Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Peter T Chattaway

The Book of Eli

Recommended Posts

Denzel Washington picks up 'Book'

Hughes bros. to direct post-apocalyptic drama

Variety, September 4

Denzel Washington to star in 'Eli'

Denzel Washington has signed on to star in the futuristic drama "The Book of Eli" for directing duo Allen and Albert Hughes. . . .

The post-apocalyptic drama is based on a story by Gary Whitta, with a rewrite by Anthony Peckham, and focuses on the not-so-distant future where America is a wasteland and a lone warrior (Washington) fights to bring society the knowledge that is key to its redemption.

Hollywood Reporter, September 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gary Oldman in saddle for 'Book of Eli'

The script, by Gary Whitta and a rewrite by Anthony Peckham, centers on a lone hero named Eli (Washington) who must fight his way across the wasteland of postapocalyptic America to protect a sacred book that might hold the key to saving the future of humanity.

Oldman will play Carnegie, the despot of a small makeshift town deficient of standard necessities, services, and most noticeably, laws. Carnegie is determined to take possession of the book Eli is guarding.

Hollywood Reporter, October 29

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
USA Today (hat tip ComingSoon) has photos (with context notes) and small hints about the film's "spiritual" aspects and themes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Soooo.... to save what remains of humanity, he's willing to kill all in order to protect the book that will save all... that's a bit long for a poster. Still, I'm glad to see the Hughes Bros. return after a nine year absence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The surprise ending is that he meets a

kid who's father just died and babbles on about trouts

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't know who the chick with Portman in the new Aronofsky was, looked around and ended up finding this --

and --

:lol:BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHA LOL :lol:

I um, just watched the trailer.

Denzel goes all Kill Bill Uma on a bunch of thugs to save the planet, you've GOT TO LOVE IT!

Seriously?? "Put that hand on me again and you won't get it back"?? Seriously??

Remniscient of "Those of you who are lucky enough to be alive, you may go... But leave your limbs... Those belong to me now..."

Heh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I'm getting hearsay that "the Book" that Denzel Washington is trying to protect is actually the Bible.

Is this true?

Also, Gary Oldman is going to be an excellent bad guy in this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I'm getting hearsay that "the Book" that Denzel Washington is trying to protect is actually the Bible.

Is this true?

Also, Gary Oldman is going to be an excellent bad guy in this one.

that's what folks from BeyondHollywood.com gleen from screenshots of the trailer. whether the book depicted in the trailer is THE book of reference, well, heh, who's knows.

added: urm, sorry if that was a spoiler. i didn't think of it as such since it was so clearly depicted in the trailer. which is what makes me wonder if that's really THE book.

Edited by pilgrimscrybe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think anything that appears in the trailer is fair game for discussion. Assuming, then, that the book Denzel is protecting IS the Bible, I wonder what the movie's publicity team MEANS when they say that this book has the secret to "saving humanity" (or whatever particular phrase they use). In other words, I wonder what kind of "salvation" is on offer here.

Actually, come to think of it, I'd wonder that even if it turned out that the Bible images in the trailer were just a red herring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think anything that appears in the trailer is fair game for discussion. Assuming, then, that the book Denzel is protecting IS the Bible, I wonder what the movie's publicity team MEANS when they say that this book has the secret to "saving humanity" (or whatever particular phrase they use). In other words, I wonder what kind of "salvation" is on offer here.

Actually, come to think of it, I'd wonder that even if it turned out that the Bible images in the trailer were just a red herring.

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=Z7mV4UNIZkM

If it is a red herring, then this trailer is pretty misleading.

Denzel: "Our only hope is in my hands."

(Immediate cut to images of the Bible in his hands being opened to the book of Genesis, chapter 1.)

I mean, I know this isn't going to have the gospel at the end ... but they sure are playing with our expectations. What do you think, just a "peace on earth, good will towards men" sort of message at the end? A DaVinci Code, hidden, cryptic secret found in the book at the end? ... or? - this book holds the key to the salvation of mankind and the bad guys want to destroy it ... so ... it's just an action movie. Not that Denzel Washington is above doing films with minor spiritual/Christian worldview themes to them.

Denzel: "Cursed be the ground for our sake ... for out of the ground we were taken ... and to dust we shall return."

Oldman: "It's not a book, it's a weapon!"

Tagline: Believe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I know a few individuals who have read the screenplay for BOOK OF ELI, and they informed me that

"The Book of Eli" is the Bible. Eli and Gary Oldman's characters are the only ones still familiar with its contents. Apparently there's a bit more to it than that, but that's the jist of things. They were more than a little surprised that the trailer pretty much gave that away.

But I think it would hilarious if the book turned out to be TWILIGHT.

Edited by Ryan H.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Todd McCarthy @ Variety:

For the third time in four months, after "2012" and "The Road," the end of the world as we now know it is up on the bigscreen, in "The Book of Eli." An odyssey of a mysterious wanderer who has spent 30 years making his way across desolate post-apocalyptic landscapes in possession of the world's only remaining Bible, the Hughes Brothers' first feature in nine years reps a weirdly intriguing mix of "Mad Max," "The Postman," "Fahrenheit 451," Leone's "Man With No Name" trilogy and Graham Greene's novel "The Power and the Glory," all shot through with an unwavering religious impulse. In all likelihood, this will not be one of star (and producer) Denzel Washington's bigger grossers, although if Warner Bros. cared to court the normally stay-at-home Christian audience, it would hit a mother lode of positive response. . . .

One of the clever conceits of the script by first-timer Gary Whitta is that there are only a handful of people still alive who remember how things were "before"; none of the younger generation knows how to read, and the Bible, specifically, was singled out for destruction after the global cataclysm, a vaguely described event that created "a hole in the sky" and was blamed by some on religion.

In Carnegie lie the seeds of a great villain. Far smarter than the goons he bosses around, he's an intellectual dictator frustrated by the miserable desert fiefdom he rules by virtue of his knowledge of a water source. For years, he's been searching for a Bible himself, knowing that, if armed with exclusive possession of the Word, he could attain unquestioned control, although over what remains a puzzlement.

Unfortunately, Whitta and the Hughes Brothers (whose last film was, ironically or not, "From Hell") veer away from Carnegie's brainy side to emphasize standard-issue cruelty and sadism, missing an excellent opportunity to weigh humanity's potential for misuse of scripture against the goodness of its message. After Eli refuses Carnegie's entreaties to give him the book, and takes down a squad of his nastiest gorillas in the bargain, the two become deadly enemies, but not in the complex and complicit way they could have been. . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kyle Smith:

Hollywood’s Christian blockbuster is finally here. Remember how, after “The Passion of the Christ,” Hollywood was going to get wise and make some big mainstream movies that acknowledged the Christianity of a majority of this country? Didn’t happen. Until now. “The Book of Eli” is not only a well-done action picture but an overtly, unabashedly Christian one in which Denzel Washington plays a soldier of God. He’s on a divinely-inspired quest — yes, a literal mission from God — to take The Book to the West as a swarm of wrongdoers led by Gary Oldman try to stop him.

In a post-apocalyptic wasteland (the movie hedges its bets on the usual war-or-environment question: this time, both have occurred), an unidentified man known as the Walker (a badass Denzel) strolls through the nightmare defending himself and slaying vicious predators who try to rob him along the way. The one semi-organized remnant of humanity is led by a Mussolini-loving leader (Gary Oldman) who is introduced reading a copy of a bio of Il Duce. Oldman has sent his gangs out looking for a copy of a specific book, although his men are dunces and can’t read.

They come back with whatever books they can scrounge up — including, hilariously, a copy of “The Da Vinci Code” (the movie is landing a little jab on the Dan Brown book’s message) but not The Book. Because the only copy left of the Bible is the one Denzel is determined to carry to the West, having heard the voice of God commanding him to do so. Moreover, the Walker seems to be divinely protected: In a shootout, every bullet seems to whiz past him. Even the heavy villains have started to notice the aura of untouchability about him, and they find it unnerving. . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roger Ebert's review:

The ending is "flawed," as we critics like to say, but it's so magnificently, shamelessly, implausibly flawed that (a) it breaks apart from the movie and has a life of its own, or (B) at least it avoids being predictable.

Edited by Overstreet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I followed the link to see if Ebert gives the movie 4 stars. Nope, just three stars. But his opening paragraph made me laugh. I haven't read beyond it yet:

You won't be sorry you went. It grips your attention, and then at the end throws in several WTF! Moments, which are a bonus. They make everything in the entire movie impossible and incomprehensible -- but, hey, WTF.

So, is this the Hughes brothers' first movie since From Hell? Don't answer that. Will check IMDB.

I used to be a huge Hughes brothers fan.

Edited by Christian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nick Schager:

"It's a weapon," Carnegie opines about the Bible, which he views as the tool needed to manipulate the sheepish population into obeying his despotic development plans. Is God's message merely a vessel for man's evil ambitions or a rousing force for good? Don't hold out hope for a complicated answer to that central question in Book of Eli, which celebrates Eli's pure faith and denigrates Carnegie's nefarious organized-religion machinations so mundanely that things quickly bog down in snoozy righteousness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I used to be a huge Hughes brothers fan.

I've not seen much of their work, but I loathed their adaptation of FROM HELL. Alan Moore's FROM HELL is the pinnacle of the graphic novel/comic book as an art form, and they turned in that bland, forgettable detective story. Bah, I say.

I might give BOOK OF ELI a shot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boring and ludicrous.

Watching this film, my mind kept flashing back to SDG's review of 2012, in which he wrote, "The Church must continue, and while a Protestant with a Bible may be good to go, Catholics need the succession of bishops." The Book of Eli is almost a parody of the notion that "a Protestant with a Bible may be good to go". Everything in this film is predicated on the notion that, if a Bible falls into the wrong hands, it could be used to start a religion -- and religion, of course, would be bad. But it doesn't work like that. The Bible does not pre-date religion, it is a PRODUCT of religion, and if Gary Oldman or any other bad guy wants to start a religion to manipulate the masses, then why on Earth would they have to wait for a copy of the BIBLE to fall into their laps (especially when so many people can't read at all, and even the ones who can are so young that they wouldn't know the difference between The Bible and, say, The Da Vinci Code).

Matters are complicated when we behold the Bible's eventual fate at the end of this film:

First of all, has God been guiding Eli all this time just so the Bible could end up on a shelf with lots of OTHER classic works of literature? Really, is that it? Is God not interested in rebuilding his Church or something like that?

Second, why does Eli have to recite the ENTIRE Bible from memory when Malcolm McDowell's people ALREADY have the Old Testament in the form of BOTH a Torah (the five books of Moses) AND a Tanakh (which includes the Torah as well as the Prophets and the Writings, in other words the entire Hebrew Bible)? Wouldn't he simply have to recite the New Testament? Ah, but what he is reciting is the KING JAMES VERSION of the Bible. So, once again, the ultimate point here is not a religious one but a cultural one, regarding the influential Shakespeare-like role that the King James Bible played in the history of the English language.

For what it's worth, my admiration for Denzel Washington as a performer is undiminished, and I really appreciate the light touch he brings to certain key moments. And Gary Oldman gets a good line or two as well. But Eli is such an almost supernaturally perfect fighter -- he defeats dozens of men at once, he never misses his marks, etc., etc., etc. -- that the fight scenes end up utterly bereft of tension or suspense. And I really, really don't care for the showing off that some directors do, when the camera zooms from one side of a gun battle to the other, passing through holes in the wall etc. Look, guys, it's obvious you DIDN'T film this sequence in one take, so why bother distracting us from the gunplay like this?

It's interesting, BTW, that the key men Eli meets on his journey are all played by Brits. Gary Oldman is the bad-guy leader, his chief lieutenant is played by Rome's Ray Stevenson, and along the way we meet, uh, two other guys whose cameos I'd rather not spoil. And yet this story is set in the United States. Ah well, at least the two main FEMALE characters are played by Americans, sort of (Mila Kunis was actually born in Ukraine, but her family moved to Los Angeles when she was 7).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...