'The Book of Eli' (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
(Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, Jennifer Beals, et al / 2-Disc Blu ray-DVD / R / 2010 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: In the not-too-distant future, some 30 years after the final war, a solitary man walks across the wasteland that was once America. Empty cities, broken highways, seared earth--all around him, the marks of catastrophic destruction. There is no civilization here, no law. The roads belong to gangs that would murder a man for his shoes, an ounce of water...or for nothing at all. But they're no match for this traveler.
Blu ray: I will start by saying that I have waited quite a while to view 'The Book of Eli.' I can also say that this has got to be one of the most talked about films of the year. It seems that there is a massive loss of solid entertainment in 2010, so the pickings are quite slim. The truth is that if this were a better year for film Eli would be considered a "good" movie. Yet because there is so little to watch some are calling this film great. I can honestly say that The Book of Eli is solid entertainment not to be taken too seriously.
The story is simple. There has been a catastrophic war and somehow the sun has scorched the planet - I'm guessing the atmosphere can no longer protect humans from the UV rays because everyone in the film wears some form of goggles. Nevertheless I'll move on. Humans as we know them are no more. Mankind has reverted into a society of uneducated heathens with little recollection of the world before the great apocalypse.
There is no real form of currency so people trade their findings (random things like blankets and gloves - now considered valuable). Yet the major "find" turns out to be written text, despite the fact that very few people know how to read.
This brings us to Denzel's character (beautifully acted by Washington) who is the keeper of the most sought-after book on the planet apparently--the Bible. All but this sole copy has been erased from the earth and Washington or Eli is on a mission from God to bring the last copy to a safe place, and he will do anything or kill anyone necessary in order to do so.
Along the way he takes on droves of bad guys and henchmen, and nearly kills an entire town of people to protect this book. He also meets a young lady along the way played by Mila Kunis who clings to Eli as somewhat of a "savior."
Everything is very metaphorical in the film. You would have to be a complete idiot to not feel as though you were being hammered with the message in every conceivable way. The world is destroyed by fire (the sun - the great flash as they call it), good versus evil in the valley of death. It's all very glorious and other-worldly, and dare I say it - enjoyable!
Religious or not, the film succeeds in keeping you entertained. You care for Eli. Washington does the impossible and makes this man vulnerable despite the fact that he is at times a monster himself. Yet you want him to succeed and come out victorious. He faces the ferocious Gary Oldman who is delicious as the villain and town founder determined to use the good book for bad.
This is truly a story of David versus Goliath, and perhaps one of the most entertaining and worthwhile films I have seen all year. It's fun, suspenseful and different. In a time when the well seems to be running dry The Book of Eli stands out like water in the desert. [JJ] This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Maximum Movie Mode: 40 minutes of picture-in-picture commentary with Denzel Washington and the Hughes Brothers, and 10 Focus Points
A Lost Tale: Billy - animated short covering Carnegie's backstory
Starting Over: Explore the role we might play in reshaping society after a global catastrophe
Soundtrack: Co-director Allen Hughes and composer Atticus Ross compare notes about the soundtrack's construction and deconstruction
Eli's Journey: Probe the historical and mythological roots of the film's central themes
Available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, On Demand and for Download 6/15!
'Have You Washed Your Hands' - Video Clip