Friday, December 25, 2009

Apparently, you don't mess with Denzel Washington

Though I was sure I had had my full of apocalyptic movies, on the advice of Bob of Bob and Justin's Mad Movie Blog, I went to see "The Road," and I have to say it was an extremely pleasant surprise.

Bleak? Sure, but it builds at a natural pace to the perfect ending. Not having read the book, I enjoyed that the event that leaves our heroes, a father and son played by Viggo Mortensen and young Kodi Smit-Mcphee, in the predicament we find them in at the outset is only hinted at in the movie itself. For once, you don't have everything spoon-fed to you, and I didn't mind that one bit.

Though there's a full slate of good flicks out today, and more than a few I still have to catch up on, I'd recommend making time for this if you can handle something that, be warned, is extremely bleak until its glimmer of hope ending.

And I'll take another chance on an apocalyptic tale in honor of the Hughes brothers, who have just been missing from movie theaters for too long. Remember them? Albert and Allen Hughes managed to direct four stylishly entertaining flicks - "Menace II Society," "American Pimp," "From Hell" and my favorite of their movies so far, "Dead Presidents" - before pretty much disappearing in 2001.

Now, however, they're back Jan. 15 with "The Book of Eli," which stars Denzel Washington as a lone man fighting his way across the United States to protect a sacred book which contains the secrets to saving human kind. That sounds pretty meh to me, but like I said, I'll see it out of mad respect for the Hughes brothers, and with Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis in this too, it could - against pretty serious odds - turn out to be a lot more entertaining than I fear.

Below is a featurette about the fight choreography, which shows Denzel in action as our hero. Enjoy.

And with that, I'm off for a week. Though I won't be posting anything to this site, I will be seeing plenty of movies while In NYC, definitely "Up in the Air" (finally!), "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus" and "Broken Embraces." Starting Monday, Jan. 3, it will be best of 2009 week here, with this schedule:

Monday: Best female performers of the year (featuring Gladys Knight!)
Tuesday: Best male performers of the year
Wednesday: Best animated movies of the year
Thursday: Best movies of the year
Friday: Finally, with the 2009 winner revealed, I'll offer my 10 best movies of the '00s (better late than never, hopefully.)

And what that, I'm out. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!


Bob said...

Well I've been miserably sick the past few days but I did manage to catch "Sherlock Holmes" the day after Christmas and I really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to your take on "Imaginarium." Given we tend to feel the same way about Gilliam (mostly love him but loathed "Tideland") it should be pretty telling. Hope you're enjoying New York!

Reel Fanatic said...

I wanted so dearly to love "Imaginarium" Bob, and until the last 45 minutes or so I really did ... And then it just went too crazy, even by Gilliam standards

Bob said...

Interesting. That doesn't shock me to be honest because as much as I like (sometimes love) Gilliam the man can be downright maddening at times. As a deeply devoted Python fanatic even I have to admit a lot of his animated bits leave me scratching my head. But maybe that's what he was going for all along.

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