Is there a more hot/cold director than Ridley Scott?

MKS
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Black Philip
MKS
Black PhilipThelma & Louise is a classic.

PS - And Cafe Society sucked.

Nah.

Woody's last 3-4 films have all been pretty bad. Those crappy ones he did with Emma Stone are among his worst to date.

Blue Jasmine and Cafe Society are great. Magic in the Moonlight was flawed but minor and fine. Haven't seen Irrational Man. The only one that's been bad is his TV show. Before that, films like Whatever Works and To Rome with Love were far inferior.
Mar 20, 2017 11:23 PM
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MKS
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Black PhilipIrrational Man was a piece of shit and Magic in the Moonlight was feces. Cafe Society was boring as fuck.

PS - Woody's worst film is still Small Time Crooks. A waste of a talented cast and not one funny moment.

Magic in the Moonlight was charming and light. Nothing more. Nothing less. I can't conceive of finding CS boring if you're an Allen fan. It's gorgeous, well acted, witty and thematically honest.
I don't remember Small Time Crooks but the film it's a remake of, Larceny Inc. Is a ton of fun.
Mar 21, 2017 1:41 AM
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MKS
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Black PhilipCafe Society felt like Woody Allen paint-by-numbers. A complete waste of talent and time. The guy should retire.

How?
Mar 21, 2017 1:50 AM
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MKS
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Black Philip
MKS
Black PhilipCafe Society felt like Woody Allen paint-by-numbers. A complete waste of talent and time. The guy should retire.

How?

It just felt so typical Woody, The Gangster bits felt lifted from Bullets Over Broadway and the Hollywood in a movie thing is overplayed. It's weird, while Woody is slacking, while Malick is making the best work of his career since Badlands.

I don't think Woody is slacking and I think Malick is consistently making great films as he's done since Badlands.
An ideosyncratic director following his ideosyncracies isn't a negative in my book. Plus one similar film to a subplot doesn't equate to "paint by numbers."
Mar 21, 2017 3:20 AM
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Special Agent CooperLegend is an underappreciated masterpiece, or at least the director's cut is. It's an absolutely beautiful love letter to fairy tales, and Tim Curry is phenomenal. I love it almost as much as Blade Runner

Totally agree.

Legend is one of my favorite movies and is my favorite Ridley Scott movie. Tim Curry's Darkness is my favorite bad guy/evil guy of all time.
Mar 21, 2017 1:26 PM
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Janson Jinnistan
Rated NCC-1701CAN'T REMEMBER IT, EVEN THOUGH, Y'KNOW, THE KIETEL AS AN ARISTOCRAT, SO THERE'S THAT/10?

Philistine.

Why yes, I am a Phyllis Diller fan. Luddite. Which I guess means a fan of the Ludivico method.
Mar 22, 2017 4:14 PM
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I credit Blue Jasmine almost entirely to Cate Blanchett's superb performance. On paper, it really is just a nasty and almost cruel portrait of Mia Farrow, and its pettiness needs to be reckoned with.
Mar 22, 2017 6:37 PM
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Rated NCC-1701
Janson Jinnistan
Rated NCC-1701CAN'T REMEMBER IT, EVEN THOUGH, Y'KNOW, THE KIETEL AS AN ARISTOCRAT, SO THERE'S THAT/10?

Philistine.

Why yes, I am a Phyllis Diller fan. ?Luddite. ?Which I guess means a fan of the Ludivico method.


"They fixed me, all right."
Mar 22, 2017 7:27 PM
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MKS
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Janson JinnistanI credit Blue Jasmine almost entirely to Cate Blanchett's superb performance. ?On paper, it really is just a nasty and almost cruel portrait of Mia Farrow, and its pettiness needs to be reckoned with.

How is it that and not an updated version of Streetcar?
Mar 22, 2017 9:20 PM
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MKS
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Black Philip
MKS
Janson JinnistanI credit Blue Jasmine almost entirely to Cate Blanchett's superb performance. ?On paper, it really is just a nasty and almost cruel portrait of Mia Farrow, and its pettiness needs to be reckoned with.

How is it that and not an updated version of Streetcar?

It felt like the Bernie Madoff story minus Bernie Madoff. Yeah Cate Blanchett was good but the movie was like TV movie of the week.

No, it felt like Streetcar except with giving Blanche a Madoff-esque background. Nothing about that film is even remotely "TV movie" beyond the poor opening shot of the CGI plane.
Mar 22, 2017 10:21 PM
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MKSHow is it that and not an updated version of Streetcar?

It's both, with Mia Farrow-as-Blanche being the dig.

I don't really have a bone in the Allen/Farrow beef, but this aspect leaves a bitter aftertaste. I'd probably feel the same way if Mia were to remake Lolita with Humbert being a suspiciously nebbish little neurotic with a penchant for quoting Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky and Groucho Marx.
Mar 23, 2017 12:06 PM
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MKS
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Janson Jinnistan
MKSHow is it that and not an updated version of Streetcar?

It's both, with Mia Farrow-as-Blanche being the dig.

I don't really have a bone in the Allen/Farrow beef, but this aspect leaves a bitter aftertaste. ?I'd probably feel the same way if Mia were to remake Lolita with Humbert being a suspiciously nebbish little neurotic with a penchant for quoting Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky and Groucho Marx.

What specifically makes it a dig at Farrow?
Mar 23, 2017 12:19 PM
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MKSWhat specifically makes it a dig at Farrow?

All of the Farrow-ness of the character and mannerisms.
Mar 23, 2017 12:36 PM
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Janson Jinnistan
MKSWhat specifically makes it a dig at Farrow?

All of the Farrow-ness of the character and mannerisms.

Which are...?
Mar 23, 2017 1:42 PM
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MKS
Janson Jinnistan
MKSHow is it that and not an updated version of Streetcar?

It's both, with Mia Farrow-as-Blanche being the dig.

I don't really have a bone in the Allen/Farrow beef, but this aspect leaves a bitter aftertaste. ?I'd probably feel the same way if Mia were to remake Lolita with Humbert being a suspiciously nebbish little neurotic with a penchant for quoting Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky and Groucho Marx.

What specifically makes it a dig at Farrow?

Digging's usually associated with fallow. Or furrow. Or possibly Murrow, if you collect famous remains.
Mar 23, 2017 2:42 PM
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Mar 23, 2017 4:22 PM
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BadLieutenant
Janson Jinnistan
MKSWhat specifically makes it a dig at Farrow?

All of the Farrow-ness of the character and mannerisms.

Which are...?

Mannerisms, like inflection, physical ticks, her eccentric lilt and lithe gestures. It isn't exactly impersonation - Blanchett is too good for that - but I didn't think it was so subtle either.

I could be misreading based on a general sameness that has solidified a lot of performances in Woody Allen films, which could be due to his direction of actors. Actors of very different styles tend to succumb to Woodyisms in his films, and some actors mesh with this better than others. I suppose, thinking on it, that Blanchett is just as invoking of Dianne Wiest or one of his other eccentrically lithe actresses. But once noticing the similarity in Blanchett's performance to Farrow, it seemed to fall into place and make sense. Maybe someone can confirm or refute if they know more details about Allen's motives on it.
Mar 23, 2017 5:49 PM
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His first three films were brilliant. If he'd died after Blade Runner, we'd remember him as an all-time great.?

The truth is he is a visual stylist. Let him work with the ideas of someone else, someone good, and he can make great things happen.

The sadder truth is that once he no longer needed (psychologically and financially) to lean so heavily on the visual bag of tricks he learned shooting commercials, his "style" faded entirely into the background and his later films could have been shot by any number of directors. He's kind of like a pop band that had three solid albums in their moment of productivity and then released a lot of mediocre work after that with the occasional minor hit tune.?

Mar 23, 2017 5:59 PM
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Janson Jinnistan
BadLieutenant
Janson Jinnistan
MKSWhat specifically makes it a dig at Farrow?

All of the Farrow-ness of the character and mannerisms.

Which are...?

Mannerisms, like inflection, physical ticks, her eccentric lilt and lithe gestures. ?It isn't exactly impersonation - Blanchett is too good for that - but I didn't think it was so subtle either.

I could be misreading based on a general sameness that has solidified a lot of performances in Woody Allen films, which could be due to his direction of actors. ?Actors of very different styles tend to succumb to Woodyisms in his films, and some actors mesh with this better than others. ?I suppose, thinking on it, that Blanchett is just as invoking of Dianne Wiest or one of his other eccentrically lithe actresses. ?But once noticing the similarity in Blanchett's performance to Farrow, it seemed to fall into place and make sense. ?Maybe someone can confirm or refute if they know more details about Allen's motives on it.

To me, the analogy falls apart when it comes to Alec Baldwin's character who, however petty Blanchett's motivations are in fingering him, is unambiguously guilty of the crimes he's accused of. If Allen were consciously building a hit piece against Farrow, I would think he'd make his own analogue in the story a blameless victim of petty spite or misunderstanding instead of exactly the monster everyone sees him as after his misdeeds are exposed, lest it be read as Allen's confession for all that Farrow accused him of. Now, if Allen were drawing these parallels all subconsciously, that would be one thing, but begging for a reading of Blanchett as Farrow also begs a reading of Baldwin as Allen, and I don't know that he'd be that blatant in casting his alter ego in that light. He certainly doesn't make Baldwin one of his many cinematic stand-ins in the tradition of John Cusack in Bullets Over Broadway or Jesse Eisenberg...anytime he casts Jesse Eisenberg.

Rather, I take the more superficial reading of the movie at face value: Allen has shown an interest in the Bernie Madoff case before, and I think he just wanted to build a drama around a character at the periphery of such a case as a way of examining the guilt of those who enable such figures without being legally culpable. If Blanchett shares certain mannerisms with Farrow, which presumably wouldn't be one of the qualities found on the page that you cited earlier, I think it would likely be due to what you suggest, namely Allen's direction of actors, since so much of Farrow's screen presence over the years was in front of his camera. I personally don't see it, though, which is why I'm reluctant to take an entire reading of the film from it.
Mar 23, 2017 6:21 PM
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I would simply describe Ridley Scott as a cold director who, once upon a time (the 80s), was a hot director. It's been so long since his heydey, however, that I must conclude that Ridley Scott is just not a very good director, which is not to deny that the man has talent.

Here's how I would rate his career:

The Great:
Alien (1979)
Blade Runner (1982)
Legend (1985)

The Good:
Gladiator (2000)
The Counselor (2013)

The Bad:
The Martian (2015)
Prometheus (2012)
Robin Hood (2010)
American Gangster (2007)
A Good Year (2006)
Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
Matchstick Men (2003)
Black Hawk Down (2001)
Hannibal (2001)
G.I. Jane (1997)
White Squall (1996)
Thelma & Louise (1991)
The Duellists (1977)

This is a poor record, overall. The biggest thing holding Scott back is his blinding ego (just watch his interviews) and lack of storytelling ability. He has no sense of good narrative. His best films either are adapted from classic source material (Blade Runner), require little to no plot for their success (Alien), or he simply happens upon a good script, either one that has gone through multiple iterations and writers (Gladiator) or is written by a capable storyteller (Legend, The Counselor).

Scott's talents lie with his visual sense and imaginative world-building (although that's been less the case in recent years). When he has a good story in front of him, he does a good job of conceptually interpreting a visual world for that narrative and often times is quite capable of transforming the story into something very special with his (formerly) inspired imagery. On the whole, though, he is a very limited filmmaker. I think he'd be better off crafting non-narrative driven avant-garde cinema, but unfortunately, his ego will not permit him to operate outside of anything that isn't blockbuster potential.
Mar 23, 2017 7:44 PM
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