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November 11, 2010


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Phil Freeman

Two reviews, two references to Chekhov. Have I spotted a critic's tic? (Mine is the use of "reminiscent of" in the place of "sounds like." I don't know when I started making that switch, but it shows up in a whole lot of my album reviews.) Anyway, I like Tony Scott's movies, even/especially at their most absurdist; I own "Domino" on DVD. I'm not seriously hoping "Unstoppable" will be as good as "Runaway Train," but I am probably gonna check it out this weekend. I had semi-high hopes for "Skyline," but that's probably just a result of spending too much time on io9.com, so I'll take your word for it and wait for it to show up on Netflix. (I liked "Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem," though, for the record.)

Glenn Kenny

Chekhov's my theme for the week, Phil. I wouldn't go to "Unstoppable" expecting anything along the lines of "Runaway Train;" the Scott film is more of an elaborate tech exercise, with not anything like the attempted existential heft of the Konchalesky picture—nobody here is at war wit da woild and everyone in it. I might have liked "AVP: Requiem" better if I could have actually SEEN it; my main memory of it is of lot of scenes of various poorly illuminated shiny/sharp objects smashing into each other against an inky black background of night and rain.


I don't like Tony Scott, but these movies he makes with Denzel Washington, that most people regard as throwaways, I do tend to enjoy, even the entirely unnecessary remake of PELHAM. And the main reason I enjoy these movies is Washington, who may the best living actor making largely boring or even bad choices. I think he's sensational, but just about everything he makes merits an "Eh, I'll wait" reaction from me.

Pete Segall

'The movie, easily Scott's best since 1995's "Crimson Tide," does exactly that thing itself.'

Would you put it on par with Crimson Tide? Because that'd be some high praise (seriously).

Glenn Kenny

I don't know if I'd put in on A PAR with "TIde," which is near-great while "Unstoppable" is merely by my lights very very good. It might be helpful to look at my view of the Scott pictures in-between the two. "The Fan:" appalling. "Enemy of the State:" a snooze. "Spy Game:" a snooze. "Man on Fire:" appalling. "Domino:" some fun, but ultimately decadent...albeit not ENTIRELY appalling. "Deja Vu," meh. "Pelham," indifferent, unnecessary, sometimes pushed into appalling by Travolta. So. There's that.


If only Akira Kurosawa's original, late-60s idea for 'Runaway Train', set to star Henry Fonda and Lee Marvin (or was it Dennis Hopper?) had been realised!

Pete Segall

I'd call Enemy of the State "meh flecked with occasional amusement" but other than that I'd agree entirely ("double appalling" for Man on Fire?). Crimson Tide is a real joy; it's got to look (and sound) terrific on Blu-Ray.


Wow, totally forgot Tony Scott directed The Fan. Yikes, what a disaster.

And Man on Fire is not appalling. Batshit crazy and morally reprehensible, but kind of fun if viewed in the right mindset. I'd take it over Domino most days of the week.


I don't know if Denzel's actually a great actor but he's certainly the closest thing to a Golden Age Hollywood star that we have today. What other American actor has a tenth of his charisma or suavity?

Mr. Ziffel

No love for True Romance here?

Glenn Kenny

Hey, I got plenty of love for "True Romance;" as adolescent fantasies of money and power and sex go, it's a favorite. But what was at issue here was the notion of "Unstoppable" being a comparable high-water mark to "Crimson Tide;" "Romance" predates both and was thus exempt from the topic at hand...

Mr. Ziffel

Ah, I see...1993. Yikes! Time flies.

Dan Coyle

True Romance is so weird, because Tony Scott's style almost turns the thing into a satire- and having read QT's original script, it was pretty much completely straight. But Tony Scott doesn't do satire does he, so is it unintentional? Fun movie nonetheless.

Man on Fire is appalling, in fact, appalling is too kind a word for it.


Tarantino's script for TRUE ROMANCE is certainly satirical in many scenes.


I am pretty excited to check out 'Unstoppable,' not least because of the publicity still seen above. So unintentionally (or maybe actually intentionally) hilarious. Denzel looks like he's in the middle of throwing a hissy fit, saying "Aw, son of a BITCH!" or some such in the voice of an elderly man who just stubbed his toe.

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