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The Book of Eli

A 2010 American film starring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman.

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Kicking Butt After the Age of 50

  • Jan 18, 2010
  • by
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 check of Wikipedia and I find that Mr. Denzel Washington is four years older than his co-star. Wait a minute. I'm beginning to see a pattern here. It means that contrary to all those Hollywood flicks, the older a man gets the more bad a** he becomes. Exhibit B: Denzel, whose grainy, gritty performance almost made me as tense as Oldman's. I say almost because with Denzel I suspect that he might be on the same side I'd prefer to be on. But I can't be sure. After all, one of the strongest scenes in this movie comes with Eli, played by Denzel, wounding a man so bad that it sends him in shock. The wounded man tries to rally his minion into retaliation, screaming the words "kiss him!" Everyone looks confused. Eli backs up cooly and says "I think he meant... kill him." Not since Training Day has Denzel been so convincing as a man who you really don't want to mess around with. But here's the best part... both Denzel and Oldman play Holy Men.

Oldman plays the kind of Holy Man we've all seen on TV. The kind that hustles under the pretense of healing. The kind that uses "The Word" to spread "his word." The kind that gave religion a bad name long ago, and will most likely give it a bad name in the future.

Denzel, on the other hand, plays Eli. Also a Holy Man. But he's the type of Holy Man who.... well, actually... I don't think I've ever met a Holy Man quite like him before. But maybe someday in the future, after the world has been torn asunder by a Holy War, a man like Eli will appear. He'll be there to protect the last vestige of what we know and question today as faith. He'll understand why the world has become suspicious of faith – and hostile towards him. But he won't let that distract him. He'll continue with his mission. Such is the story of Eli and his Book.

I found this movie to be 100% entertaining and exceptionally refreshing and surprisingly inspiring. Yes, I said "inspiring." I am not one of those people who have developed an allergen or aversion to "message movies." In fact, I prefer them. Lord knows if a person were to jabber away at me for two hours blathering meaningless trite I'd get up and leave, and that's exactly what I do when movies commit the same offense. Many of them do these days. But with Book of Eli, there was no leaving. Here is a movie with something to say, and God bless the Hughes Brothers for being entertaining while they're saying it.
Kicking Butt After the Age of 50 Kicking Butt After the Age of 50 Kicking Butt After the Age of 50 Kicking Butt After the Age of 50

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January 30, 2010
Thank god this movie was as good as it was. Full of nice action and it kept it's messages subtle to figure out and digest later as I did with my review of the film. I only wish that the anvil dropping ,spoon feeding Avatar was the same way in that regard. I still have yet to see it, but from what I heard, it's what it's like.
January 31, 2010
Just read your review. Yeah, I think one of the things that was good about this movie was how the action was done. "Less is more" seems to have worked for the action scenes. There are only a hand full of them, but man do they pack a mean punch.
January 31, 2010
You come to appreciate the action scenes when they happen.
January 18, 2010
Dang, you make this movie sound so awesome!  I didn't realize that the actors had pushed passed 50, but no matter, they're still "bad a**".  Actually, their age may be what makes them so :P  Thanks for the review, Joran! :)
January 18, 2010
Just saw it again today. Always a sign of a good movie when one is willing to pay exorbitantly high ticket prices – twice. :-)
January 18, 2010
nice review...I was especially amused when you mentioned 'being old' LOL! Hey when my dad was already 54 he still intimidated the hell out of my older chiseled brother! Glad you enjoyed it, I liked it a lot too.
January 18, 2010
My uncle is 73 and he still scares the bejeebies out of his son. I can't verify this, but apparently he's just as dangerous with a blade as ol' Eli. LOL.
January 18, 2010
I like the fact you always have something to say too, Jordan! ;D I don't know about others, but I've been well entertained!
January 18, 2010
Thanks Sharrie, it really is nice to know that someone is reading my reviews. Hey, are you on Twitter? You should be, given all the traveling that you do.
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 26, 2011
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, …
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.
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Jordan ()
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About this movie


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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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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