Ridley Scott has always been one of my favourite directors as well, ever since my first viewing of Alien. The direction is excellent and almost Hitchcockian in the way it builds tension.
Scott's success with these movies seems to be based on the technique of showing exactly enough to capture the scene, but also without revealing too much. Alien raises suspense as the viewer begins to speculate over the brief glimpses of the creature creeping around the perfect camoflauge of a encolsed metallic environment, and although we do see some aspects of the Alien, we never really see it's full form until the end. Similarly in that particuar scene from Blade Runner, your vision is immediately drawn firstly to the centre of the shot where there are a few carefully placed items and then the shimmering light upon the back wall. To put it in other words, it's minimalistic detail. While the details in each scene are there, they never detract or distract from the purpose of a scene. It's even evident in the classic British TV Hovis bread advert he directed before going into film. (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=CFLBvLxLJMI
I do have to say that Blade Runner was somewhat of a letdown for me after the very high PSI this site gave me though. Although it's ideas are very broad in the spectrum of the ideas of the sci-fi world that it portrays, the film seems to narrow down too much and viewpoint of the plot eventually appears to be very much along a straight and forseen line. Visually however, it was great. Maybe I was expecting too much, I seemed to have developed the impression of a vast detailed portrayal of the future world being central to the film from the reviews I'd read. I still thought it was good though, I guess not everyone can love every hailed film.
Black Hawk Down is another memorable one, which I've only seen recently, but it's something that sticks in your mind. It's not really so much for the brutalistic portrayal of the native people, but more thanks to the gritty ultra-realistic cinematics and the carefully angled perspectives on the scenes. I viewed it in SD, but even there you notice the small sand grains whipped up from the road surface and the other small little details which seem to catch your attention. The main problem I had with the film was the portrayal of the Americans as heroes against the single tone barbaric savages was a little too heavily emphisised, making the film totally one sided. I'm not condoning the what happened I'm just saying that not everyone will have been on the streets, something which was almost entirely missed, apart from one short scene. The scenes that seem to have remained in my memory most clearly are the ones involving the two soldiers, one of them played most memorably by Ewen Bremner, left behind in the panic of withdrawal. I thought that whole sequence was an excellent little addition to the drama, even if it never really takes center stage. As you can probably tell I really enjoyed the film, but again it never quite lived up to the very top tiers for me.
Currently on Criticker, quite ashamedly, I've only ranked 4 of his films. I have seen more, but want to watch them through again before I give them a ranking. It's been quite a while since my last viewing for many. I've had American Gangster on HD-DVD for about 5/6 months as well, but haven't got around to watching it yet.
Of those ranked:
Alien (1979) - 95 (Director's Cut)
Gladiator (2000) - 89
Blade Runner (1982) - 68 (Director's Cut)
Black Hawk Down (2001) - 67
It's strange with Blade Runner and Black Hawk Down, I really did expect to like them more than I did. Looking at what most people seem to think maybe I'm a bloody idiot, I don't know! I think a second viewing of Blade Runner in particular is inevitable.
Those that need a re-viewing:
The Duellists (1977) - Saw ages ago, need to see again.
Thelma & Louise (1991) - Saw it ages ago, need to see again.
G.I. Jane (1997) - Saw it ages ago, need to see again.
A Good Year (2006) - Only seen a small section of this, looked pretty good.
Hannibal (2001) - Only seen a small section of this.
Kingdom of Heaven (2005) - Watched the first hour when it was on Film4 a while back. Tried to tape the rest at the time but the bloody VCR packed in on me. It was the Directors Cut as well, dang.
American Gangster (2007) - Got on HD-DVD, need to watch.
Rufflesack wrote:This reminds me that I read in some Norwegian paper today that Ridley Scott is making a movie based on the A-Team to be released in 2010 if I recall.. Don't know exactly how accurate it was but I thought it was pretty funny.
Last I heard was that Ridley and Tony Scott are producing, but not directing. I don't really hold much hopes for it to be honest.