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The Book of Eli

A 2010 American film starring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman.

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The Book of Eli - 2010

  • Jan 26, 2011
  • by
Rating:
+3
Pros: Washington & Oldman

Cons: none for me

The Bottom Line:
"Not At This Time In My Life
How Can I Hear Your Call In This Windy Night"
~Houston Calls


It has been a while since the Hughes brothers, Albert & Allen, have offered us a project, but joining with writer Gary Whitta, they have given us The Book of Eli.  It is rated R for language and violence and has been nominated, to date, for five awards. 

The Movie:
It is 30+ years after WWIII and survivors speak of The Flash, which leads me to believe we finally did it and pushed the wrong button.  Many of those left are blind, all live in towns, reminding you of hovels, or wander the wastelands looking for goods, or to snack on another human.  Yes, cannibalism reigns.

Out of this we have the usual forces of good and evil, played by Eli, a walker, and Carnegie, a town leader.  Eli, holder of The Book, is on a seemingly never ending quest to go west and Carnegie is on his own quest, finding The Book.

The Book, of course, is the sole remaining copy of The Bible.  After the war it was deemed The Bible was the basis for all evil and every copy was burned, save this one.  Eli came across it through a prophetic dream and has been given safe passage to carry it to the west and the burgeoning society.  Carnegie, on the other hand, wants it to gain control over the surviving people and the land.  

Although his speech seems reasonable; people need something to believe in again in order to set society right once more, we see the glint of evil behind it, the wish for power and dominance.

The Actors:
Denzel Washington is Eli.  Calm, complacent, strong when needed.  He has but one goal, delivery of The Book to the west.  Naturally he is perfect for this part, as always, because he is a person that exudes that persona of simplistic belief and power.  He always appears so calm and together in his roles, yet his physical carriage and demeanor shows he can revert to whatever is needed to survive.

Gary Oldman, as Carnegie, is just as perfect.   His characters always seem so obsessive, bordering on psychotic, and he plays it wonderfully.  Joining him are Mila Kunis as Solara, a young girl Carnegie uses as a pawn, and her mother, Jennifer Beals as Claudia, Carnegie's blind girlfriend. 

Overall
:
As a post-apocalyptic film, it reminds me of Mad Maxx, with is washed out tones and bleak landscape.  Everything is shown in varying shades of brown and gray, with limited spurts of color.  Much like that film, it also had its array of weaponry - armored cars, gatling guns - and the evil behind them. 

Some of the things difficult to wrap my head around is how Solara and Claudia both looked so delicious, even clean, and everyone else reeked of unwashed bodies and clothes.  You would think it was because they were under Carnegie's care, but he paid them little mind and gave them no real affection.

Personally I had no problem with the religious feeling around this movie.  It IS centered on the remaining copy of The Bible, after all.  I also had no problem with the cute little twist at the ending, finding it deserving to those that put themselves above others in order to better themselves.

The film played well, a few slow moments, good fight scenes, some gore, clear viewing despite the bleached coloration.

thanks,
Susi

This is an entry into the January Lean-n-Mean contest.

Recommended:
Yes

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January 27, 2011
I loved this film, great review.
 
1
More The Book of Eli reviews
review by . January 16, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
3 ½ + Stars:
At first impression from its trailer, the Hughes Brothers’ (From Hell) post-apocalyptic action drama “The Book of Eli” appears to be a film that borrows heavily from other movies such as “Water World” and “Mad Max”. Such movies have their plots revolving around survival and/or the search for a natural resource. This film does have the post apocalyptic theme going for it, but the ’resource’ that humankind is searching for isn’t oil, water …
review by . November 10, 2010
The Book of Eli was a highly anticipated film for me and although some of my friends had their issues I loved it. This isn't a perfect movie but it was a damn good one. Anywho, here goes the synopsis, In 2042, thirty years after an apocalyptic event, Eli (Denzel Washington) travels on foot toward the west coast of the United States. He keeps very little on him, somehow he has a working ipod, sunglasses, and a heavy arsenal that makes him one the deadliest men still alive.      …
review by . December 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
**1/2 out of ****      Out of all those apocalyptic action films of the new generation, "The Book of Eli" is one of the better, yet imperfect ones. I can't guarantee that many will be able to forgive its visual bleakness and pretentious story-telling, but there's something about this film that makes it fun. Sure, it's a flawed apocalyptic tale without depth and devoid of power. But it's also fun, especially when there are action sequences. These little …
review by . May 28, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Don't let the first 30 minutes or so of The Book of Eli fool you - it comes off as a bleak and moody mix of other post-apocalyptic stories like Mad Max and The Road, but by the time the credits roll you'll see the heart that beats beneath this cracked skin.      There's a lot of story to uncover in The Book of Eli, more than I initially expected, and the themes and ideas expressed here surprised me. In a very good way.      Denzel Washington pulls …
review by . January 18, 2010
Kicking Butt After the Age of 50
A quick visit to Wikipedia and I discover that Mr. Gary Oldman is starting to live up to his namesake. No offense, of course, to those over the nice round age of 50. In fact, take it as a compliment. It means that at the age of 51 you can still intimidate the heck out of us younger-folk. That is, if you are anything like Gary Oldman. Even past his 50s he remains one of the most unnerving personas to hit the screen. And boy does he rattle the nerves in The Book of Eli.      Another …
review by . January 30, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
All of a sudden I was blinded by a flash, devil of a man with a gun
Years ago, the educated in the church were the only ones who could read scripture and keep themselves in power and the world stupid.  The ones in power who are lacking benevolance are in danger of ignoring Santiago's most famous maxim, the one about those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.  So sets into motion The Book Of Eli, a fantastic post apocolyptic western movie where a lone traveller heads west on a quest of faith with an important piece of cargo to take home.   …
review by . February 27, 2011
posted in SF Signal
      Real short:  watch it if you get a chance. Slightly longer: The Story of the Christ meets Mad Max The Road Warrior. And just a bit longer: Fans of post apocalyptic scenery will love the devastation. Fans who have been clamoring for post apocalyptic tales with more of a Christian message will enjoy the message. Fight scenes - pretty darned good.  Acting - pretty darned good.  Cinematography and musical score - pretty darned good (I'm a pushover …
Quick Tip by . December 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Good grief, this was dull. I enjoy a well-done post-apocalyptic film and that sub-genre has a long and interesting history. However, this film adds nothing to it and its insufferable and hypocritical message was annoying as could be. The strange twist near the end also made the film completely unbelievable as well as meandering. The only positive things I can say about it is that the camera work is quite good and Denzel Washington delivers an okay performance.
review by . September 28, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
One of Denzels coolest flicks yet.
Just when you thought you've seen it all (post-apocalyptic movies) comes The Book of Eli. This movie takes place a few years after a war destroys most of America. The main Character Eli is in the possession of what seems to be the last bible on earth. There is something about this movie, it just pulls you in and your instantly hooked. Denzels acting was phenominal and after all these years he's still got it. The story seemed odd but it was enough to keep you intrested. I loved the twist …
Quick Tip by . September 25, 2010
Wanderer after the apocalypse travels across the US with an important parcel to take to the west. Great action movie.
About the reviewer
Susi Dawson ()
Ranked #25
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About this movie

Wiki

The Book of Eli is a 2010 American film starring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman.  It was directed by Albert and Allen Hughes and written by Gary Whitta.  The film was released on January 15th 2010.

Based in post-apocalyptic 2043, The Book of Eli follows the life of one man (Washington) who in his posses ion holds the last bible on Earth.


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Details

Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: January 15, 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Gary Whitta
Runtime: 118 minutes
Studio: Alcon Entertainment, Silver Pictures, Warner Bros Pictures, Columbia Pictures
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