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RE: The Complete Ridley Scott

 
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RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 8/6/2012 9:29:37 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
ABOUT TIME.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 271
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 8/6/2012 11:30:23 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
I KNOW RIGHT.

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That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


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(in reply to Rhubarb)
Post #: 272
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 9/6/2012 9:21:09 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Body of Lies

Body of Lies wasn’t a story that really grabbed me and, despite it being directed by Sir Ridley, director of two of my all time favourite films, I was clearly in no rush to see it. Which is why it was passed at the cinema, and has languished on my DVD shelf (a friend bought it for me) for a few years. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and Russell Crowe, the film follows the story of a counter-terrorism operation on the ground and in the air, as a satellite follows every move on that ground. Unfortunately, what DiCaprio’s character, Ferris, is doing isn’t particularly interesting, and watching Crowe talk into a microphone while feeding his children breakfast is equally uninteresting. There is no panache, no visual drive, no interest to pull us in. Part way through, there is an interesting diversion. They set up a fake rival terrorist organisation to entrap the actual terrorists, and this is where the film starts to look like it might get good. But Scott diverts us to a love-angle that goes nowhere, with no pay off. The plan goes awry, and DiCaprio gets captured. And then he escapes, and it kind of just ends.

The whole thing is just very poorly done. Considering the talent involved – director, stars, etc – it is the more disappointing for amounting to nothing. Scott is at his best when he is world-building. This is closest in spirit to Black Hawk Down, but that film had raw action, believable fighting, tension, and non-stop explosions. And it still had room for a message. Body of Lies seems to amount to nothing more than a house of cards.

Robin Hood

When I watched Robin Hood at the cinema, I went in expecting the Robin Hood Legend. It had changed from “Nottingham”, with Crowe as the Sheriff, and Robin Hood the mooted bad guy of the story, into something more traditional, I thought. So when the film seemed to bear little resemblance to the story we know and love, I was disappointed. Skip forward two years, and I’ve given it another chance. Knowing it’s basically Robin Hood Begins helps hugely. This is how the legend was born, not the legend itself. Like Batman Begins shows us how the well-known aspects of Batman’s mythos came to be – the car, the suit, those wonderful toys – so Scott’s Robin Hood shows us how he got the name, the band of merry men, the outlaw status. The film that would follow this is the one that has been done time and time again, so this is notable for showing the “origin story” of the mediaeval superhero.

Starting in the battlefields of France, Scott paints a very different take on King Richard than the one traditionally given. Not the noble, gracious king, but a desperate king, plundering his way home after a failed Crusade. This is not the same King Richard who finds young Balian at the end of Kingdom of Heaven. This is a bitter, angry man. In his army is an archer called Robin Longstride who, through chance and coincidence will find himself placed to assume the identity of Robert of Loxley, and thus to return to England. Filled with the duty to return a dying man’s sword to his father, Robin finds himself in Nottingham, assuming the guise of Robert with his father’s blessing. It is a tortuous route to becoming an outlaw, one which sees Robin find something of his own unknown past that may be a little too neat for historical purists. But story is king, and it works.

Robin Hood was slated upon released, but it holds up in a way that Body of Lies singularly fails to do. As the introduction to a well-known character it provides a realistic, if convoluted, way for someone of note to become an outlaw. If he was a common outlaw, there would not be a legend wrapped round him. There is something special, of note, of import, to Robin Hood, and that needed to be reflected in the story. The various pieces are come into play – the Sheriff is a small player here, but is clearly coming into his own as the film ends. Similarly the friendship with Friar Tuck is forged here. The mindset of Robin – that need to rob from the rich and give to the poor – is clear from his actions here. And, if you can forgive the wobbly unspecified accent that Crowe assumes, this is as definitive a take on the story as there can be.

Prometheus

One day, when I was 8, my parents left me in the capable hands of my 18 year old brother, while they went out for the evening. My brother, being my brother, showed me Alien (1979). To say it had an impact is to understate the issue. Significantly, I specifically remember that I wasn’t horrified or suddenly unable to sleep. I would leave that to films like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, or Watership Down. But since that age, Alien has remained resolutely a favourite. Sir Ridley Scott is one of my favourite directors – Blade Runner in particular – so the idea of him returning to Science Fiction was mouthwatering.

That said return was a prequel, of sorts, to that seminal childhood experience Alien meant that my excitement and anticipation were immense. Expectations were tempered by a realisation that nothing short of a miracle could have Prometheus come close to Alien. So, does it?

Well, no. Which is not to say that it is a bad film: it is just one with aspirations that it fails to reach. But unlike, say, the Star Wars prequels, which had such a height of fandom to reach, and yet failed to create anything close to a plausible entry into the canon, Prometheus is a damned fine film. It’s just notAlien.

Noomi Rapace is Elizabeth Shaw, an explorer intent on finding a pattern that may lead to the creators of life itself. With Idris Elba’s captain Janek, Charlize Theron’s money Vickers, Guy Pearce as a prosthetic-laden Weyland, and Michael Fassbender’s replicant/android David, she journey’s across the galaxy to a moon, where a strange alien race once lived. There, things start to go wrong.

People expecting Alien, Version 0.5, are going to be disappointed. This is a very different type of film. EachAliensequel had a different spin – SciFi horror, SciFi war, SciFi Prison Drama, SciFi Existentialism.This is SciFi Explorer. The crew are not checking out an SOS, getting involved where they don’t belong: they’ve travelled for years to specifically get involved where they don’t belong. This is a film that revels in the visual beauty – and it is stunning, even in the maligned 3D format – of the world the crew is discovering.

The Giger designs are a welcome return to a world we know so well, but which this film is discovering afresh. There are familiar ideas – the symbiotic nature of an alien species – mixed inseparably with utterly bizarre ideas. The opening sequence is never fully explained, nor is the meaning of the black goo, nor the motivation for the race’s change of heart towards humanity. At the risk of echoing many Ridley Scott films before, is there a longer cut of the film yet to see? The story seems to meander from one event to the next, never quite solidifying, like the organic black liquid. Prometheus is a fascinating but flawed film. It is rich with ideas, oozing with originality. But the story flits too randomly to fit.  Somewhere out there, there is a version of this film, just waiting to burst out like, well… But what remains is quite something. Fassbender steals the show as David, with his blurry motivations, just as Ash had before (after) him. When the Space Jockey finally gets behind the array from Alien, it’s a spine-tingling moment. The opening silvery grey vistas recall 2001: A Space Odyssey‘s Stargate sequence, but drained of colour. There is a lot to love, but there is more out there. Don’t go in expecting another Alien: this is not that film. It is, however, a stunning piece of Science Fiction which demonstrates, Mr Lucas, that prequels can work. Considering Scott did Alien on the basis that Star Wars had been so successful, it is fitting that Scott should show ably just how a prequel is done.



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That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
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(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 273
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 9/6/2012 9:35:42 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq


Robin Hood

this is as definitive a take on the story as there can be.




Everyone knows there are two definitive takes on Robin Hood. One is Robin Hood Daffy, the other is the Weetabix commercial that went "Robin Hood, Robin Hood, could be in a fix. Robin Hood, Robin Hood, spies some Weetabix." Which of the two definitive versions you think is most definitive depends on if you're an elitist joy-hating snob who likes arty-farty works, or a brain-dead mainstream Michael Bay lover who lives for explosions and money shots.


< Message edited by rawlinson -- 9/6/2012 9:36:11 PM >

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 274
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 9/6/2012 10:01:12 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54596
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq
There are familiar ideas – the symbiotic nature of an alien species – mixed inseparably with utterly bizarre ideas.


I'm not sure about bizarre. And I bet Scott/Lindelof thought they were being dead profound and existential too.

Films on the writers' viewing list

Alien
Aliens
Alien again
More Aliens
Evolution
The Thing
AI
Wall-E
Whatever film suddenly psychic David came from
I'm thinking Water of Mars or something similar
Stargate (TV series and film)
Men in Black - although that newly born squid was feisty right out of the womb

Reason why Lindelof didn't want to produce a film where we already know the ending? Because the one thing we learned from Lost is the creators haven't got a clue what an ending is. Just lots of sparkly questions to fool people into thinking it knew where it was going.

I really wish I could have taken as much from the film as you do - even a broadly positive experience would have been welcomed. Instead I'm writing a review where I need to keep revising out the bile. You'd think I was reviewing Fassbender. For a film that tried hard to pretend it was doing something different it couldn't help itself constantly including nods to the first two in the series, which I'd put down mainly to two poor writers that were only taking ideas they'd seen somewhere else. Sexual allegories - let's have sex. Questions of creation and existence - lets say belief and creation a lot and pretend we're having coherent ideas. It's like watching someone repeat words without understanding the language.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 275
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 9/6/2012 10:58:55 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
The important thing is that this thread title is now accurate again......

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That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 276
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 9/6/2012 11:07:03 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

let's have sex.



Someone's going to get a reputation.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 277
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 9/6/2012 11:10:53 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54596
Joined: 1/10/2005
Only, it seems, if anyone's into geriatrics (see also Horror List thread).

Also Fassbender = Fassbinder.

The only thing I discovered (or learned having tuned out if it is in the docs on the quadrilogy) that was interesting with this was the possible original of the name Weyland (an advertising rival of Scott's). This was quite amusing.


_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 278
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 9/6/2012 11:22:20 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 75013
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq


Robin Hood

this is as definitive a take on the story as there can be.




Everyone knows there are two definitive takes on Robin Hood. One is Robin Hood Daffy, the other is the Weetabix commercial that went "Robin Hood, Robin Hood, could be in a fix. Robin Hood, Robin Hood, spies some Weetabix." Which of the two definitive versions you think is most definitive depends on if you're an elitist joy-hating snob who likes arty-farty works, or a brain-dead mainstream Michael Bay lover who lives for explosions and money shots.




Which one do you prefer? I'd go Weetabix.

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 279
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 9/6/2012 11:32:25 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

Only, it seems, if anyone's into geriatrics (see also Horror List thread).



You think age, illness or even death could stop some of the pervs on here?

quote:

Which one do you prefer? I'd go Weetabix.


As I am a hipster, I confound expectations and pick the Kevin Costner version.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 280
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 9/6/2012 11:39:48 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 75013
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
A good choice. It is, after all, the best feature film version. But nothing beats Maid Marian and Her Merry Men or the Muppet episode with Lynn Redgrave.


_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 281
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 9/6/2012 11:48:25 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf

A good choice. It is, after all, the best feature film version. But nothing beats Maid Marian and Her Merry Men or the Muppet episode with Lynn Redgrave.



Why don't you carry on?


_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 282
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 10/6/2012 1:36:23 AM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

quote:

Which one do you prefer? I'd go Weetabix.


As I am a hipster, I confound expectations and pick the Kevin Costner version.



This is so amazingly unlikely, it pleases me greatly. Unless you were joking, if you were I'm crushed.

_____________________________

Team Ginge
WWLD?


quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 283
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 18/6/2012 3:29:38 AM   
Sumintelligentguy


Posts: 3740
Joined: 31/8/2006
Just finished watching KoH DC after your recommendation - I had seen the TC but couldn't really remember it - and I have to say, despite 40 minutes added, the film still lacks substance, to the point where it's frustrating. I was willing it to be good, hoping something would grab my interest...alas, no.

Don't get me wrong, the actions scenes are breathtaking - the one in the woods and the 20 horses vs 150 had my heart thumping - but that's all that really grabbed my interest.

Such a shame.

Though I watched Gladiator for the first time in 4-5 years yesterday and it still remains my favourite film of all time.

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(in reply to Rhubarb)
Post #: 284
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