Cover Art and Menus: 9/10
Would I have this cover as a poster? Yes, most definitely. I’m not a suck up to the talented Mr. Washington and I’ve never been that swooney over him, but this is an image I just am drawn to look at for long periods of time. I can’t explain it, but I like it and that’s that. The menu is nice enough with the still image from the movie and matching navigation. I want to stop talking about menus, but Ascully keeps the section alive and well and titled Cover Art AND MENUS….so I’m a dutiful wife and (cough cough) obey.
- Maximum Movie Mode – You can see so much behind the scenes, with the writer, directors, cast, this is a really really good reason to watch the movie again. I’m lovin the Maximum Movie Mode if I’m honest. I’m sold on the almost learning I do about filmmaking. Too bad they don’t teach how to write and speak proper English.
- Starting Over – What does the human race do when faced with extinction? Story tellers love to dig into this question and I must say, so do I. It’s got some of those “experts” talking about what we might do, but it’s also the Hughes brothers, the writer, and other folks who aren’t quite so up their own ass talking about their own ideas and thoughts of how we might fair in that post-apocolyptic world. It’s only a few minutes long so it’s not like a seminar, just a glimpse at the acedemic side of thigns.
- Eli’s Journey – Who is the man who carries the book? Why is he motivated to do such a singular task under such horrific conditions? We get to see the thinking behind the attitude, the mood, the presense of a man who has been walking for 30 years across a barren country that is as hostile as you can imagine.
- The Book Of Eli Soundtrack – The music that moves this haunting story through a very rough world.
- Additional Scenes – There’s not much here, however, it’s worth watching to see some little finishing touches that didn’t end up in the movie.
- A Lost Tale : Billy – A prequel to the tale of the bad guy in the movie. It’s a graphic novel style telling of a pivotal day in the boy’s life. It’s harsh and creepy, but it tells so much in such a well done little short.
- Digital Copy – It’s a copy.
- DVD Version Of The Movie – It’s a DVD.
The Movie: 9/10
I’m saying it’s an awesome story. It’s a stylistic, powerhouse of a movie. The cast is awesome, the sets are hyper post-apocolyptic, and I loved it. A man carries a book through a post-war torn America. We don’t how or why it happened, but we see the craters from the bombs that were dropped. We see the devastation. We meet the leftover humans who have lived, survived, and now, 30 years later are struggling to put a society back together.
This is definitely one of my favorite Denzel Washington roles, and though she’s a bit too clean and shiny for the world she’s living in, Meg from Family Guy holds her own and impressed me several times with a more subtle refrained kind of vibe. Jennifer Beals, from Flashdance is in this movie and after this I hope to see her again, sooner than 20 years from now 🙂
There’s nothing new here. I’ll be the first to tell you that. I mean, how many stories about what humankind will do after a massive near extinction event happens will we all hear, read, see, in our lifetimes? I think it’s safe to say we have some worries about our species and our ability to rebuild any kind of civilized world once this one is destroyed. That’s the philosophy behind The Book of Eli. When structure is gone and there is nothing left but rag tag packs of people trying to stay alife, who will rise to the top to lead?
There is always the asshole who wants to control everyone and keep the spoils of the society’s hard work. I think we have all studied and even in my lifetime seen examples of real life dickheads with this syndrome. Then we have the dude who wants people to get along, live, treat each other well, and build a society on mutual respect and work together to get through the difficulties without anyone dominating or destroying someone else’s freedoms for their own gain. You could say a dictator and a hippy might cover it. I won’t say that Carnegie is a dictator, but he wants to dominate, put the fear in people so he can have the pleasures in life and feel powerful in the worst possible way. Eli has a belief that you don’t take more than you need and do more for others than you do for yourself. He’s not a hippy by any means though. This is a violent world.
There is sword slinging, gun play, explosions, crazy fire fights, and more than enough grubby gross mentions of cannibalism. If you’ve got the shakes, you’ve been eating somebody’s leg, or other savory meaty part. It’s not a hopeful place, this post war America. It’s desolate, sepia toned, dusty, and every where you look, or forget to look there are booby traps and scammers around to take what you’ve got, and maybe eat you afterward. I like it.
Eli meets Solara, a young woman under the iron fist of Carnagie who happens to be keeping her mother under lock and key, at least of the mental kind. Solara has had her 20 years or so in a world with no beliefs, no sharing, no excess, nothing but hunger, dust, violence, and scraping together an existence. The thing I don’t always like about these stories is that if someone really was raised their whole life like that it’s an awfully optimistic leap to think they have any desire for something better, more civilized. How would you learn to want to get away? Why would you think it’s better to escape with a stranger to an unknown future than to stay and live the life you have always known? I guess it’s that human spirit thing. We all know when something is wrong in life and have that instinct to want to make it better.
That leads me to the heart of the movie, which my husband and I disagree on…big surprise. I won’t go into details but there is a question of belief, the idea of what it is that gets us all through our lives. It’s represented by something pretty well known in our modern world, for about 2000 years, a book, full of stuff about people begetting people…get my drift? Well, for me it’s a symbol for that thing in every human life that makes each of us wake up and move toward the next day, after day after day in life in spite of the traumas, difficulites, the seemingly endless barrage of bullshit and pain and suffereing we know really exists, either in our own lives or just in the world as a whole.
Eli knows what he gets from it. Solara is learning. Carnagie knows what he can do with it to achieve his desires for power. I know what I know about life and what gets me through. Now, you go watch this excellent movie and either just dig it for the action, of which there is a lot of quality moments, or dig into your mind and soul to think about a few things you might not take the time to think about every other day of your long, dusty, sepia toned life.
Gary Oldman is awesome. I love him.
Audio & Video: 8/10 (by Ascully)
The Hughes brothers chose a desaturated stylistic look for The Book Of Eli that you will either love or hate. I see no inbetween on this one. For me the movie looks awesome but I imagine a lot of people will critizize the Blu-Ray for not looking as stunning as they imagined it would. This is in fact not true as the superb looking 2.35:1 VC1 encoded transfer fits the look and feel of the movie perfectly. If you look really close there is a thin layer of film grain that adds to the post apocalyptic look.
Audio is standout here the DTS-HD Master audio track delivering every gunshot in true high definition audio. From the opening moment where the atmospheric score kicks in I knew this would be a treat for the ears. A Key moment in the movie involving a gunshot rings around the speakers in slow motion and really sounds stunning. Audio here is better than you can imagine you will not be disappointed.
I will watch this movie a few times. It’s worth 20+ bucks for me to have it and enjoy the extras and then watch it again when I want to watch more and think less about the ideology of it all. I hardly ever think a movie is worth the price, but this time I have to say it like it is. I was enthralled throughout the entire movie, mostly by the motivations of people, and it taps into the way my own brain has always worked (lucky me). The next time I watch, and the next, I will get more of my money’s worth by watching for the grit, the grossness, the dirt, and the mentions of cannibal lunching.
Gary Oldman is awesome. I love him.
Overall Score 9/10