Plot: What’s it about?
Peg Boggs (Dianne Wiest) has sold door to door cosmetics all over town, or at least tried to. In her travels however, she has steered clear of one house, an eerie mansion on the outskirts of her neighborhood. While the rest of the area has the usual brand of suburban atmosphere, the old mansion stands out as a dark, ominous presence. But her sales have been low and in a desperate move to find new clients, she decides to pay the mansion a visit. There she meets Edward (Johnny Depp), a kind young man who lives alone in the mansion. He seems like a polite person, but his hands don’t have fingers, instead they have sharp scissor blades. But Peg is determined to take him and socialize him, so she does just that. As the rest of the neighbors find out, curiousity abounds, but will the other residents be open to someone so unusual?
A kind of dark, but not too dark fairy tale, Edward Scissorhands is in the same vein as Frankenstein, a monster with a conscience unleashed on the locals. But this is more social satire than horror movie, looking at isolation, personal loss, and how society deals with its outcasts. Tim Burton isn’t subtle here with his social commentaries, but Edward Scissorhands doesn’t suffer because of its director’s heavy hand. The suburban paranoia approach is overdone to humorous levels here, but the movie still works, thanks in large part to the performances. Johnny Depp is excellent here, with such emotion and humanity; just as Karloff gave to Frankenstein’s monster, so does Depp to Edward. Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Alan Arkin, and in his final film role, Vincent Price, all deliver in their roles and add so much to the movie. Edward Scissorhands is a fine motion picture and while Burton pushes a little hard at times, the movie is still worthwhile. This Blu-ray release offers much improved video & audio treatments, but drops some extras, however the film’s presentation is more important than supplements.
Video: How does it look?
Edward Scissorhands is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This proves to be an enhanced visual experience, one that fans are sure to embrace. The image shows much more subtle detail than the standard editions, with even the tiniest of touches visible, such as pores on faces. The detail isn’t always so crystal clear, but most scenes do showcase impressive depth and the entire film displays a sizable improvement. The colors also get a nice boost, so the hues have more brightness and boldness evident, which pays dividends in the visual experience. I found black levels to be accurate, but they did waver just a touch at times. So in the end, a welcome upgrade in all respects.
Audio: How does it sound?
As is Fox’s trend on Blu-ray to this point, we have a lossless DTS HD soundtrack, this time a 4.0 surround option. I found this track to be just as it should be, quiet and reserved. The audio of Edward Scissorhands isn’t focused on dynamics, instead it is keyed into dialogue and the more subtle elements. The track is front loaded for the most part, but the lack of surround use isn’t a concern at all, the movie sounds great. The main source of life comes from the musical score, which has great presence and provides a welcome compliment to the dialogue and lower key elements. As far as vocals, I think dialogue sounds fine and no volume or harshness issues arise in the least. This disc also includes Spanish and French language tracks, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, Cantonese, and Korean.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Not all of the supplements from the standard release were ported over, but the most substantial ones were. The audio commentary tracks feature Tim Burton and Danny Elfman, each with their own solo session. Elfman’s track is active only when the music isn’t present, so his comments aren’t as frequent. He still gives some insight into his methods, but this isn’t the in depth tell-all that fans would love to listen to. Burton’s session is rather laid back, as he details some of the process between creation and production, as well as his own personal investment in the story itself. Not a great track, but for fans of the film, a decent enough session. This disc also includes a brief featurette, as well as two of the film’s theatrical trailers.