197 Someone to Watch Over Me

Discuss Blu-rays released by Indicator and the films on them.

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swo17
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197 Someone to Watch Over Me

#1 Post by swo17 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:41 am

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domino harvey
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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#2 Post by domino harvey » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:12 pm

My write up from the 80s thread:
domino harvey wrote:
Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:22 am
Someone To Watch Over Me (Ridley Scott 1987) Without even checking I'm guessing this came up in the Premium Cable Staples thread, as it feels like every movie that ever aired on HBO or Showtime at 9PM on a Thursday. Rookie detective Tom Berenger and Lorraine Bracco are fun in the early passages, exhibiting some comic timing and lightness of touch, but once the plot mechanics start grinding, no one is spared from cliches and eye-rolling narrative nonsense (Some crazy mob boss/thug does all his own dirty work?) and the central affair of the film makes so little sense that when characters exhibit confusion and anger over it, the audience may suspect their responses weren't scripted!

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#3 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:11 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:12 pm
My write up from the 80s thread:
domino harvey wrote:
Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:22 am
Someone To Watch Over Me (Ridley Scott 1987) Without even checking I'm guessing this came up in the Premium Cable Staples thread, as it feels like every movie that ever aired on HBO or Showtime at 9PM on a Thursday. Rookie detective Tom Berenger and Lorraine Bracco are fun in the early passages, exhibiting some comic timing and lightness of touch, but once the plot mechanics start grinding, no one is spared from cliches and eye-rolling narrative nonsense (Some crazy mob boss/thug does all his own dirty work?) and the central affair of the film makes so little sense that when characters exhibit confusion and anger over it, the audience may suspect their responses weren't scripted!
I am surprised that Indicator quality control didn't nix this as It's the nadir of Scott's repertoire The central premise of an endangered New York socialite with absolutely nobody to turn to for help. Really??

beamish14
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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#4 Post by beamish14 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:30 pm

NABOB OF NOWHERE wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:11 pm
domino harvey wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:12 pm
My write up from the 80s thread:
domino harvey wrote:
Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:22 am
Someone To Watch Over Me (Ridley Scott 1987) Without even checking I'm guessing this came up in the Premium Cable Staples thread, as it feels like every movie that ever aired on HBO or Showtime at 9PM on a Thursday. Rookie detective Tom Berenger and Lorraine Bracco are fun in the early passages, exhibiting some comic timing and lightness of touch, but once the plot mechanics start grinding, no one is spared from cliches and eye-rolling narrative nonsense (Some crazy mob boss/thug does all his own dirty work?) and the central affair of the film makes so little sense that when characters exhibit confusion and anger over it, the audience may suspect their responses weren't scripted!
I am surprised that Indicator quality control didn't nix this as It's the nadir of Scott's repertoire The central premise of an endangered New York socialite with absolutely nobody to turn to for help. Really??

Clearly you've never seen the completely unwatchable A Good Year if you think this is Scott's absolute bottom. It's not a major work, but it
has low-key charms, and Mimi Rogers is very good in it.

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knives
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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#5 Post by knives » Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:38 pm

Aw, I think A Good Year is one of his best in all its mopey glory.

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rapta
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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#6 Post by rapta » Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:18 pm

A Good Year is a terrible film. Curious to see this one, but would love to see Indicator tackle The Duellists...

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Reverend Drewcifer
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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#7 Post by Reverend Drewcifer » Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:53 pm

I was told that A Good Year involves multiple scenes with scorpions, so it remains and will remain unseen by me.

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Roscoe
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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#8 Post by Roscoe » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:49 pm

Surprised this is coming out -- it's a pretty paperthin crime movie, with lots of Scott's visual STYLE poured onto every shot. Of interest to Ridley Scott completists, I guess.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#9 Post by DarkImbecile » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:57 pm

Reverend Drewcifer wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:53 pm
I was told that A Good Year involves multiple scenes with scorpions, so it remains and will remain unseen by me.
Does this apply to all arachnids or just this one family?

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Cremildo
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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#10 Post by Cremildo » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:10 pm

I'm surprised by the vehement rejection of such an innocuous divertissement like A Good Year. As far as I'm concerned, Scott hit rock bottom with White Squall, a failed attempt at earnestness and schmaltz that goes against his temperament as a director.

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The Curious Sofa
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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#11 Post by The Curious Sofa » Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:33 am

This isn’t Scott‘s worst but after a promising debut feature, two genre masterpieces and a noble failure, it was the first indicator that his career was mostly going to settle into mediocrity. Legend has a weak plot, but Scott‘s ability for world building was still on display. Visually it does for fairy tales/fantasy what his previous two films did for science fiction. At the time I thought it was a blip, rather than the beginning of a downturn, especially as it was a notoriously troubled production.

Someone to Watch Over Me is a tasteful snooze with only Lorraine Bracco occasionally breathing life into it. I remember being puzzled how this could come from the same director as Alien and Blade Runner, which hit me at an age where they had a deep impact on my appreciation for film. Black Rain was almost as unremarkable and I thought he was the wrong director for Thelma & Louise, an on overrated film which caught the Zeitgeist. I have a fondness for Hannibal and Alien Covenant, but not much else.

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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#12 Post by John Cope » Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:14 am

NABOB OF NOWHERE wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:11 pm
I am surprised that Indicator quality control didn't nix this as It's the nadir of Scott's repertoire The central premise of an endangered New York socialite with absolutely nobody to turn to for help. Really??
This has always been among my favorite Scott films; it's among his very best I think, even from his peak period of '77-'92. It is infinitely superior to the description applied above. It's peak Scott both aesthetically (no surprise) as well as thematically, being a summation of his interests in gender exploration and feminine strength which is far more subtle than the explicit working out of those ideas in Alien, Thelma & Louise and G.I. Jane. This is coded through genre form and language as well as convention where those conventions are quietly overturned or reversed. Berenger's character is not the paragon of machismo he initially seems positioned to be (or automatically assumed to be merely through the particular physicality of his presence). Again, it's the quiet usurpation of his role that resonates. His infidelity is folded into his general weakness, one which his wife (the Bracco character) must make up for. In this regard, the situational dynamics of the ending and how that plays out are significant here. The genre mechanics are, in that sense then, a superficial distraction. Mimi Rogers' character cannot be left out of this equation either. She's the fulcrum for exposing Berenger's emotional vulnerabilities, not only exposing them but seeking to be there for him to see him through and this is done without a heavy hand but instead with an understated, "Let me watch over you tonight."

On another note, I too thoroughly dislike A Good Year, an insipid and uninspired "comedy". I do however like White Squall a lot and I think that Legend (either cut) is genuinely Great.

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#13 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:40 am

John Cope wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:14 am
NABOB OF NOWHERE wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:11 pm
I am surprised that Indicator quality control didn't nix this as It's the nadir of Scott's repertoire The central premise of an endangered New York socialite with absolutely nobody to turn to for help. Really??
This has always been among my favorite Scott films; it's among his very best I think, even from his peak period of '77-'92. It is infinitely superior to the description applied above.
Well one thing this forum will never be accused of is lack of diversity - at least in terms of critical choice.

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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#14 Post by MichaelB » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:09 am

Provided every announcement is greeted with enthusiasm by somebody, I’m happy. And once again that’s been the case with every title announced yesterday.

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#15 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:37 am

MichaelB wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:09 am
Provided every announcement is greeted with enthusiasm by somebody, I’m happy. And once again that’s been the case with every title announced yesterday.
Given that a parcel containing 8 Indicator titles was delivered to me this morning I think you can rest assured that there is ample appetite for all tastes in the Indicator catalogue. Just please bang out some more Losey and Ophuls.

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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#16 Post by Reverend Drewcifer » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:48 am

DarkImbecile wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:57 pm
Reverend Drewcifer wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:53 pm
I was told that A Good Year involves multiple scenes with scorpions, so it remains and will remain unseen by me.
Does this apply to all arachnids or just this one family?
I'm surprisingly great with spiders. My first few years in college were pre-med toxicology, and I spent many happy hours removing venom from the gentler species (huntsman, brown widow) and many unhappy hours using that venom to kill mice. Dayton is filled with a small variety of happy bongo-playing jumping spiders, Usain Bolt-fast grass spiders, and docile brown-fatbodies. My quarantine project last week was building a spider trellis on the side of the house to give the parson spiders a place to live after I booted them from the garage. It's a fun project. We're never more than 12 inches away from a spider no matter where we are, so I enjoy finding a way to put them to use (the parsons have straight-up murdered every mayfly nymph in the immediate area). Scorpions, though, can fuck right off. Nothing but walking syringes.

That being said, if I'm going for stupid-sloppy-stylish '80s Ridley Scott, I'm going with Black Rain.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#17 Post by DarkImbecile » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:50 am

This post made my morning.

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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#18 Post by Dr Amicus » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:50 am

When this came out, I had regular access to two critics - Barry Norman on the BBC and Philip French at the Observer. I'm sure both rather liked this - indeed I think Norman had it on his top 10 for the year. I saw it at the NFT - probably around 1990 - and haven't seen it since but my memory is that it was perfectly decent and stylish. As for the other Scott's mentioned above, I remember being underwhelmed by Black Rain and rather liking White Squall but haven't got to see A Good Year.

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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#19 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:29 pm

"Stylish" is a condition sine qua non for any Scott involvement and once you brush aside the tinsel I don't think the premise holds up to gain any engagement with the characters but there again I lost it with Sir Ridley way way back. I agree with the sentiment that Duellists would have been a more interesting acquisition.

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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#20 Post by MichaelB » Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:43 pm

Dr Amicus wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:50 am
When this came out, I had regular access to two critics - Barry Norman on the BBC and Philip French at the Observer. I'm sure both rather liked this - indeed I think Norman had it on his top 10 for the year.
Philip French didn't review it as far as I'm aware (the Observer review was a rather silly and superficial piece by a stand-in called Peter Hillmore, French presumably being on holiday), but I've just looked up Derek Malcolm's generally very enthusiastic Guardian review from 10 March 1988 - he ultimately favoured Krzysztof Kieślowski's No End as that week's best film, which I'm obviously not about to argue with, but he was much keener on Ridley Scott's film than he was on the then-recent Fatal Attraction and Stakeout.

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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#21 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:31 pm

I do like Someone To Watch Over Me as well. It has been a while since I last saw it but remember feeling that it felt a bit as if it tied in with the whole 'aspirational erotic thriller' trend of the late 80s and early 90s too, especially coming out the same year as Fatal Attraction. Its all about female characters being menaced in their opulently desirable apartments (in that sense the style is the substance, very intentionally). I agree with John Cope that Mimi Rogers sidelines Tom Berenger's character, and really she's the one with the status here whilst the Berenger character is the working class shlub getting his awkward entree into the world of high society and having a crisis of conscience about whether to cheat on his wife in favour of his better connected, but imperiled, client. (I really feel that this all reaches a head with the great Harrison Ford, Greta Scacchi and Bonnie Bedelia film Presumed Innocent, which I'd love to see get its due one day)

Tom Berenger even did a few other films after this that feels like they are in the tradition of this kind of 'moral dilemma' relationship-thriller: Last Rites (which has a particularly audacious final twist!), Betrayed and Shattered, which are all well worth getting rediscovered at some point. Arguably Sliver too!

I don't mind A Good Year but it is very detached from any kind of world that I will ever know, as a heartless bastard working in the City of London begrudgingly has to travel to the South of France to sell his beloved (but not seen since our main character was a child) uncle's home. He even commits the cardinal sin of almost running Marion Cottilard over! Will this monster have his heart melted by nostalgia for his childhood and the simple ways of the staff who still tend the masterless vineyard? Of course he will. But I suppose that investment bankers need feelgood films too! I also really like the way that it handles the briefer and briefer returns back to the City of London characters, as Crowe's character is almost immediately and inevitably backstabbed and forgotten! And I find the childhood flashbacks with Michael Gambon's uncle quite nice too, even if they get a bit uncomfortably close to playing like a Equitable Life advert!
Last edited by colinr0380 on Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:36 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Dr Amicus
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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#22 Post by Dr Amicus » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:34 pm

I love Shattered! That's great fun. Re Philip French, my memory is obviously playing tricks, but it was over 30 years ago. In the UK, didn't this get released about the same time as Fatal Attraction? I'm sure I remember them being linked in the reviews.

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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#23 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:53 pm

I also wonder whether Someone To Watch Over Me could have ended up being overshadowed a bit by the slightly thematically similar The Bodyguard a few years later, which downplayed the thriller angle and upped the attraction across class divides angle.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Mon May 18, 2020 4:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#24 Post by beamish14 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:58 pm

One thing that I've always thought was interesting about Ridley and Tony Scott's works is that their aesthetics
sometimes overlapped with one another. The opening scenes in this movie look like parallels of some shots in
Tony's Beverly Hills Cop II in how overexposed they appear. The most notable
example of their "twinning" is the dialogue-free seduction scenes in The Hunger and Blade Runner,
and it didn't surprise me to learn later (can't recall where-possibly High Concept, the incredible biography of Don Simpson)
that Ridley contributed storyboards and maybe more to The Hunger

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rapta
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Re: Forthcoming: Someone to Watch Over Me

#25 Post by rapta » Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:36 am

Reverend Drewcifer wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:48 am
That being said, if I'm going for stupid-sloppy-stylish '80s Ridley Scott, I'm going with Black Rain.
I do wonder if Indicator - or another label licensing from Paramount - could get Black Rain as well as The Duellists. I know Paramount already released it but the UK disc has been OOP for years now.

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