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RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 5/2/2008 8:30:53 PM   
DaveNewman18


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Maybe you should try to get Platoon under your belt as well Homer. Like the latest updates very much so, some top notch writing there.

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Post #: 61
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 5/2/2008 9:49:54 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20117
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Aye, Platoon is one of those 'one that got away' - you know, the classic movies that Everyone Must See, that somehow, you haven't. I've seen the other big Vietnam films - Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, etc (although not The Deer Hunter either, for shame), but Platoon seems to have passed me by. 

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Post #: 62
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 6/2/2008 4:19:06 AM   
dracovir


Posts: 1546
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Wolverhampton, England
I never saw Legend as being dull or anything like that.  Thoroughly enjoyed it from the first time I ever saw it, and I must be in a minority where I actually preferred the Tangerine Dream score over the Jerry Goldsmith one.  As always Goldsmith is on top form for this film, but somehow the TD synth-pop worked better with the visuals and gave the film a very unique, other-worldly feel to it that is somehow missing from the Euro version (they kept screening the TD music one on the BBC which is where I saw it first time in the early nineties).

Someone To Watch Over Me for me is something of a curio; it feels as if it was the testing ground for Scott's follow-up Black Rain.  Granted I have seen this one fewer times than any other Scott film (although there are still a few that I haven't seen - GI Jane, American Gangster, Matchstick Men, White Squall and - for God's sake! - Thelma & Louise) but this felt to be the least 'Scott-esque' film I have seen, if you take my meaning.  Still, a very solid little number, one that sits as a good antidote to Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct.

Before you review it though Homer, I would suggest you check out the theatrical Kingdom of Heaven to compare it to the DC version, the cuts are so different they might as well be different films altogether; one is decidedly average overall and the other is a worthy contender for 'masterpiece' status.  (There is one major plot element in the DC version that is missing entirely from the theatrical, that takes up a good 20 mins at least of screen time).  I think that you would then see the bigger picture, so to speak, to base an opinion around - more people will have seen the TC and thus decided that the DC is not worthwhile.  To my mind the vast majority of those who rip on KoH are those who have not seen the DC.


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Post #: 63
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 6/2/2008 1:46:49 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20117
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
quote:

ORIGINAL: dracovir
Before you review it though Homer, I would suggest you check out the theatrical Kingdom of Heaven to compare it to the DC version, the cuts are so different they might as well be different films altogether; one is decidedly average overall and the other is a worthy contender for 'masterpiece' status.  (There is one major plot element in the DC version that is missing entirely from the theatrical, that takes up a good 20 mins at least of screen time).  I think that you would then see the bigger picture, so to speak, to base an opinion around - more people will have seen the TC and thus decided that the DC is not worthwhile.  To my mind the vast majority of those who rip on KoH are those who have not seen the DC.


I know what you mean, about comparing them. Thing is, the thought of watching what is fairly established as being the decidedly inferior cut is a little depressing. Why watch one cut-to-pieces version, when I've got the masterpiece already? It's the same reason that I've never actually watched the TC cut of Aliens - I'd know that there were bits missing, and I'd feel like I hadn't watched the whole film.
And I especially agree with your final line - I don't see how anyone who has seen the DC cannot see its worth.


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Post #: 64
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 6/2/2008 3:49:27 PM   
DaveNewman18


Posts: 1652
Joined: 11/2/2007
From: Brighton
quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

Aye, Platoon is one of those 'one that got away' - you know, the classic movies that Everyone Must See, that somehow, you haven't. I've seen the other big Vietnam films - Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, etc (although not The Deer Hunter either, for shame), but Platoon seems to have passed me by. 


Yeh I know what you mean pal, I have a lot of those but can't think of any off the top of my head. I now think that you should try to see The Deer Hunter first as it's so much better in my eyes.

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Post #: 65
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 6/2/2008 8:07:21 PM   
dracovir


Posts: 1546
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Wolverhampton, England
quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

quote:

ORIGINAL: dracovir
Before you review it though Homer, I would suggest you check out the theatrical Kingdom of Heaven to compare it to the DC version, the cuts are so different they might as well be different films altogether; one is decidedly average overall and the other is a worthy contender for 'masterpiece' status.  (There is one major plot element in the DC version that is missing entirely from the theatrical, that takes up a good 20 mins at least of screen time).  I think that you would then see the bigger picture, so to speak, to base an opinion around - more people will have seen the TC and thus decided that the DC is not worthwhile.  To my mind the vast majority of those who rip on KoH are those who have not seen the DC.


I know what you mean, about comparing them. Thing is, the thought of watching what is fairly established as being the decidedly inferior cut is a little depressing. Why watch one cut-to-pieces version, when I've got the masterpiece already? It's the same reason that I've never actually watched the TC cut of Aliens - I'd know that there were bits missing, and I'd feel like I hadn't watched the whole film.
And I especially agree with your final line - I don't see how anyone who has seen the DC cannot see its worth.



Aliens is a rarity in that the TC was simply brilliant, the SE was just waaay better on top.  The TC doesn't feel like anything is missing - unless you know every scene in the SE off by heart.  For KoH though, as told in the DVD docs, even as they made the film they had 2 versions of the script, one marked as 'with this certain element' and the other marked 'without'.  And as such some scenes were shot twice to cover both versions, therefore making them all the more different.  The TC is the 'without' and obviously the DC is the 'with'.  Although it never felt complete, the TC should be noted as well, if for nothing else then the heavy differences that the omission of this missing element.  Although, maybe a few lines tacked onto a review would be all thats needed ^^.  Up to you of course, but I might add a few of these thoughts when you get round to it, to fit in with whatever your opinion states.  But that's quite a ways down the line, looking forward to your review of Black Rain next.

As additional food for thought however, didn't Scott direct the 1999 tv-movie RKO 281 - a drama about the making of Citizen Kane - IMDB doesn't list a director for it, although I am certain it was what was being reported at the time, or are you focusing solely on his theatrically released stuff?


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Post #: 66
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 15/2/2008 2:07:18 AM   
dracovir


Posts: 1546
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Wolverhampton, England
Bumpety bump, looking forward to some discussion on Black Rain!

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Post #: 67
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 15/2/2008 8:58:23 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20117
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
I've been super-busy this week, decorating the kitchen! Glad interest is still here!

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Post #: 68
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 15/2/2008 4:05:19 PM   
shool


Posts: 10058
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
Come on Homer, movie reviews are far more important that decorating.

Looking forward to the next review. Not seen Black Rain in years.

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Post #: 69
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 18/2/2008 11:15:49 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20117
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield


The final of what I've dubbed Scott's 'definitively eighties' trilogy, Black Rain can best be seen as a visual precursor of a world that would become that of Blade Runner. It is decidedly grubby, with Scott's eternal rain (here at least topically relevant!) obscuring that quintessentially 80s light source - neon. We have Michael Douglas' taste in clothes and hairstyles - two things which tend to identify era more than anyting else - and Douglas himself, who has come to typify eighties action of the non-muscular variety. Here he plays a morally questionable cop, Nick Conklin, under investigation by Internal Affairs for missing money on a drugs raid. His partner Charlie Vincent, played by Andy Garcia, is the rookie, the innocent, in New York. On a break, the two witness a Yakuza-centred murder in the middle of a restaurant, hunt and capture the perpetrator, who is promptly sent back to Japan, under Nick and Charlie's watchful eyes. A botch at the airport in Japan allows our villain to escape, and thus begins a game of cat and mouse.

Of course, this being a Scott film, things aren't quite so simple. Mixed in with this simplistic-seeming chase is the distinctive contrast between Nick's New York ways, and Masse's (the Japanese liaison assigned to help Nick and Charlie) honour-bound code of ethics. Where one is brash and loud and obvious, the other is quiet, diplomatic, deliberate. This is definitively a fish-out-of-water, with lines of contrast constantly drawn up, and used to highlight faults in both men. Through their differences, a mutual respect and friendship is forged, albeit slowly and tentatively.

Nevertheless, the film is not merely symbolic, nor solely to demonstrate cultural differences. It is, after all, an eighties action film, and as such contains some great chase scenes, excellent fight sequences, and some particularly tense scenes. Motorbikes, introduced at the start as a hobby of Nick's, form a significant vehicle throughout, both as the means of transportation for the Yakuza, but also for a thrilling finale chase scene before the final battle. In a male-dominated world such as the eighties was both in America and Japan, one could argue that a film need only have token female characters. Yet here, Scott's track record for strong female characters continues unabated. Ripley, Rachel (even if not, technically, human), Lily, Claire. These are all characters who could have easily been archetypal female roles. Joyce is another character who, rather than being merely a singer who Nick knows, is a plot-driving character who more than holds her own. Of course, Scott's devotion to strong female roles would reach a peak with his next film, but more on that in my next review.

Black Rain is one of several of Scott's films that are, I feel, underrated. I can't help but feel that some of this is down to the strength of his best films: When he's good, he's very, very good. It is a particularly eighties film - one cannot extract it from that time period - to do so would be to detract from the possible experience. (I believe that between Ridley Scott with this film, and his brother with Top Gun, sales of aviator sunglasses must have peaked in the late 80s.) Certainly, Scott excels at world-building, and in his contemporaneous films, he could be seen as losing that potential. However, with Black Rain, a world away from our own - separated by distance, not time past or future - that world-building is much in evidence.

Summary
Arguably, the acting is the weakest part of the film. Douglas does what he did best; Capshaw is, well, Capshaw. Garcia is vibrant as the young Charlie Vincent, and Ken Takakura is excellent as Masse. The story is excellent, interspersing the overarching 'cat and mouse' with the culture-clash and the building of the friendship. The music is typical Zimmer, with Oriental strains in evidence. (As an aside: I'm sure there is one musical cue that is very much like, for just a few notes, an Oriental version of a theme Zimmer would use eleven years later in what is considered Scott's return to form... As a second aside, embedded in the Japanese police car siren is a two-tone 'siren' that is the same interval, and possibly the same sound exactly, as that used for the off-world advertising zeppelin in Blade Runner.) Black Rain, is a fine eighties action film that looks wonderful, sounds great, and has some excellent action and some intelligent themes interwoven. if you've missed it, and fancy some sterling eighties action, then I highly recommend it.


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Post #: 70
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 19/2/2008 1:17:14 AM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8402
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 Platoon isn't a classic.  I have much to recommend it, however it's not in the same league as something like Full Metal Jacket.

Didn't reliese there were so many Riddley films still to see.
By the way watch some of Kingdom of Heaven last night.
Not a total stinker, it had some nice suport performances and the battle scenes were expectly shot,  but Orlando was so bland and the script was one of the worse in recent history. 
I take it their are big improvements in the Directors cut.

Jumping ahead some what here, but I can't wait for your review of Matchstick Men. 
It's my favortie of his recent films and features awesome turns from Nick Cage, Alison Lohman and Sam Rockwell

< Message edited by ElephantBoy -- 19/2/2008 1:18:20 AM >

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Post #: 71
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 19/2/2008 8:06:09 PM   
shool


Posts: 10058
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
You've called it pretty much as I remember it.

Bring on the next.

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Post #: 72
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 19/2/2008 11:12:47 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20117
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Glad you guys like Black Rain. Any other comments on it? Or is it one that has largely passed folk by?

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Post #: 73
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 19/2/2008 11:41:41 PM   
stuieboy


Posts: 2239
Joined: 1/11/2005
I watched Black Rain a few years ago but the only thing I can remember is a beheading scene which I'm not even sure is from this film (let me know if I'm right please).
 
Maybe I need to revisit but for a Scott film to be forgotten must mean it isn't all that special

< Message edited by stuieboy -- 19/2/2008 11:42:59 PM >


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Post #: 74
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 19/2/2008 11:46:25 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20117
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
You are right, although for the sake of spoilers, I won't say who.

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Post #: 75
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 19/2/2008 11:53:12 PM   
stuieboy


Posts: 2239
Joined: 1/11/2005
Ahhhh its all come back to me now. I'll say no more
 
Great job so far, not seen much of his 90's work but looking foward to your views on his 00's work.
 
 

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Post #: 76
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 20/2/2008 12:00:40 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20117
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Well the 00s have been his most productive decade.
70s - 2
80s - 4
90s - 4
00s - 6, so far, with two years to go.
Whether productive equals quality is up to you. He has, however, created one masterpiece at least, every ten years. 70s - Alien. 80s - Blade Runner.  I'll give you a clue to the 90s one since it's not hard to work - it's next...


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Post #: 77
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 20/2/2008 3:21:36 AM   
dracovir


Posts: 1546
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Wolverhampton, England
quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

Black Rain is one of several of Scott's films that are, I feel, underrated. I can't help but feel that some of this is down to the strength of his best films: When he's good, he's very, very good. It is a particularly eighties film - one cannot extract it from that time period - to do so would be to detract from the possible experience.



I agree.  Although is a top film for its genre, it falls slightly behind on Ridley's CV up until then, and indeed thereafter.  As this is also easily recogniseable as a Scott film, people tend to push this one back a bit in favour of his greater works such as Blade Runner, despite this being one of the best 'serious' cop movies of the Eighties (counting the likes of Lethal Weapon, Beverley Hills Cop and 48 Hours as buddy-cop-comedies).  This would rank in the top half of my favourite Scott films - from a non-intrusive but strong female character (I think she doesn't feel like a token babe as the film never seems to glaringly point out 'hey!  we got a girl in this too!' but instead she does indeed drive part of the story) to action setpieces that, like many of Scott's films, do not have that usual kind of build-up that gets the audience's juices flowing - these scenes just happen as the story dictates.

I also really liked how we were offered a glimpse into mordern Japanese culture in a non-stereotype way, without feeling the need to offer explanations every time something unique to them crops up, even in those few moments where Douglas would become frustrated with these alien traditions whilst Takakura would look on, more bemused (or even amused!) than offended.  (Spoiler alert) It was also very brave to build up Garcia's extremely likeable character only to have him brutally killed off as this film's point-of-no-return - despite Doulgas' unlikeable character, you were with him, on his team, rooting for him from that moment on.  This is a great example of how Scott can create characters that the audience can really get behind - even when they are not usually the audience friendly types.

Looking forward to T&L Homer, it is one Scott film I am yet to see - yes, that's right, I keep missing it on the telly and rarely see the DVD in the shops.  Woe is me! 


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Post #: 78
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 20/2/2008 4:14:02 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


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Man, I haven't seen Black Rain in years. I'm sure I've seen all of Scott's films since my last viewing of this.


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Post #: 79
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 20/2/2008 10:44:06 AM   
swordsandsandals


Posts: 12571
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From: A magical forest
I didn't even realise Ridley Scott had made a film called Black Rain. I'm just waiting for Gladiator, bearing in mind any negative comments about it may result in your imminent death.

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RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 20/2/2008 1:50:54 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20117
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Swords, I think I'm safe for the time being... Gladiator is my fourth favourite Scott film. 

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Post #: 81
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 20/2/2008 10:12:55 PM   
Kadaj


Posts: 1299
Joined: 30/9/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

Swords, I think I'm safe for the time being... Gladiator is my fourth favourite Scott film. 


Behind:

1. Blade Runner
2. Alien
3. Kingdom of Heaven DC

Sings, [rather camply] **I know him so wellllllllllllll'**   

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Post #: 82
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 20/2/2008 10:18:50 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20117
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield


Am I so transparent?




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Post #: 83
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 20/2/2008 10:34:08 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8402
Joined: 13/4/2006
Lets not fight here, but Ridleys top three are 1. Alien 2. Bladerunner 3. Thelma and Louise.
It's offical!
Providing American Gangster is much cop I'd say the 80's has been his weakest period.

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Post #: 84
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 20/2/2008 10:37:54 PM   
Kadaj


Posts: 1299
Joined: 30/9/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: ElephantBoy

Lets not fight here, but Ridleys top three are 1. Alien 2. Bladerunner 3. Thelma and Louise.
It's offical!
Providing American Gangster is much cop I'd say the 80's has been his weakest period.


Ahem, everyone knows the 'official' order is

1. Alien
2. Blade Runner
3. Gladiator. 

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Post #: 85
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 20/2/2008 10:40:31 PM   
Kadaj


Posts: 1299
Joined: 30/9/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq



Am I so transparent?





 

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Post #: 86
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 21/2/2008 3:05:42 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77530
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
quote:

ORIGINAL: Kadaj

Ahem, everyone knows the 'official' order is

1. Alien
2. Blade Runner
3. Gladiator. 



Aw, man, so I've been getting it wrong with GI, Jane, Hannibal and White Squall?*


*Not actually my favourite Scott films. I do like them all though!



_____________________________

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!

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Post #: 87
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 25/2/2008 4:09:25 PM   
dracovir


Posts: 1546
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Wolverhampton, England
1. Alien, 2. Blade Runner, 3. Gladiator.  Overall consensus, proffesional classic-naming, box-office, all mixed together gives this.  And it matches my opinion.  I suppose T&L would be fourth, but I'm still to catch a viewing GRR

[EDIT]:  Yes, i know Blade Runner wasn't so hot at the box office, hence the mixing togetherness of these elements


< Message edited by dracovir -- 25/2/2008 4:10:25 PM >


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Post #: 88
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 25/2/2008 4:23:29 PM   
shool


Posts: 10058
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
I would agree with this order as my top 3.

1. Alien
2. Blade Runner
3. Gladiator

I am still yet to see the DC cut of KOH though.

Also havent seen these yet.

01. The Duellists (1977)
04. Legend (1985)
05. Someone To Watch Over Me (1987)
09. White Squall (1996)
16. A Good Year (2006)
17. American Gangster (2007)

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Post #: 89
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 25/2/2008 4:30:18 PM   
jamesbondguy


Posts: 6238
Joined: 6/1/2007
From: The Village Green
My favourite Scott films are...

1) Blade Runner

.....

Can't say I'm a fan, unfortunately. Nice thread so far, anyway.

Edit: Haven't seen Thelma and Louise, though. Maybe I should add that to my American classics thread list....

< Message edited by jamesbondguy -- 25/2/2008 4:31:50 PM >


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