If only Ridley Scott’s movies were as good as his interviews— Jason Adams (@JAMNPP) November 19, 2023
... who is turning 86 today and who has another messy slop-heap of a movie in theaters right now called Napoleon. Funny enough my last edition of this series was for Ben Affleck and one my choices was his role in Ridley's film The Last Duel -- a movie I genuinely loathe, except for Ben's performance. Funny -- right, Ridley? Hardy har. Anyway Ridley has some genuine masterpieces under his belt! I don't deny that! I just happen to think those happened many many decades ago and almost everything he's dropped since then has been stylish unfocused flim-flam. That said it's not like we're talking about someone deeply untalented. He remains an incredible crafter of images and atmosphere. I'm just of the mind that he's weirdly incapable of taking anything across the finish line anymore. His scripts are often to blame, but one gets the sense that he's chasing too many thoughts down too many tangents and (even worse) by the time the process is nearing completion he's just lost interest. (Fingers crossed he does right by Paul Mecsal in his Gladiator sequel.)
Runners-up: Legend has its moments (i.,e. Tim Curry), as does the homoerotica of White Squall, and I like Prometheus more than most people even while I need to specifiy that I dig it as fun trash, full stop. And I genuinely loved The Counselor, as I think it was a truly madly deeply psychotic story that benefitted from Ridley's kitchen-sink approach, but I haven't re-watched it since it came out. And I have heard that the longer cut is even better, but then that's become the drum-beat with Ridley -- "Watch the director's cut, it's better!" But that's certainly not true about Blade Runner, and I still find Kingdom of Heaven a big honking snooze however he cuts it.
Let's hear your thoughts on Sir Ridley in the comments!