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The Book of Eli / Le Livre d'Elie (Bilingual)

4.4 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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  • The Book of Eli / Le Livre d'Elie (Bilingual)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, Jennifer Beals
  • Format: NTSC, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Warner Home Video Canada
  • Release Date: June 15 2010
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B003CN5S7C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,397 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Book of Eli, The (DVD)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
This is a post-catastophe tale of (surprisingly) the fate of a book. The performances completely carry the film; both Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman are terrific. The cinematography is excellent with a burned out, stark and barren landscape. Religious overtones are definitely present, but they are at a tolerable level where you can decide how much to read into it. It is a conflicting presence, on one side we see that all religious books have been destroyed because religion was the cause of the war and present fate of mankind, and also that people still seek it to use as a weapon to control the weak and feeble minded. And then there is the other side of blind faith, and a man inspired to protect what he thinks will bring peace and hope to struggling humanity. The score was fantastic. It had a jarring, unsettling quality that blended perfectly with the danger fraught wasteland. There were some serious issues with the story, however. The revelation about Eli at the end makes a lot of what happened seem highly implausible. The fight scenes seemed straight out of a samurai movie. Why are a bunch of weary, ragtag survivors wielding their machetes, chainsaws, etc. in such a graceful and perfectly choreographed way? Also, at times the lighting seemed nonexistent. It was more like watching a shadow play, but I suppose was meant to fit in with the overall gritty and repressive atmosphere. An entertaining, if flawed, film that was worth watching, but I doubt I will be revisiting it.
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Format: Blu-ray
I knew from the minute I watched this movie that the reviews would be split and of course they were - almost right down the middle with some critics loving the movie and some hating it. I find when that happens the movie invariably has a strong moral or spiritual element that half the critics review the film as a film and the other half condemn it regardless of the quality as moralistic or heavy handed. So it is with The Book of Eli, a compelling (riveting really) film that stars Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis (of That 70's Show and the voice of Meg from Family Guy).

The story essentially breaks down to a good versus evil post-apocalyptic action flick. Performances by Oldman and Washington were what you would expect from such seasoned actors - excellent. I was surprised at Kunis actually. She is not exactly a heavy-weight in terms of acting but her performance in this film was admirable. She will no doubt see many other offers as a result of this movie. While the storyline is a tad predictable the pacing is excellent and almost from the beginning you realize that this is a movie building to a surprise ending. Nevertheless the film never seems to drag (except for a little at the end) and you are invested from beginning to end. Speaking of the end, like I said before it drags a tad but only in the sense that it could have ended successfully in about three places but carries on a bit.

Now to the technical details. I watched the film in glorious Blu-ray and if ever there was a movie made for said format this is it. Wow. You really cannot fully appreciate this film in any other format. The cinematography is like another lead actor that deserves an academy looks that good.
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Format: Blu-ray
I really wasn't expecting much from this movie after reading the lukewarm reviews on RT, but I'm so glad I took a chance and bought it. The Book of Eli pleasantly surprised me in more ways than one.

Right from the opening sequence, the visually stunning cinematography is a sign of things to come. This movie looks gorgeous in all its greys and sepia tone glory.

The performances are excellent across the board, most notably by Washington and Oldman, who are always great, but also by Mila Kunis who surprised me with a strong, yet subdued performance. Her character adds a lot to the story. Jennifer Beals is also at her best here. All of whom play very engaging characters.

While the plot is far-fetched, especially once you know how it all unfolds, the film remains very entertaining with some extremely well-choreographed fight scenes (in which severed limbs abound!), cool shootouts, and tons of suspenseful drama.

The movie has some religious overtones - an aspect of film making which usually bothers me - but in this case, it's very fitting to the story and it never gets too preachy.

Think of The Book of Eli as a full-throttle, action-filled version of the movie "The Road." (which I also liked.)

***** stars.
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Format: DVD
Ignoring the obvious and superficial Christian emphasis of the underlying plot, this film superbly chronicles one man's pilgrimage to take the only surviving copy of the bible to the last bastion of civilisation (in America, that is) surrounded by the barbaric degeneration of the few survivors of the apocalyptic event. Interestingly, there are undertones of anti-Christianity running through the plot; all of the bibles, bar one, were destroyed after the event that, presumably, Christian fundamentalism had somehow caused; and Gary Oldman's character`s desperate attempt to obtain the bible as a means to control the populace (opium for the masses, anybody?).

The film is dark, grim and unrelenting, shot with almost monochrome harshness. Denzel Washington's performance was brilliant as was Gary Oldman's (has he ever played a goodie?) and the cameo appearances of Frances de la Tour and Michael Gambon were delightful. The storyline was engaging and, without the usual Hollywood formulaic sloppy bits, perfectly matched the moody cinematography.

All-in-all, an excellent film superbly cast and peppered with just enough mysticism & symbolism - a worthy addition to the post-apocalyptic movie genre. The only criticism may be that every character was a bit of a caricature and that, really, the genre hasn't evolved much beyond Thunderdome.
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