Friday, January 15, 2010

"The Book of Eli": more "political" than "The Road"

I recall a moment in Basic Combat Training in 1968 when a drill sergeant said to me, my problem was “too much education.”

That seems to explain “The War” that has destroyed civilization and left a desert wasteland in “The Book of Eli”, from Warner Brothers and Alcon, directed by Albert and Allen Hughes, written by Gary Whitta. Yes, it comes across as a companion piece to “The Road” from Dimension Films last November. This time, the colors are even more muted, the film often seeming to be almost in black and white (Cinemascope), and the message even more political. Denzel Washington plays Eli, who has been carrying this locked book for years, walking into western-type gunfights with nemesis played by Gary Oldman. He meets up with a female companion Solara played by Mila Kunia. The enemies are curious about what’s so special about the book, since The War destroyed all books (including the Internet) and even all “book smarts”. I suppose it was something like the thermonuclear war that could have occurred as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

It’s interesting to see society pushed back to older technology, with hand cranked Victrolas and the reinvented printing press. But there is nothing like memorizing the Bible, or encoding it in a physically cumbersome form.

The world seems to have no electric grid, but gasoline trucks run, so the nuclear war EMP effect did not wipe out everything.

The official international trailer is here.

Hollywoodstreams trailer follows:

Wikipedia attribution link for Hydrogen Bomb picture.

See Movies blog Oct. 28, 2010 for review of 1962 French film "La jetee" ("The Pier"), related subject matter.

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