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    Book of Eli

    Post  Guest on July 5th 2010, 12:39 pm

    Just watched the Book of Eli the other night .. Very good film..From the cinematography (SP?) to character development and soundtrack.. Loved how they shot the film in a "pseudo" black in white.. Denzel was an excellent choice as Eli... Gary Oldmans Carnegie was brilliant.. Whod have thought Commissioner Gordon could be such a good bad guy.. But more importanly was the main plot. The idea of a man protecting the Word of GOD with his LIFE and following what he felt to be the LORDS direction was excellent.

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    Re: Book of Eli

    Post  hvymtlcowboy on July 5th 2010, 12:42 pm

    I totally agree. I Loved this movie. I plan on adding this one to my collection. cheers

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    Re: Book of Eli

    Post  Paeter on July 5th 2010, 1:37 pm

    quigonnjae wrote:Whod have thought Commissioner Gordon could be such a good bad guy.

    Actually, he was returning to his film roots a bit with this role. He played the title character in Bram Stoker's Dracula and was also the weapon's dealer in The Fifth Element. In the special features I heard them talking about him being the bad guy in The Professional, too. But I'm not sure if I've seen that one if that is the case.


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    Re: Book of Eli

    Post  Guest on July 5th 2010, 2:30 pm

    Good point Paeter! Hadnt seen Dracula and guess I didnt put it together about the Fifth Element ever after having seen it for the "how many-eth" time... LOL

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    Re: Book of Eli

    Post  Hackmodford on July 5th 2010, 8:01 pm

    I just watched it. Really good. Wish there were more like it.


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    Re: Book of Eli

    Post  Rickster on July 5th 2010, 9:47 pm

    Paeter wrote:
    quigonnjae wrote:Whod have thought Commissioner Gordon could be such a good bad guy.

    Actually, he was returning to his film roots a bit with this role. He played the title character in Bram Stoker's Dracula and was also the weapon's dealer in The Fifth Element. In the special features I heard them talking about him being the bad guy in The Professional, too. But I'm not sure if I've seen that one if that is the case.

    Yeah i rember telling my friend about Batman Begins and I said I think thats the first time I ever saw Gary Oldman as a good guy and he didn't believe me

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    Re: Book of Eli

    Post  vagabond on August 21st 2010, 4:40 pm

    I read somewhere that the directors actually toned down the religious message from the early drafts of script. This was a great movie, but I would love to read the original version.

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    Re: Book of Eli

    Post  WhiteBoy on August 23rd 2010, 2:41 pm

    Yeah, I agree...good flick!


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    Re: Book of Eli

    Post  mindspike on August 24th 2010, 10:31 am

    Interesting to see so many supportive posts of this movie. I had quite a different experience when I finally rented this movie.

    The cinematography was indeed very nice; it was visually very striking. But I had trouble swallowing the religious and cultural themes of the film.

    Both Eli and Gary Oldman's character extol the importance of "faith", but neither one seems to know what faith is or what its basis should be. Oldman knows himself to be a sinner, seeks redemption from scripture, and acts in accordance with a worldview that seeks to be religious while maintaining a predominantly secular methodology. Eli believes himself to be religious, based on an ecstatic experience unconnected to either scripture or revelation. Both men are violent, obsessive, and discompassionate; these are thoroughly unlikable characters driven by religious desire - one to rebuild society based on a Bible he barely remembers as being the source of civilization, and one desperate to keep the last Bible from falling into the hands of those unworthy of its knowledge. This is a clear commentary on religious institution without addressing actual salvation.

    At the culmination of the two character arcs, Eli's life is completed by preserving the Bible for its cultural value, placing its sole distribution in the hands of an educated, isolationist minority. His mantle is assumed by the girl, but she conspicuously departs Alcatraz without taking a Bible along - her mission is unclear. Oldman finally obtains the means of personal and societal salvation, but is denied access to it by a society that has rejected civilized behavior, without any religious implication at all. Oldman's ultimate sin does not lie in his behavior, but in the fact that he is not educated enough to understand scripture, never having learned braille.

    The conclusion? The Bible is important culturally, and education is the ultimate civilizing influence on society - a fairly tired mantra trotted out periodically by peaceniks opposed to war, prison, or whatever is in vogue to oppose that season. Add in a liberal sprinkling of profanity, gore, and brutality for a movie that is offensive not only in subtext but in overt content as well.

    Finally, Eli was not blind - at no point did he act like a blind man. The fact that the Bible was in braille was a device to illustrate Oldman's ignorance and the ease with which a single person can derail civilization (the blind lady refuses to read the Bible).

    With so many supportive posts, I'm intrigued to see where viewpoints differ from mine.

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    Re: Book of Eli

    Post  Hackmodford on August 24th 2010, 10:38 am

    First off Eli was blind but is not now but then became blind (I know for sure he was blind)

    How do I know this? Because how could he read braille?

    Also I can agree with you on what the movie was saying but I was taking it from Eli's point of view that he had the get the scripture West... that's all he had to do it wasn't up to him what the "scholars" did with the bible. And the "scholars" did take the view you're suggesting but, nowhere did Eli take that view.

    Also I "think" God gave him his sight back so that he could fullfill his purpose.

    In regards to violence... wasn't David a "warrior"? Eli never tried to provoke a violent encounter but if his life depended on it he was willing to act.

    I don't know... just my thoughts Wink


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    Re: Book of Eli

    Post  mindspike on August 24th 2010, 11:35 am

    I can read braille - though I'm horribly out of practice. Many librarians and other educated people do, reinforcing Eli's virtue as extending from his intellectual accomplishments (including memorizing the Bible), and condemning Oldman's lack of education. So no, nothing in Eli's behavior convinces me at any point that he is blind - whatever the filmmaker's intention.

    The fact that the scholars treated the Bible the way they did affirms only the virtue of a vaguely defined faith, without treating the far more spiritually significant item of the ecstatic experience that prompted Eli's journey. Eli himself passes up several opportunities to act upon the text of the Bible he has memorized: he refuses to help a woman in distress after killing her companions; he refuses to preach in the town, or assist Oldman in obtaining a copy of the text; he qualifies the existence of the text as important without affirming the content of the text as important in his conversation with the girl and the scholars.

    I've nothing against violence, but this movie indulges in graphic depictions of disemboweling, decapitation, and rape. The writers are attempting to force the audience to consider Eli a badass and the bad guys despicable. Along with the presence of liberal profanity, it's a mark of lazy writing and it confuses the substance of the story by focusing attention on the details of depravity.


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    Re: Book of Eli

    Post  Paeter on August 24th 2010, 8:59 pm

    Hey mindspike-

    Honestly, I wasn't expecting Eli to be a model Christian.
    The characters are messy and live in a messed up world. God chooses lots of losers to do amazing things, and they fail a ton along the way. In watching the commentary, I'm also in no way convinced that the film makers were believers, with the possible exceptions of Denzel Washington (producer) and the writer. I don't think of this as a "Christian" film, neither did the creators.

    I applaud your literary analysis of the film, as it certainly goes deeper than my analysis did. I'd also propose the possibility that it might be going deeper than the film makers did and "over thinking" the subtext of the film a bit.

    Whatever the case, I think the movie is a great springboard for discussion and can potentially be used to draw people to truth, provided they don't have sensitivity to the content issues you brought up.

    Oh, and kudos to you reading braille! That's crazy cool!


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    Re: Book of Eli

    Post  mindspike on August 25th 2010, 10:42 am

    I don't "over think" subtext. Film makers simply fail to anticipate my unique perspective. study

    I agree this was never intended as Christian propaganda, but I've found it to be a poor springboard for discussion. Your correct, Paeter, that Eli is not a model Christian. In fact, he is such a poor Christian that he is considered by my friends to be a *model* Christian. He is proud, powerful, brutal, callous, "spiritual", profane, and paranoid. He is "what Christians would be like if Christians were cool".

    That was the end of the discussion, and I just don't know how to respond to it other than to try to illustrate the fact that Eli's virtue doesn't lie in his spirituality, but in his education.


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    Just my two cents

    Post  Drew.Rub on September 10th 2010, 7:38 am

    I have enjoyed seeing the discussion on this film. I enjoyed the movie as an action flick, was pleased in the director's choice of lighting and camera work (helped bring the feel of a washed out, ruined, desolate world through for me), and was satisfied with the casting and performances of the actors. Probably the only character I didn't really get drawn into was Carnegie's right hand man. Felt he was too much of a prop, where there might have been a chance for better use of his character. OF course it's early in the morning and I haven't seen Eli in awhile, so I can't get too deeper into that at the moment.

    What I liked most about this movie though was a much less statement on what Christians should be like or what makes a person a Christian. From a Christian/religous viewpoint, what I saw was a movie that took one Biblical truth, that God's word will remain and will last although the things of man will fade away, and played on that. I must agree that nowhere in the movie did I see Eli actually profess to be a Christian. although he did comment that we "walk by faith", I don't take that one statement to mean he was a true believer. Eli had an experience that convinced him "The Book" was important, and yes, he memorized the text of the Bible, but that was in defference to his "mission" to save it for others to distribute. Carnegie represented the "secular" worldy views/powers that tend to want to control and or subvert religous texts (of any faith these days it seems) for their own purposes. It was obvious from his dialogue that he wanted to control "the words" so that he could gain more power and more influence. That was his sole motivation in finding the book.

    The writers did not invite us into Eli's head, so we aren't privy to all the insight he might have been given into why Carnegie wanted the book. We should deduce that he was continuing to be given spiritual insight (like the voice that directed him to the book and told to go west) that the book wasn't to belong to Carnegie. By completing his mission to bring the book to Alcatraz, God has proven his word true, and that his word will survive.

    On a secular view of the movie, I see Eli and Carnegie as the two differing viewpoints on the freedom of information in society. Eli has information that he feels should be free and available to anyone, and by taking it to Alcatraz, knows that it will be preserved and distributed and thus allowed to flow more freely to help society. Carnegie represents those who feel that the control and domination/subjugation of information is the way to retain power and control over the people. Suppressive governments and media deciding what the people should be allowed to hear and "think", providing the ruling elite a dominating place in society.

    Okay, that's my two cents. As an action flick, it was fun, grity, and enjoyable (to me). I really don't think it should be taken as more than that, but there's a chance for people to see and discuss viewpoints from it.

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