I found The Book of Eli (Warner) more interesting than the conceptual mix of post-apocalyptic spaghetti western atmosphere (lone stranger, corrupt town, searing sun and desert of ash) and spiritual odyssey by a kick-ass pilgrim might suggest, and suggest why in my MSN review here. Denzel Washington is well cast as the soft-spoken traveler on a mission, a survivalist samurai who never provokes and never backs down and if Gary Oldman overacts the role of the despot with a dream (note that he’s reading a Mussolini biography in his introduction), he at least tries to inject a little color into the palette. But I appreciate the acknowledgment that power is not merely control of water and trading protection for obedience. In a culture where books are just as scarce as a resource as food (for reasons ultimately spelled out in the dialogue; desperation and despair creates the ideal situation for hysteria and extremism), knowledge really is power. See the MSN review for notes on the supplements.
I review the other substantial marquee release this week, Youth in Revolt (Sony), on MSN here, and I reviewed the “Interview with a Doomsday Prognosticator” documentary Collapse (MPI) for The Stranger back in 2009, with notes on the DVD supplements on MSN here.