Film – The Tony Scott Top Ten

Tony Scott

Steve Taylor-Bryant, always one for a controversial opinion, gives us his reasons for preferring Tony over Ridley. We persuaded him to cut the list down to ten...

Another day, another online discussion with members of the /G-f family. This time we were discussing the Scott brothers, Ridley and Tony, after Ren Zelen had told us of the possibility of three million Prometheus prequels (OK, it may not have been three million but it was way more than is needed). I was bored by Prometheus, in fact I fell asleep, and Prometheus kind of sums up my feelings towards Ridley Scott films – pretty but no story. I liked a version of Blade Runner, although I couldn’t tell you which version, and I honestly don’t think any film deserves as many versions of itself as Blade Runner has. Alien was also a good film but I don’t consider it the cinematic masterpiece many of you do. I think there has been better science fiction before and since and, of all the Alien films, it’s only the third instalment that I am ever happy to rewatch. I did quite enjoy Black Hawk Down, despite its historical inaccuracies, and Thelma and Louise was okay but Gladiator put me off Russel Crowe films for a long time and had me wondering how broke Joaquin Phoenix must have been, although Oliver Reed was good. I’m not slating Ridley Scott films, I’m not that idiotic, and he has brought pleasure to millions which is the entire point of films unless I’m mistaken but, whilst Ridley has an eye for the beautiful, I really don’t buy into many of his characters and firmly believe that sometimes he will forgo a great script to just do something that looks nice. The flip side of that coin is Tony, my favourite of the directing brothers, who very often made films that weren’t so glorious to look at but blimey they were watchable. They had characters and character, they entertained and had stories. Their simplicity was the key to their success. They may not have been ‘genre defining’ (I hate that term) but who actually cares? What is it we want from a film? Do we want to be able to tell people we watched a genre defining moment? Or do we want to escape our own reality for a couple of hours and be entertained, be educated and have our brains stimulated either through action or dialogue?

I know what I watch films for.

The one thing that can’t be argued is how important both of the siblings have been for film and television, both in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. So many filmmakers and writers hold either Ridley, Tony, or both men up as their reason for being in the industry and the next generation of film fans need passionate filmmakers coming through so anyone who inspires creativity has to be welcome. But Tony is better…

My top ten Tony Scott films.

10 - The Hunger

The Hunter

You'll be back. When the hunger knows no reason! And then you'll need to feed, and you'll need me to show you how.

Scientist and physician Dr. Sarah Roberts is conducting research on blood and the role it plays in those suffering from premature and accelerated aging. In her very public work, she is approached by among others a seductively beautiful blond woman who attends one of Sarah's book signings, and John Blaylock, who claims he has just started suffering from advanced aging. She initially believes John is the next in a long line of crackpots she's encountered, that is until she sees how much he has aged in the few hours he has waited to speak to her. It isn't until she goes looking for John after the fact that she finds out that the blond woman is Miriam Blaylock, John's wife. What Sarah does not know is that Miriam is a vampire queen, she who promises eternal youth and life to who started as her mortal lovers as she injects them with her blood with her bite. John is the latest in those lovers, he who has been with her for centuries. Her promise, however, is not altogether true as her lovers do end up aging exponentially once she discards them from her favor, after which they are doomed to an eternity of human life in an always aging and decrepit body. Sarah returns to the Blaylock home both in her want to investigate further John's situation, but also in her mutual attraction to Miriam. As such, she may end up the next in the long line of Miriam's vampire lovers who will also eventually be doomed to a life of eternal aging.

9 - The Fan

The Fan

I'll tell you something, man, the fans are like women. When you're hitting, they love you, and when you're not, they just as soon spit on you as look at you!

Three-times MVP baseball player Bobby Rayburn joins the San Francisco Giants, and obsessive fan, whose profession is selling hunting knives, Gil Renard is excited over that. But Rayburn plays the worst season of his career and Renard tries to do everything to help him, but goes too far.

8 – Revenge

Revenge

I killed a man who I hated today.

Michael "Jay" Cochran has just left the Navy after 12 years. He's not quite sure what he's going to do, except that he knows he wants a holiday. He decides to visit Tiburon Mendez, a powerful but shady Mexican businessman who he once flew to Alaska for a hunting trip. Arriving at the Mendez mansion in Mexico, he is immediately surprised by the beauty and youth of Mendez' wife Miryea. Their attraction to each other is undeniable, but Cochran is aware that Mendez is a powerful, vindictive, and very possessive man who does not tolerate betrayal.

7 – Enemy of the State

Enemy of the State

How do we draw the line - draw the line between protection of national security, obviously the government's need to obtain intelligence data, and the protection of civil liberties, particularly the sanctity of my home? You've got no right to come into my home!

Robert dean is a mild-mannered lawyer who works in Washington D.C. He is on the trail of a kingpin named Pintero. Meanwhile, a politician named Thomas Reynolds is negotiating with Congressman Phillip Hammersley about a new surveillance system with satellites. But, Hammersley declines, that is when Reynolds had Hammersley killed, but this murder was caught on tape, and this person was being chased by Reynolds' team of NSA agents, the guy must ditch the tape, so he plants it on Dean (unbeknownst to Dean). Then, the NSA decides to get into Dean's life. That is when Dean's life began to fall apart all around him, with his wife and job both gone. Dean wants to find out what is going on. Then, he meets a man named "Brill" who tells him that Dean has something that the government wants. That is when Dean and Brill formulate a plan to get Dean's life back and turn the Tables on Reynolds.

6 – Man on Fire

Man on Fire

He'll deliver more justice in a weekend than ten years of your courts and tribunals.

A wave of kidnappings has swept through Mexico, feeding a growing sense of panic among its wealthier citizens, especially parents. In one six-day period, there were twenty-four abductions, leading many to hire bodyguards for their children. Into this world enters John Creasy, a burned-out ex-CIA operative/assassin, who has given up on life. Creasy's friend Rayburn brings him to Mexico City to be a bodyguard to nine-year-old Pita Ramos, daughter of industrialist Samuel Ramos and his wife Lisa. Creasy is not interested in being a bodyguard, especially to a youngster, but for lack of something better to do, he accepts the assignment. Creasy barely tolerates the precocious child and her pestering questions about him and his life. But slowly, she chips away at his seemingly impenetrable exterior, his defences drop, and he opens up to her. Creasy's new-found purpose in life is shattered when Pita is kidnapped. Despite being seriously wounded during the kidnapping, he vows to kill anyone

5 – Top Gun

Top Gun

And if you screw up just this much, you'll be flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong!

Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell is an expert United States Naval Aviator. When he encounters a pair of MiGs over the Persian Gulf, his wingman is clearly outflown and freaks. On almost no fuel, Maverick is able to talk him back down to the carrier. When his wingman turns in his wings, Maverick is moved up in the standings and sent to the Top Gun Naval Flying School. There he fights the attitudes of the other pilots and an old story of his father's death in combat that killed others due to his father's error. Maverick struggles to be the best pilot, stepping on the toes of his other students and in another way to Charlie Blackwood, a civilian instructor to whom he is strongly attracted.

4 – Crimson Tide

Crimson Tide

This is a mutiny, Peter. There's only two sides to a mutiny.

On a US nuclear missile sub, a young first officer stages a mutiny to prevent his trigger happy captain from launching his missiles before confirming his orders to do so.

3 – The Last Boy Scout

The Last Boy Scout

Shit, we're bein' beat up by the inventor of Scrabble.

A down and out cynical detective teams up with a down and out ex-quarterback to try and solve a murder case involving a pro football team and a politician.

2 – Déjà vu

Deja Vu

For all of my career, I've been trying to catch people after they do something horrible. For once in my life, I'd like to catch somebody BEFORE they do something horrible, all right? Can you understand that?

After a ferry is bombed in New Orleans, an A.T.F. agent joins a unique investigation using experimental surveillance technology to find the bomber, but soon finds himself becoming obsessed with one of the victims.

1 – True Romance

True Romance

I'm not eatin' 'cause I'm not hungry. I'm not sittin' 'cause I'm not stayin'. I'm not lookin' at the movie 'cause I saw it seven years ago. It's "The Mack" with Max Julien, Carol Speed, and Richard Pryor. I'm not scared of you. I just don't like you. In that envelope is some payoff money. Alabama's moving on to some greener pastures. We're not negotiatin'. I don't like to barter. I don't like to dicker. I never have fun in Tijuana. That price is non-negotiable. What's in that envelope is for my peace of mind. My peace of mind is worth that much. Not one penny more, not one penny more.

In Detroit, Clarence Worley goes to the movie theatre alone on the day of his birthday to watch some movies. The gorgeous Alabama Whitman accidentally drops her popcorn on Clarence and they watch the movie together. Then they eat pieces of pie and they have one night stand, so Clarence eats more pie of another kind. In the morning, Alabama confesses that she is a call-girl hired to spend the night with him, but she has fallen in love with him. In the morning they get married and Clarence goes to the club where she worked to bring her some clothes. However, her pimp Drexl Spivey and his partner beat up Clarence and he reacts by killing them both. Clarence asks for Alabama's suitcase with her clothes and the other girls mistakenly give another one with cocaine. When Clarence discovers the mistake, he decides to travel with Alabama to the house of his friend, the aspiring actor Dick Ritchie, to sell the drug and travel to Mexico. He visits his father Clifford Worley and gives his address to him. But the Sicilian Mafia is the owner of the drug and a group of killers are sent to hunt down Clarence and Alabama.

Synopsis/Quote/Image - IMDb.