The Dude’s High 5s: The Movies of Tony Scott

As many of you know, Tony Scott recently passed away.  I figured I’d throw this High 5 out in tribute to him and his work.  Before we get started I do want to say that I am not a Tony Scott fan.  I know going into his movies that I am going to get his editing style, his aerial views, and his grainy footage. Despite my distaste for his cinematography, the man always entertained me.  So here we go, hit the jump for the highway to the danger zone.

5. Top Gun

Top Gun fucking sucks.  Its got a bunch of shirtless hunks running around, fighting in locker rooms, yelling cheesy lines and singing in bars.  So its no wonder why I love this movie.  This doesn’t have that Tony Scott feel that some of his later work showed, and I’m glad it doesn’t.  If it did, I wouldn’t have the nostalgia feeling attached.

4. True Romance

I can only imagine what this movie would have been like if Tarantino had been allowed to direct it his way.  Like Top Gun, this doesn’t have the Tony Scott sheen.  I liked this movie, but not as much as most of the people I know.  Honestly I haven’t watched it forever and its really only up here because I remember enjoying it.

3. Spy Game

Spy Game was the first movie that I noticed Tony Scott’s distinctive look.  I remember sitting in the theater thinking that the movie would be better without all the extra over head shots and grainy footage.  I walked out kinda liking it, but not really.  I know the person I was with hated it.  After a few years it ended up on TV and I sat down and watched it again.  I liked it.  I liked it a lot.  The gritty camera style plays into the nebulous world of world politics very well.

2. Man on Fire

This movie was wonderful.  You know, besides that Tony Scott style thing.  I hated the floating dialogue, the shaky cam for no reason, the fast time landscapes, all of it.  I suppose at some point I should watch the original, as this was a remake, to compare styles.  However, what makes this movie great is Denzel.  He won an academy award for Training day but he should have won two for Man on Fire.  He was the good guy, but he was terrifying.  If you’ve never seen this movie, rectify that ASAP.

1. Deja Vu

Like Spy Game, the Tony Scott effect works.  The movie is all about surveillance.  The characters are watching monitors, waiting for events to unfold.  The direction and cinematography makes it feel like we the audience are an active participant.  We’re watching the people watch the monitors..  The writers of the movie hate the changes Scott made to their work and bashed him for not understanding the material.  So I have to wonder if I would have liked the true product with the writer’s artistic integrity intact.

So what Tony Scoot movies did you folks like?  Or do you just want to yell at me for not liking True Romance enough?