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RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 25/2/2008 5:09:55 PM   
homersimpson_esq


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You really should. I'll hopefully be watching it over the next few days, and it is a definite classic. It's as American as you get, which is all the more amazing considering the director comes from the North East of England - about as far from Texas, both politically, geographically, and any other way, as you can imagine!

And what about Alien, james? Which of his have you seen, incidentally?


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Post #: 91
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 25/2/2008 5:21:35 PM   
jamesbondguy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

You really should. I'll hopefully be watching it over the next few days, and it is a definite classic. It's as American as you get, which is all the more amazing considering the director comes from the North East of England - about as far from Texas, both politically, geographically, and any other way, as you can imagine!

And what about Alien, james? Which of his have you seen, incidentally?



Uh, I have seen, I think, Blade Runner (obviously) which is very good, Gladiator, which I don't think is anything special, Black Hawk Down, which didn't interest me in the slightest, the original cut of Kingdom of Heaven which just seemed below-par (although that maybe down to Orlando Bloom) and I found hard to be engaged by, and A Good Year, which is an odd film for a director like Scott to make at this point in his career. I've seen Alien, years back. I'll probably watch the latter again, quite soon. Along with Thelma and Louise, which does look rather interesting.

< Message edited by jamesbondguy -- 25/2/2008 5:23:26 PM >


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Post #: 92
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 25/2/2008 5:45:34 PM   
homersimpson_esq


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Well, you owe it to yourself to re-watch Alien, and certainly to watch Thelma and Louise. If you know nothing about it, so much the better. I've not seen the Theatrical Cut of KoH, but from everything I've heard it's like a different film. Did you know, for instance, that Queen Sybilla has a son in the film?

I'll put any Thelma and Louise spoilers in invisiotext when I do review it.


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Post #: 93
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 25/2/2008 6:01:28 PM   
jamesbondguy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

Well, you owe it to yourself to re-watch Alien, and certainly to watch Thelma and Louise. If you know nothing about it, so much the better. I've not seen the Theatrical Cut of KoH, but from everything I've heard it's like a different film. Did you know, for instance, that Queen Sybilla has a son in the film?

I'll put any Thelma and Louise spoilers in invisiotext when I do review it.



Yeah, I've heard the DC of Kingdom of Heaven is superior- I've even heard people say that it takes a two-star film up to a four-star film. I'll try and watch that one day. Thelma and Louise will go straight onto the list- I already know the ending (who doesn't?) but I don't know the rest of the story paticularly well. Who knows, maybe I've just been unlucky with my Scott viewings so far? My re-watch of Alien and T&L may be enough to change my opinion on Scott around.

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Post #: 94
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 26/2/2008 12:31:46 PM   
homersimpson_esq


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jamesbondguy

quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

Well, you owe it to yourself to re-watch Alien, and certainly to watch Thelma and Louise. If you know nothing about it, so much the better. I've not seen the Theatrical Cut of KoH, but from everything I've heard it's like a different film. Did you know, for instance, that Queen Sybilla has a son in the film?

I'll put any Thelma and Louise spoilers in invisiotext when I do review it.



Yeah, I've heard the DC of Kingdom of Heaven is superior- I've even heard people say that it takes a two-star film up to a four-star film. I'll try and watch that one day. Thelma and Louise will go straight onto the list- I already know the ending (who doesn't?) but I don't know the rest of the story paticularly well. Who knows, maybe I've just been unlucky with my Scott viewings so far? My re-watch of Alien and T&L may be enough to change my opinion on Scott around.


Funny story which I'll tell here so it doesn't clog up the review... When I was about 15, about to watch Thelma and Louise, I asked my brother - then 23 - if he wanted to watch it too. He said, 'is that the one where....' and proceeded to say the ending. I said, 'how the hell would I know - I haven't seen it yet!' This same brother ruined Turner & Hooch some 10 years earlier when, as I was settling down to watch it, said, --->'isn't it sad when the dog dies at the end?'. I was visibly upset on that occasion, but more angry than annoyed with Thelma and Louise. The really annoying thing is that he wasn't actively trying to ruin the films for me, so I can't even get properly annoyed with him - he just didn't think!
Which is why I hate when people give away spoilers, and why I have specifically avoided them unless due warning (or invisiotext) is given.

(And regarding KoH DC, I can't say what it raises it from, but it is certainly a 5 star classic in my eyes.)


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Post #: 95
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 26/2/2008 1:29:36 PM   
dracovir


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quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

(And regarding KoH DC, I can't say what it raises it from, but it is certainly a 5 star classic in my eyes.)



It's a seriously underrated gem, just branded with the stigma of a less-than-fulfilling theatrical cut.  Be nice if they would hurry up and show the DC on the telly so the nay-sayers can watch it without needing to pay for it and then eat their anti-KoH words.


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Post #: 96
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 26/2/2008 4:19:01 PM   
jamesbondguy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

quote:

ORIGINAL: jamesbondguy

quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

Well, you owe it to yourself to re-watch Alien, and certainly to watch Thelma and Louise. If you know nothing about it, so much the better. I've not seen the Theatrical Cut of KoH, but from everything I've heard it's like a different film. Did you know, for instance, that Queen Sybilla has a son in the film?

I'll put any Thelma and Louise spoilers in invisiotext when I do review it.



Yeah, I've heard the DC of Kingdom of Heaven is superior- I've even heard people say that it takes a two-star film up to a four-star film. I'll try and watch that one day. Thelma and Louise will go straight onto the list- I already know the ending (who doesn't?) but I don't know the rest of the story paticularly well. Who knows, maybe I've just been unlucky with my Scott viewings so far? My re-watch of Alien and T&L may be enough to change my opinion on Scott around.


Funny story which I'll tell here so it doesn't clog up the review... When I was about 15, about to watch Thelma and Louise, I asked my brother - then 23 - if he wanted to watch it too. He said, 'is that the one where....' and proceeded to say the ending. I said, 'how the hell would I know - I haven't seen it yet!' This same brother ruined Turner & Hooch some 10 years earlier when, as I was settling down to watch it, said, --->'isn't it sad when the dog dies at the end?'. I was visibly upset on that occasion, but more angry than annoyed with Thelma and Louise. The really annoying thing is that he wasn't actively trying to ruin the films for me, so I can't even get properly annoyed with him - he just didn't think!
Which is why I hate when people give away spoilers, and why I have specifically avoided them unless due warning (or invisiotext) is given.

(And regarding KoH DC, I can't say what it raises it from, but it is certainly a 5 star classic in my eyes.)



I might just add that to the to-see list, then. At the time, I thought that the Cinema version had some real potential that wasn't fully explored- maybe the directors cut mines it to a better extent.

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RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 26/2/2008 8:54:25 PM   
swordsandsandals


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But seriously, is it really worth watching DC. The Theatrical cut was on TV recently, and I recored it onto hard drive, but I might rent Directors Cut if it really is that much better, and ignor the one I have recorded.

Gladiator has to be the best Ridley Scott film as it jusat happens to be the best film ever. I've not seen Alien but Blade Runner was also quite special. Not as entertaining as Gladiator though. As for the rest of them, I've not seen them. I had the chance to watch a Good Year the other day. I passed.

< Message edited by swordsandsandals -- 26/2/2008 8:58:06 PM >


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RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 26/2/2008 9:09:13 PM   
Chris66


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Just watched Kingdom Of Heaven recently which is another good movie from Scott. Also I think I am going to get Black Rain on dvd soon as that looks good.

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Post #: 99
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 26/2/2008 9:43:18 PM   
homersimpson_esq


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quote:

ORIGINAL: swordsandsandals

But seriously, is it really worth watching DC
. ...I might rent Directors Cut if it really is that much better, and ignor the one I have recorded.


Dear God, yes. I feel like I can't get my point across as fervently as I wish, as I don't have that comparative viewpoint to say that the DC is better than the TC. All I can say is that the DC is a masterpiece. Empire (who, incidentally still haven't updated the only review on the site to take into account the DC) say 'is there a longer cut we have been denied?'. As far as I can tell, all the complaints people have about the TC are addressed in the DC, with the possible exception of Orlando Bloom's acting...

Anyway, I'm going to leave KoH discussion now until we get to that one! My review of T&L will be up later this evening. (I know, it's already nearly 10pm, but I'll write it before I go to bed...!)




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RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 26/2/2008 10:01:26 PM   
dracovir


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A quick final word before Themla and Louise drop in to say hi...

quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq
with the possible exception of Orlando Bloom's acting...


He wasn't quite so bad in this film - Scott managed to tease an actual performance out of him for this one, it certainly is his career best.


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Post #: 101
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 26/2/2008 10:47:38 PM   
homersimpson_esq


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While an analysis of Scott's early films reveals a consideration of thoughtful roles for women, one cannot deny that on the whole, the films are male-centric ones. From the honour-bound duelling of Scott's debut, through the male-dominated future, the world-weary, the headstrong, the tempted, and the revenge-filled, Scott's films are dominated by maleness. So, it can only have been a surprise when Scott decided to direct Callie Khouri's (ultimately Oscar-winning) screenplay about two women who go on the run after a crime of circumstance. Nevertheless, Thelma & Louise is shot through with Scott's trademark style and panache and lends the tale a true sense of beauty.

What makes Thelma & Louise particularly interesting is the way it plays with character. Ordinarily, women - even in the greatest of films - are reduced to wives, girlfriends, lovers, whores, daughters, sisters, mothers, victims. Their characters are based on stereotype, which is all that is needed for the audience to absorb that character. Meanwhile, the male roles are complex, varied, deep, and interesting. What Khouri's screenplay does is flip that idea upside-down. Keitel's state police officer and Madsen's on-off boyfriend of Louise are arguably the only two male characters who come across sympathetically. Even those, however, conform to stereotypes of one sort or another. We find out nothing about these characters' backgrounds, nor should we. We have the neglectful husband, the 'charming' guy who turns bad, the absent/sensitive boyfriend, the sympathetic (or 'good') cop, and the bored (and ultimately 'bad') cop, the chauvinist trucker, the 'brave' policeman, the stoner Jamaican, and even the old coot on the porch. These characters serve varying degrees of importance in the story - some initiate the story, some continue it, others are merely incidental. None have anything more than their stereotypical image to inform their actions on screen. Meanwhile, the titular characters undergo a range of emotions, the person 'in charge' alternates throughout, and most significantly they both have a past that stretches beyond the start of the film. Louise has some unspoken-of incident in Texas, and Thelma, pointedly, has no past. At least, none of any note, which of course is part of her motivation for the events of this film in the first place.

One doesn't need to understand or even know of this reversal of traditional male-female roles to enjoy the film, however. It is an exciting and surprisingly funny tale of circumstance, bonding, self-realisation, freedom from oppression, and sisterhood. The film is clever enough to knock any thoughts of latent lesbianism out the window as there are two distinct scenes that unequivocably counter that argument. Louise's intense and lingering breakfast kiss with Jimmy, and more obviously Thelma's more passionate time with JD (a debuting Brad Pitt).

Of course, as I found out to my demise some 12 years ago, it is impossible to talk about Thelma & Louise without mentioning that now infamous ending. Infamous or not, I'll put the following part of the review in invisiotext for the benefit of those who have not yet seen the film. ---> At the point at which Thelma starts to properly take control when the traffic cop stops them, it is clear that events have gotten a little past the previously level-headed Louise. In the ensuing discussion (and one after Louise calls Daryl's house to speak with the police), it becomes clear that Thelma has nothing to go back for, and Louise only has Jimmy; an idea she refutes saying, 'Jimmy's not an option'. At this stage we know that there is nothing worth going back for. In fact, were they caught, they would be tried for murder one, armed robbery, kidnapping a police officer, destruction of property, and so forth. Indications in the subsequent conversations between Thelma and Louise allow us to slowly come to terms with the finality of the journey. They are given the option of coming out 'dead or alive'. Thus it is, after the clearly futile chase, a beautifully shot sequence, that with the fleet of police cars with rifles trained on them and a world of pain and misery waiting for them behind, and a bitterly short but eternally sweet life ahead on the rocks below the Grand Canyon, the choice becomes obvious. That Scott decided to end the film on a freeze frame of the car as it is still heading slightly up, rather than allowing to continue its inevitable descent downwards is significant. In an alternate ending, the car goes all the way. In the shot used in the film, the freeze frame allows a moment of hope. Following the freeze frame with a series of mini-clips from the film allows us to see the part of the lives of this pair that we have witnessed as testimony to their decision. A bold ending to a bold film.<---

The acting is exceptional. Given the characters they have to play, each plays their part particularly aptly. The look of the film is, as is typical of Scott, beautiful. Not just the image of the sunbaked Western rocky mountains, but drizzly rain, and dull cloudy days to show the contrast between the pair's lives at home, and on the run. Hans Zimmer's music evokes the Western setting while fitting nicely with the song soundtrack of Country and Western music. The story is, as is evident above, note perfect. Each aspect of this film works as well as it should, and makes it a five star masterpiece. If you haven't seen this film yet, then might I suggest it be moved up your rental list. A modern American classic.


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Post #: 102
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 27/2/2008 4:15:31 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


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Excellent review, Homer, and one of Scott's very best films.

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RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 27/2/2008 9:40:17 AM   
homersimpson_esq


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From: Springfield
It's funny, because I watched Beetle Juice the other day - Geena Davis hasn't been in a lot of films so to watch two in a row was funny. Also highlighted what a good actress she was in both films. I'd also forgotten Harvey Keitel joining the rest of the cast and disguising his distinctive New York accent with a nice Southern one. There are some great lines in the film tho.

State Trooper: [Sobbing] Please! I have a wife and kids.
Thelma: Oh really, well, you're lucky. You be sweet to them, especially your wife. My husband wasn't sweet to me. Look how I turned out.


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Post #: 104
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 27/2/2008 1:46:30 PM   
shool


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Another great review. Yes one of Scotts best although the ending is now hampered by endless parodies.

A classic movie. 

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Post #: 105
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 27/2/2008 4:39:28 PM   
dracovir


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From: Wolverhampton, England
Okies, inspired by this thread, and the fact I was in town today with some cash I shopped around and found the special edition Thelma & Louise in HMV for a fiver (and it wasn't even in their sale!) so, FINALLY, I have managed to watch it.

And it really was worth the wait for me.

(*here be spoilers!*)

Still typically Scott, and yet so different from all of his other movies.  Great acting from all concerned (even the bit-part players) utilising a quite frankly brilliant script.  The feminist slant of the main story is nicely offset by having Keitel's cop and Madsen's heartbroken but somewhat understanding boyfriend for Louise being strong characters as opposed to every other male part being chauvinistic or otherwise reprehensible.  It should also be noted that Thelma's ne'er-do-well husband, despite being a total prick and (as insinuated) cheating on her, really did seem to love his wife, although he doesn't realise it until he learns just how much trouble the girls have gotten themselves into.

And that ending - although I already knew all this beforehand (it is one of those classic scenes that almost everyone knows - even if they don't know which film it is from) is still moving, having experienced the girl's journey from the stereotypes they represented at the start (sorry Homer, but until their arcs kick in with them getting into that car they were archetypes of submissive housewife and take-no-shit waitress) to free spirits who have finally broken the mould of the American nuclear unit members to really live.  It is interesting to note how they are really running from the Western version of the subjugation of women, something that was hidden from them until they were out of their old lives.  I wonder as well if their features gradually becoming hidden beneath the sunburn and skin-darkening due to being exposed to the elements in their open-topped Thunerbird was some sort of metaphor to their descent into becoming fugitives (especially as minor details like these are almost always ignored in open road movies).  I did not notice any sunburn until after the robbery (it is especially noticeable on Gina Davis's porcelain features towards the end).

Overall, well worthy of it's classic status and a more effective calling for Girl Power than a thousand Spice Girls without negatively branding all men as is wont of feminist elements, creating sympathetic characters forced on by the consequences of events brought about by chance, complete with what is becoming one of my favourite Scott scenes the mroe I tihnk about it - when the confident, aparrently stong-minded traffic cop stops the girls, and what they reduce him to in the minutes that follow.

If Scott's best films are, in order, Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, then I'd put this as equal fourth alongside KoH DC.


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Post #: 106
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 27/2/2008 4:53:56 PM   
homersimpson_esq


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Excellent stuff! I'm glad you bought, and enjoyed, it! I agree about T&L's initial archetypal standing, but they are quickly shown as having some hidden past (Louise), or greater yearnings (Thelma), rather than being these archetypes, it's more as if they're playing them, until opportunity comes along to set them free - that is, the events of the film.

I love the scene you mention - see my quote a few posts up! "Can we swap glasses, too?"




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Post #: 107
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 27/2/2008 5:46:31 PM   
tommyjarvis


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Good review of Thelma and Louise there. Out of what I've seen, I'd say it's Scott's best film, with the possible exception of Gladiator. Wasn't as keen on Alien or Blade Runner myself.

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Post #: 108
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 27/2/2008 5:54:04 PM   
dracovir


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I'm still trying to figure out the point at which Thelma starts to take control and what triggers it.  I'm slanting towards when Louise breaks down after JD nicks their money and Thelma takes some level of responsibility for having allowed it to happen - in this scene you can also see in her face the flashing lightbulb as when she gets the idea to rob the store, and wisely does not tell Louise about it in case she refuses to go along.  Kind of 'we're in the shit alredy, might as well go a bit further' opposed to 'let's not make this worse than it already is'.  A masterful stroke, in my opinion, and a testament to Davis' acting skills (it is arguably the hardest part of performance to get an idea across without saying a word or making any obvious action to indicate it - she gets a facial expression, then is telling Louise to grab her coat).


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Post #: 109
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 5/3/2008 2:28:43 PM   
swordsandsandals


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When do you reach Gladiator. And Orlando Bloom's performance in KoH is not his career best, that'd be Ned Kelly.

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Post #: 110
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 5/3/2008 3:12:41 PM   
homersimpson_esq


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I've got 1492 next, then White Squall and G.I.Jane. After that it's Gladiator. It's a questionable 'trilogy' of films, but one not without its merits. certainly three films of lesser quality than those immediately either side - T&L and Gladiator.

Not sure who said KoH was Orlando Bloom's career best. If it was I, then it his best of the films I have seen thus far: I haven't seen Ned Kelly.

I should be watching 1492 in the next few days, so expect a review hopefully before the weekend. Glad interest is still here for this little project of mine.


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Post #: 111
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 5/3/2008 3:37:44 PM   
Deviation


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I really remember hating White Squall, even though I can't remember the plot, the chracters or what the heck was it about(I found it very extremely dull, but I was also 12) but I do remember a good storm scene at the end.

G.I. Jane was atrocious, almost nothing about that film worked, except visually, but also that is not as good as Scott's previous films, still haven't seen 1492.

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Post #: 112
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 5/3/2008 4:36:38 PM   
homersimpson_esq


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It should be interesting rewatching these three, as they're not only the ones I watched longest ago, but also the ones I've watched the least number of times: that being one each. Whether that number is simply coincidental or indicative of the overall quality of the film and the resultant desire to watch said film again, I don't know! I remember being ambivalent about 1492 first time round, not realising GI Jane was a Scott film, and quite enjoying White Squall. Let's see what the older, wiser(?) Homer thinks!

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Post #: 113
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 5/3/2008 4:48:19 PM   
dracovir


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quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

Not sure who said KoH was Orlando Bloom's career best. If it was I, then it his best of the films I have seen thus far: I haven't seen Ned Kelly.



I think that was me, likewise I haven't watched Ned Kelly but out of all his other films I've watched, he shines the most in KoH.


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Post #: 114
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 10/3/2008 9:15:58 PM   
homersimpson_esq


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Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield


It was bound to happen. While Scott had had three outright classics, and several other excellent films, he hadn't had a poor film. Of course, at the time it still appeared that Blade Runner hadn't found the popularity it enjoys now. Nevertheless, for me, 1492 is Scott's first major mis-step. Let me make my case point by point.

Firstly, and most prominently, is the casting. I respect Gerard Depardieu's acting - I love Jean De Florette - and I think Sigourney Weaver has some great roles under her belt - Alien, Ghost Busters, Gorillas In The Mist, Galaxy Quest to name but a few. I think they're great acting, so what follows isn't an indictment of them as actors, but simply the casting decision that placed them in this film. Depardieu struggles with the dialogue because it's both poorly written, and also because it's not his native tongue. It shows. Weaver is woefully miscast as the Queen - she looks awkward, and she should. Frank Langella is underused, while the Sheriff's brother from Prince of Thieves (the one who wasn't killed by a spoon...) gets the limelight when really, he really shouldn't. (I also couldn't help notice that Sam Witwicky's dad was with Colombus all the time, but that was a distraction of my own making and not technically a fault of the film...)

So, poor casting aside, at least you can hope for a decent soundtrack on a Scott film, especially when he pairs up with Blade Runner uber-god Vangelis. You'd think so, anyway. It's an odd mix of Hispanic ethic stereotypes with more traditional fare, but the key themes are repeated far too often, making the soundtrack far too repetitive for my liking. The overall sound quality was poor as well, but that may have been the disc transfer - still it didn't help with the overall impact of the film.

If the soundtrack is lacking, then Scott's advertising background should hopefully allow for some quality editing and story flow. Not so. There seems little linking between scenes, the action jumping from place to place and time to time jarringly, and confusingly. I could follow the story easy enough, I just couldn't work out why the action jumped around in this way. It meant that the flow of the story was constantly broken, taking one out of the film.

Even if casting decisions were poor, the soundtrack questionable, and the editing atrocious, then surely, with a Scott film, we can rely on stonkingly beautiful visuals? Well, yes and no. There are scenes of unquestionable beauty - the first reveal of the island through the mist; the sunset/sunrise ships at sea (as in the above picture) - but more often than not great shots are not forthcoming. One wonders if Scott, to use modern parlance, 'phoned in' his direction. If I didn't know already, I'd question that this was even a Ridley Scott Film, so different from all his other films it is. It seems similar - the epic nature of Blade Runner; the brutality of Black Rain; the beauty of Someone To Watch Over Me - yet none of these factors ever gels satisfactorily as they have in any of his previous films. It's as if one is looking at a work of art through a cracked window: nothing is quite in the correct place, but one can see how they might fit, were it all done that bit better. Overall, I am particularly disappointed with this film, the one Scott film I haven't seen as recently as the others, and the one I remembered least. Perhaps this is why I chose to forget it!



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That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


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Post #: 115
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 11/3/2008 2:00:12 AM   
dracovir


Posts: 1546
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Wolverhampton, England
(Bear with me, I ahven't seen this film in a fair few years but it is still pretty memorable)

This was a film where I had read the novelisation before seeing the film itself.  I think that the main problem the film had was in trying to draw interest from the origin of Columbus's expedition to a point long after he faded out of popular history, and it was not that interesting - the focus should have been more on that voyage, maybe?  Weaver was okay, but the signs of her wearing a wig were very dominant (she filmed her scenes right after completing Alien 3), this was always something that distracted me.  The barely hidden precursors to the European domination / subjugation over the natives, as well as establishing Christianity over there, seemed to take too much focus in the final act of the film, so one has to wonder if the film was about that voyage itself or if Scott was somehow pointing fingers at the origins of some of history's worse bloodshedding?

The editing, as Homer points out, was a little off par from Scott's previous films, but his cinematography and camerawork were recogniseably signature.  However, I can't agree with the comments on the score - it is the second best Vangelis score in my book, behind Blade Runner and in front of Chariots of Fire.  I have the soundtrack cd for this, and it makes for some nicely blissful chilled out easy listening - which perhaps highlights the lack of hooks and action in the film (I mean active acting and the like as opposed to fighting/explosions action) but draws to attention the beauty of the New World as perhaps viewed by Columbus himself.

It has to be said though, 1492: Conquest of Paradise was the best of the three 500th Anniversary movies out that year (Christopher Columbus: Voyage of Discovery and Carry On Columbus were utterly abysmal).  Maybe this particular slice of history is not that cinematical, and we should be grateful that this film achieved what it did.

Not Scott's worst film, in my opinion, but not his best neither.  I think I'd classify it as the best of his worst, if that makes any sense.


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Post #: 116
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 11/3/2008 5:08:04 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77793
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
I think I need to watch it again, but I really enjoyed 1492.

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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 dracovir)
Post #: 117
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 11/3/2008 8:28:02 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
dracovir, I can see what you mean about the score - chilled listening it may be, but it didn't gel with the action, or lack thereof. And I certainly agree that it's the best of the Columbus trilogy too - but then, that isn't hard...! Is it Scott's worst film? Well, maybe there are technical achievements in it beyond previous films (and, for the purposes of this thread, I'm only comparing Scott's films to his previous ones that I have already reviewed, rather than looking forwards) but the factors didn't quite match up. You could say it was more epic in scope than his previous films, but the story became dull and uninteresting, so the epic nature simply extended the boredom. The signature cinematography, as I say, is there in part. It is interspersed, however, by some really pedestrian shots that could have come straight from a TV movie. I can usually forgive a film any flaws in music or editing, so long as it looks appropriate and is interesting, and I think that right there is where I find fault with the film. I just wasn't interested in the story, and so I found myself uncharacteristically noticing other flaws that otherwise I could ignore. My love of trashy films that are all about bluster (see the thread about brainless films) is borne out of the fact that the films generally have a sense of fun. (Incidentally, this was my problem with the Pirates sequels - not the poor story or acting, but that they were less fun than the first. But I digress...) Now, this film obviously isn't trying to be 'fun', but 'interesting' would have been nice. So, is it Scott's worst film? Well, of the films I have reviewed thus far, it's certainly been the one I've enjoyed least. What makes it more frustrating is that there was a potentially great film there. One does wonder if Scott was once more rushed by the studio to get it out - especially given the significance of the year of release - and whether one day he might deliver a typically superior Director's Cut...


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That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
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(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 118
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 11/3/2008 1:04:54 PM   
dracovir


Posts: 1546
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Wolverhampton, England
I think it could benefit from a Director's Cut - the novelisation had better pacing, and was more interesting in terms of character motivations, competition with fellow explorers (with some later backstabbing that wasn't in the film), and a generally greater sense of discovery.  The only issue is whether there is interest enough in this film to warrant a re-release, indeed it is one of Scott's least talked-about films (sitting alongside White Squall in this regard).  Maybe it was just that the tale of Columbus worked better on the page, and on screen it doesn't translate so well without taking dramatic liscence (or indeed if any deleted material has survived).

Thinking back a little more (I still have my old VHS copy but no working VCR to watch it with) the scenes of the voyage and its build-up to were the best, with Columbus contending with the naysayers and following his heart.  I have a feeling the film might have fared better to concentrate more on this journey and ended at a point earlier in the history as the film has, the founding of the first colonies just was not so interesting overall - I don't think any director could take that as is and make something more cinematic. I'll have to dig around and find a copy of the DVD sometime to rewatch it (in fact I still have to find a few of Scotts other nineties films as some of these I am yet to see, White Squall and GI Jane among them).


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Medals don't help me sleep at night...

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 119
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 11/3/2008 4:26:38 PM   
homersimpson_esq


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

ORIGINAL: dracovir
I still have to find a few of Scotts other nineties films as some of these I am yet to see, White Squall and GI Jane among them.



The next two reviews should be interesting for you then!

Anyone else feel strongly one way or the other with 1492?


_____________________________

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 dracovir)
Post #: 120
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