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Ridley Scott appreciation thread.

post #1 of 77
Thread Starter 
Director? Or visual artist? We all know he has crazy attention to detail.

I wonder what he'll bring to his adaptation of Brave New World?

I can't wait for Nottingham or Blood Meridian either, if he's still in fact directing those.
post #2 of 77
Go watch Kingdom of Heaven: Director's Cut.

Director. It's not even a question at this point.
post #3 of 77
We really need a thread up for the Article Russ ran yesterday. Him returning to Sci fi is great.

I can't think of another director who was tried so many different genres and made successful movies, even classics out of almost all of them.
post #4 of 77
His DVDs all by themselves are enough of a testament to his knowledge and love of cinema, and the joy in which he derives from passing it on to others.

I don't want to turn this thread into a big post your rankings list, but with Ridley it would take me a few days just to get a rough idea of where they all stand and even then it would be very tentative.

If he keeps up the pace he is on, and the quality I think he in the end might come to be more well regarded then Spielberg.
post #5 of 77
What I admire about Ridley Scott is he does painstaking pre-production work, down to the rivets of a set. Then, once he starts filming, it's all about the actors. He's not off staring at the magnificent work of the production crew - instead he makes an environment where the actors can explore their characters, unlike someone like George Lucas who has the actors serve the environment.
post #6 of 77
I was actually thinking there was a need for a Ridley thread. The man is a genius, and often underrated. Even his shitty movies are kinda good. And I can't think of another (modern) director that has succeded in so many different genres. And not just Sci Fi vs War movie vs Cop movie, but with completely different tones as well. It tickles me that the same guy made Gladiator, Blade Runner, Hannibal, Thelma and Louise and White Squall. I might have to watch some Ridley tonight now.
post #7 of 77
I first realized he was underappreciated when American Gangster came out last year. Dazzling film, btw. Anyways, I was passing by a poster for it on the street with a co-worker and he mentioned he was excited about seeing it. He asked who directed it, I say 'Ridley Scott' and he asks, 'Who's that?' With a wince and a certain degree of scorn, I list off a number of movies (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator) and he looks at me like I'm the one who doesn't know anything. He honestly did not know who Scott was nor could he believe that he'd direct so many different movies. It was literally shocking to me.

Oh, and I'd like to add that I enjoy the hell out of A Good Year. Never have I been more interested in wine and winemaking than after seeing that (Sideways did nothing for me, actually). Plus, damn if it wasn't shot gloriously, like all of his films.
post #8 of 77
Fuck it, I'll make the list. Work is sloooooow today.

1. Blade Runner - I didn't even like this movie until recently. Didn't get it as a kid. Thought it would be more action oriented, or maybe just more obvious. But after watching it on the big screen this last fall, I realized that it is a towering masterpiece of a movie, in the same league as 2001.

2. Gladiator - Still great. Fuck the haters. Historical epics don't get better than this. Great score, great photography, great design, great dialogue, great action pieces. Some people call it cheesy, but as far as movies set in the ancient world go, I have to point out this is probably the least cheesy one out there. And the acting is top notch, especially Crowe. He's often great, but Maximus is going to be the role he is always associated with.

3. Alien - Like Blade Runner is a detective story with sci fi trappings, this is a horror movie with sci fi trappings. As effective as it ever was, and probably the best of the series. Dark and mean and not too complicated. The best thing in it for me is the epic sense of isolation. Or the creature design. Or Yaphet Kotto.

4. White Squall - Underseen and underrated. The storm sequence is Ridley going nuts with an action scene, and it's one of his best. But the surrounding stuff is great too. It's got kind of a 1950s Boy's Adventure vibe that you never see anymore, and the scenery is awesome. The kids are all okay, even a very whiny Ryan Phillippe, but the adults are kick ass. After The Dude, I would say Jeff Bridges' best performance. And all very subtle.

5. Hannibal - This isn't technically as good as movies listed lower, but I revisit it more because it's utterly watchable and fun. In fact, everything about it is really strong, except the one thing they couldn't do anything about, the story. It's a piece of shit book, that they somehow cooked into a pretty good film. What really works about this though is the Florence sequence, which plays out like a great short film in the middle of the rest.

6. Matchstick Men - That this relatively slight con artist flick can contend with the big guns here speaks highly of Scott's flexability. Everything in this works a little better than it should. It all feels more geniune than a synopsis would allow you to believe, and it's Nicholas Cage at his best. It's like the best Mamet movie Mamet never made.

7. Black Hawk Down - Maybe the most realistic war movie out there. All the classic war movies (Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Private Ryan, Full Metal Jacket) tend to put bit of boilerplate into the mix, which isn't a bad thing per se, but BHD really manages to make combat operations the entire thrust of it's narrative, without worrying excessively about character arcs or the like. And it's still all very thrilling in an action movie sort of way, and yet not disrespectful. Tough balancing act. And its the only thing Josh Hartnett was really good in.

8. Thelma & Louise - This movie became a real cliche. But it's actually great! And because of the excellent ending, people forget that it is pretty much a comedy. The leads are at the top of their game, as is the supporting cast, especially Brad Pitt. And the female empowerment stuff is all pretty tasteful and well handled. I love the rumored alternate ending too, where they land the car on the opposite side of the canyon and drive off. That sounds hilarious.

9. American Gangster - Here's where they start to not work as well for me, but that said, this movie is still strong. I think it was all a bit rote, but it's certainly not shit, and everyone is pretty cool in it, particularly Washington and Brolin. I think ultimately, the events of Frank Lucas's life don't lend themselves to a two hour narrative all that well. Still, the technical stuff is aces.

10. Kingdom of Heaven - I haven't seen the director's cut. I know. I'll get right on it. The theatrical cut, though, is severely lacking a strong lead, which I always attributed to Bloom sucking, though there isn't much there on the page either (in that cut at least). There is cool stuff throughout, and a great action-packed ending, and Ed Norton as the leper king is terrific, but there's a sense of aiming low on the story and characters here. Once again, the visual styling is top notch.

11. Legend - This is where the visuals overwhelm the directing. This movie looks and feels incredibly weird, which is generally a plus, but if memory serves, it's borderline incoherant as a story. Tom Cruise is absurd in it, but Tim Curry makes up for that. Even still, I'd like to see it again, perhaps with the Goldsmith score this time.

12. Black Rain - Has it's moments. Mostly forgettable. Except the ending, because it's a total anti-climax, and yet somehow works.

UNSEEN BY ME
The Duelists
Someone To Watch Over Me
1492
GI Jane
A Good Year

Should I get on those?

Compiling this list reminds me how great he is. That's a lot of great on one guy's resume. That compares to people like Scorsese. And he's got a hell of a touch with actors.
post #9 of 77
KoH DC > Gladiator. Not that Gladiator is a bad at all. It's just richer.

And Bloom benefits from the new cut. He's not Crowe, but then again, I wouldn't have seen Maximus in this. It's his best after Blade Runner and Alien.

A Good Year and The Duelists are worth going through, and I liked GI Jane just enough to kill 2 hours, but that's it. I saw 1492 ages ago, and I was bored, but maybe it's worth revisiting.
post #10 of 77
Good list, but ALIEN should be number one and MATCHSTICK MEN should be higher up.
post #11 of 77
Aah, always glad to hear there's another Gladiator fan out there. Short supply these days, and I will stand by my assessment it's one of the great film scores of this decade. Wailing women have never sounded more haunting or beautiful.

As for Blade Runner, I enjoy it, but I can't love it as a whole. The story feels too disjointed. But the visuals...oh god, I am in awe of them. Still one of the most stunning looking movies ever put on celluloid.

One thing I always loved about Scott was his female characters. He and Cameron (oddly tackling the same character of Ellen Ripley) are the only ones I've seen who can make strong, engaging female characters without turning them into misandric "boys are stupid, throw rocks at them" whiners. GI Jane, Ripley, Clarice from Hannibal, heck even whatsherface from Matchstick Men is a great, well rounded character. And of course the Queen from KoH.

Dude, see the Director's Cut of that movie. I hate to hype it, but it's one of the best of the 00s. I'd give it a resounding recommendation just based on the fact it turned me onto the music of Jonathan Elias, too!
post #12 of 77
Okay. Kingdom of Heaven DC is moved to the top of the queue.

As for Alien and Matchstick Men. No denying the greatness. It's just that Ridley has made too many great movies. When they're all so strong, a list ends up getting very subjective.

And yes, Ridley can do female characters very well. Better than Cameron, I think.
post #13 of 77
It has been said before but it has to be said again:

Kingdom of Heaven - Directors Cut is pure Gold!

This movie is on an entirely different plain of existence than the theatrical cut. It even makes you almost apreciate Bloom as a grown actor.
post #14 of 77
I think Ridley can do female characters better than Cameron because Ridley, you know, actually makes movies and stuff.
post #15 of 77
Alien, by far, is my fave of his. He basically invented the The-Future-is-Made-of-Sweat-and-Steam look that everyone has copied since then.

After that, I'd go with Black Hawk, KOD: DC and Thelma & Louise as his best overall films, although I do think the last half hour of Blade Runner is greatness, too.
post #16 of 77
I'm kind of excited about this DC now. I'm gonna make that happen this weekend, hopefully.
post #17 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratty View Post
Alien, by far, is my fave of his. He basically invented the The-Future-is-Made-of-Sweat-and-Steam look that everyone has copied since then.
Nolan was at least proud enough to admit that when he did BATMAN BEGINS.
post #18 of 77
What makes the DC great is that it gives time for more than just Orlando Bloom and while I enjoy him, he can't carry a film. We'll leave that to Jeremy Irons, Ed Norton and Liam Neeson (whose role is substantially added to). Everyone else in that movie is propping up Orlando.

Man, talking about this makes me want to go and buy it on Blu-ray...
post #19 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post
I'm kind of excited about this DC now. I'm gonna make that happen this weekend, hopefully.
Ditto.

Netflix lists the blu-ray copy of KOH: DC's availability as NOW at this point. I hope you jerks don't screw me out of it when the discs I sent back get there tomorrow.
post #20 of 77
No problem, no Blue Ray here. And several different distribution centers.

I still can't help but think if Scott got Paul Bettany for KOH liked he wanted, things might have turned out differently.
post #21 of 77
I wonder if the intermission is included in the Blu-ray...

Edit: Paul Bettany? Really? Now that would've been awesome.
post #22 of 77
1. Alien
2. Blade Runner
3. Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut)
4. Hannibal
5. American Gangster
6. Kingdom of Heaven (Theatrical Cut)
7. Gladiator

I plan on seeing The Duellists and Legend very soon.

There's very few better at creating a fully realized cinematic world than Ridley Scott. I never question the reality of the city in Blade Runner, or the ship in Alien or Jerusalem and on and on. Somebody said it right above me, it's the attention to detail . That's what I love about Ridley.
post #23 of 77
I recently saw the Director's cut of KOH and it is indeed incredible.
someone else mentioned it in the thread that used to exist, but some of the actors should have sued Fox for cutting those roles so much.
post #24 of 77
I remember when Fellowship of the Ring came out, a friend of mine said he couldn't believe how much it felt like a Ridley Scott film, and I kind of agree. As Jakespeare says, fully realized worlds and attention to detail.
post #25 of 77
What also amazes me is how he has such a meticulous eye for detail, and yet still turns out like a movie a year. The man is a fucking workhorse and god love him for it.
post #26 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Happenin View Post
What makes the DC great is that it gives time for more than just Orlando Bloom and while I enjoy him, he can't carry a film. We'll leave that to Jeremy Irons, Ed Norton and Liam Neeson (whose role is substantially added to). Everyone else in that movie is propping up Orlando.
He's not Crowe, and you're right on spot as to the importance of the supporting players, but that role is proof that he can act. Well.

And the first time I saw the movie I felt something was lacking, you could really feel the cuts in the story. Why was she having so a strong reaction at the death of her brother if she knew he was condemned to death the minute they learned he has leprosy?. It's 45 minutes that makes an average movie into a masterpiece.
post #27 of 77
He's got a very strong slate coming up too. Nottingham in particular sounds like something very much in his wheelhouse. But then, so does Blood Meridian. I hope he lives long enough to get all these done. Dude is in his 70s. (knocks wood)
post #28 of 77
ALIEN is my favorite Ridley Scott film, but that's not to say he hasn't improved as a director over the years.
post #29 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post
UNSEEN BY ME
The Duelists
Someone To Watch Over Me
1492
GI Jane
A Good Year

Should I get on those?
You can probably skip SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME. Not terrible, but an 80's teaming of Scott and Berenger should have led to better things. Real ho-hum.

I don't know what my precise top 10 Scott list would be, but I know for sure that BLACK RAIN would be in the top 5. So great.

Surprised there hasn't been more talk around here, or anywhere, about HOUSE OF LIES. Scott, Dicaprio, Crowe, and it's only like 5 months away from coming out.
post #30 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratty View Post
Alien, by far, is my fave of his. He basically invented the The-Future-is-Made-of-Sweat-and-Steam look that everyone has copied since then.
And the whole reason behind that was because it was cheaper too. As said in the documentary and commentary on Blade Runner: Final Cut. Smoke, rain and dark are always in his repertoire .
post #31 of 77
Scott is definitely one of the best we have going nowadays. He doesn't always hit the target, but when he does, holy shit.

I don't like Hannibal, but I don't blame Scott for that. He did what he could with the material he had. I also don't like Legend, which I think is his worst film of the ones I've seen.

Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down and Matchstick Men are all very good movies that any director would kill to make. I think Gladiator is slightly overrated, but I think that's because it just doesn't compare to films like Ben-Hur and Spartacus.

I still need to see Kingdom of Heaven and American Gangster, plus a few of the usual suspects (White Squall, Black Rain, A Good Year, etc.). I saw G.I. Jane, but I barely remember anything about it, except Demi telling Viggo to suck her dick.
post #32 of 77
I also like the Extended Gladiator a bit more than the theatrical as well, the added Joaquin scenes are really great character building, nothing as night and day as the additions to KoH but better than not. Also can wait to see the cast he is going to get for Brave New World, I always wish in my head Ridley could of directed the film version of 1984 but BNW will more than suffice.



Considering how quick and location oriented Ridley is, is probably why we have not heard anymore on House of Lies, but good article here
http://eclipsemagazine.com/hollywood...tt-essman/5812
post #33 of 77
So it's BRAVE NEW WORLD Ridley's going to make? Where did you find that?
post #34 of 77
Well it could be wrong, but I have seen it a number of places today, such as the first post in this thread for one.
post #35 of 77
I really was disappointed by the theatrical KOH, but due to all this discussion, I just rented the 186 minute DC, and I hope it is as good as you all say. Watching it tonight or tomorrow.
post #36 of 77
Ridleys been in my top 5 directors (in no order: Scott, Kurosawa, Fincher, The Beard, The Coens) for years now. Blade Runner is very close to my favourite film of all time and even with films with weak plots (Gladiator) or with politics that irk me (Black Hawk Down) he always ends up doing something really interesting with the material.

I also have to echo the love for the DC of Kingdom, I never even bothered with the theatrical once Ridley announced his cut was coming later, so Ive never even subjected myself to Fox's butcher-work.

Some of the older pieces I haven't seen like The Duellists and 1492 are near the top of my quickflix cue (whats 1492 like for those who've seen it?), but I don't think I could ever watch GI Jane due to having a burning hatred for Demi that smoulders deep within - does the Ridley/Viggo factor make it worth a watch or will a Hater of The Moore not be able to get past that?

Love the guys work to death and may he be pumping out films at this rate until his hundredth birthday.
post #37 of 77
I don't remember 1492 all that much. But I do know Ridley didn't take a rosy colored look at what Columbus did. He's kind of a jerk. I do know it's one of his most sumptuous movies, visually speaking. Ridley sure as hell knows how to shoot the shit out of the jungle.

And for clarification, do we refer to him as Ridley or Scott? I prefer Ridley because a) it's a kick ass name that reminds me of Metroid and b) there's also Tony Scott working in films and to call them both Scott would be confusing. Just wondering what the consensus is.
post #38 of 77
Don't exactly remember (and too lazy to look up), but didn't Nolan say something about Blade Runner when making Batman Begins?

I haven't seen all the guy's films, but a good number. Kingdom of Heaven: DC was one of the first blu rays I bought, and when Gladiator hits blu, I'll pick it up.

Blade Runner is just great, probably his best film to me, and Hannibal is just plain fun (also agree the book story just sucks). I haven't watched Black Rain in years, but Matchstick Men doesn't do it for me. I guess I liked Ocean's 12 more. It was well made, but a neat freak who smokes doesn't make sense. I liked American Gangster more though, but the DC of it isn't as good as the theatrical.
post #39 of 77
More love for Black Rain. Hilarious performances.
post #40 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan "Nordling" Cerny View Post
So it's BRAVE NEW WORLD Ridley's going to make? Where did you find that?
Here for instance. And it is weird, since I submitted it as a scoop but never found the article until I saw this thread. I tend to overlook articles that are on the main header and not on the sidebar.
post #41 of 77
Reading this thread, for some reason I kept mistaking Black Rain with Hard Rain, the shitty Christian Slater action movie where people drive jetskis through flooded schools. I was trying to remember what it was about that movie I might have missed to think so poorly of it.
post #42 of 77
Ooh, Hard Rain. No, definately not Hard Rain.
post #43 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Turner View Post
Reading this thread, for some reason I kept mistaking Black Rain with Hard Rain, the shitty Christian Slater action movie where people drive jetskis through flooded schools. I was trying to remember what it was about that movie I might have missed to think so poorly of it.
BLACK RAIN is where Michael Douglas tries to deal with an abusive father while keeping his band together.
post #44 of 77
No it's not, it's where Michael Douglas has to save the world from aliens hiding in rain drops. "Gotcha, suckers!"
post #45 of 77
Aah Hard Rain, one of the first movies I watched that made me realize movies can suck. My heart dropped for a moment when I, too, made the mistake of believing Hard and Black were the same movie. Thank god they aren't.
post #46 of 77
Evil Randy Quaid with Evil Morgan Freeman, Jet's Skis through high school halls?

What can go wrong?
post #47 of 77
Oh good god I loves the shit out of 1492.


Its fucking savage (in a good way)

Plus supporting Depardieu you got:

Armand Assante
Sigourney Weaver
Michael Wincott
Tchéky Karyo
Kevin Dunn
Frank Langella
Arnold Vosloo

Big nose is pretty good as Columbus, the movie is harsh and just looking at the jungle might make you catch Hep-C/Aids/plague/funk etc.

Now if only there was a decent dvd edition for region 4...
post #48 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tati View Post
Evil Randy Quaid with Evil Morgan Freeman, Jet's Skis through high school halls?

What can go wrong?
Minnie Driver...
post #49 of 77
I've always been a big fan of Scott's. While I don't think there's any point to arguing that all his films are good, I can usually find something to like in all of them. Might be visually, might be something else, but there always seems to be something.

I still think Black Hawk Down is an awesome war movie. If nothing else then for the extreme intensity of the film, it's almost physically tiring to watch.

1492... I bought an R2 DVD really cheap, and when I got home it turned out it had AR 4:3. That was 2 years ago. It had been a while since I'd seen it, and I really wanted to check it out again. But somehow I can't bring myself to watch a Ridley Scott movie in Pan/Scan, it just seems wrong.
post #50 of 77
You really shouldn't watch any movie pan and scan.

And yeah, BHD is the first and only time I came out of the theater exhausted. KoH came close, too. Man, that siege was intense. Kudos to Scott for being able to make us experience that.
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