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Inside The Director's Chair:Ridley Scott
In todays edition of Inside The Director's Chair we have director Ridley Scott.Scott has been around and started his career in 1956-1969 making shorts and TV Series before actually jumping into directing full length film roles.His first role wasn't until 1977 with the film The Duellists.While The Duellists was set in an Napoleaneque age it had some big name actors at the time in Keith Carradine,Harvey Keitel and Albert Finney playing the top roles in the film.But it had everything from a love story to issues between people and friends and the science of Duelling as a whole in the film.In 1979 he left his mark in a HUGE way by making the very first Alien film.While most directors in this list so far have made the other Alien films in this list,Scott was the one to helm the very first film and arguably the best one of the series and to some scariest.It is weird for some movies because the tag lines for them can be very hit and miss but with Alien it hit you like a gut punch from Tyson after seeing it.The tagline for the film was "In Space No One Can Hear You Scream".While most thought it was just his take on the extra terrestrial life that is talked about so much but instead it was a landmark film that still lives on to this day and is even loosely basing prequel films that are out now and being made as well.But the story of the passengers of Nostromo looked like they were living just normal space life until this unknown "Being" gets into one of the passengers and then starts to grow inside of his body and before you know it in the film it literally births itself out of his stomach and everything for the passengers is downhill from there.This film is one film was was SO beyond what everybody else was doing at the time and is one reason why it can still be watched now and hold up for most points.
In 1982 Scott teamed up with Harrison Ford and worked on another Sci-Fi epic with Blade Runner.This film nowadays is another one that can be determined as a technical achievement and one of Scott's best films he has ever made so him going back to back on that is great thing.The film had Ford as a Blade Runner looking for four replicant people in the film that have stolen a ship and went to earth to find their creator.It showed many different views on how things were done and when the Blu-Ray franchise was started and this film came out it was sold on high demand because it looks absolutely beautiful with the stunning images from the city and just the way Scott wanted things done were nothing short of perfect.Also having Rutger Hauer be Roy Batty made for the perfect counterpart for Harrison's character in the film.1985 Ridley went away from his epicness of Sci-Fi and gave us Legend starring a very young Tom Cruise and Tim Curry in the some of the bigger roles of the film but the main story evolved around A young man being played by Cruise stopping the lord of darkness from destroying daylight and the woman that he falls in love with in the film played by Mia Sara.
In 1987 Scott decided to change things up a bit with Someone To Watch Over Me.This time Scott was taking the drama and action route with a cop who falls in love with the woman he is supposed to be protecting after she witnesses a murder in New York City.Having Tom Berenger and Mimi Rogers in the main roles as the cop and love interest/woman.1989 had Ridley working with Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia in Black Rain.A film about two cops fighting over trying to catch a criminal that has ties to the Yakuza gang.Once caught you would think it is the end but they have to also bring the criminal to Japan as well which is the stomping grounds of the Yakuza.The film was nominated for 2 Oscars that year and another nomination as well.1991 was the time for Ridley to change up the way he does things again and he decided to have his two leads be all female when he made the film Thelma And Louise.
When Thelma And Louise was made the story consisted of them shooting a rapist and then taking off across country in a 66 Thunderbird.This film sort of ended up becoming a classic and had a cult following in its own right because it was a great film to see but at the same time it was sort of a upbringing because a very young and new Brad Pitt is in the film as basically a nobody at the time and being a shirtless Brad Pitt caused a stir in the female community and caused more women to see it just to see J.D..1992 brought along the film 1492:Conquest Of Paradise and the film's story revolved around Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the America's and how it effected everything from here on out in the film.The cast didn't have too many heavy hitters like he has been working with before but having Sigourney Weaver back for another film again,Frank Langella and Gerard Depardieu as Columbus.
1996 had Scott doing a film called White Squall with Jeff Bridges,John Savage and Caroline Goodall in the top filming roles.The story revolved around a sailing voyage that taught a group of boys the basic needs and understandings of the ways of life and had a very young Ryan Phillippe in the film as Gil before he got into his teen heartthrob phase.1997 Ridley cast Demi Moore into the film GI Jane.In that film it is about a senator who drafts and enrolls women into a team for the Army and while she is in training everybody there expects her to fail when she ends up shining through and basically kicking ass doing it.A not as know Viggo Mortensen was also cast into the film as well as her Master Chief and Morris Chestnut also plays the character Mccool.In 2000 when everybody was turning out great films Ridley Scott decided it was his time to go back to his masterful roots and make something amazing as well in Gladiator.
When Gladiator was made they cast Russell Crowe into the main character role and a very young Joaquin Phoenix played the corrupt son of the Emperor who murder's Crowe's parents in the film.Crowe decides to show up as a Gladiator and seek his revenge and this film is slowly being considered as a classic more and more everyday.With grade A acting and classic lines that can be used with anything Gladiator was a nice return for Scott and shows that he still does in fact have his top notch directing chops in order all the time.2001 after Scott came off of a HUGE win with Gladiator he was offered the sequel in one of the most popular and adored stories ever to come to screen in Hannibal.
When it was time to re-cast Agent Clarice Starling because it was on record in a BIG way that Jodie Foster wanted nothing to do with any remakes because Silence Of The Lambs was such a great film so she didn't want to tarnish anything that was done.So his first and final choice from Ridley was Julianne Moore.So having Moore and Anthony Hopkins back the film should be darker and a great film series to go back to.Scott added the addition of Gary Oldman as Mason Verger so adding the acting prowess to the film grew in a huge way.But when the film was done and it finally came out it was received with mixed reviews and a lot were more negative then positive because of how the film turned out and the way the acting in it was done.Nonetheless it did scare the living out of some so Scott didn't lose his touch because my friend saw it and couldn't sleep in the dark that night because of Hopkins sinister feel as Lecter and even after all the years not playing the character he was able to just bring it right back just like that.For me personally yes I get why it had to be made because in the end for the series a prequel was made so now there is a beginning,middle and end and in this case the middle is by far the best.
2001 Also had the film Black Hawk Down for Ridley.It starred Josh Harnett,Ewan Mcgregor,Tom Sizemore and William Fichtner playing the main soldiers in the film.The story of the film follows Harnett and his soldiers trying to rescue his fellow soldiers from Somali grounds and things basically get heavy and risky quick and it is a very violent and to the point film.For him doing Hannibal and this in the same year this one definitely comes out ahead of the two because the performances in it are much better but still the story just felt like Saving Private Ryan just in a different time area.It is a great film and one of Hartnett's highlight films that he has ever done but nonetheless still.The film also won 2 Oscars as well and it was much granted for it being so visual and yet so violent at the same time.2003 gave the world something different starring Nicholas Cage and Sam Rockwell playing con artists trying to pull off the heist of their lives and then unexpectedly Cage's teenage daughter arrives and it puts a bump in the plans.This film with Cage and Rockwell and their back and forth wise with the acting was perfect and Scott choosing them as an acting duo wasn't a bad thing at all.The film received two nominations during awards seasons but no wins after it was all said and done but for a film like this for Scott it is a good start to just be nominated.
After a 2 year break in 2005 Scott back with Kingdom Of Heaven.The film starred Orlando Bloom,Eva Green and Liam Nesson in the main roles of the film.The story showed Bloom's character defending and fighting for the city he lives in in Jerusalem in the 12th Century.During awards season it got 4 wins and 11 total nominations from all of the award shows possible so 4 wins is another big win for him after a 2 year hiatus.2006 was arguably his biggest chance to date when he re teamed with Russell Crowe for A Good Year.The story has a guy receiving his late uncles chateau and vineyard and tries to make the best of everything that he has just received.The film also starred Abbie Cornish and Albert Finney and this film had 2 nominations during awards season especially for what Scott works on the film felt a lot like it was an "Oscar Bait" type film which isn't bad because it works but in this sense it didn't.
2007 was another big one for Ridley when he brought in American Gangster.It starred Denzel Washington as hardcore gangster Frank Lucas and Russell Crowe is cast as the cop who is trying to take him and his infamous drug ring down.This film is filled with numerous people playing great characters like Chiwetel Elijofor playing one of Washington's friends in the film and rap artist T.I. even playing his young cousin.The film is just under a shade of 3 hours long but it totally and completely holds up and gives you everything with harsh violence and the inside way of drug rings.The film ended up with a total of 30 nominations and 2 Oscar nominations that year as well.2008 Scott went back to working with Crowe but added another top rated actor in Leonardo Dicaprio in Body Of Lies.The film revolves around a CIA Agent on the ground trying to find a terrorist leader in Jordan in the middle east and at the same time he finds out some other workings within the CIA and people he works with.
In 2010 Ridley Scott tackled the day old story of Robin Hood and once again used Crowe as Robin Hood and it was the 3rd time in a row using the actor in a film so you could tell he and the actor were becoming to develop a great relationship ever since the creation of Gladiator.Robin Hood wasn't altered much story wise because Scott wanted to keep it as close as possible and adding the acting talents of Cate Blanchett to the story made the story THAT much better.When the film was released it received some mixed reviews but in the end garnered some nominations during award season and 1 win.In 2012 it was revealed that Scott was finally working on his "Secret" project and he wasn't letting any hints in on the film except for one week he released a picture of the board with the title simply saying one word to put it all into a frenzy with Prometheus.
When Prometheus came out the premise of the film was explorers searching and believing that they have found the spot where the creation of mankind on earth was perceived.Then when they take the ship they come to find out things are not what they seem at all.I am just going to go out on a limb for the reader and say that during the year of 2012 this was one of the worst kept secrets of the year having this film start leaking information because the movie fan isn't an idiot and when they found out the premise they started to catch on that this just MIGHT be the prequel to his classic Alien film.When it came time to cast he didn't really use an all star cast except for casting Idris Elba,Charlize Theron,Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender respectively in their "Secret" roles.When the film was finally released it was stated that this was one of his finest works and he was back to doing what Scott does best and also on a technical note it was completely stunning visual wise and was on the scale of Blade Runner when it came to watching the film in theaters in 3D or on Blu-Ray.But in the end people started to catch on after the film ended that yes this could be a prequel whether Scott admits to it or not and he admitted to ANOTHER "Secret" project in the coming years so it could be a sequel to the film because it was one of the highest grossing films of the year as well as garnering 21 nominations and 1 Oscar nomination in total.
2013 came time for his effort after Prometheus and he decided to come out with The Counselor.That film had an all star cast and saying that is just an understatement because the main roles went to Michael Fassbender,Cameron Diaz,Brad Pitt,Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.The story revolved around a lawyer who gets in way too deep in the world of drug trafficking and how everything unravels in the film.Now for everything that he has done in his career this was by far Ridley Scott's miss in his film history.It got mostly poor reviews and was even nominated for some Razzie Awards as well because the acting and story were considered so bad for how it was told.But if you really think about it once you hit this level for someone like Ridley Scott the only way to go is up and we all know he can go up in a BIG BIG way.
The future for Ridley Scott looks like its gonna be a bright one because he is practically finished with his biblical epic starring Christian Bale that is looking like coming out later next year and when that is finished everyone is hoping he will go back to back work on Prometheus 2 because he still has a "Secret" project listed on there so it must be that and the other one is a sequel after almost 33 years for a Blade Runner sequel as well.So I know he will come back swinging after the downfall of the Counselor because it was a weird one for him but in the end he is a director that makes nothing but visually and awe inspiring films.
Your Favorite Ridley Scott Film?
Today's poll is asking for your favorite Ridley Scott film and he does have quite the resume of great films once you run through them all in his career so it will be interesting to see what comes out on top!