Category: Reviews

The Book of Eli Review

After an unspecified war, the world has decayed into a washed-out wasteland, filled with ruthless road gangs and cannibals, constantly on the lookout for wanderers to despoil. It’s here we find Eli, a lone walker heading west, with a quest to bring a holy book, to a place where it’s needed.

When Eli steps into a godforsaken town, and meets its self-proclaimed and merciless leader Carnegie and a conflict arise, about the ownership of the book.

I enjoy post-apocalyptic movies, where the world has gone down the toilet, with a handful of characters desperately finding ways to survive, by picking up the pieces from the past.

One problem, though, with these kinds of movies is the problem of creating a credible world, for the story to play out in, which doesn’t feel artificial or too unrealistic. “The Book of Eli” doesn’t have that problem, quite the opposite. I think that the washed-out scenery, the devastated landscape, the soft grayish light and the dark clouds hurrying past the sky, draws up a genuine picture, of how the world could appear after a disastrous war.

Almost too good, actually.

The intro of the movie is also one of the best I’ve seen, as well. Where cinematographer Don Burgess shows off his skills, in a beautifully filmed scene, which really enhance the post-apocalyptic feeling, which manage stay in our minds, for the reminder of the movie.

The action sequences are also visually appealing, with fierce camera angles and well choreographed fights. Like the one where Eli meets a bunch of ruthless thugs and with the help of a machete and a witty mouth, shows who’s the real bad-ass, in the wastelands.

Even though the story feels one-track minded, focusing much on Eli and his book, the balance between drama and action never allows the movie to get boring, pushing the story forward.

However, the focus on Eli, gives little room for the other characters to develop, which I feel is a minor downside. Denzel Washington is spot on as Eli, using just his distinct presence, assurance and charisma, he portraits a man you know you shouldn’t mess with, just by looking at him.

Gary Oldman plays the slimy and sinister, yet smart Carnegie, a role we have seen him do many times before, with a good amount of self-certainty. Nevertheless, Carnegie never feels alive, besides that one time Oldman fires off his most evil and hypnotic laughter. It would have been fun to see what he could have done, if more room would have been given to him, to elaborate the role.

Mila Kunis is the one who gives the movie a dash of glamor and feminine beauty. Even though her part as Solara isn’t that demanding, she shows that she has evolved as an actor enormously, since the air-headed Jackie in “That ’70s Show”, though.

Overall, the story has enough momentum to be both interesting and engaging, all the way up to its twist, which will get you thinking, but after that it lose much of its momentum and barely manage to stumble across the finishing line, with grace.

In the end, I think that “The Book of Eli”, combines the washed-out landscape, cinematography and drama from “The Road” and “I am Legend” with the savage violence from “Mad Max”, into a fresh post-apocalyptic movie, complete with an absorbing twist, which deserves its place in any movie shelf.

Both the DVD and Blu-ray version of “The Book of Eli” will be available on June 15 on Amazon.com.

My rating of “The Book of Eli”:

3+/5

Photo: © 2009 Warner Bros.

A Scream from the Past – Dreamscape

“Dreamscape” is a Sci-Fi thriller from 1984, directed by Joseph Ruben, which managed to pumped up my imagination to unhealthy levels, the first time I saw it – imagine entering someone’s dream, wow!

However, as a boy at the time, taking over the world was not the first thing that crossed my mind, if I would have possessed these abilities though…

The story center on Alex Gardner (Dennis Quaid), a 19-year-old man, who discovers that he can enter other peoples dreams and experience everything that goes on within them.

Continue reading

Legion Movie Review

In Legion, God has lost all hope of the humans, and with the help of his army of angels, he decides to bring down the apocalypse upon us. However, the archangel Michael, hasn’t lost his hope, so he deserts from the army and heads down to earth, trying to save the only hope we have left – an unborn child.

Scott Stewart’s directing debut, from his own script, has all the components that makes a grand and epic movie, a solid cast (Paul Bettany, Lucas Black, Charles S. Dutton, Tyrese Gibson, Dennis Quaid, Adrianne Palicki, and Kevin Durand), a God with no hope, hostile angels, the apocalypse and an unborn child.

Nevertheless, instead of being a fierce and action packed “Clash of the Angels”, Legion becomes just a disappointing little bump.

Continue reading

A Scream from the Past – The Fifth Floor (1978)

Today, I thought that I should start a post series about the horror movies that both amazed and scared me senseless, as I grew up and got me hooked to this stunning genre.

The first movie that I remember is, The Fifth Floor from 1978, with Bo Hopkins and Diane Hull in the leads. I recall that it prevented me to sleep, visit the basement or the shed on our backyard, for a very long time.

The plot revolves around a young woman, named Kelly McIntyre (Dianne Hull) who collapses at a bar.

Unaware that Kelly has been poisoned, in an attempt to cover up a murder, her doctor and boyfriend assumes that she’s crazy and admits her to the fifth floor, an asylum with heavily disturb patients and questionable nurturers.

Continue reading

Case 39 Review

In the horror movie Case 39, directed by Christian Alvart the man behind Pandorum and penned by Ray Wright, we see Renée Zellweger play a role that is far away from the usual feel-good and drama movies that we’re used to seeing her in, which unfortunately, is noticeable in this film.

The story, in Case 39, follows the social worker Emily Jenkins (Zellweger) who, overwhelmed with work, gets another case on her desk, case 39. That case is about a sweet girl named Lillith Sullivan (Jodelle Ferland), whose school has filed a report, where they express their concern about her wellbeing.

Continue reading