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Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Book of Eli, The (Blu-ray) (2010)

Book of Eli, The (Blu-ray) (2010)

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Released 17-Aug-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Adventure Audio-Visual Commentary-Survival Guide Mode: Picture-in-picture commentary
Featurette-Making Of-Eli's Journey
More…-The Lost Tales - Billy
Featurette-Starting Over
Featurette-The Book of Eli Soundtrack
Deleted Scenes
Trailer-Trailers for other Sony releases
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 117:36
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Albert Hughes
Allen Hughes
Alcon Entertainment
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Denzel Washington
Gary Oldman
Mila Kunis
Ray Stevenson
Jennifer Beals
Evan Jones
Joe Pingue
Frances De La Tour
Case ?
RPI $49.95 Music Atticus Ross
Leopold Ross
Claudia Sarne

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Spanish DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Catalan Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

Eli: “There’s always a choice”

     In The Book of Eli The Hughes Brothers tackle a post-apocalyptic world in which Eli (Denzel Washington), following instructions from within his head, has walked westwards for 30 years protecting his book from hijackers and other scavengers. He is a self sufficient man, proficient in a wide range of survival skills, weaponry and martial arts, convinced that his destiny is to deliver the book to someone in the west who will be able to use it for good. In a ramshackle town in the middle of a desolated landscape, Carnegie (Gary Oldman) sends motorcycle gangs out onto the roads to kill and rob wayfarers in search of a special book, a book he knows is ”a weapon aimed at the heart of the weak and desperate”. With the words in the book Carnegie believes he can control the minds of the helpless and expand his operations. These conflicting aspirations come to a head when Eli, with the book, walks into Carnegie’s town.

     Within the town are Claudia (Jennifer Beals) and her daughter Solara (Mila Kunis). Both are basically enslaved to Carnegie and his chief enforcer Redridge (Ray Stevenson), who desires Solara for himself. When Carnegie discovers Eli has “the” book, his attempts to tempt Eli to join him, and then to use force when Eli refuses, result in Eli and Solara fleeing across the desert with Carnegie’s gang in pursuit. In a deserted landscape, devoid of colour and trees, the main participants clash in an attempt to gain what each most desires.

     The Book of Eli is set in a bleak post-apocalyptic world without humanity or colour. The landscape is one of total desolation; destroyed freeways, roads stretching to the horizon fringed with the blackened carcasses of motor vehicles. There is no green, no trees; all the ground is black and there is no sun or blue sky. It is a bleak, dark future. In the extras it is revealed that the intention was to make the sky a character; it is grey and dark, with only rare patches of blue. The colour palate is also desaturated; 70% of the colour has been removed leaving a muted palate. Everything is brown, yellow or grey and there are no bright colours, only a lightening of the darkness and less desaturation as Eli nears his destination in the west.

     The Book of Eli paints a depressing future for humanity, but there is hope; the key to survival is faith and belief, and while in the extras it is suggested that any book of faith could be used, it is clearly The Bible that is the catalyst for humanity’s survival, as long as it is in the right hands. In this scenario, Eli can be seen as a prophet, carrying “the word” alone into the wilderness; and Denzel Washington is excellent as a man forced into violence who may just find his redemption through helping others. Washington’s martial arts skills are not too bad either. Gary Oldman has a record of playing over the top villains (Leon or The Fifth Element for example) and here he is mostly more restrained; mostly anyway. Mila Kunis is OK, but in a lesser part Jennifer Beals is excellent. However, it is the visual look of the film that is most impressive.

     The Book of Eli is a worthy addition to the spate of post-apocalyptic films that have been released recently. It looks great, builds tension well, features an excellent Denzel Washington and good action sequences. It is well worth a look.

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Transfer Quality


     The Book of Eli is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, and is 16x9 enhanced. The original ratio was 2.35:1.

     As noted, the colour palate is totally desaturated so that browns are dominant. There are many matte paintings and green screen work and everything has been treated in post production to effect the final look of the film. The print is also very dark, and in some scenes it is difficult to see faces or detail. This is intentional – when light is projected onto faces the detail is extraordinary; every whisker, dirt mark, sweat bead or chafed lip is clear to see. Blacks are solid and shadow detail, within the choices outlined, is fine. Brightness and contrast are also great. I did not notice any film or film to video artefacts.

     English and English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available as well as subtitles in a variety of European languages.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     Audio is a choice of English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD MA or Catalan Dolby Digital 5.1. The English DTS is seriously impressive. The dialogue is always clear, even when lines are mumbled, while the front and surround speakers provide an enveloping experience. Vehicles, gunfire and effects are sharp and sometimes crack out in a startling fashion; the subwoofer is used constantly to support the action.

     Lip synchronisation was fine.

     The original score by Atticus Ross, Claudia Sarne and Leopold Ross is supported by other music such as Al Green’s How Can You Mend a Broken Heart and Ennio Morricone’s Once Upon a Time in America. The music is used sparsely and is a very effective support for the themes and tone of the film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Survival Guide Mode

     Comments by many of the cast and crew, storyboards, behind the scenes, concept art and focus points totalling approximately 80 minutes accessed through “picture-in-picture” while the film is playing provide a genuine and comprehensive look at the production of The Book of Eli. Interviewees include Albert & Allen Hughes (directors), Jon Farhat (visual effects supervisor), Tommy Lee Edwards & Chris Weston (concept artists), Joel Silver, Andrew A. Kosove & Broderick Johnson (producers), Gary Whitta (screenwriter), Jeff Imada (stunt coordinator) and actors Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman & Mila Kunis. The individual “focus points” (totalling 35:23) can also be selected through the features menu where they can be played individually or via a “play all” function. Focus point sections are: :

Eli’s Journey (18:01)

     Basically a “making of” with interviews and behind the scenes footage covering the look of the film, Eli as hero, the role of faith and knowledge. Much of the interview footage is also included in the p-i-p “Survival Guide”.

The Lost Tales - Billy (5:08)

     Director Allen Hughes introduces a graphic novel of the back story of Carnegie. Includes music, dialogue and effects.

Starting Over (13:09)

     If an apocalyptic event occurred, how would the survivors go about rebuilding the world? Opinions aplenty here from five academics, the two Hughes brothers, two producers of the film, the screenwriter and the stars, including Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis and Jennifer Beals. Given the number of talking heads in the 13 minute running time one should not expect anything too profound. In essence, apparently faith, belief and the Bible will provide the key.

The Book of Eli Soundtrack (5:05)

     Allen Hughes (Director) and Atticus Ross (Composer) discuss their joint background and the music of the film.

Deleted Scenes (2:03)

     Four short deleted / extended scenes. None of any importance, they are entitled: :


     Included is Blu-ray trailer (2:05), The Taking of Pelham 123 (2:05), The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2:01), Armored (2:37), Legion (2:04), and The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (1:50).

BD live

     Access trivia, chat to others, etc., if your Blu-ray is connected to the internet.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region A US and Region B UK Blu-ray editions are identical to our Region B except for minor matters such as different trailers and language options. The Region A does include a digital copy of the film but really there is little reason to go beyond the local product.


     In The Book of Eli The Hughes Brothers present their take of a post-apocalyptic world. It looks great, builds tension well, features an excellent Denzel Washington and good action sequences. Video and audio are excellent, extras are extensive and mostly worthwhile. Recommended.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Friday, September 03, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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