of the movie if you want to have a quick sample check out the houses between 5:19-5:44 as one of the most obvious examples we picked up. It is also certainly very evident during the credits. Besides that issue the disc exhibits some grain, particularly in the darker scenes, and even some small film artifacts such as dirt here and there.

Having said all that this is certainly a marked improvement over any release of the movie on DVD and while not perfect it is still certainly watchable.

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Colours and detail are superb.
As with any Tim Burton movie much of the experience revolves around the audio, and Edward Scissorhands is no exception. With a delightful score from composer Danny Elfman everything seems to come to life with a magical quality. Given the era when the film was made there isn't much in the way of surround sound channel use, but as such a dialogue and musically driven movie it isn't really missed either.

Interestingly this Blu-Ray disc presents the audio as DTS-HD Master Audio, but with only 4.0 sound. Given how quiet the majority of the movie is, and due to a lack of effects such as explosions or gunshots, there still isn't much to complain about and this is certainly the best audio the movie has ever had outside the cinema.

Unfortunately Fox have not seen fit to provide any new or Blu-Ray exclusive extras over the DVD release. We have the same commentaries (although the quality of audio is improved) as well as the same featurette. We actually lose a couple of trailers and concept artworks, but they're only minor items.

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In the lab, but where is Edward?
Commentary with Tim Burton: Tim Burton is a wonderful filmmaker, but to be honest the commentary isn't one of the best we've heard. There is some interesting information however it is rather start-stop. It seems that Tim was more interested in watching some parts of the movie rather then commenting on it. One good thing to note is that the commentary on this Blu-Ray release is encoded at 224kbps compared to the pretty paltry 96kbps on the DVD.

Commentary with Composer Danny Elfman: Danny Elfman has become one of the greatest composers of the modern era and to have a commentary with isolated score is very impressive. The music in this movie is absolutely delightful so being able to listen to it without effects and speech is a delight and Danny Elfman tends to keep his comments to the sections with little or no music. This track has been encoded at 224kbps.

Featurette (4.39/HD): A promo piece made at the time of the movies release. A couple of interviews, but way to brief.

Theatrical Trailers (4:21/HD): Two trailers for the movie, strangely one is in Widescreen, one in Fullscreen!?

Fox On Blu-Ray (2:26/HD): A trailer for Night at the Museum on Blu-Ray.

Edward Scissorhands is one of the most delightful movies put to celluloid. It has a strong message about discrimination against those who are different, and the performances are wonderful. The video could have been a little better however this is as good as the movie has ever looked at home. Very enjoyable indeed.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Fox. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.