Monday, August 20, 2012

RIP Tony Scott

I was pretty shocked when I learned that Tony Scott, the younger brother of Ridley, died today at the age of 68. He committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. As of right now, there are no details as to why he did it. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this.

Tony, like his brother, is a film director. While Ridley was more well known for making critically acclaimed films like Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator and this year's Prometheus, Tony was more of an action film director. He has worked with people like Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington just to name a few. He's made 16 films throughout his career, and I've seen about nine of them.

I'll admit that I'm not a huge fan of his work, but I respect his accomplishments, even though he's always been in his brother's shadow. His films always bring out the best performances from his lead actors, even when the story he was telling wasn't necessarily compelling or groundbreaking.

Here are some of his best films which I remember the most:

1. Top Gun
This was one of, if not the main film that made Tom Cruise's career. He plays Maverick, a hotshot air force pilot. The film follows his training as a pilot and how he deals with the many challenges while in the air and on the ground.

2. Crimson Tide
Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman play first officer and captain respectively, of an American nuclear submarine. The two clash over whether or not they should attack an enemy submarine as they wait for their orders from home base. As the tension rises in their sub, the crew take sides and things reach a boiling point.

3. Enemy Of The State
Will Smith is a lawyer who inadvertently comes into possession of evidence of a senator's murder. The man behind the murder (Jon Voight) is a member of the NSA, and uses his resources to smear Will's name and turn his life upside down. Will's only hope is Gene Hackman, a former NSA agent who can help him turn the tables.

4. Man On Fire
Denzel Washington (again) is John Creasy, a former Marine and CIA operative who has lost the will to live after all the things he has done for his superiors. He is then hired by a wealthy couple in Mexico to be a bodyguard to their young daughter (Dakota Fanning). When a brutal assault results in the girl's kidnap, Creasy goes all out to punish those responsible. (This was the first film from Tony where he used quick cuts to film his action sequences. It gave me a headache when I first saw this. But the story here is solid, and Denzel is awesome.)

5. Unstoppable
This was his last film, released two years ago. Denzel is a train engineer who teams up with a young conductor (Chris Pine) to stop a runaway train carrying hazardous materials from crashing into a nearby town.

Sixteen films is a good number, but for someone his age, there should have been more. He's left the world too soon, that's for certain.

So long, Tony.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Listen To This: Extreme Ways

I watched The Bourne Legacy this afternoon. Great movie. As with the previous instalments, Moby's Extreme Ways was used during the closing credits. It's an awesome song that perfectly compliments the film. Take a listen.