edward SCISSORHANDS ANNIVERSARY EDITION Studio: 20th Century Fox Film Year: 1990 Film Length: 104 minutes Genre: Fantasy Aspect Ratio:[*] 1.85:1 enhanced widescreen Colour/B&W: Colour Audio:[*] English 4.0 Surround [*]English & Spanish 2.0 Surround [*]French Stereo Subtitles: English & Spanish Film Rating: PG-13 Release Date: November 08, 2005. Film Rating: / Starring: Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands), Winona Ryder (Kim), Dianne Wiest (Peg), Anthony Michael Hall (Jim), Kathy Baker (Joyce), Vincent Price (The Inventor) Written by: Tim Burton & Caroline Thompson Directed by: Tim Burton The story of an uncommonly gentle man.[/i] Released in 1990, Edward Scissorhands became a favourite movie of many after Tim Burton’s success with directing Batman and Beetlejuice. His films are different in a good way, especially when there are so many movies out there that are difficult categorize as special. Burton’s filmmaking is captivating to the eye and to the mind. I consider him a Dr. Seuss of filmmaking because of his strange visuals and bending of lines in the imagery. Fifteen years after Edward Scissorhands, his filmmaking still leaves a mark on one’s imagination. This film is a fable of a young man who finds out he does not belong in the real world. He lives alone up high in the mountain in an old dark mansion. It used to be the home of an inventor played by Vincent Price. He made Edward but was unable to “finish” him before he died. Edward was left in the world with scissors for hands. He is brought into the real world by the Avon lady. She doesn’t see him for what he lacks in hands and is willing to bring him into her home to live. The soft-spoken Edward finds acceptance from people as well as reluctance from those unwilling to welcome him into the Burton-style suburbia world of colourful houses and routine living. This is a fable of wanting to be accepted by everyone. Edward wants to be accepted but knows he is different. Since he is different from everyone else in respect to his image, his child-like mannerisms, and his inability to cope with the real world, Edward knows he cannot be a part of this new world. Wonderfully executed by Burton and crew, Edward Scissorhands will remain a favourite film of mine. Its story is touching to the emotions. It makes you feel sympathy for Edward, perfectly played by Johnny Depp. He’s a long time collaborator with Burton along with composer Danny Elfman who provides the original score. Movies can be magic and Edward Sissorhands is one of those magical fairy tales in the modern world. VIDEO QUALITY / This is the same THX-approved transfer as the DVD released in 2000 (but THX isn’t credited on the jacket or tin of this DVD). Nothing has changed a bit; the framing, which is slightly under 1.85:1, is still the same on this disc. The video quality is surprisingly excellent considering it was done 5 years ago. There is no edge enhancement in the picture so it looks very smooth without feeling like we’ve lost dramatic detail for an NTSC release. The lime-green, pink, and sky-blue houses are colourful without looking over emphatic. Flesh tones look correct on all characters in the film except on Edward who is pale and scarred. Black levels look great and have excellent shadow detail. My biggest complaint of this disc is the “shakiness” of the image. It’s the same problem from 2000. The film frames aren’t still as the movie plays causing the image to continuously shift ever so slightly. Now there are obvious compression problems: a person’s face will appear still on the screen yet the neck and torso will be moving around a little. This shakiness is evident in most scenes in the movie. People with small screens may not see this but on a big screen its annoying! AUDIO QUALITY / The Danny Elfman score is very alive on this DVD and stands out much more than dialogue and effects. The score is dynamic, clear, and doesn’t sound compressed much. The soundstage is up front and there is a moderate use of the mono surround for this 4.0 soundtrack. For more envelopment, you may want to try listening to the Dolby 2.0 surround soundtrack and use Dolby Pro-Logic II. Dialogue sounds a little thin and dated and Depp’s whisper quiet lines in the film are easily heard. Sound effects are utilized for a little effectiveness. This is a “polite” soundtrack that suits the gentleness of this film. SPECIAL FEATURES / No special features have been added to this release when comparing it to the previous one. On this disc you will find the same: [*] audio commentary by director Tim Burton. He’s soft spoken as he discusses the film and how it was made. For those of you who haven’t listened to it before, it’s not boring, it’s just gentle like the film. [*] audio commentary by composer Danny Elfman. He’s quiet during a lot of the movie and tends to speak after the music finishes playing on the movie. His topic of conversation is not surprising: the music score! [*] Edward Scissorhands featurette. It’s a four and a half minute piece talking about the film and is composed of materials taken (such as interviews and behind the scenes) during the shooting of the movie. It features quick clips of interviews from the actors and director, etc mixed in with parts of the movie. It’s taken from composite video, is 4:3, and looks kinda bad. [*] Interview Clips with Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Tim Burton, Caroline Thompson, Alan Arkin, Vincent Price, Danny Elfman, and Dianne Wiest. These are the full interview clips that are featured in parts in the previous featurette. They aren’t long either; they are two questions posed to each person (in their own interview) and are no longer than two minutes each. [*] Concept Artwork. There are only 6 stills on this disc. [*] Theatrical trailers are included, both are full frame, from composite video, and look like crap – especially the second one. It looks terrible in quality! [*] 3 TV Spots: one is in English, the other two are in Spanish. This new release does come in a collector’s tin and has 6 cards of film images inside. It reminds me of those cool tins that Anchor Bay used to put together, although this one doesn’t close tight enough for my liking. IN THE END… This is the same DVD as the one released Sept. 05, 2000. Those of you who were looking to upgrade their old disc shouldn’t look at this release. Only the collector’s tin and the 6 picture cards, and a change of the DVD case’s cover art are the only new additions on this release. Everything from the old DVD is carried over to this release with nothing new. Now, if you’ve never picked up this DVD before and you love this film, I will recommend this release as a first-time purchase. If you’ve never had the chance to watch this film ever, I highly recommend picking up this release. This is a very touching film from Tim Burton with great performances from the actors and the typical Burton visual style. I love this film. So will you. Michael Osadciw November 08, 2005.