We frequently think of Ridley Scott as a master, a filmmaker with huge ambition and bigger talent who can bring any vision to the big screen. His resume certainly seems to confirm that. Space opera, war movies, period pieces, spy thrillers, Best Picture winners — he’s pretty much done them all. Still, out of the 22 films Scott has directed, including this week’s release Exodus: Gods and Kings, how many of them are actually good? What about great? It’s a pretty high percentage. Below, we rank the top 15 best Ridley Scott movies. Read More »
This Week in DVD is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Fry’s.
Please don’t take the commentary on the movies and TV shows too seriously, as they’re meant not to be reviews but rather previews that include the general thoughts and ramblings of a twice-committed DVD addict. The categories represent solely the author’s intentions towards the DVDs at hand, and are in no way meant to be a reflection on what he thinks other people should rent or buy. So if he ends up putting a movie you like in the “Skip it” section without having seen it, please keep in mind that the time you could spend leaving a spiteful but ultimately futile comment could instead be used for more pleasant things in life. Like buying DVDs.
While the reviews weren’t necessarily negative, the Clint Eastwood-directed Changeling opened to a surprisingly middling response, apparently falling prey to silliness and convention far too often. It was enough, however, to earn Angelina Jolie a nomination for Best Actress, despite claims by many critics that her performance detracted from the film more than enhanced it. To that I simply say, “…I WANT MY SON BACK!!”
Notable Extras: 2 featurettes (Partners in Crime: Clint Eastwood and Angelina Jolie, The Common Thread: Angelina Jolie Becomes Christine Collins).
|Amazon – $16.99|
What? Save $5 when you buy Changeling and Flash of Genius.
Where? Best Buy.
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Well Medicated put together a fine collection of 50 Polish movie posters, including the cute interpretation above of Rosemary’s Baby. I’ve included a few of my favorites here. And for contrast, I’ve attached the new domestic one-sheet for Leonardo DiCaprio’s Body of Lies—one of the blandest posters I’ve recently come across. Can’t say I prefer the foreign version of Weekend at Bernie’s, but that’s to be expected, no? For more info on the artists behind these works, or to purchase, visit the great site, PolishPoster.com. Thanks to ‘rio for the tip.
Crocodile Dundee 2 (check the teeth)
Body of Lies (remember, audience: “Trust No One”)
Remember that teaser trailer that was attached to The Dark Knight? No, not Watchmen. Nope, not Terminator. I’m talking about the film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. Body of Lies follows a former journalist who is hired by the CIA to track down an Al Qaeda leader. You probably didn’t get that much from the first trailer, I know I didn’t. Thankfully, Warner Bros has released a new full length trailer which gives you a much better sense of what this Ridley Scott film is about. Watch it now below, and as always, tell me what you think in the comments.
[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/bodyoflies2.flv 470 196]
Watch the trailer in High Definition on Yahoo. Body of Lies hits theaters on October 10th 2008.
Updated 06/04/08: All signs point to Ridley Scott directing the first major Hollywood adaptation of Aldous Huxley‘s 1932 classic Brave New World, possibly with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead. Scott has been in discussions with the Huxley estate for sometime, as has DiCaprio. This article from the Sunday Times back in March took a look at negotiations. Themes in Brave New World have appeared in numerous sci-fi films over the years. Equilibrium definitely comes to mind. Set in a faux-utopian dystopia, society has been organized into a class system based on eugenics, with the government issuing a drug to the public called Soma that induces hedonistic escape fantasies. Our readers also believe that this will be Scott’s next film, though others have mentioned Ender’s Game and Hyperion Cantos as projects that would be well-served by Scott’s eye and mind as well. Thanks to everyone who commented, a nice discussion is below for those who haven’t lurked or taken part yet.
When I hear “Ridley Scott,” I think well-made R-rated pictures for adults that could/should not be PG-13. Scott doesn’t bend under the weight of market forces. If he wants to dabble in PG-13 fare, he’ll make an underrated, meditative flick like White Squall, all the while his sci-fi masterpieces, Blade Runner and Alien, still loom large over the genre, keeping our expectations in check even as Hollywood surfs on teen tidal waves. I’m more than cool with Nolan’s vision for Batman or The Hobbit being PG-13, but I won’t abandon the vocal need/want for R-rated sci-fi/action. Even today, Scott’s sci-fi outings would not garner PG-13 ratings, nor would several of James Cameron’s genre cornerstones. While clearly no rating can be determined at this juncture, Eclipse got a big scoop: Ridley Scott’s next film after he’s done shooting Nottingham with Russell Crow will be sci-fi. Sweet.
“Q: You directed Blade Runner and Alien, which are seminal science fiction films. Why have you not done more science fiction films?
RIDLEY SCOTT: I am going to do one. I waited for a book for 20 years and I have got the book. I am not going to tell you what the book is but that film is going to probably be written within the next month. That will definitely be what I do next after Nottingham, the Robin Hood film that I am doing now in England.”
Haven’t had time to seriously ponder what book he’s referring to. Any guesses? I’ll update the post if any of your guesses seem viable and/or if ours are. Another project that we should all hope comes to fruition is Scott’s adaptation of NCFOM author Cormac McCarthy‘s 1985 classic Blood Meridian.
“We got [Blood Meridian] down as a screenplay and the problem is that it is so savage. But that’s what it is. If you did it properly it would be an X-certificate. But you can’t apologise for the violence and you can’t quantify the violence and you shouldn’t try to explain the violence. It is what it isâ€¦an exercise in brutality, savagery and violence. For the most part it is probably relatively accurate. It shows the flipside to Dances With Wolves of how the United States was probably taken. It was taken by the throat.”
Comparable to a future where predatory robots roam a scorched Earth, much of history (not to mention McCarthy’s work) merits a hardcore take: scalping in this instance. Though I remain baffled at the predictable structure, presentation and ethical stumbles of American Gangster, Scott’s upcoming films like Body of Lies with DiCaprio and Crowe, Nottingham and the ones discussed here all sound highly promising and uncompromising. Some of our younger directors should take note. Paul Thomas Anderson did and it’s worked out fine, the popcorn even tasted the same.
Discuss: Scott returning to sci-fi, pretty cool right? What sci-fi book do you think Scott is adapting? Any fans of Blood Meridian?
Warner Bros has also provided us with the first photo from Ridley Scott‘s (Gladiator, American Gangster) big screen adaptation of David Ignatius’s novel, Body of Lies. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Roger Ferris, an injured former Iraq War journalist who is hired by the CIA to track down an Al Qaeda leader. And the screenplay is written by William Monahan, who won the Oscar last year for The Departed‘. The film also stars Russell Crowe and Carice van Houten.
Here is the Official Book Description:
A tale of counterterrorism from an author who “ranks with Graham Greene in his knowledge of espionage and the human heart” (Publishers Weekly). Roger Ferris is one of the CIA’s soldiers in the war on terrorism. He has come out of Iraq with a shattered leg and an intense mission-to penetrate the network of a master terrorist known only as “Suleiman.” Ferris’s plan for getting inside Suleiman’s tent is inspired by a masterpiece of British intelligence during World War II: He prepares a body of lies, literally the corpse of an imaginary CIA officer who appears to have accomplished the impossible by recruiting an agent within the enemy’s ranks. This scheme binds friend and foe in a web of extraordinary subtlety and complexity, and when it begins to unravel, Ferris finds himself flying blind into a hurricane. His only hope is the urbane head of Jordan’s intelligence service-a man who might be an Arab version of John le CarrÃ©’s celebrated spy, George Smiley. But can Ferris trust him?
Body of Lies will hit theaters in the Fourth Quarter of 2008.