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Face-Off: Ridley Scott vs. Tony Scott

06.07.2012by: Paul Huffman
In an interesting turn of events in last weeks Face Off Michelle Pfeiffer was able to pull an upset against Charlize Theron by one vote. The woman still has it.

This week JoBlo is all about Prometheus. Everything under the sun related to the Alien franchise has been discussed this week and for this Face Off we'll be showing love to its director Ridley Scott. But the man has to go up against somebody, and what better then to throw him into a civil war with his brother Tony Scott. We'll be taking a look at their work through the decades and their quality as a Director as a whole. Let's get to it.
80's
In 1979 Ridley cemented himself as a legend with the first Alien. He followed that up with another film that become a classic in Blade Runner, a beautiful to look at dystopian film set in 2019 Los Angeles (we still have a few years lets make that LA happen). Ridley closed out the 80's with Legend, Someone to Watch Over Me, and Black Rain.

DECIDING FACTOR: Blade Runner. The film is no Alien, and while I agree with with what many of the critics said in it being a visually amazing movie that was lacking in the human element, something about it just worked. Its status isn't a fluke.
Tony Scott's came onto the field and scored a couple touchdowns in the 80's with Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop II. I am a big fan of both films, and while some of Top Gun was unbelievably cheesy it still entertains the hell out of me. With Beverly Hills Cop nostalgia comes into play and reminds me of the Eddie Murphy we all miss. Before both of these Tony gave us his introduction with a horror film called The Hunger, a film I have yet to see.
90's
Ridley's home run in the 1990's was definitely his first time out in this decade with Thelma & Louise. A wonderful script, with a wonderful cast, with an ending that kicks you in the balls whether you have a pair or not. It got some major love and the Oscar's in its year, and deservedly so. From there his 90's took a downward spiral in my opinion with 1492, White Squall, and the abysmal G.I. Jane. Can't win em all Ridley, but can we count the man out? Pffft.
The 90's belonged to the younger Scott in my mind. The great buddy movie The Last Boy Scout, True Romance, Crimson Tide (his first of many collaborations with Denzel), and the criminally underrated Enemy of the State. Tony was no slouch in this decade with True Romance being the shining light, it was his 'Thelma & Louise'.
2000's
Ridley had a few misses in the 2000's. That said we have Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Matchstick Men, Kingdom of Heaven, American Gangster, Body of Lies, and of course I get the feeling Prometheus will also be on this "I'm Ridley F*cking Scott" list. I'll say that when I first saw Gladiator I couldn't appreciate, couldn't get into it...a second viewing changed all that, and with this film alone I think this decade easily goes to big brother. Oh and then there's the rumor of the planned Blade Runner sequel, but lets not get ahead of ourselves.
Spy Game. Man on Fire. Domino. Déjà Vu. Taking of Pelham 123 remake. Unstoppable.

Man on Fire is the obvious stand out here if you ask me. The man has sniffed out some good material throughout his career, and I think this film may just be his masterpiece, didn't hurt that his frequent collaborator Denzel was there being Denzel. Tony's latest outing with Unstoppable left a lot to be desired, but I expect another Man on Fire from him soon.
Overall
Ridley Scott has given us more to remember throughout the years than forgettable missteps. He's shown that he can master films with a grand scale and bring his vision to it, while at the same time not disappointing when he goes for the character driven films like Thelma & Louise. Even his films of lesser quality blow a lot of the sh*t that comes out today out of the water. And while his present and future may be cashing in a couple classics he's made, he shows no signs of slowing down and hell I'll take it.
Tony Scott has shown his brother he can hang. A lot of his films, especially from the 90's, I hold in as high regard as I hold Ridley's films. Tony went out of his way throughout his career to adopt a totally different style of filmmaking and the projects he chose than that of his brother and it was a wise move that served him well. I'm more of a fan of what Ridley has been churning out the past couple years than Tony, but that's no reflection on the mans ability. Tony still has more to give us.
Ridley Scott
So there you have it, the Scott parents produced two wonderfully talented individuals but this week, Sir Ridley Scott came out on top. He has nothing short of a career to be proud of. Now the million dollar question, do you disagree with this weeks verdict? Is Tony's brand of film more your style? Let us know.

If you have an idea that you'd like to see in a future FACE OFF column, feel free to shoot an email to me at paulhuffman@joblo.com with your ideas and some ideas for the critique to base your ideas off. Thank you and in the meantime...

Which director is your favourite?
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