Five Great Ridley Scott Audio Commentaries

Ridley Scott commentaries

In 1965, Sir Ridley Scott made his directorial debut with the short film, Boy and Bicycle. His illustrious filmmaking career began with a short that cost him $120 and starred his brother, the late Tony Scott. It led to a career that is nothing short of spectacular, one never lacking passion or permanence. He’s a filmmaker who’s been ahead of the curve, created trends, and made movies that’ll last forever.

Thankfully, he’s been game to talk about almost every one of his films in audio commentaries. He’s always candid, ready to share his wealth of knowledge, and keep you hanging onto his every word, whether it’s for a two-hour drama or one of his three-hour epics. The master filmmaker is, without question, a master of audio commentaries.

With the recent release of Alien: Covenant, it felt like the right time to listen to some of Scott’s commentaries. His tracks for Alien and Blade Runner are must-listens, and the same goes for his tracks about demons, kingpins, two legends on the road, and con artists. Here are the five you really need to seek out.

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in defense of the lost ending

(Welcome to The Unpopular Opinion, a series where a writer goes to the defense of a much-maligned film or TV show, or sets their sights on something seemingly beloved by all. In this edition: a defense of the final season of the ABC TV series LOST.)

LOST was once at the pinnacle of the early Golden Age of TV. Ambitious, awe-inspiring, and frustrating, it brought forth a new age in serialized primetime television and was perhaps the last great TV show to command the attention of audiences across the country before streaming and prestige cable shows dispersed them.

You remember those glory days, right? The connective flashbacks, the masterful character work, the scavenger hunt for hints, the jaw-dropping cliffhangers. It was like nothing on TV. And it ended seven years ago today, airing its series finale on May 23, 2010.

So it pains me that LOST, one of the most exciting and daring sci-fi TV series — and one of my favorite shows of all time — is met with derision because of its final season. To be sure, it’s an oddly opaque finale for a show that until then, had operated in grays — espousing realist and borderline nihilistic philosophies that called into question the nature and morals of man. But one of the charms of LOST was that it never tried to answer these questions. Yes, it bludgeoned you over the head with that “man of science, man of faith” debate between Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) and John Locke (Terry O’Quinn), but neither were able to ever really win the upper hand.

The finale changed that. The answer, it seemed to say, was faith. And in a show that depended so heavily on sci-fi tropes and staples, this switcheroo understandably angered people.

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Better Call Saul Expenses Review

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

At this point in Better Call Saul, it’s difficult to know whether or not we’re supposed to root for Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk). Obviously, to a certain degree, we are. We’re in his house, after all. He’s hit rock bottom in “Expenses,” and though we know he’ll end up back on top (sort of) by the time Breaking Bad begins, it’s become obvious that the path there is going to be a profoundly ugly one. “Expenses” plays like a partner to “Chicanery” as an episode that captures exactly just how naturalistic the drama at the center of it is. It’s a show that’s pared down and precise — the pain doesn’t come from the near-operatic as it did in Breaking Bad, it comes from small, simple human foibles.

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A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 2

The practice of beloved TV or movie properties getting a second life has practically become synonymous with Netflix — the streaming service made its name as an original content service by tapping into the nostalgia of popular properties like Arrested Development and Full House.

But it’s rare that Netflix will take a chance on a moderately successful movie adaptation that was met with mixed reception, and outright disdain from fans of the books. But A Series of Unfortunate Events came to Netflix, where it was spearheaded by Barry Sonnenfeld, the director originally attached to the 2004 movie. And it was a hit. The series met with rave reviews from critics and fans alike, who lauded its unique visuals, fourth-wall-breaking characters. and witty black comedy. A Series of Unfortunate Events was quite a fortunate break for Netflix.

It was too for Sonnenfeld, who was able to finally bring his vision for an adaptation to life alongside the books’ author, Daniel Handler (whose pseudonym, Lemony Snicket, is also an active character in the series). We spoke with Sonnenfeld about the runaway success of the first season of A Series of Unfortunate Events, and what we can expect for the second and now-confirmed third.

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the blood boy review

(Each week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Silicon Valley season 4 by answering one simple question: what was the most awkward moment?)

If you’re looking for cringe humor, there’s no better place than in a wedding. While Silicon Valley is not anywhere near the current champ of cringe-inducing weddings (that honor still belongs to Peep Show) this episode has one for the ages.

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american gods git gone review

(Each week, we’ll kick off our discussion of American Gods by answering one simple question: which character do we worship this week?)

Bone orchards, man-eaters, fire genies, oh my! The first three episodes of American Gods gave us a lot to swallow, but episode four, “Git Gone,” following Laura Moon’s journey to and from the grave, showed us that things aren’t just not what they seem when it comes to gods, but also when it comes to (seemingly) boring, uninteresting humanity.

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Alien Covenant

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant.)

In 1979, Ridley Scott unleashed Alien on unsuspecting moviegoers, creating something that would end up becoming iconic in the process. Scott, a filmmaker with a background in graphic design, took what was essentially the type of B-movie that cluttered up drive-in theaters and turned it into something greater – a haunted-house picture set in space, dripping with atmosphere and dread, heightened by grotesque creature designs from nightmare-expert artist H.R. Giger.

Alien would turn into a franchise, although Scott stayed away for most of it. He returned for the sort-of prequel Prometheus, one of the most polarizing films of his career. Fans expecting another Alien were sorely disappointed, as Scott no longer seemed interested in the simple, dread-inducing terror of his 1979 film. Instead, the filmmaker wanted to use the Alien mythology as a framework on which to build a more complex, existential examination of the origins of humanity.

Scott could’ve walked away from the Alien franchise after Prometheus, but instead he seems committed to riding this out to see how far it will go. He has returned with Alien: Covenant, which loaded its trailers and promotional material with the familiar xenomorph alien that fans are familiar with. This film, Scott seemed to be saying, would be the Alien-type film Prometheus was not. It was a trick, though. The filmmaker had more complicated, complex ideas in mind. They don’t always work, but you have to at least appreciate his willingness to experiment with them at this stage in his career.

Spoilers follow.

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Twin Peaks premiere review

Diane, it’s 11:04 P.M. on Sunday evening, May 21, 2017. I’ve just finished watching the two-part premiere of Twin Peaks season 3, the brainchild of creators David Lynch and Mark Frost that’s been the subject of hopeful speculation for more than two decades. If you’re wondering whether Lynch – who hasn’t directed a feature film since 2006’s Inland Empire – is still in top form, these two episodes put that question to rest. It’s still hard to believe, Diane, but Twin Peaks is back, and it’s just as enigmatic, engaging, and ambitious as ever.
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Twin Peaks guys

The Weekend Read compiles all of the /Film original features published in the past week. In this week’s line-up of reviews, lists, editorials and more, find two polar-opposite reviews of Alien: Covenant, a look at what may be the most terrifying haunted house experience ever concocted, a reminder of everything you should know before watching Twin Peaks season 3, and so much more.

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an american werewolf in london

(Welcome to /Response, the companion piece to our /Answers series and a space where /Film readers can chime in and offer their two cents on a particular question.)

Earlier this week, the /Film team wrote about the scariest movie scenes of all time. We then opened the floor to our readers: what movie scene scared you more than any other? And you let us know!

We have collected our favorite answers (edited for length and clarity) below. Next week’s question, in honor of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, who is your favorite film or TV pirate and why? Yes, this can include space pirates. Send your (at least one paragraph, please) answer to slashfilmpitches@gmail.com!

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