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Mixed Notes - Aug. 20

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 20, 2012

Tony Scott, the director of "Top Gun" and other films, has died, an apparent suicide. The New York Times story is here. Among Scott's credits is "Unstoppable," the Denzel Washington movie shot partly in Ohio. I interviewed the location manager, Janice Polley, and she had some enlightening things to say about Scott's visual approach to film. You can read that interview here. IWhen you consider movies like "Top Gun,"
"Unstoppable," "Days of Thunder," "True Romance" and "The Hunger," keep this in mind:

 Bellaire, meanwhile, was not in the original script. Scott and his crew spotted it during a helicopter ride to scout railways — since the movie often uses overhead shots of the trains. He thought Bellaire would make an effective moment in the film, and the script was rewritten. 

''He's very open to getting images and — he does it a lot — reworking script pages to accommodate some fantastic-looking location,'' Polley said.

The movie even paid for a track upgrade between Martins Ferry and Bellaire ''because Tony wanted the train to go at a certain speed'' and the existing track could not handle that, Polley said. 

This week's DVD/Blu-ray column is here.

I meant to write a longer appreciation of "Copper," the new BBC America series from a team including Tom Fontana, which premiered Sunday and which has a number of replays in the days ahead.. I still recommend the tale of a lawman in 1864 New York, which is fascinated by the decadence and social complications of the era, as well as the nature of crime. But over the weekend, time just got eaten up.

 Friday night, the bride and I began a new season of Akron soccer-watching, seeing the UA women win their season opener and the men play their last exhibition. The exhibition, against Wright State, was actually more interesting because Wright State recalled the line from the first "Rocky": "He doesn't know it's a damn show! He thinks it's a damn fight!" Wright State literally came to fight, knocking around Akron players, apparently convinced the way to win was to cause plenty of injuries. Their penalty tally by game's end was 2 red cards, 5 yellow cards, and 21 fouls. Akron responded by punishing Wright State in every other area, winning 5-0 (the score by halftime), outshooting WS 23-1, and allowing WS no shots on goal while Akron had 11. Definitely a warning to teams that try to outmuscle Akron this year.

Saturday and Sunday were full of chores: groceries, lawn mowing, housecleaning and the like, And, in the wake of all that, being tired. Squeezed in a little viewing around resting, including of "Battleship," the very silly movie, which was amusing in its ridiculous way once it got past the first 40 miinutes of feeble attempts at establishing character. An entertaining "Leverage" last night proved that some of the toughest competition for con artists comes from ... politicians; one of the subplots of scheming recalled the "MASH" episode where an attempt to get one thing leads to a long series of trades and bargains.

Last night's "Breaking Bad" is sitting in the DVR, and I expect to get to it sometime this week. I am still trying to get over last week's combination of beauty, tension and a horrifying ending that still resonates.



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