5 by 5: My 5 Favorite Films by My 5 Favorite Directors (4/5)

So we pick up our 5 by 5 Directors series at number four.

but first…

One may ask, “Why didn’t you count down to number one? Didn’t you ruin the suspense by starting from the top? Aren’t you the… good man?”

And I might answer,

“Shut up. It’s my blog.”

But honestly I knew who my top picks were. Three, four & five took more thought. So I started from one.

To recap #1 Stanley Kubrick, #2 Martin Scorcese, #3 Joel & Ethan Coen

(Click the links to see the 5 movies I picked from each of them)

and now at #4

Ridley Scott

Ridley Scott has a knack for pulling you away from reality and transporting you to rich and lavish worlds. Past, present or future. There are many artists who create beautifully textured universes for their films but Mr. Scott makes them real. He gives them breath and life. He is the creator and curator of worlds. Worlds you want visit. Worlds in which you want to live or desperately escape from. With heroes and villains who are often flawed but relentless. His movies are always so tangibly real. No matter how fantastic the setting his movies just feel authentic. No other filmmaker can help me forget that I’m watching a movie quicker than Ridley Scott.

It’s like magic.

At  number 4 on my list, I give you, The Magician:

Sir Ridley Scott

Blade Runner (1982)

My All-time favorite film.

Not the Director’s Cut or the Ultimate Director’s Cut or the studio cut or the legendary cut or the super duper final cut but the God-Damn Original Theatrical Release with the awesome yet mildly cheesy dime-store detective novel narration.

Don’t get me wrong it’s a better movie without the voice-over (Unicorn dream not withstanding) but the first one will always hold a special place in my heart. (full disclosure: I own each and every one of them on blu-ray)

Alien (1979)

The best in the Alien series is the first one (My apologies to James Cameron, David Fincher, Joss Whedon & Jean-Pierre [I really should only do films in French] Jenuet). Jaws on a space ship is scary as fuck. Sigorney Weaver is amazing, gorgeous and bad-ass (yes, Mr. Cameron cranks her bad-ass-ery up to another level of bad-ass-iness but Ridley started the ball rolling. And who would have a cat on a space ship? I would… I would have a cat on a space ship. Here Jonesy.

Gladiator (2000)

Are you not entertained?

No.

I mean yes.

I mean… every time I re-watch this movie it makes me pine for the old Russell Crowe because the man was beautiful. Used to have a big crush on him. Not so much anymore. (He did not age well) Still a great actor. He won an Academy Award for this one… I think. He has a couple. But some say he should have won for movies he didn’t win for and shouldn’t have… whatever, If you want to see him in all of his hotness. Gladiator is the one to watch. And Joaquin Phoenix is intense and very skilful as well. Great movie.

Thelma & Louise (1991)

Sadly this film became a joke over time. A parody of itself. It was a fun movie before it was picked apart by history and now it’s just a bad cliché. I loved this film. Great cast. Susan Sarandon, Harvey Keitel, Geena Davis, Brad Pitt. A lot of great action.

I just wish it would have held up to the test of time better. And the ending… a little too Butch & Sundance.

G.I. Jane (1997)

Yet another film trashed for being kick-ass action with a female lead. This movie is a pure rush.

I remember when I left the theater. I was so pumped after seeing this movie I was working off the excess adrenaline by sprinting down the street. I passed near the downtown Post Office and all of a sudden 8 to 10 Federal Agents burst on to the street with guns drawn.

Everyone on the sidewalk froze in place like deers in government issue headlights. Except for me. I was so hyped and full of adrenaline, I was able to dodge the sea of G-men as they ran out. Weaving in and out of them untouched. A leaf on the wind. This did not go unnoticed and soon I was surrounded. Guns pointed at my face. It appeared someone had just robbed that Post Office.

Gun. gun. gun. gun. gun. I don’t even remember their faces.

I pulled the ticket stub out of my pocket and tried to explain that I had just seen an action film and was a little pumped. The agent scoffed and flicked my stub into the street.

I looked down the barrel of his gun then looked him dead in his eyes and said “Go pick that up. And hand that shit back to me. That’s my evidence.”

He picked it up and handed it back and then his superior looked me up and down and said the best words he could have said in the circumstance. “He didn’t do it.” And then he apologized and said that I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Someone from the crowd that had formed to witness the execution (It looked a lot like a firing squad) shouted, “Yeah and the wrong color.” I looked back at the agents as I hurried away, knees shaking, heart pounding and smiled saying “I didn’t say that. That wasn’t me.” I was just thinking it.

And yet the movie G.I. Jane was still more intense than that.

It was very difficult to pick just 5 of Ridley Scott’s films. And I’m sure I missed a gem somewhere but I love them all. From The Duelists (1977 – outstanding) to Legend (1985 – beautiful) to Black Hawk Down (2001 – awesome) to Hannibal (2001 – amazing) to… all of them. The man is a magician and with but a few exceptions, amazes and mystifies with each movie.

And he is still going strong, still conjuring major works of magic. Here’s the trailer for the upcoming Prometheus film.

I have stated in several earlier post that I was very excited for the Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises this summer. But the prospect of a new Sci Fi movie from Ridley Scott makes fluid escape my body. (drool, tears, sweat, among others… yes, even a little pee)

I am beyond excited. It’s like opening night of a new Shakespeare play at The Globe and you’re in the Queen’s box (I meant that to sound dirty). It’s like skipping the line at a new nightclub and finding out the DJ is… wait… is that Mozart? It’s like the last lap of the Indy 500 and you’ve got the best seat at the track; driver’s seat of the leading car. But you’re not driving. Danica Patrick is driving. She’s been sitting in your lap and you both take the checkered.

Yeah… I’m that excited.

You know the score, pal.

-Envy

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3 thoughts on “5 by 5: My 5 Favorite Films by My 5 Favorite Directors (4/5)

  1. Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner, Blade Runner… Could be the amount of times I’ve seen this film and counting.

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    • I think what you have there is just the amount of times we watched that movie in High School film class.
      Honestly I’ve paid to see it more times than that. I used to go to midnight showings in the village every week. A cult classic for sure.
      But are you a fan of the original or Ridley’s director’s cut? Or this new Legendary edition?
      I, myself, am an originalist.
      I still can’t watch it without the voice-over without reciting the v.o. in my head.
      “Sushi. That’s what my ex-wife used to call me… cold fish.”

      Like

  2. I like all the versions. I have the original, the European edit, the work print, the “directors cut” and the “final edit”. Honestly I like Ridley’s final edit the best. It’s a more complete film and all the little technical bugs are fixed, like the the bad wig on Zora’s stunt woman as she goes through the glass, and the bad dubbing on Decker when he’s interrogating the Egyptian. Plus, you can really see all the wonderful NON-CGI effects in all their glory. It was one of the last completely optical effects movies made and a real work of art in that sense. I bought a 7 disc set with all the versions and 4 documentaries on the making of BR, Philip K. Dick interviews and a doc on the restoration of film plus more, not too expensive only about $25.

    The only thing I don’t like is Ridley’s interpretation that Decker is a replicant, the writers, both Fancher and Peoples and Harrison Ford all agree that Decker is NOT a replicant, so I’m sticking with them. Decker as replicant ruins the idea of the Replicants passion for life being more human than human and Decker as the human, being a machine of the state who can kill without much reservation. If Decker is a replicant then he’s just as bad as the replicants and it also ruins the ending of him realizing Batty’s humanity before he dies. Decker has a transformation in that moment. If Decker is human, then the metaphor has more power. At least Ridley leaves it vague so you can decide for yourself. Man that film has a lot of meat to chew on!

    Like

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