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Entries in Ridley Scott (34)

Monday
Jun052017

Beauty vs Beast: Bad Romance

Howdy, everybody - Jason from MNPP here with a brand new round of "Beauty vs Beast" for you on this first Monday of June. Coming up on this first Friday of June a movie called My Cousin Rachel is coming out (you can watch the trailer right here) that stars Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin and is adapted from the 1951 book by Daphne du Maurier (who also wrote The Birds and Rebecca). The book was already turned into a movie once in 1952 with  Richard Burton and Olivia de Havilland (which I have never seen; have you?) - anyway it's one of my favorite genres, the overheated gothic romance, brimming with lace and poisons, and I can't wait.

So in the spirit of such things this week we're tackling one of the greatest of all when it comes to these stories - Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. There are a couple of film adaptations but let's go with the most recent, Cary Fukunaga's 2011 film starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, since I found it a grand adaptation.

PREVIOUSLY We spent last week trapped in that damn cryogenic container so we've got to skip back two weeks to our last competition, which pit the Ellen Ripley of Ridley Scott's Alien against the Ellen Ripley of James Cameron's Aliens. And it was the bigger badder bitchier (her words not mine!) version of the latter who stomped away with 67% of your votes. Said markgordonuk:

"Alien is my favourite movie but the Aliens performance is something else, the looks and glances, the fear, the physicality, the line readings, the no bull attitude, I could go on, such an Iconic performance, everyone knows who Ripley is."

Wednesday
May242017

Beauty vs Beast: All About Ellen

Jason from MNPP here with this week's All Sigourney edition of "Beauty vs Beast" -- everything should always be All Sigourney, don't you think? Most especially Alien movies. I can't tell you how much I missed the grounding presence of Ellen Ripley this past weekend, whiplashing around Ridley Scott's scattered Covenant. If only we were getting Neill Blomkamp's proposed sequel, I kept thinking. An Alien without a Ripley is a body without a heart or a brain - an exo-skeleton full of acid.

So that's where I stand on Covenant. And even if they're more positive than I am most (if not all?) reviews continue to point to the first two films as the franchise's high-water mark. But instead of facing Ripley off with Giger's literal Beast I thought it would be more interesting to do a variation on the eternal "Alien or Aliens" question, and face off Scott's Ripley against James Cameron's Ripley, as the low-key smartypants of the first movie is in many ways quite a different beast altogether from the ass-kicking maternal Cassandra of the second. Which Ripley's your jam, and why?

PREVIOUSLY We tackled Alfred Hitchcock's personal fave Shadow of a Doubt (1943) last week for Joseph Cotten's birthday and it was Cotten's Uncle Charlie who triumphed over his niece Charlie (Teresa Wright), although it was close (as it ought to be with such doubling going on). Said Dancin' Dan:

"This is impossible, pitting one of my favorite Hitchcock heroines against one of my favorite Hitchcock villains. But I'm going to give an EVER SO SLIGHT edge to Young Charlie, for the sole reason that, as much amazing work as Cotten does in the role, Hitch helps him with Uncle Charlie's creepiness much more than he helps Wright (never better) in building Young Charlie's character."

Sunday
May212017

Review: "Alien: Covenant"

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

If the famed director Ridley Scott were in art school, his professor would be yanking the paintbrush out of his hand — “it’s perfect, stop adding brush strokes!” His wife probably has to pull spices from his hands as he cooks. If you’ve been playing along with this Hollywood giant’s career you know that he can never leave well enough alone. I’ve lost count of how many “versions” there now are of his early sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner (1982) and, after years of threats, that film will have a sequel this October, Blade Runner 2049, though Scott opted to pass the directorial reigns over to Denis Villeneuve (Arrival).

Having exhausted returning to that particular sci-fi well, Ridley has moved back even earlier in his career to the film that made him famous, Alien (1979). He’s now directed two prequels to it (Prometheus and now Alien: Covenant) and more films are promised. (Perhaps the controversial ending of 1991’s Thelma & Louise is the only thing that’s kept that film, the third member of his holy trinity of masterworks, free of his tinkering!).

So how’s the new film?

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May182017

"Get Away from Her, You Bitch!": Revisiting the Alien Saga 

By Spencer Coile 

The tagline for the first Alien film, short and deeply frightening, reads "In space no one can hear you scream." Written in tiny font, it is placed on the poster for Ridley Scott's first venture into the Alien-universe beneath what we soon learn is the egg from which the menacing title creature is born. The image is simple but punchy, rather like the power and artistry emerging from Alien, in very much the same way the monsters pop out of humans' chests. On paper, the series is simple. But only on paper. Revisiting the world of Ellen Ripley and co. as a lead-up to the release of Alien: Covenant this weekend, one thought kept running through my mind: these films are disurbing, because they get at the root of what it means to be a human, to be a monster, and to make sacrifices that benefit oursevles, but also the greater good. What may have started out as a cut-and-paste psychological horror from 1979 soon became a story that is deeply compelling and worthy of examination.

So let's put on our space helmets, grab our flame-throwers, and start exploring the storytelling of the Alien saga...  

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan242017

On this day in history as it relates to showbiz

The Oscar nominations for the 89th annual Academy Awards are announced within the hour (eep). But if you'd rather think about something else (you may have your reasons, crazy person) here are other things you could celebrate today...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan032017

Talented Mr Linky

Must Reads
The New Yorker an evocative thoughtful profile of Mike Mills and 20th Century Women
The Muse Rich Juzwiak on the year in overrated pop culture, starting with Manchester by the Sea. ("A Masterpiece." "It's not tho")
The Metrograph Screenwriter Phyllis Nagy (Carol) reflects on Patricia Highsmith's dislike of the screen adaptations of her work - Metrograph is showing a handful of them his month. (Finally my chance to see Purple Noon on a big screen.)

Films which take place in 2017, Hayao Miyazaki's non-retirement retirement, Aquaman stunts, Broadway divas, and Postcards from the Edge after the jump...

Click to read more ...