All the Money in the World – Review

✯✯✯½

Shortly before the release date of All the Money in the World, Ridley Scott made the abrupt decision to reshoot every scene involving Kevin Spacey’s portrayal of J. Paul Getty with Christopher Plummer recast in the role instead after many sexual assault allegations have been levelled against Spacey. But even if Kevin Spacey hadn’t already been a sexual predator beforehand, the decision to cast him – a 58-year-old man under heavy old man makeup in order to play an 80-year-old J. Paul Getty never made sense. So how exactly does Ridley Scott manage to make All the Money in the World work the way it did? It’s still something I’m wondering but the rate at which Ridley Scott is continuously working is among many things that I’ve always admired about the filmmaker.

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Blade Runner – Review

✯✯✯✯✯

It still amazes me that after thirty years of being butchered from studio interference and having been ignored during its original theatrical run, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner still feels refreshing as if it were something that had only recently came out. Like the best science fiction films it isn’t one whose wonder lies within the excitement created by its distinctive visual style but how it presents itself – not as a showcase for hypnotic set pieces but as a meditation on life, pushing towards what we are afraid to ask. Even today the genre subversions still feel present and on rewatches I only find myself appreciating it all the more, after having already been left fascinated with a first watch. But it wasn’t until more revisits mere fascination grew into adoration, and soon the resonant effect of Blade Runner only made itself clear.

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Prometheus – Review

✯✯✯½

Ever since James Cameron laid his name on the Alien franchise with his more action-oriented sequel, Aliens, I’ve only grown less fond of the direction that the series has moved for. The very idea behind Alien was always one that I enjoyed most when it was confined, and although a fantastic sequel in itself, Aliens was also home to what would eventually become one of the biggest problems with the Alien franchise as a whole: the universe ended up becoming far too big for its own good. With Prometheus it feels nice that Ridley Scott wants to return the franchise back to the roots of where it all had begun, yet it still suffers what’s plagued the universe ever since Aliens had come along. The success of the original Alien was clear from how little we knew about how the creature worked before it started killing off its victims, but as more films come by, said approach has become worn out and lost.

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Alien: Covenant – Review

✯✯

For as many films as the Alien franchise has managed to spawn, only Ridley Scott’s original film has maintained where it was at its very best. That’s not to say James Cameron’s Aliens isn’t fantastic in its own right, but it sets up what’s brought the franchise down as more films had come along: the whole universe ended up becoming far too big for its own good and thus it began to progress far too much like a video game. Now with Ridley Scott’s prequels coming along, we have Prometheus only being as broad as ever and adding to this problem even with my own enjoyment of it, so that’s where my skepticism for Alien: Covenant had rose higher. But I wasn’t merely disappointed with Alien: Covenant, I was so frustrated with what it wanted to be, even to that point it managed to leave a rather bitter taste in my own mouth by the time it was over, because of what it wanted to be all at once, and overall, how little I ended up caring for the final product.

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Alien – Review

✯✯✯✯✯

Ridley Scott’s Alien remains one of the defining works in both the horror and science fiction genres, a film that, like any of the best of their genres, invented a whole new universe by starting small. From the many films that the Alien series has spawned, Ridley Scott’s original film still remains my favourite of the bunch for good reason. It remains my favourite because it shows how little is necessary in order to start a universe of its own from scratch. Although eventually this rule was broken by eventual sequels (as much as I love James Cameron’s Aliens), it’s already impossible to deny the impact that Ridley Scott’s original film would have left behind on science fiction and horror within years to come. In itself it would easily have been just a “haunted house movie in space,” but perhaps there’s a whole lot more that results in the final product actually turning out to be all the more clever.

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