After outlaw leader Ben Wade is captured in a small town, his gang continue to threaten. Small-time rancher Dan Evans is persuaded to take Wade in secret to the nearest town with a railway ... See full summary »
Bill and Jo Harding, advanced storm chasers on the brink of divorce, must join together to create an advanced weather alert system by putting themselves in the cross-hairs of extremely violent tornadoes.
In a violent post-apocalyptic society, a drifter, Eli, has been wandering westward across North America for the last thirty years. He finds solace in a unique book which he carries on his person and guards closely, whilst surviving by hunting small animals and seeking goods in destroyed houses and vehicles to trade in villages for water and supplies. When he reaches a village ruled by the powerful mobster, Carnegie, the man views Eli's impressive fighting skills and offers Eli a place within his gang. Carnegie presses his blind lover Claudia to send her daughter, Solara, to at least convince Eli to spend the night by sleeping with him. However, Eli proves to be the better man when he gently declines her advances. The girl sees Eli's book, and when Carnegie finds out he beats her mother until she reveals what she saw. Carnegie sends his gang into the wasteland to take the book from Eli, but the man proves to be a formidable foe as he makes it more than clear that if they want the book,... Written by
Harry Jankel, London, England
Eli's speech before he fights Carnegie's men in the bar is taken from Genesis 3:17-19. This is where God expels Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. See more »
A wind-up record player would run at 78 rpm - too fast for a 70s disco single and way too fast for a 70s LP. Also, the needle would almost certainly gouge the record rather than follow the vibrations in the groove. See more »
Young Woman Hijacker:
Please, don't hurt me. Here, take anything you want. You want some food? Take it.
I'm not gonna hurt you.
Young Woman Hijacker:
Yeah? That's what the last guy said. Could... could you help me? The wheel came off. I can't fix it. Maybe if I... if I could... but I can't.
You know the only good thing about no soap... is that you can smell hijackers a mile off!
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Aside from the title, there are no opening credits. See more »
Those who think that "The Book of Eli" is religious (Christian) propaganda should have been around in the 1950's and '60's when Biblical epics ruled the box-office. They'd be clawing at the walls and screaming for the nearest exit. In that era what was on movie screens was indicative of North American racial homogeneity and a Christian mindset. I'm as skeptical as I need to be when confronted by dogma from any source, but I do own a copy of the 1959 movie "Ben-Hur". Why? Because it's a beautifully crafted tale of revenge and redemption - a theme that resonates, I'm sure, in religions around the world. So what if there are scenes of Christ offering water to the weary? Those scenes have a reason for being there and I find them very moving. Besides, that movie wasn't made by Christian evangelists, but by Hollywood money-men, who know a good thing when they see it. By definition propaganda is systemic, widespread, deliberate indoctrination or propagation of ideas, doctrines and practices. "Ben-Hur" is the expression of a time and place and is no more Christian propaganda than "The Book of Eli", which is simply a road movie about a man walking across a wasteland once known as America carrying a book to an unknown destination.
After all, what's in a book, right? According to this movie, plenty. Both the hero, Eli (Denzel Washington), and the villain, Carnegie (Gary Oldman), see the same thing in the book (which I guessed, early on, was the Bible), and that thing is power. Carnegie, ruling over a decrepit town full of raggedy survivors, fancies himself as a future demagogue with the Bible as his tool. Ring a bell, anyone? Eli subscribes to a different kind of power, and that is the power of faith. That's it. That's the movie. A movie about faith. Hardly Propaganda Central. The film "Knowing" is about the same thing, only cloaked in science fiction garb. The knowing that the title refers to is the "knowledge" that faith brings. I don't think that it's coincidence that movies, our most popular art form in this secular age, are discussing such things, sometimes with a certain urgency. It seems to me that, as a society, we've misdirected our faith and some of us get all panicky when a movie with a - gasp! - Christian hero arrives on the scene. Why is that? Would it help if the hero were Catholic? Are "The Godfather" movies religious propaganda? After all, they were made by an Italian Roman Catholic and show religious practices. Is giving thanks to "God" for one's blessings somehow subversive? Since when is it offensive for a film-maker to speak from his heart or his experience?
"The Book of Eli", by Albert and Allen Hughes, is a pseudo western and a more than passable action movie, but between the bursts of violence is a tranquil and affecting parable about finding one's way in the world. That the world is an arid desert pock-marked by huge bomb craters under a searing sun hardly seems to matter. Eli has the gift of serenity, and the movie allows actor Denzel Washington, who has a quiet, charismatic presence here, to fully inhabit the spaces, both visual and temporal, on the screen. His character has room to breathe. And what spaces! The film looks absolutely magnificent! Cinematographer Don Burgess has drained almost all of the colour out of the images and what remains sometimes looks remarkably like a monochromatic silent movie that reminded me, in part, of the desert scenes in "Greed". After the climactic set-piece at the farmhouse the film moves deliberately toward its conclusion, but for once the ending did not disappoint me. There are a couple of wonderful twists, as well as the presence, in the story, of a certain invention which changed human history and which will kindle the re-birth of human knowledge (there are no computers in this film - it's back to basics for mankind). It exists in a kind of post-apocalyptic monastery located, ironically, where society's rejects were once housed. And there is no evangelical hallelujah chorus in these final minutes.
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