CWM

Last Night a Man Took His Own Life

In Movies on August 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Tony Scott, brother of Academy Award winning director, took his own life last night by throwing himself off the Vincent St. Thomas Bridge near Los Angeles around 12:30 a.m. Scott left behind a wife and two children and a legacy of great films and an astounding production company that he and his brother helmed. Although never earning an Academy Award for any of his films, Scott brought us “Top Gun”, “Man on Fire”, “Days of Thunder”, and “Domino” along with several other amazing pictures.

I received word of Scott’s death from my father who posted news of his death on this blog around 4 in the morning last night. I believe I was awoken by the ding of my cell phone, in response to receiving an email, but I honestly do not know why I woke up. But I did and I checked my phone to see the time and then checked my email as well. Upon hearing this news I did a quick Google search and found that it was indeed true, much to my dismay. When I woke much later, I found myself affected by Scott’s death. Not because I knew the guy, because obviously I didn’t, and not because I am obsessed with him, because I assure you I am not, Scorsese maybe, but not Scott, it’s because he took is own life that his death really affects me.  According to several sources, Scott had inoperable brain cancer and decided that he would rather end his life on his own terms rather then wait for the inevitable.. I truly feel for his family, friends, and many other fans who, like me, will miss Scott. He left a hole in the movie industry with the movies that could have happened, but will never be. Scott you will be missed.

To illustrate just how great of a director this man is, I offer you my top 5 favorite movies by Tony Scott. These movies should be watched just so you can understand how great of a director he was and how he will never, truly be forgotten.  I will offer no funny commentary or any of my typical shenanigans when describing these movies. If you truly do not know who this man was, then watch these movies and they will give you a glimpse as to who Tony Scott was.

1. True Romance: I have reviewed this movie before on this blog, it is one of my favorites, and should be watched. Tonight. A Quentin Tarantino script starring Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper, James Gandolfini, a stoned Brad Pitt, a Elvised Val Kilmer, a drug dealing Gary Oldman and a slew of other great actors star in this love story turned bloody. Slater plays comic book lover and hallucinating Elvis Clarence Worley  who encounters Arquettes’ Alabama Whitman who’s first John is Clarence. She falls in love with him and the rest is history, or is it? They decide to steal a briefcase of cocaine and the mob wants their stolen product so they send Walken and Galdofini after these two.

The script for this movie is quick, funny, and well written. I love Walken’s and Hopper’s conversation and I absolutely love Gary Oldman playing the drug dealing black boy wanna be. Slater is quite good in it too. I’ve seen him in a few films here and there but I would say he is the strongest in this film. Brad Pitt’s performance in this film, albeit short, deserves mentioning because of how funny it is. You will never see Brad Pitt play a role quite like this.

The cast, the script, and most of all the direction of this film make it a must see and is the best Tony Scott film I have ever seen.

2. Man on Fire: This movie might have begun the obsession that Scott had with Denzel and there isn’t a question why. Denzel plays Creasy who is a reluctant slow to warm body-guard for Dakota Fanning’s Pita. Pita’s mother and father, played by Marc Anthony and Radha Mitchell, decide that Pita needs a body-guard because well they live in Mexico City and children get abducted there everyday. Creasy and Pita develop a somewhat unoriginal relationship before she gets abducted but what happens next is quite good.

Denzel gives one hell of a performance in this movie and I feel that it is one of his best movies. Fanning is good but her attachment to Denzel seems a bit rushed. Walken also participates in this movie, and has some great lines to boot, as Rayburn Creasy’s friend and confidant. The performances by Denzel and Walken make this movie worth seeing but it is the editing that truly stands out. The subtitles are done in a graphic novel type, in which they appear around the character rather than below them, and the cuts in the film are so unique and raw that is just makes this film stand out in my mind. Tony Scott did a wonderful job on this film and used his directorial knowledge to create a unique and dark picture.

3.  Spy Game:  Brad Pitt and Robert Redford star in this CIA flick. Redford, playing Nathan D. Muir and mentor to Brad Pitt’s Tom Bishop becomes entrenched in office politics in order to rescue his pupil. Cut between the past and present, the audience begins to understand why Muir risks everything he has to get Bishop back and just what a clever man he is.

A commanding performance from Redford that brings me back to his Gatsby days.  He truly becomes Muir and shows Bishop just how far he will go for someone who could be his son. Brad Pitt does a great job in this movie as well, epitomizing the young rookie who moves too quickly for his own good and looks for help from his mentor and father figure.

The movies benefits from the presence of Redford and Pitt but it is also a great spy thriller. Tony Scott shows us the murky world that exists when policy and reality meet. It is, again, wonderfully edited with a good combination of past and present. You see where Pitt got his education and how solid of a teacher Redford was.

If you like spy movies and haven’t seen this one. Then do so. Tony Scott will not leave you disappointed.

4. Enemy of the State: Will Smith stars in one of his first action movies as Robert Clayton Dean who is the target of an investigation after receiving some evidence about a murder that may have been politically motivated.  Thomas Brian Reynolds, played by Jon Voight, uses his political power and influence to kill and then retrieve the evidence from Robert Dean. Despite his position, Dean is not powerless and enlists the help of Edward Lyle, played by Gene Hackmen, to get out of this precarious situation.

A great cast, a spy thriller, and wonderfully edited, this movie should be seen. Smith does a great job, when doesn’t he do a great job, playing the pushed in a corner lawyer who will right for his life. Hackmen as the miserly, “I’m out of the game” ex- spy operative becomes that character to a T.  Voight is ruthless and steadfast in what he wants.  I liked seeing Will Smith in this role as well. He was powerful and showed a different side to the audience other than the smart funny authoritative type that he usually plays. This movie offers a lot of twists and turns and isn’t one of his better movies, but it still is a damn good movie.

5. Top Gun: A classic, classic, classy, clastastic movie. If you haven’t seen this movie, then you should probably consider yourself a communist. Tom Cruise plays fast and loose as ace pilot Maverick who, like every rookie, is moved up the ranks to be put to the test of reality. Val Kilmer portrays the antagonist Ice Man who doesn’t think the rookie deserves his spot in the clouds. Anthony Edwards, well-known for his role as Dr. Greene on E.R., plays Goose who is the best friend and wingman for Maverick.

In all seriousness, this movie is a classic and should be appreciated as such. It has a ridiculouslessly montage worthy soundtrack and includes such silly lines as, “You can be my wingman” and “I have the need. The need for speed!”. But it is a classic in its own right. If you were to watch it today, you would feel as if you’ve seen this stereotypical action movie, and you have, but Tony Scott either invented this genre of film with “Top Gun” or he made it so damn popular with this movie that everyone wanted to copy it.

R.I.P. Tony Scott

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