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Does Ridley Scott only make great films?


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#1 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 02:17 AM

I have been waiting to see Kingdom Of Heaven sense it came out but for some reason always missed it. eather I was watching something else or it was on too late or I was not in the mood to watch a movie at that moment, but I saw it today and it blew me away. It was beautiful and epic. I love this movie as I seem to love every Ridley Scott film I've ever seen. I thought Orlando Bloom's preformance was genius. He seems to be one of the few young actors that can handle a mature role w/ depth. I think this film should be classed with the great epics of all times. It seems to me Ridley Scott is unable to make a mediocre film.

Edited by Capt.Video, 13 May 2006 - 02:19 AM.

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#2 Galen Carter-Jeffrey

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 02:28 AM

Are you sure you saw the Kingdom of Heaven? From your glowing review it sounds like you saw a different movie.

Also, I think you meant to say James Cameron and not Riddly Scott
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#3 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 04:50 AM

Ridley is a craftsman and a visualist. He's done this for so many years that he can probably whip up a decent film in his sleep. It's the mecahnics of filmmaking, if you wish. Pure experience.

Someone once said that every good director has a maximum of 3 great films in them. Ridley's at least managed two, if not three. But to me it also feels a little bit safe these days. A bit to unenthusiastic and mechanic. Someone also said that "no 60-year old men will ever start a revolution", which is true. With experience and age comes knowledge, but you also lose the curiosity in many ways (except for Spielberg - he
has it more today than when he was young).

I enjoy Ridley's films. But none of his later films can match his earlier work. Out of his "lesser" films I have a personal weakness for Black Rain myself and wish they'd do a proper DVD release of that with some extras.
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#4 Max Jacoby

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 05:13 AM

I thought Orlando Bloom's preformance was genius. He seems to be one of the few young actors that can handle a mature role w/ depth.

Not to start an argument, but in my opinion Orlando Bloom can't act to save his life. He is just a pretty poster boy who doesn't have any charisma at all. Whenever I watch him I feel like falling asleep. Take 'Pirates of the Carribean' for instance, where he is completely upstaged by Johnny Depp, poor boy can't even get his foot into the door.
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#5 Freya Black

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 07:12 AM

Ridley is a craftsman and a visualist. He's done this for so many years that he can probably whip up a decent film in his sleep. It's the mecahnics of filmmaking, if you wish. Pure experience.

Someone once said that every good director has a maximum of 3 great films in them. Ridley's at least managed two, if not three. But to me it also feels a little bit safe these days. A bit to unenthusiastic and mechanic.


Alien, Blade Runner and Thelma and Louise. Some people might even add Legend but I've not seen enough of it to comment.

I used to wait and wait for Riddley to create another great film I knew he could do it, such beatuifully crafted films. Very special. The years went by and nothing happened but I still believed. Then one day I heard that one of the Scott brothers was making a "silence of the lambs film". I knew it had to be Tony Scott. Ridley would never sink so low as to be involved in such a thing. He was one of the good guys right???

Anyway, now I don't really pay much attention when Riddley releases a film.
Maybe he could create something special again. He certainly has the talent, but I'm not sure how much I care anymore. *shrug*

To be honest, I'm not sure how much Riddley cares anymore either.

love

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#6 fstop

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 07:39 AM

I'm not a Scott fan, he's a terrible storyteller. Much like Tim Burton. All art school spectacle and little else. ALIEN was impressive because every ingredient was spot on, Thelma and Louise I love for it's spirit, but it's riddled with plot holes that the director was clearly never interested in noting. He doesn't have the judgement to decide whether a script is filmable or not based on character and narrative. Blade Runner is good looking moody fun, but it's an art-noir bore compared to the source material, and I nearly fell off my chair laughing last I saw the "tears in the rain" speech. If Douglas Trumbull, Cronenwerth and Vangelis had been unavailable to offer their talents to that film, would we even be discussing it now? When was the last time you praised Sean Young or Harrison Ford's performance in that movie?

Just look at the endless list of not-so good to plain shabby Ridley Scott movies too:

LEGEND
SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME
BLACK RAIN
WHITE SQUALL
GI JANE
GLADIATOR
HANNIBAL
BLACK HAWK DOWN...

Did anyone even bother watching MATCHSTICK MEN?

All of the above depended entirely on character and narrative, and I don't think it's any exaggeration to say that Scott couldn't provide the goods. Priding Demi Moore's ill-advised delivery of "suck my dick"?

I think it's a sad day for film in general when this guy his heralded as a cinematic genius.

Does anyone remember the famous Apple promo he directed? Totally ludicrous, no irony- it's Michael Radford's 1984 without the content and it's Gilliam without the farce and future satire:

CLICK ME TO SEE THE COMMERCIAL
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#7 Max Jacoby

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 09:45 AM

Did anyone even bother watching MATCHSTICK MEN?

I did.

I always try to catch his new films, but only because I find him visually and technically very interesting, just like David Fincher. But neither of them is a filmmaker I admire, because it's really all style over substance.

'Blade Runner' is vastly overrrated in my opinion too. It is incredibly stylish, but the story is so dull.
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 10:24 AM

By current Hollywood standards, I think Ridley Scott is a great director, meaning that unlike most directors' films, you sense there is an intelligence behind the film, even in terms of choosing subject matter. I can't imagine Michael Bay being interested in some of the intellectual themes of "Kingdom of Heaven" or "1492".

That doesn't necessarily mean those were great movies, just that there was something behind them more than simply wanting to sell popcorn. He certainly seems more interested in exploring history than many Hollywood directors, except maybe Mel Gibson.

Visually, Ridley Scott is top-notch, hence why I don't miss anything he makes. And I don't think he's bad with actors either.

So strong visuals, intelligent ideas, decent acting... it's hard to figure out why the films themselves end up falling somewhat flat. Sometimes there is a basic story problem that deflates the dramatic thrust, sometimes a miscalculation in casting. But I think Scott still has another great film in him because he's got all the skills necessary to pull it off given a good script and cast.

Still, it's a bad sign when his best films are "The Duellists" and "Alien", his first two...

"Matchstick Men" was by design a "small" film and Scott did a decent job on it.
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#9 Gary Robinson

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 10:35 AM

Like almost every director, Ridley Scott has his share of misses, but Gladiator, Black Rain, and Blade Runner are great films to me. In the producer's world, I think he's regarded as one of the top ten shooters of all time.
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#10 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 11:03 AM

Visually speaking, his influence is immense. One of the pillars of the Brit-revolution that changed the way Hollywood looks and feels. What is regarded as the the Jerry Bruckheimer/Hollywood gloss or feel is in actuality the work of Ridley, Tony, Adrian Lyne, Alan Parker, basically. So I think it's a bit unfair to call him a mediocre director. Visually speaking he's influenced probably more than most. That's some feat.

And Matchstick Men was one of his best later year efforts, I think. Sure is one of the crispest anamorphic films I've ever seen.
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#11 Mike Kaminski

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 12:23 PM

The Kingdom of Heaven 191-minute directors cut is coming out soon. he studio made Scott chop a whole freaking hour out of the film for gods sakes--no wonder it was so uneven. Reports say that this proper directors cut version is easily one of his greatest accomplishments, up there with Blade Runner. Scott is my favourite director and i have been deliberately avoiding KOH for years now because i heard it was cut up so bad in the edit--now i will finally have a chance to see it.
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#12 Wendell_Greene

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 12:45 PM

I like Ridley Scott as a director. And although I can respect that not everyone likes his films, I find it surprising that anyone would use the word "mediocre" to describe them. As for questioning his storytelling ability, I invite people to watch a print of THE DUELLISTS.

Also when you consider what the great director Billy Wilder had to say about the talent required to be able to tell a story in a 30 second commercial and then you examine the 2000 + plus spots that Scott has in his C.V. as director, your appreciation for him should increase exponentially.

Personally, I hope Ridlley gets to direct his Western epic based on Cormac Mc Carthy's novel, Blood Meridan.
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#13 santo

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 01:26 PM

I thought HANNIBAL was better than SILENCE OF THE LAMBS myself -- echoes of the Karloff/Lugosi BLACK CAT turned my head.

However, Scott has made plenty of stinkers. 1492 was garbage. LEGEND was garbage. I thought GLADIATOR was grossly overrated. After the terrific begining, it was pretty downhill. Mega plot holes. Boring exposition. WWE style "combat".

But he made all those really terrific films on the lists above, too.

People like Speilberg and Cameron and Scott and Hitchcock and Wilder and a whole list of top notch guys are not perfect and do not only make great films. But they do have something which is true: THEY KNOW SOMETHING. As a general rule.

The silly quote that is used so often "nobody knows nothing" is a joke. These top filmmakers do KNOW something. They are human and fallable and not 100%. But they do know something about making good, sometimes great, movies that make money.

Hell, as much as I hate his movies, Jerry Bruckheimer knows something, too. He really knows how to fleece the ignorant masses in the multiplexes and he makes no apologies. Good for him.
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#14 fstop

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 03:31 PM

Visually speaking, his influence is immense. One of the pillars of the Brit-revolution that changed the way Hollywood looks and feels. What is regarded as the the Jerry Bruckheimer/Hollywood gloss or feel is in actuality the work of Ridley, Tony, Adrian Lyne, Alan Parker, basically. So I think it's a bit unfair to call him a mediocre director. Visually speaking he's influenced probably more than most. That's some feat.


So, we are suppose to praise him for what is largely regarded as the dumbing down of Hollywood in the last 20 years. That makes him above or even mediocre?

Also when you consider what the great director Billy Wilder had to say about the talent required to be able to tell a story in a 30 second commercial and then you examine the 2000 + plus spots that Scott has in his C.V. as director, your appreciation for him should increase exponentially.


He was about 1000+ commercials in when he directed that bloated Apple advert, the very antithesis of good storytelling. If that's his piece de resistance, perhaps we should remind ourselves of another Wilder quote:
"The Wilder message is don't bore - don't bore people."
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#15 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 05:28 PM

I'm talking visually here. May people seem to forget today that of all the classics they can name, most of them had a massive visual impact in their time. I find that the best directors are visualists as well as storytellers. Ridley definitely was, or is, a visualist at least. That goes for Kubrick, Spielberg, Coppola, the Scotts (yes, I think Tony belongs there, too), Lyne, Parker, Mann, Fincher and whatnot.

Since Tarantino came along most people seem to think that dialogue is the most important thing - I know for a fact it isn't. Not even storytelling is the key to everything - Alien's story is basically a haunted house in space, yet it's one of the most influential films ever made.

Just pop a pretty shitty movie like Flashdance or 9 1/2 Weeks into the DVD and you'll know what I mean. Strong visual storytelling - stuff Hollywood learned from them.
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#16 fstop

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 06:26 PM

You mean make everything look like an aftershave commercial/Russell Mulcahy music video? Slow motion, colour tinted, silouhette sex scenes and blown out windows-all of the worst, trite, formal conventions of modern Hollywood cinema. Tony Scott's THE HUNGER owes more to Mulcahy's DURAN DURAN videos than it does to say ALIEN, DUELLISTS or MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, same for 9/12 WEEKS and FLASHDANCE- let's not forget Paul Schrader's work with John Bailey (and Bruckheimer) for CAT PEOPLE and AMERICAN GIGOLO. The dream sequences from CAT PEOPLE could have come straight out of a Mulcahy VISAGE/ULTRAVOX video. Michael Mann's THIEF too.

If we are talking the influence of ALIEN dare I say it but Giger deserves more than a mention for design.
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#17 Ian Wilson

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 08:41 PM

i saw some people saying that his lack luster movies included Gladiator......ummm that won the oscar for best picture.....must not be as bad as some of you say....and how many of us bad mouthing that film have that little guys sitting in our room...none
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#18 Max Jacoby

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 04:29 AM

i saw some people saying that his lack luster movies included Gladiator......ummm that won the oscar for best picture.....must not be as bad as some of you say....

As if winning an Oscar would mean anything. But let's not get into THAT whole discussion again.
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#19 timHealy

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 05:14 AM

The Kingdom of Heaven 191-minute directors cut is coming out soon. he studio made Scott chop a whole freaking hour out of the film for gods sakes--no wonder it was so uneven. Reports say that this proper directors cut version is easily one of his greatest accomplishments, up there with Blade Runner. Scott is my favourite director and i have been deliberately avoiding KOH for years now because i heard it was cut up so bad in the edit--now i will finally have a chance to see it.



I worked on a film with the writer of Kingdom of Heaven last summer and he confirmed the butcher job the studio did. He was dissapointed with the release as it was so I for one would love to see the directors cut.

Personally I do enjoy Ridleys work and thought Black Hawk Down showed his mastery of the craft with such a complicated story line and cast. It even inspired me to read the book that it was based on which was even more complicated than what had appeared on screen. I always find a screen adaptation interesting as they have to focus on a few points and leave what they don't think makes the 2 hour story line out.

Best

Tim
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#20 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 05:32 AM

You mean make everything look like an aftershave commercial/Russell Mulcahy music video? Slow motion, colour tinted, silouhette sex scenes and blown out windows-all of the worst, trite, formal conventions of modern Hollywood cinema. Tony Scott's THE HUNGER owes more to Mulcahy's DURAN DURAN videos than it does to say ALIEN, DUELLISTS or MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, same for 9/12 WEEKS and FLASHDANCE- let's not forget Paul Schrader's work with John Bailey (and Bruckheimer) for CAT PEOPLE and AMERICAN GIGOLO. The dream sequences from CAT PEOPLE could have come straight out of a Mulcahy VISAGE/ULTRAVOX video. Michael Mann's THIEF too.

If we are talking the influence of ALIEN dare I say it but Giger deserves more than a mention for design.


Exactly. You may not like it, but it DID change Hollywood. I think, for the better in most ways. Hollywood was ripe for a change before they came - especially visually. It was all very double shadow-y, high key, unrealistic many times. A bit institutionalized. Just look at all the TV shows from the mid 70's - they were quite often lit very uninspiringly.

I think all the movies you mention look great, including The Hunger. Sure, it's a bit cheesy music video sometimes, but there's some fantastic lighting in there. And 9 1/2 Weeksand Flashdance I still carry refrences from!

Thief is in my top ten list for best movies ever made - I looooove that film. I don't agree that Don Thorin's work on that belongs to the brit style. It's much grittier and dirty and has a harder light feel. And the night exteriors on the wet Chicago streets in that film are still unbeatable.
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