Today Paul (fellow movie-buff and friend) mentioned “you know, when you achieve your 365 films in 365 days in Dec I’ll whisper “Ed Wood” and you will crumple,devastated.” which reminded me, that I had forgotten to post an entry for ‘Ed Wood’ on Day 106 – as the rules clearly state every film viewed must be followed up with a review, otherwise the challenge will fail (and I wouldn’t want that, would I!) So thanks to Paul’s kind reminder I have put that review together…
83 / 365 – ‘The Wild Bunch’ (1969) – 145 mins
IMDb Challenge #49 / 250 – Ranked #200 – Via iTunes
An ageing band of outlaws led by Pike Bishop agrees to steal a shipment of guns for General “Mapache” Juerta, to restore their fortunes. With a gang of bounty hunters closing in, and their association with the evil Juerta trying their conscience, Bishop and co. prepare for their lawless past to catch up with them.
Even though it’s not as shocking today, upon its release in 1969 Sam Peckinpah’s unflinchingly violent portrayal of the West, which is awash with blood, grit and grime from the outset was probably one of the most controversial films of its time. This merciless is echoed by the gangs leader, Pike (William Holden) in the opening scene as the outlaws prepare to rob a bank, in closeup, he ruthlessly barks a snarling, deadly command to his men, should any of the hostages move…“If they move, kill ’em.”
Peckinpah’s pacing whisks the action along through its three main set pieces — the aforementioned robbery, a train heist and the shockingly violent climax. Peckinpah also shows a technical brilliance as he choreographs each of these sequences and many others memorably, using different film speeds and angles against a pulsating score to create a unique visual rhythm to the carnage on display.
69 / 365 – ‘Ed Wood’ (1994) – 127 mins
IMDb Challenge #39 / 250 – Ranked #212 – Via DVD collection
The life and work of the legendary Edward D. Wood Jr. (Johnny Depp) who earned the tag ‘the worst director of all time’, concentrating on the best-known period of his life in the 1950s, when he made I Led 2 Lives (1953), Bride of the Monster (1955) and Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), and focusing on both his transvestism and his touching friendship with the once great but now ageing and unemployed horror star Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau).
Like most biopics, everything here is built squarely on the shoulders of its B-Movie title character, Ed Wood, where Depp’s portrayal of Wood is truly compelling, but he is completely upstaged by Landau’s memorable and Oscar-winning transformation into the legendary Bela Lugosi (Count Dracula) which is so impressive at times you could swear, you were watching the real-life Lugosi.
Ed Wood is definitely not your typical Hollywood motion picture, where its director Tim Burton has shown over the years he has acquired a reputation as a filmmaker who will take chances and embrace unusual projects. I will give ‘Ed Wood’ credit for being original and quirky, but whether it requires repeat viewing remains to be seen.