What a sad, sad day to be a movie fan.
Tony Scott has long been one of my favorite Directors. To wake up and find out that he threw himself off of a bridge yesterday in an apparent suicide is just terrible. I find it odd when people get so upset when a celebrity that they don't know personally dies, but it does make sense I suppose. I may have never known him, but his works have entertained me and evoked my emotions since I was a kid... so in a way he's like part of my extended family.
Extended or not, no one wants to lose anyone who makes them so happy.
You can always tell a Tony Scott movie by its striking visuals; his use of color filters, their kinetic action, their unique editing, beautiful cinematography and set design. Let us not forget the gritty subject matter, and often times even grittier action that his movies gave us either. The dazzled us visually and kicked us in the balls viscerally.
Tony Scott films make up a good handful of my all time favorites. Few directors pull of tension-filled thrillers on a level like he did. For my money, Man on Fire is my favorite of his films; to me, it was perfection on every level, and it pulled at the heartstrings as much as it thrilled with its revenge fueled action. True Romance runs a very close second for me. Not only did Scott direct one of the best scenes ever committed to film in this one -involving Chrostopher Walken, Dennis Hopper and a very non-PC discussion about Sicilian heritage- but he took a Tarantino script and made it better. Think about that one for a minute.
Spy Game is a vastly underrated spy thriller, and a movie that never gets old with re-watches. Its subtle emotional impact creeps up on you, and by the time its over you can't help but be swelling with that male bonding sort of pride. For that matter, Crimson Tide, Domino and The Last Boy Scout all earn regular spins in my Blu-ray player, and each time I watch them again it's like seeing an old friend.
Tony Scott made plenty of other successful and enjoyable flicks throughout his career, most important amongst them probably being Top Gun. That movie not only redefined what the word Blockbuster meant in Hollywood, but it was one of the first movies ever price for a $20 sell-through on home video; back in the 80's, if you wanted to see a movie on your VCR you rented it, or paid close to $100 to own a copy. It was a vastly different home video market back then, and it was all geared towards rentals. It boosted Air Force and Navy recruitment numbers, prompted tons of people to buy leather bomber jackets and Ray-Ban sunglasses, and boasted an all-time classic soundtrack.
It was a cultural phenomenon, to say the least, and it changed the Hollywood landscape forever.
Some of Hollywood's top actors lined up to work with him repeatedly; Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman, Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt, Mickey Rourke and Christopher Walken all worked with him at least twice. That is some major Hollywood acting weight right there of the "pick and choose" variety. Denzel Washington can pick and choose his projects and collaborators, and he chose Tony Scott five times. That alone tells you something.
The reason for such great acting talent returning to the Tony Scott fold more than once is simple; the man made fantastic films. Sometimes, he made brilliant ones.
He also collaborated often with big Brother Ridley Scott, both with films and Television projects, most notably the recent with CBS's smash hit, The Good Wife.
I could list things from his his resume and what they meant both to fans and Hollywood as a whole, but you get the point.
Tony Scott was an excellent filmmaker, a visionary, a mentor and supporter of young talent, and from the outpouring of comments online, he was a hell of a person as well. He and his films have been trending on Twitter all day, and it's amazing to see how much he was loved by both those who knew him, and complete strangers like myself.
Donnie Darko, The Box and Southland Tales Director (and Domino Writer) Richard Kelly said it best "Tony Scott was the best mentor - when he saw something punk rock that he could slip through the system... he pounced." Tony Scott was Rock n' Roll.
We sincerely hope that his family and loved ones get through this awful time as quickly and as undamaged as possible. When you lose someone you love though, that is never really how it works, is it?
Tonight is going to be a Tony Scott film night for us here at THC, and it will be both enjoyable and bittersweet.
R.I.P. old friend. And thank you so very much, for everything.