3 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
what Eli saw....
11 October 2010
Another Denzel Film, another Apocalyptic Film.

Two elements which generally serve to put me off quickly. This film was originally explained and made exciting to me by virtue of its action elements. More specifically I was told this movie will blow your mind because Eli - Denzels character is nothing short of a master of fighting skill.

I knew nothing of this film, except that it starred Denzel, an actor lost on me for years. I cast this film away in advance of seeing it worried that it may end up as John Q on the longest training day in the history of Mad Max' world.

I see reviewers take from this film an overtly Christian theme, while its prevalent it adds for me a certain level of solitude of the film. Plainly if he didn't follow that book, or any religious book his character would come across more as a vigilante rather than a follower.

Denzel plays a quiet character void of the actors usual ego and obsessive charisma. He is solemn, but sharp - his interactions with all other characters in the film show his sincerity, this sincerity carries with him throughout the movie.

The action was as was explained to me in advance, still unexpected - it was gory, it was fast, it was god-like. It often forced you to question the actual history of the Eli, who was he?, what was he capable of?....could he be killed? Another interesting and unexpected element of the film was the music both ambient and intentional. It plays an active role throughout, with an industrial score of sharp un-film like shrills and pre-apocalyptic music. In the early stages of the movie it sets a tone of sincerity and warmth throughout the film. Eli himself find solitude in music, as a guide.

Im not entirely sure what those who did not enjoy the ending expected. By the time the films ending came about, I was without any further expectation, I was seeing what Eli saw and that became the movie.

What Eli saw....

The book of Eli was a perfectly engaging movie with stunning cinematography abound, moving music, tedious character development and a tone in movies often lost in a world were movie watchers are too lazy to go on the journey shared.

For the first time in 29 years I've seen the genius of Denzel in a genre I don't prefer,wrapped up in a Christian theme with thoroughly violent action.
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constantly funny it may not be, but clever it is
4 October 2009
There is a certain re-training of the mind that a film expects of us in order to fully enjoy the place it seeks to take us. This film, in the first act we are taught, in a rather funny way that the world of this film is to say the least - honest. Everyone coldly delivers, whether asked or not - exactly what is on their mind. It takes a good 1/4 of the film to fully understand exactly the world where there is no opposite to truth. And those moments are worth the price of admission alone.

As a viewer I enjoyed the random interactions that a world where truth is embedded in the framework of all social interaction. With no deviation.

By the time Gervais comes across the knowledge that an alternate way of communication exists in "saying what wasn't" we embark on a tale of a man who essentially won the "lying Lottery".

The humour is subtle, the contrast of religious themes are not so, and that may have been the weakest of elements in the film. Sadly those who think there is a single element of disrespect towards religion from within the world of the film are I believe incorrect. While religious digs may have been the impetus for the films creation, from within the film, Mark's character seems to make a clear delineation between an evil lie and a white lie. And his character never seems comfortable for too long with a lie that affects the lives of many.

The film does have a one of the more sweet and quietly powerful scenes where Mark creates an alternate afterlife for his mother. Because I don't view this film through a filter of religious expectation I found this scene to be simply powerful and poignant.

I enjoyed it, as did my partner. We talked the whole way home, and recreated some of the laughs on the way to the car. That is not a lie.
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Blood Diamond (2006)
a journey with grit that washes to reveal a true Hollywood gem
28 December 2006
Walking out of Hotel Rwanda I was challenged to explain why I was the only one of my group who thought that it lacked, why its story seemed to remain on the surface. I never felt it did the genocide's' justice. Having watched BLOOD DIAMOND it was made perfectly clear to me why I felt that way during Hotel Rwanda; in BLOOD DIAMOND we watch a long, but well told tale of the atrocities that existed in the 80's and 90's in the race for diamonds.

The truth of that period is well known, and director Edward Zwick does well to make the film grounded in truth through representation of the struggle as history says it was. Rather than watering down the violence, and the pain that results, Zwick puts the viewer on the ground, in a run for their life.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou and Jennifer Connolly all commanded the screen, each possessing differing morals and personal direction; and in both cases much of their existence seemed to be ultimately determined by the civil wars of Sierra Leone.

Dicaprio is convincing as a White African, with his Southern African slang, and Hounsou appears firm, solid in this role as a father and man of great conviction; he is strong. And Connolly, always bright, strong delivery; with a passionate eloquence that adds a sincerity to the films telling that had a calming effect on the films jarring action.

At some point during the film I can imagine that many people watching thought to themselves, "was the struggle there this bad?", the film does not shy away from taking its narrative directly into the heart of the struggle, often times it feels like struggle is following them. As the story plays out it becomes journey, a search for a diamond and a search for a son; it is all of the experiences that along the way that make the journey of this film most enjoyable.
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