Friday, January 15, 2010

Escape to The Movies: Book of Eli

And "Intermission" is about Spider-Man:


Heir to the Throne said...

Being preachy and cliche
Book of Eli - Dealbreaker.
Avatar - Not a Dealbreaker.

Leoja92 said...

Loved the the new review as always, surprised there wasn't at least one joke in there about how much this movie reminds people of fallout 3. I guess its just to easy a joke to make.

Smashmatt202 said...

Great review as always, but how about sometimes in the near future, you go over a retrospective of the Spider-Man trilogy. Yeah, talk about what you thought of the three movies, and explain why you thought that way about them. I'd like to see that.

Rubbav1 said...

Called it!

Dav3 said...

I have to (well ok, WANT to) to ask you one thing about your review.

A world that's 99% populated by vampires who mutate into killer bat monsters doesn't "torpedo" a movie, but a man who believes he was divinely chosen to safeguard a bible does?

Why is one form of make-believe better than another?

P.S.- Great call on Daybreakers. I had passed on seeing it until your review made me reconsider.
My only two complaints: a smidge too much gore/not enough screaming chicken... but that's just a matter of taste.

First Zombieland, now Daybreakers... think The Wolfman will make it 3 in a row?

Tuesdai Noelle said...

LOL, at your review on Eli......! Really cool perspective. If that's the whole movie (which Im not at all surprised by) that's short of typical and will become a bore within the first 20 minutes. Basically, after the fight scenes, which seems to be what's carrying the previews presueding MOST to go see, I was "the most" will be fatigue. But dont you HATE when the whole preview is the movieSpeaking on previews that "carry the movie"......ummmm hello? every Tyler Perry movie...shhhhhhh, we'll keep that hush. omg haha @ "The Left Behind" movie...saw it, and it was such the predictable "Sunday gathering"......everyone gets a second change. Right. I never saw "The End of the Affair" but WORST movie I ever seen was "A River Runs Thru it" w/Brad Pitt.....SMH. I think Im going to come to you before I go see're really good :)

Have you seen "Precious" or "Avatar" yet? I've seen Precious...that has less victory in the end than we thought should've had more of. And Avatar...they say is 3 hours, so I'm wondering is it another first hour & 1/2 of nothing than the last 2 boats sinking and people crying (literally) from the screen to the backdoor of the tell :) OK, I'm done.......just wanted to talk. Of course, I will still see Eli, just to view the madness....I mean you got to.

Bye :) I'm NOW a big fan of your blog dude! :) P.S. You should really do movie reviews seriously.

Tuesdai Noelle said...

Reprise: I would be "the most"

Rubbav1 said...

To answer Dav3, the answer is pretension, in other words, how much are they taking the source material seriously. Daybreakers is a satire, that has fun with the concepts of vampires. Eli is a biblical morality tale disguised as Mad Max and has fun with neither.

No film should ever take itself too seriously.

Rubbav1 said...

And no, if you look at Avatar it's pretty obvious that they're not really taking its green, anti-war message serious either or else they wouldn't have made their war look so bright and fun.

MetricFurlong said...

Long time reader, first time poster (I considered saying something on The Escapist forums, but that thread devolved into a religious flamewar really quickly and then someone made a comment that the Left Behind books were well-written and I had to step away from the computer before I posted something that would get myself banned).
Due to being from the UK, the most I'd seen of this was a really short sting/teaser so I had no real idea of any elements of the plot (although granted my cinema experience is a bit lacking). I'm not much of a fan of action films, and even well-done fight scenes aren't generally enough to pacify me in the face of poor story so I have no real plans to see this film.

I agree a lot with your complaint about giving God an active role in a story. Omnipotence frequently makes for a boring character and when an omnipotent character is used solely for deus ex machina purposes in a serious story then you're left with an uninteresting story. The key to creaing tension is to make at least plausible that the characters could fail (even if we know they won't due to the narrative). If they have an omnipotent deity actively helping them, then how can they do anything but succeed?

@Rubbav1: I'm inclined to agree, but the difficulty is saying just where the 'taking itself too seriously' line is crossed. It is quite possible to do films with rather outlandish settings or premises that take themselves seriously and still be good. Of course, to do so requires a level of skill and creativity that simply isn't there in the majority of fiction.

tyra menendez said...

i knew it would be bad, i just didn't realize how bad.

Rubbav1 said...

This is rather true MetricFurlong oftentimes in this medium creators seem to work in the realms of extremes, where lightening up your subject matter means bringing in Jarjar.

Well, the simply answer is indulgence. No matter what story you're doing you must always find a sense of joy in it. You writing a horror story you better have a sadistic glee in describing bloody death scenes. You making a superhero movie you better like a good complex action scenes, or have at least jumped on your bed pretending to be Superman at one point in your youth. And if you're making a Christian morality fable, focus on the good parts of the Bible, you know the ones when you were a kid that didn't make you stay up for hours with the lights on, the chapters that didn't include death and destruction but were about love (The Bing Crosby Bible).

A filmmaker always should have fun with very aspect of their film, each frame should be beautiful, all the lighting should be ironic, the score should capture the mood pretty damn well. It's not that hard to do, the hard part is caring enough to (I'm talking with experience here). But Eli's main problem is that's filmed in such a banal way that it's hard to distract you from its cheesy moral tale which also isn't very fun or even hopeful. Seriousness is not the same as pretentiousness. Seriousness is the absence of visible comedy. Pretentiousness is the absence of coherent joy.

Alright, I'm not entirely sure if that makes sense, does it?

Dave said...

in other news, sandra bullokc just got a golden globe for the blind side. Bob is gonna be pissed.

CrunchyEmpanada said...

To other commenters: Am I the only one then who saw no moral tale? Maybe I'm stupid. So can you guys tell me what the moral was?

And to Bob: I did have a long post about everything I hated in this review, but then I figured that'd be stupid to post so instead I'll just say that I disagree with basically everything you've said here, and every single side-comment you made for one reason or another. And that I liked this plot. If this movie was presented to me as "some guy walks the bible across the wasteland on a divinely inspired journy" I'd go see it because that sounds awesome to me. As it happens, all I saw was the promotional poster and the title (and even then I assumed it would have something to do with the Bible).

Rubbav1 - How in the world was Daybreakers a satire? And how did it "have fun with the concept of vampires"? It had vampires in it...they were extremely common and the movie tried to show what a world like that would be is that "having fun" with the concept of vampires, or a satire? What exactly am I missing?

Rubbav1 said...


Vampires don't exist. Treating vampires as if they were real and had problems that parallel the world's problem with energy shortages, that's hilarious. That's the satire, using ironic parallels and exaggerations to show social problems for comedic effect.

Also how is it not fun to kill vampires with crossbows and muscle cars? But maybe I'm missing something. What would you call Daybreakers other than vampire-action-horror-satire film?

Robert said...

yeah this movie is way way too cliche post end of times. You almost expected Denzel to walk by Vego and his son from the road at some point.

CrunchyEmpanada said...


I'd call Daybreakers a vampire-thriller-horror film. Probably because I don't see any satire. Nor real comedy. There were funny scenes in that movie, but the entire premise and situation were not funny, and were not set up to be funny.

And you act as if this movie was made specifically to talk about energy shortages (even if it was, you'd have a hard case to make, that it was "satire"). It almost certainly wasn't. It basically doesn't talk about energy shortages at all.

And for it to have been satire it shouldn't have painted all the Vampires who wanted to stay vampires as universally wrong. It didn't do this. It straight up acted like it was wrong, like the blood shortage was actually bad, etc, etc. A satire would have claimed the opposite.

But I suppose I'll neglect to respond further about this, after all, this isn't the right comment-box for it.

tyra menendez said...

satire isn't comedy, per se. defines satire, thus: 1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.
2. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.
3. a literary genre comprising such compositions.

Anonymous said...

I saw the movie. It's actually pretty good. Good pacing, good action, decent story, oldman a little too over the top, and a half decent twist at the end. It's essentially post apocalyptic samurai movie, no more no less. The trailers did spoil the book mystery though and that did piss me off.

People are so damn hateful nowadays. They expect every movie to be within the skill and measure of avatar, the prestige or dark night nowadays or they shrug it off as stupid and lame. Whatever happened to just going to watch a film in the hopes of simply seeing a good movie and not going to expect the second coming of movie jesus (i.e. ridley scott making a sci fi movie that trumps Blade Runner or getting a film as good as strange days.) If more critics/bloggers had better expectations and didn't set their sights so damn high, they would realize a lot of films are pretty damn good, not classics, mind you but fun watchable movie that gives you something to think about.

And really is a bible that stupid, look at the crusades, remove the swords, racism and bloodshed, and you get two groups beating eachother up over their respective religious tomes. It seriously is not that incredulous.

In conclusion. The film is actually a very good entry into the post apocalyptic genre. Not a classic mind you, but a pretty damn good movie. People need to learn to simply enjoy themselves and stop being so damn specific and anal on what they interpret a good movie to be.

CrunchyEmpanada said...

It's funny that I dislike all three of those movies. I think The Book of Eli is better than all three of those.

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