The Book of Eli (2010)

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Released 17-Aug-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Adventure Trailer-Trailers for various Sony releases
Featurette-Making Of-Eli's Journey (17:18)
Featurette-The Book of Eli Soundtrack (4:54)
Deleted Scenes-Four Deleted Scenes (2:03)
Featurette-Starting Over (12:39)
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 112:40 (Case: 117)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (69:51) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Albert Hughes
Allen Hughes
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Denzel Washington
Gary Oldman
Mila Kunis
Ray Stevenson
Jennifer Beals
Evan Jones
Joe Pingue
Frances De La Tour
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Atticus Ross
Leopold Ross
Claudia Sarne


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
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

†††† Post-apocalyptic films have become all the rage lately it seems. With climate change and environmental issues so important to the cultural development of mankind during the 21st century, it's only natural that Hollywood would turn to scripts dealing with potential worldwide disasters. These post-apocalyptic films are not limited to action-genre films; Wall-E is animated, Zombieland is horror/comedy, The Road a very bleak drama and 2012 non-stop action. The Book of Eli fits somewhere in-between a drama and an action film.

†††† Sometime in the near-future the world has seen a cataclysmic event which has destroyed the environment. The world is bleak and grey in this film, there is no green because there is no grass or trees and mankind has become like scavengers, fighting for water and food. Eli (Denzel Washington) is a man who has gone on a 30-year journey from the east-side of the United States to the west, on a mission (from God) to deliver a book. This book, it turns out, is the Bible, and in this world it's rare because it has been destroyed during the war that happened which destroyed the environment. In the middle of a town a man named Carnegie (Gary Oldman) is seeking the Bible as means of controlling the town people and thus taking control of other towns. Eli comes to this town to recharge his iPod (electricity and batteries are no longer viable commodities in this barren civilisation) and to find or buy water. In the local town bar, Eli kills a local gang of scavengers. Carnegie asks Eli to stay after realising that he is learned. Carnegie's blind concubine Claudia (Jennifer Beals) gives Eli some food and water and then Carnegie asks Claudia's daughter Solara (Mila Kunis) to seduce Eli. Eli refuses, and in doing so Solara finds out about Eli's book. Carnegie forces Solara to divulge this information and from this point Carnegie and his gang set upon getting the book from Eli. How Eli responds and whether he gets to the west coast and what becomes of the book is reconciled in the film's third act.

†††† The Book of Eli is directed by the Hughes brothers, their first film together since 2001's From Hell starring Johnny Depp. The film cost approximately $US80 million to make and has so far taken almost $US160 million at the box-office worldwide. The movie was produced for Warner Bros in the United States, but internationally Summit International has distribution rights, which means that the Region 4 DVD and Blu-ray release is from Sony Pictures.

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Transfer Quality

Video

†††† The Book of Eli is a bleak picture with many dark scenes, so don't expect a reference quality video transfer. As per the Blu-ray release reviewed on this site here, 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.

†††† The main presentation comes on the first disc of this two-disc release, which is only 4,64 gb in size, just a bit larger than a single-sided DVD-5 disc. The bitrate fluctuates between 3 and 6 m/b per sec, with the average bitrate being 4.43 m/b per sec. With so many dark images in this transfer sometimes the image looks soft, with macro-blocking evident in black areas. The colour scheme is highly desaturated and the brightness is boosted, with greys, blacks and muted yellows for landscapes the main colours.

†††† There are no major film artefacts issues with this transfer, although I did detect some very minor edge enhancement in some scenes which had their background altered during post-production.

†††† Subtitles are in English and English for the Hearing Impaired.

†††† The RSDL change occurs during a change of scene at 69:51 is quite discreet.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

†††† The audio track is quite impressive, your system is guaranteed a workout on this film! There is one main soundtrack in English. It is a Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at 448 kbps. Dialogue is clear and synchronised.

†††† Music is by Atticus Ross, Leopold Ross and Claudia Sarne. Songs are used rarely in this soundtrack and they include an eclectic mix: How Can You Mend A Broken Heart performed by Al Green, Once Upon A Time In America by Ennio Morricone, Greystone Chapel by Glen Sherley and Ring My Bell performed by Anita Ward.

†††† Surround channel usage is impressive during the action scenes with the sound of explosions and gun-fire coming from both front and back channels. During the shoot-out in the house, the sound envelopes all speakers. The subwoofer uses the bass channel to good effect for explosions and fights also.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Trailers

†††† Seven trailers are included for other Sony films. These are included on disc one for Legion (2:01), A Prophet (2:04), The Back-Up Plan (1:53), Give 'em Hell, Malone (2:32), B**** Slap (2:22), Rampage (1:57) and From Paris with Love (1:44).

Eliís Journey (17:18)

†††† This 'making-of' featurette includes interviews with cast and crew about the making of the film. It is a standard 'Electronic Press Kit'-type of extra.

The Book of Eli Soundtrack (4:54)

†††† Allen Hughes talks to the brothers' composer Atticus Ross about the score.

Deleted Scenes (2:03)

†††† Four deleted scenes are included which are very short but add to some of the scenes from the film. I presume they were cut for timing reasons. The four scenes are: Eli Walks Through Town, Book Burning, 360 Bar 1 Shot and DC Final.

Starting Over (12:39)

†††† The final featurette utilises academics to discuss what would possibly happen to humanity in the event of a major catastrophe as seen in the film. Opinions are also given by the Hughes brothers and various other cast and crew to support the premise of the film as being somewhat realistic. Personally, I find it hard to believe that mankind would regress so far technologically or that no one would have a copy of the Bible but hey, after all, it's just a film isn't it?

R4 vs R1

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

†††† The Region 1 United States release includes only the deleted scenes and the extra 'The Lost Tales' on the DVD release. This 5-minute extra is an animated feature which reveals Carnegie's back-story. It is included on all Blu-ray versions of the film worldwide.

†††† The Region 2 United Kingdom release includes identical extras to the Region 4 release except for the inclusion of the extra, The Lost Tales which is not included on the Region 4 DVD. The Region 2 release is a single-disc release like the Region 1 version.

†††† Although the Region 4 DVD release comes on two discs, with the main presentation and extras separate, in reality their collective size is equal to the single-disc Region 2 UK release. Thus, the Region 2 United Kingdom release is the best available version of The Book of Eli on DVD currently available.

Summary

†††† The Book of Eli is a film that intrigues you because it presents a world that is so different to our modern 21st century society. The characters may be nothing more than greedy scavengers and so Eli's acts of graciousness in the film really stand out, although ultimately he has to scavenge in this desolate wasteland to survive.

†††† On DVD, The Book of Eli has an average video transfer but a solid audio transfer, with good extras to support this release from Sony.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Friday, September 24, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S550 (Firmware updated Version 020), using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA46A650 46 Inch LCD TV Series 6 FullHD 1080P 100Hz. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-K1000P. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationSony HTDDW1000
SpeakersSony 6.2 Surround (Left, Front, Right, Surround Left, Surround Back, Surround Right, 2 subwoofers)

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