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DVD Shopping Bag: Book of Eli Blu-ray

Better the Second Time

By Robert T. Trate     June 15, 2010

Denzel Washington in Book of Eli now DVD and Blu-ray
© Warner Home Video


Eli (Denzel Washington) is on a quest. He believes that God has told him to take a book out west. Where? He isn’t exactly sure but he’ll know his mission is complete when he gets there. The only problem is Eli has to navigate a post apocalyptic America to do so. This isn’t George Miller’s The Road Warrior where gasoline is all that stands between death and salivation. Nor is this Kevin Reynolds’ Waterworld where dry land is the building block for the future. The Book of Eli by Albert and Allen Hughes tackles something a little bit different, faith. Faith in God but also the faith to go on when all hope is lost.
Book of Spoilers (none here)
It is damn near impossible to talk about this film with out ruining the ending. Many people I have spoken with know of the ending and said knowing it the film was enjoyable just not as much. The revelation at the end is something that I thought more people would be talking about but this film had little hoopla at the theaters. The occasional moviegoer probably saw it as another end of the world action flick. I was more than surprised by it and it made me want to sit through it all again. An instant rewind was in my head of every little moment that I had over looked. How could I have missed it all the clues?
Book of Denzel (tons of spoilers)
I am not a huge Denzel Washington fan. I watched Training Day and despite the Academy Award win I thought he was okay. American Gangster was all right (see my review) but perhaps I’ve never been able to escape his portrayal in Glory, his finest performance. That was until I saw The Book of Eli. Perhaps because this is a fantasy piece or because it was released in January but Washington will be long forgotten come award season. To go back and watch every nuance of his performance only showed me how I underestimated Washington as an actor. A second viewing of The Book of Eli further illustrated how layered and prepared Washington was for the role.
There are so many subtle moments where we the audience are caught up in his bleak existence that reveal he was indeed blind so we miss them. Carnegie’s (Gary Oldman) blind girlfriend Claudia (Jennifer Beals) leads the audience to believer there couldn’t to be two blind characters in this movie. That would make the story so much smaller, right? Yet in the course of the film it only adds dimensions and delivers that final blow in which Eli couldn’t bring to Carnegie. In the whole film there are only two scenes in which it might be hard to believe could happen. The first being the opening cat scene. How could he hear it move in that gas mask? The other is the street fight shoot out. That is some Daredevil ass kicking going on there. I guess we too have to have a little faith.
Book of Blu-ray
Warner Brothers is really making the big push for their Blu-rays in releasing The Book of Eli as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo and with a Digital Copy. As Blu-ray owner I love the picture quality and the added special features but to have it on DVD opens it up to lending out this great film. We all recommend movies but when you have it one format that not everyone else has it does make it tough to share a great film such as this.
The Blu-ray has less than two minutes of deleted scenes. The one that is truly memorable is where we see Claudia and Carnegie’s final moments together. There is a motion comic included on the Blu-ray called “Billy” – A Lost Tale which spotlights Carnegie’s origin. Sadly it is barely worth watching as both a story and a motion comic. “Starting Over” on the other hand is an incredible look at a post apocalyptic world and illustrates how society would break down. There are actors and crew supplying their theories but it is the professors and theologiststhat really add the weight to this short documentary.
DVD Shopping Bag’s Top 5 Picks of the Week
I thought from now on I would give you Maniacs my Top 5 picks of the week first. They are still listed in their categories below.
The Book of Eli [Blu-ray]
Flash Gordon [Blu-ray] (1980)
Vengeance Trilogy (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance/Oldboy/Lady Vengeance) [Blu-ray]
Check out my interview with director Chan-wook Park here on Mania.
Darkman [Blu-ray]
Enter the Dragon (Rpkg) [Blu-ray]
Above & Beyond/American Aviator - Double Feature! ~ Liane Balaban, Jonathan Scarfe, Allan Hawco, and Jason Priestley
American Bandits: Frank and Jesse James [Blu-ray] ~ Peter Fonda, Tim Abell, Michael Gaglio, and Jeffrey Combs
Cartel ~ Freddy Douglas
Circle of Pain [Blu-ray] ~ Dean Cain, Tony Schiena, Heath Herring, and Roger Huerta
Day of Vengeance ~ Tony Kitchin, Phil Austin, and David Fine
Dead In The Water/In Her Defense - Double Feature! ~ Bryan Brown, Teri Hatcher, Marlee Matlin, and Michael Dudikoff
Desperados: Down By Law Collection
Enter the Dragon (Rpkg) [Blu-ray] ~ Bruce Lee
Evil Roy Slade/Brothers O'Toole - Double Feature! ~ John Astin, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, and Edie Adams
Horseman (Ws Sub Ac3 Dol) [Blu-ray] ~ Peter Marshall, Brad McMurray, Evert McQueen, and Christopher H. Sommers
Horseman (Ws Sub Ac3 Dol)
Insomnia (2002) (Ws Dub Sub Ac3 Dol Ecoa Rpkg) ~ Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Martin Donovan, and Nicky Katt
Jackie Chan - The Action Pack - 4 Full Length Feature Films! ~ Jackie Chan
Kid With the Golden Arm (Dub Sub) ~ Feng Lu, Philip Kwok, and Lung Wei Wang
La Distancia ~ Jose Coronado, Miguel Angel Silvestre, Federico Luppi, and Belen Lopez
Molly & Lawless John/Yuma - Double Feature! ~ Sam Elliott, Vera Miles, Clu Gulager, and John Anderson
Sitting Bull/Against A Crooked Sky - Double Feature! ~ J. Carrol Naish, Dale Robertson, Iron Eyes Cody, and Mary Murphy
Sister's Keeper ~ Kent Faulcon, Denise Boutte, and Eric Roberts
Terror Inside ~ Corey Feldman, Tanya Memme, Joe Abby, and Susie Feldman
Unthinkable [Blu-ray] ~ Samuel L. Jackson, Carrie-Anne Moss, Michael Sheen, and Stephen Root
Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan Special Dubbed Edition ~ Saeko Chiba
X: The Complete Series ~ Steve Cannon
Avatar The Last Air Bender: Book 1 Water, Vols. 3&4
Avatar the Last Air Bender: Book 1 Water, Vols 1 & 2
Avatar The Last AirBender: Book 3 Fire, Vols 3&4
Avatar The Last Airbender: Book 2 Earth, Vols. 3&4
Avatar The Last Air Bender: Book 2 Earth, Vols. 1&2
Avatar The Last Airbender: Book 3 Fire, Vols 1&2
Family Guy, Vol. 8
Johnny Bravo: Season One ~ Jeff Bennett, Brenda Vaccaro, Mae Whitman, and Benjamin Caya
Mary and Max [Blu-ray] ~ Toni Collette, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Eric Bana
Mary and Max
Youth in Revolt [Blu-ray] ~ Michael Cera
Youth in Revolt
Criterion Collection
Mystery Train (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] ~ Screamin Jay Hawkins, Nicoletta Braschi, and Steve Buscemi
30 Years to Life / Survivor ~ Robert Hays, Hugh O'Conor, and Amy Robins
Animals ~ Marc Blucas, Naveen Andrews, Nicki Aycox, and Eva Amurri
The Cyberstalking / Killer Deal ~ Noah Huntley, Jean Louisa Kelly, and Claudine Wilde
Driller / Driller Killer - Double Feature ~ Tanya Dempsey, Ivy Gullickson, and Jason Burks
Haunting in Connecticut (Bond) ~ Brett Fleisher, Rod Pearson, and Dan Aykroyd
Howling Trilogy - Triple Feature! ~ Barry Otto, Imogen Annesley, and Max Fairchild
Marked & Lost Souls ~ Samuel Child, Mark Colson, Tony Suraci, and John Savage
Riddler's Moon / Battle Planet ~ Corbin Bernsen, Daniel Newman, and Kate Mulgrew
Snakes on a Train/King of the Lost World - Double Feature! ~ Bruce Boxleitner
The Stepfather [Blu-ray] ~ Terry O'Quinn
The Book of Eli (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) ~ Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, and Ray Stevenson
The Book of Eli
Communion ~ Christopher Walken
The Cyberstalking / Killer Deal ~ Noah Huntley, Jean Louisa Kelly, and Claudine Wilde
Darkman [Blu-ray] ~ Liam Neeson, Larry Drake, Nelson Mashita, and Dan Hicks
Flash Gordon [Blu-ray] (1980) ~ Sam Jones, Brian Blessed, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, and Topal
Gamera Super Monster (Cinema Insomnia Slime Lime) ~ Koichi Maeda
Mysterious Island (Bond) ~ Beau Bridges, Patrick Stewart, and Kyle MacLachlan
American Dad Vol. 5 ~ Seth MacFarlane, Wendy Schaal, Scott Grimes, and Rachael MacFarlane
Everwood: The Complete Third Season ~ Treat Williams, Gregory Smith, and John Beasley
Hawthorne: Season One ~ Jada Pinkett Smith
Here's Lucy: Season Three (4pc) ~ Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz Jr., and Lucie Arnaz
Leave it to Beaver: Season Three ~ Jerry Mathers, Barbara Billingsley, Hugh Beaumont, and Tony Dow
MacGyver: The TV Movies ~ Richard Dean Anderson
My Three Sons: Season Two, Vols. 1 & 2 ~ Fred MacMurray, Don Grady, Stanley Livingston, and Barry Livingston
My Three Sons: Season Two, Vol. 2 ~ Fred MacMurray, Don Grady, Stanley Livingston, and Barry Livingston
Sanctuary: The Complete Second Season ~ Amanda Tapping
Supernatural: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] ~ Jared Padalecki
Showgirls (15th Anniversary Sinsational Edition) [Blu-ray] ~ Kyle MacLachlan, Glenn Plummer, and Robert Davi
Vengeance Trilogy (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance/Oldboy/Lady Vengeance) [Blu-ray] ~ Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, and Yeong-ae Lee
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.


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peak37pt 6/15/2010 8:38:24 AM

 I loved Book of Eli. It was a real surprise at how much went into the story. There is a ton of hidden symbolism in the movie and the ending is awesome. It was definitely better than the run-of-the-mill apocalypse movie. 

trazalca 6/15/2010 1:26:49 PM

I went in to seeing BoE as a type of Road Warrior movie with some enigmatic Biblical angle that had me curious. I had NO idea what I was in store for. A splendid film. Since my movie collection is a tad behind the times, I have yet to own a BluRay movie. But if I was to choose my first, this is it.



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