Edward Scissorhands

I went out to the office and pieced together my lecture and my plans for the day. I learned what my teaching assignment for the fall was. I went home to take a shower and have lunch before going back out to teach my class. It had been an exhausting week. I talked with the security guard about the high cost of living. Back at home, I watched some television while eating some strawberries and yogurt. I went to the record store and bought The Beatles’ “With the Beatles,” The Decemberists’ “What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World,” and a DVD of “A Countess from Hong Kong.” I walked over to the theatre to catch the Flashback Feature, “Edward Scissorhands.” It was one of Tim Burton’s best films. Johnny Depp had one of his most interesting parts, although he didn’t seem too smart. He lost his temper and did very destructive things. He shouldn’t have gone along with the breaking into the house, which turns everything for the worse. I thought that he showed talent with some of his creations, but I don’t think he was a great hairdresser. The inventor should have invented something for Edward to use to pick up cups and turn doorknobs. Vincent Price was the inventor, and he looked like he was in poor health. He should have had a bigger part in this film, but he was too ill to do much work. Dianne Wiest was the Avon lady who stumbles upon Edward, who was alone in a big house. I kept wondering what happened to the dead bodies in the house. I thought that Edward must have eaten them. I wouldn’t want to cut any meat that he carved, especially after he groomed some dogs. How did he keep those blades clean? I had forgotten that Alan Arkin was in this movie. I thought he was pretty amusing, except for his honesty test. I thought about how different he looked from his appearance in “Little Miss Sunshine.” Winona Ryder reportedly turned down “The Godfather Part III” to be in this movie, which I thought was a good choice. I didn’t see her as the cheerleader type. Her character was the girl who was in love with a jerk. Anthony Michael Hall was that jerk, looking very different from his days in the John Hughes movies “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club.” It’s like he was playing the Emilio Estevez role. He was foolhardy bullying a person who had blades for fingers. I didn’t remember that John Davidson was in this movie as a television show host. His hair looked unusual. He wasn’t quite a Phil Donahue type of host. The stupidity and fickleness of the neighborhood reminded me of the Twilight Zone episode “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.” Edward was still a child. He came from a place where he was all alone and thrown into a world of people, like the kid in Truffaut’s “The Wild Child.” I kept wondering how he was able to eat things. It seemed like he would have to stick his face into his food, like in a pie-eating contest. I also wondered how he would take a dump. I think I heard a joke about him trying to unzip his pants. He was stuck in the same clothes the whole time, so he must have smelled awful. Someone would have had to help him take a shower because he couldn’t turn any knobs or hold a bar of soap. He doesn’t say much, which I think makes us sympathize with him. If he had been a loudmouthed Edward Scissorhands, like a young Jack Nicholson, we would have despised him. I couldn’t see Tom Cruise in the role. I’ll admit that the scene where we see Edward working on the ice sculpture is visually impressive. Of course, I had to question where all these huge blocks of ice came from. The police didn’t do their job. The cop was slow to track down Edward, and in fact never caught up with him. He told everyone that the incident was over, but the violence followed. There were two dead people. What happens to dead people in this town? It seems like they’re just left to rot wherever they end up. Winona as an old woman wasn’t completely convincing. Actors playing old people never move around like old people. They move too quickly. Also, she strained to sound like an old woman. Tim Burton had a magical touch during those years, able to connect with young people. Edward ran into difficulty when he tried to get a bank loan so he could earn a living. I had to see that as a bit of Burton’s life in this character. The scars on his face made him seem like Sally in “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” The funny way in which he ran was like Charlie Chaplin. I thought about how Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, and Alan Arkin have all aged. I didn’t catch Johnny Depp’s last movie, “Mortdecai.” He appears to be in a slump in his career. Winona Ryder became known as a shoplifter, but she was in a Star Trek movie. Dianne Wiest apparently has financial problems, not being able to get roles that pay enough for her to remain in Manhattan. Alan Arkin won an Oscar. He isn’t quite the beloved figure that Betty White is, but it seems that he can’t do much wrong. I would put “Edward Scissorhands” in the top three of all Tim Burton movies. It feels like something more than a spectacle. It has the quality of a fable, although Edward isn’t quite innocent if he has the aggression to destroy things and puncture someone’s tire. I felt pretty happy about seeing this movie again after 25 years. It was 10:53 when I left the theatre. I went home to watch the news and the sports highlights of the Warriors in Cleveland. I stayed up to watch Jimmy Kimmel’s This Week in Unnecessary Censorship before going to sleep. Some of the people who died on February 27 include Lillian Gish (1993), J.T. Walsh (1998), and Fred Rogers (2003). Today is a birthday for Howard Hesseman (75), Ralph Nader (81), and Joanne Woodward (81). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 27, 20th Century Fox offered seven-year-old Shirley Temple a new contract for $50,000 a movie in 1936. In 1971, Janis Joplin’s last album, “Pearl,” reached Number One on the album chart in 1971. In 1980, Gloria Gaynor won the first, and last, Grammy for Best Disco Recording for “I Will Survive.”

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