Tag Archives: Gary Oldman

The Book of Eli


I’m uncertain whether it’s a penchant for witnessing humanity’s worst in action or seeing a portrait of our lot at its best but I’ve always had a soft spot for post-apocalyptic films. Watching the society I rely upon for my sustenance crumbled always makes for a good tale and over and over again I keep revisiting old post-apocalyptic films and searching out for new ones. Today I watched The Hughes Brothers film The Book of Eli – a post-apocalyptic film about the Bible. Although I didn’t think The Book of Eli was excellent I did enjoy it and felt the commentary about religion was powerful. After the 2009 release of The Road, adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s Pultizer Prize winning novel, it’s difficult to look at the genre without a sharp dose of criticism for anything that doesn’t compare. Unfortunately, The Book of Eli doesn’t come close to The Road but it’s still a decent piece of film and isn’t without merit.
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Hannibal

Hannibal: Ridley Scott’s post-modern, hyper-stylized sequel to Jonathan Demme’s 1991 Academy Award winning film is enjoyable, yet quite different from The Silence of the Lambs. Whereas The Silence of the Lambs is a psychological serial killer thriller, juxtaposing a traditional looking FBI film with a macabre and intimate look at a serial killer’s abode, Hannibal takes a much different approach. It is about lust; the lust for the chase, for money, for revenge, and also for redemption. I remember seeing Hannibal in theaters about ten years ago and was warned by the ushers the film is extremely violent; they were even handing out barf bags in the lobby – a move I felt unnecessary for an R-rated film. Back in those days I watched a great deal of violent films (it’s around this time I first saw Deodato’s Cannibal and Jungle Holocaust) and thought their warning was gratuitous. I still do. Hannibal is a very violent film but it doesn’t compare to the output of other filmmakers. Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, or even Robert Rodriguez’s latest offering, Machete, features more gore than Scott’s sequel. However, I don’t believe it’s the visual gore which marks Hannibal a violent film. Rather, I believe it’s the intentions of the murders (both by Hannibal and others) and the lust for carnage and revenge filling Hannibal’s antagonist which makes Hannibal a particularly violent piece of cinema.
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