Saturday, 5 June 2010

"I've Got To Go West"

The One Where I Review The One That Got Away

I'm having a run of seeing films for a second or third time, at the moment. The Road, Where The Whild Things Are. I think they all do their bit for films, in 2010. Granted, this is no glory year (certainly no 1999), but there are some hidden gems.

Question is... Is Book Eli any good?
Well, it's all types of good, actually.

The Hughes Brothers have made three films, previously. None have done particularly well, but all three have a cult following. Menace II Society, Dead Presidents and From Hell. The first two have a connection (about black youth, and how money can be a downfall for anyone). From Hell was a huge departure, and to this day I love Johnny Depps drugged up performance. It's a trippy film, and a genuinly creepy one.

Book of Eli is another massive departure. Their biggest success by far, too - after years in the wilderness.

I hate reviews where the plot is summerised. Look on the back of the box,  if you want that. Or IMDB it. Instead, I'd want to know what sort of person would like this. Is it worth two hours of my time? So I'd ask some questions...

* Do I like Denzel Washington? I hope so, because he's almost entirely in every scene. Couple that with no dialogue for the first ten minutes, and - you know - it helps to like him.

* Do I like Gary Oldman, in "Shouty Al" mode. Good. Because he shouts. And swears. A lot. But he adds class to any film he's in. He reminds me of what Daniel Day Lewis would be like if he makes more films.

* Do I like stylized violence? I hope you mean it, when you say yes. This isn't a bloody film. Instead, you get Denzel luring hoods into the darkness, so he can destroy them with his big sword. (Not in a gay way, either).

I think you're halfway there, if 2/3 got yes's. Try and avoid plot summaries, and definately IMDB threads for discussing "issues" with the ending. Do that, and you are well away. I liked it far more, second time. Mrs T, who turned to me after Denzel cut someones hand off, and said:

"I thought this was more of a thriller... like Da Vinci Code?"

Ended up loving it. As with all of their films, the violence is hard hitting, and slickly edited. Also like all of their previous efforts, there is a deeper message with the film. It just depends on how deep you're willing to look.

As an aside, I realize I don't talk too much about the transfer of the Blu etc. Check here for that. My TV is a 50" monster, because I wanted to see things as close to a cinema experience as possible. There are millions of "better" TVs - but when you are not stood next to twenty in John Lewis, do you really notice the difference?  There certainly aren't many bigger. Eli looked stunning. The landscape, and whats happened to it, make that so. That, and the fact the film is so recent.

Beware of the trailer as it mention what I would consider to be two things in the movie, I would rather not no. It will give you an idea of what it's about, though.

But again... for me, it's the sound. 5.1 DTS. There is a scene, that may be my favourite action scene of the year. A house is literally shot to bits, with the camera zooming in and out of the bullet holes. The way the bullets zinged around the rear speakers, was incredible. Mrs T looked at me, as if to say,

"This surround sound was the greatest thing you've ever bought me."

She's not wrong.

If you fancied this, try out some of their previous efforts - so it's not so long before their next outing.

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