Comments on watching and making films.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Book of Eli

One of the funniest thing's I have ever read about The Book of Eli was a quote on someone's Tumblr that I follow, in which this person's cousin said " Ugh... I hope it's not the Bible...", and, after reading that I thought, Surely not! It seems almost preposterous for Hollywood to take a book like the Bible and make it the center piece of a film like this, not to mention how politcally correct they try to be in their blockbusters (except, apparently, for the "rascist" Autobots in Transformers). But, they did exactly that, and I think it is probably what I connected with most in the film.

The film centers around a character that, for the most part, goes unnamed for a while, until he is forced to give up his name as Eli. In a post-apocalyptic world, much like the recent John Hillcoat adaptation of Cormac MacCarthy's The Road, civilization is in shambles. Food and water is scarce, and everything is on the barter system. Paper money and coins mean nothing. Eli is a man who has spent thirty years, or so, walking across the country, presumably starting on the east coast, and trying to get his sacred book to the west coast, after being charged, by God, to do so. But, when he comes across the leader of a town he happens to be passing through, a man named Carnegie, Eli soon finds out that Carnegie has been looking for this book, the last known copy in the entire world, and is not going to let it go.

Denzel Washington has given some pretty amazing performances, even though he's been in some pretty crappy movies (why he continues to work with Tony Scott, I'll never know). Book of Eli, though, has Denzel delivering an almost zen like performance in a movie that borders on being a B movie. Gary Oldman plays a decent villian, as Carnegie, and Mila Kunis, as the daughter of Carnegie's woman, and eventual side kick to Eli, doesn't talk much but sure wears the hell out of a pair of Aviator's. This is one of my problems with this film, and that is the fact that there is some ridiculous subplot that is barely explained, about a "hole" being torn in the sky, and now everyone has to wear sunglasses or goggles of some sort, yet, they seem to have no difficulty taking them off outside. Seems not very thought out. Overall, though, the movie was pretty good. There were some cheesy moments, but you pretty much expect that in a movie like this, so, as long as you go into the theater with low expectations, you will have a good time.

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