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Gavin Grades The Movies

The Book of Eli

The marketing campaign behind The Book of Eli staring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman did a very good job of keeping a level of mystique around the plot of this film.  The trailers certainly had my interest peaked as I watched Denzel walking through a post-Apocalyptic landscape kicking every single one of the reject cast members of the Mad Max series he sees.  Hell yeah, I'm in!  Of course the reason why the studio did such a great job of making sure the story was kept a secret was because it might be one of the worst stories I've ever seen.  That completely shocks me since it has Oscar-winning actors that I respect and love in it, The Hughes Brothers (From Hell, Menace II Society) directing it, high production value, decent sets, and mediocre action sequences.  So why does this movie suck?  Well, I'm not one to give away key plot points or spoilers but I have to mention WHY exactly this movie is so bad.  The plot is that Denzel is Eli, a man walking across the country to bring the very last Bible to the only secured compound in the country that is attempting to rebuild our culture and society.  He encounters Gary Oldman along the way, who is some sort of mayor of a silly-looking Old West town.  Oldman wants the Bible so that he can use it as a weapon to enslave people, even though he already has them under his boot.  Okay, sounds pretty good, right?  I would totally enjoy that plot.  I'm on board.  I'll sit in the theater and gladly watch that premise.  Here's the problem: Eli is on a mission from God to deliver His word so it carries on and in doing so, he commits the most vicious and gruesome acts of violence to do it.  He slices, dices, shoots, and severs everyone who tries to get their hands on the Bible...I guess so they don't find out that murdering is a sin.  It is literally a hole in the plot SO large I wanted to hop in a car and drive through it so I could leave the theater.  I mean, who the hell is this movie for?!  It's way too violent and rapey for the Christian crowd and way too silly and stupid for everyone else.  I'm almost embarrassed for Washington and Oldman for being in this movie!  This is the kind of crap that is reserved for Vin Diesel and Nicolas Cage and gets released straight-to-DVD.  I won't give them away but there are twists at the end of the movie that make it even worse, if you can believe that.  Now, I'm not hating on this movie because of my personal religious views or whether or not I believe in the Bible.  I'm honestly thinking about it from the standpoint of everyone.  If Eli's actions can be justified by God in the movie, I would imagine there would be one pretty pissed off Jesus somewhere when he finds out that instead of being crucified he could've grabbed the nearest saber and decapitated his way to freedom.  Now granted there are bad movies out there that are meant to be silly comedies, but I think what makes this movie worse than those is that it takes itself so seriously!  The Book of Eli is like watching an ignorant imbecile try to make a point about something they know nothing about; eventually you want to stop watching because you're laughing when you're not suppose too. The Book of Eli (Rated R) Gavin Grade: F

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01/14/2010 7:33PM
The Book of Eli
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01/14/2010 7:45PM
Rick Boyer
Hi, I'm just getting started with my new blog. Would you want to exchange links on our blog-rolls? BTW - I'm up to about 100 visitors per day.
01/15/2010 7:09AM
Thanks for the heads up...I had never read the book of ELI, because I don't think it exists and isn't part of the "canon" but you make some valid points. and that was a funny review. (jesus with a light saber...ha!)
01/18/2010 3:31PM
Gavin, The movie was not that bad. Not a great movie for sure but an F. Forget about! Book Of Eli Movie Review By:Sandwichjohn at sandwichjohnfilm.com I had high hopes for Book of Eli, as I do for any Denzel Washington film, and while it didn’t quite live up to my high hopes it was still a good film. Denzel Washington stars as Eli, the protector of the last known copy of a certain book. It has been 31 years since “the flash” and subsequent war destroyed the world as we know it. The world now is a desolate waste land where water is scarce and books are scarcer. Gary Oldman stars as Carnegie, a corrupted mayor in a makeshift town that Eli wanders into. Carnegie has become obsessed with finding a copy of the book, he believes the words of the book have great power and that he could become a great leader with it. Mila Kunis stars as Solara, the daughter of Carnegie’s companion, who follows Eli after he escapes from the town. The action sequences were really well done. Towards the beginning of the film there was a great action sequence when Eli encounters some scavengers trying to rob him. Another great action scene comes when Eli enters the bar to search out some water and also when he meets up with the older couple. The films depiction of a post apocalyptic world seemed pretty realistic to me. Survivors have to wear sunglasses/goggles to protect their eyes from the super strong rays of the sun. Water is “the good stuff” at the bar. There are no plants and even animals are scarce. Everyone is a scavenger; there is a use for just about anything they find. At one point in the movie Solara asks Eli what the world was like before and he says that "everyone lived in excess" and that "people threw away things that we would kill for today". Something to think about. The movie had some great moments. I won’t give away any spoilers but I will tell you some things to look out for when you watch the film. Look for the Kmart badge in Eli’s backpack. Watch out for people with shaky hands. Beware of a friendly older couple. And lastly, watch Eli as he reads the book, notice anything different? 6 sandwiches out of 10 Related News- "The Book of Eli" Hidden Easter Eggs In The Film
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04/05/2011 1:55PM
keith Blatche
This is a completely bogus review done by an individual with serious mental issues borne of what was a pathetic religious background. From your nonsensical non theological rumblings of the author, it is obvious that he/she is one of those boutique atheists that have absolutely no clue about religion but some how, they always feel that they are mentally equipped with their obtuse views on religion. The comments he makes about Jesus with a light saber are for a lack of a better word, just stupid. Jesus' role on this earth was to die! Eli's role in the movie is very specific and precise. The killing, rape and murder are all part and parcel of the human experience. There is rape, murder and mayhem in the bible and several of the stories of the bible feature killing. From the story of David Goliath, to Moses and so on, the bible features alot of violent conflict. But I dont intend to get into a religious debate with the author of this putrid review. The fact of the matter is that this movie is not about christianity or religion per se. In the movie they are not trying to sell you religion at all. To be honest I dont even remember one mention of God. Not only that, the author of this dumb review tells a bold lie! (Spoiler alert for one who may not have seen this movie yet) In the 99% of the movie you have absolutely no idea who/what the guiding force for Eli is. That God is guiding him any where is a conclusion one can only arrive at after watching the whole movie to the end. You cant come to this conclusion at the beginning of the movie, in the middle, or even 3/4 way. It is only after things have been put in context at the end of the movie, does the implication of the the whole movie come to you. So the author is telling a bold faced lie when he says Now, I’m not hating on this movie because of my personal religious views or whether or not I believe in the Bible. I’m honestly thinking about it from the standpoint of everyone. No sir you are not talking from my point of view or that of millions who saw this movie and enjoyed it. See there are many people like me or are able to separate their religious opinions and still enjoy a story like this. To make stupid comments about the violence in the movie is pretentious bullshit!!! Seriously didnt you see the commercials for the movie before you went to see it? How can you feign disgust at the violence when it was clearly the most highlighted aspect in the trailers. We all saw Denzel washington wielding that mean machete in posters and trailers. How could this moron have missed it? What went through your mind when you caught flashes of Mila Kunis tossing a grenade at an oncoming car? Did you think it was a setup for a ballerina sequence highlighted by the burning ruins of the smoldering vehicle? See folks this is how you can tell the rumblings of an individual trying to sell personal opinion as valid objective thought. What exactly is your objection to the violence? Is it because the violence is done to protected the bible? Would it be ok, if the violence was depicted as means to protect some other idealogy, like imperialism, capitalism, or alien invasion? Pray tell, when is it ok for a movie director to use violence to advance a story? What ever answer you come up with, who are you to decide when and where violence should be employed in a movie? Take note, violence and killing is not forbidden in the bible. Dont make up nonsense from your sorry understanding of the bible and try to sell it as genuine fact! The book of Eli does not sell you religion matter of fact it clearly argues that religion much like any other idealogy can be corrupted and misused by so whoever who chooses. And for the fool who doesnt understand the seduction of religion, it is clearly laid out in a scene between Mila kunis and Denzel.W where he teaches her to pray. It is that which Gary Oldman's character seeks to hold over the citizens of his town and beyond instead of fear from the barrel of the gun. Hired guns for which he has to pay for instead of unquestioned loyalty and worship he would receive from the masses much as many churches control people today. I know this is a late response to and old movie, but I cant stand it when atheists try to sell these bogus reviews as genuine opinion yet they are highly personalized opinions borne of a mind in religious turmoil..ie, your typical ignoramus boutique atheists.
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