"I take no pleasure in taking a life if it's from a person who doesn't care about it."
Though we may never get to see Gary Oldman play Commissioner Gordon again now that Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has ended — that is, unless the recent rumor that Warner Bros. is planning to use the Justice League movie as "a vehicle for Christian Bale to reprise his role as Batman" is true, in which case a cameo by Gotham’s top cop wouldn’t be out of the question — we will get to see him play a former police commissioner in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Add his stint as Sirius Black in the Harry Potter movies and his recently completed work as Norton in MGM's Robocop remake and that makes four major tentpole franchises for Oldman.
Long before Oldman became a staple of summer popcorn movies, he had already developed a strong cult following for playing deliciously dark (Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula), terrifyingly sadistic (Warden Glenn in Murder in the First) and mesmerizingly maniacal (Norman Stansfield in Léon: The Professional) villains. The man once dubbed "psycho deluxe" for his over-the-top bad guy roles plays the hero more often than not these days, but when he funnels the same energy and intensity into quieter performances they simmer, as in his Oscar-winning role as disgraced spy George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Punk rocker, vampire, drug dealer, corrupt cop, good cop, shapeshifting wizard, spy — Oldman masterfully played each character with zeal, but which roles were his best?
Rate the Top 10 Best Gary Oldman Movies >> Posted 03.12.13 by BrentJS
This week's DVD releases include The Book of Eli, Youth in Revolt, and When in Rome. Which ones are worth your time and money? Find out what our Richard Roeper has to say below. And looking for a way to see a lot more movies for less? Check out our Free TV for a Year sweepstakes. Posted 06.16.10 by reelz
Hollywood is currently so hooked on dystopias it's turning the multiplex into one. Whether it's solar flare bombardment (2012), an "unnamed cataclysm" (The Road), nuclear armageddon (The Book of Eli), or a pissed-off God (Legion), the world's coming to an end and the survivors are totally screwed.
This got us thinking: Which future movie worlds are the biggest bummers? Here's our Top 12. New Hampshire, these are not. Posted 01.22.10 by reelz
After months of anticipation, this Friday The Book of Eli makes its way into theaters nation-wide. The Hughes Brothers' first movie since 2001, The Book of Eli stars Denzel Washington as Eli, the defender of a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humanity.
Lucky for everyone wishing for a preview, the movie's soundtrack is being released today. The original score for The Book of Eli was written by Atticus Ross, who has worked with the Hughes brothers several times in the past. Ross' music blends electronic elements with traditional instruments, leading to a truly unique hybrid that's only fitting for a post-apocalyptic Western.
ReelzChannel is giving away copies of the soundtrack here, and check out the video below to hear Ross and Albert Hughes talk about the important role the score plays in The Book of Eli. Posted 01.15.10 by reelz
The Book of Eli's post-apocalyptic tale, which focuses on a man traveling the country in the year 2043 with the last remaining Bible, seems an unlikely one for an actor like Denzel Washington, but the Academy Award-winning actor told Coming Soon he took advice from his son, producer John David Washington, that convinced him to take the part.
He talked me into doing Training Day, American Gangster and now this one. He really got his teeth into the story. He's a very, very spiritual young man and just a unique individual. He got behind it and he wouldn't take no for an answer.
Joining Washington in his quest to keep the Bible safe is Mila Kunis, who was drawn to the character of Solara because of her strength.
Very rarely am I attracted to characters that are "woe is me." I'm not a big fan of women who are the victim and who need to be saved at all times. I don't think that's how it is in real life and I don't think that's how it should be filmed. I think that anyone, if given the right, will persevere ... I think it would be an unjust portrayal of people if you didn't let the character grow.
While Kunis admits she only "attempted" to read the Bible during production, Washington keep one with him at all times, using it as a reference.
I just worked my way through the script with [directors Allen and Albert Hughes]. ... We had the Bible there because we were always looking for quotes back and forth. I've sort of taken what I've done as a director and, in this case anyway, applied it to the screenplay, because I was really involved as a producer as well. We would sit up in my house and I would play all the parts and flesh them out ... I do a whole journal on my character. I do that for every film. He's a guy who worked at K-Mart.
Before anyone thinks that the movie is a proselytizing fable, Washington also gets to protect the book by using fighting skills taught to him by Jeff Imada, who was was a disciple of Bruce Lee's student Dan Inosanto. Washington is also quick to point out that the movie is not trying to offer a one-sided moral.
I just thought it was an interesting story. A good story. I embraced these and spiritual aspects of this story and how the quote unquote "word" can be manipulated as it is. You turn on the TV and see it all the time. You don't have to turn on the TV. You can just look. That's what I've always argued the difference between spirituality and religion is. Mankind gets a hold of it and goes, "mine is good; yours isn't." Or "I'm right, you're wrong." All that kind of stuff ... Not that this is a cautionary tale necessarily, but its been going on for thousands of years. Hopefully we're just entertainment. Posted 01.13.10 by Ryan
The Book of Eli sibling writers-directors Allen and Albert Hughes are no strangers to comic book adaptations; their last movie being 2001's adaptation of Alan Moore's From Hell. Albert told MTV that after their first movie, they were offered a chance to direct an adaptation of Frank Miller's classic graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns.
Three different Batman projects were presented to us over the years. The first time, it was The Dark Knight [Returns]. I remember how dark the comic book was. Batman was old. He had to rely more on his tools and other s**t, and he was a decrepit, 60- or 70-year-old man in this comic book. I remember saying to them back then, "We want to do this, and you should get somebody like Clint Eastwood to do it." Basically, what we were telling them it was the death of their franchise. Looking back now, we definitely would'vekilled that franchise.
Allen claims that the project was never something they would have considered.
It was a different regime at the time at Warner Brothers, and they did offer it to us a couple times, but we were never going to do that. [Christopher] Nolan's done a phenomenal job with Batman — especially the first one — and that's what we would've done if we were interested, but we were never going to do a Batman or Superman movie. I know we couldn't do that.
Albert agreed, adding that after their first movie the brothers were "offered everything, but we're not capable of delivering a corporate project like that." Posted 01.13.10 by Ryan
If you've turned on a TV in the past two weeks, surely you've seen an ad for The Book of Eli. A few early reviews are in. Even with A-Lister Denzel Washington in the lead, is Eli pushing critics' (and movie fans') tolerance for post-apocalyptic action-drama?
"...an intense, surprisingly serious study of a man making his way through a wilderness of catastrophic destruction and human cruelty like a latter-day prophet. An overlay of spiritual themes doesn't always work, but Eli is that rare Hollywood film that posits a Christian man as its hero."
— Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter
"...a weirdly intriguing mix of Mad Max, The Postman, Fahrenheit 451, Leone's Man With No Name trilogy, and Graham Greene's novel The Power and the Glory, all shot through with an unwavering religious impulse."
— Todd McCarthy, Variety
"The Book of Eli is like a fly throwing itself at your closed window – it means well. But after Eli, 2012, and The Road, if I never see another end-of-the-world movie between now and the end of the world, it will be too soon. Personally, I prefer my Biblical scholars to be unarmed and comparatively unskilled in Martial Arts."
— Mark Ramsey, Movie Juice Posted 01.11.10 by reelz
Twelve new clips from the post-apocalyptic western The Book of Eli have been released, totaling over 13 minutes of footage, much of it new. As you might expect from the title of the movie, the book itself is at the center of most of these sequences.
Teased as something Eli (Denzel Washington) won't even let his sidekick (Mila Kunis) take a peak at, much less give over to the power-hungry strongman Carnegie (Gary Oldman) who lords over a dusty desert town, the book remains a bit of a mystery. Carnegie suspects it will prove a source of power, a way of winning over hearts and minds, but as his henchmen find out to their dismay toward the end of the clips, you can't always judge a book by its cover, especially when you're dealing with a soft-spoken badass like Eli. Posted 01.10.10 by reelz
Once a hot property in Hollywood, Allen and Albert Hughes need a strong success to reestablish their reputation as a directing team. It's been a long time since their last major collaboration, 2001's From Hell, and they are still smarting from its failure to catch on at the box office. As Allen wryly puts it in an interview with the Wall Street Journal:
One day you feel like Superman, the next you feel like you have a kryptonite suppository.
Because of this, the pair pushed hard for the chance to direct The Book of Eli, pitching it to studio executives with a 60-page manifesto illustrating their vision for the movie.
Despite the desperate need for a comeback, they have taken some serious risks with the movie, in particular by playing up the religious aspects of their post-apocalyptic western. Although they toned down the proselytizing in some early versions of the script, they vetted some pretty edgy promotional material, including a poster featuring the frontier town's head honcho, played by Gary Oldman, with message "Religion is Power."
Looking for a universal tone to balance out the mayhem of a post-apocalyptic world and reflect contemporary social angst, they felt that despite the risks, religion had to be a key element of the movie, although, as Allen explains, the particulars of the religion weren't that important:
People are looking for meaning. So you take the Bible and try to speak to all these yearnings in society right now. But it could have been the Torah or the Koran. The Bible is just more, for lack of a better term, commercial. Posted 01.08.10 by reelz
As a post-apocalyptic western, The Book of Eli clearly has a lot of cinematic influences. Although its filmmakers are taking pains to make sure it doesn't get pigeonholed as a western genre piece, they have been quite upfront about how much they were inspired by the Sergio Leone/Clint Eastwood series of spaghetti westerns.
In a recent interview with Sci Fi Wire, co-director Albert Hughes also acknowledged some of Eli's more apocalyptic influences. One that he points to in particular is the 1975 cult classic A Boy and His Dog. A couple of explicit nods to this dystopian forerunner were even included in the movie itself. In the background of one of the scenes is a wall poster for A Boy and His Dog, and in one shootout sequence a rooftop sniper is packing the exact gun that Don Johnson used in that movie.
Attentive movie watchers will find some other cinematic "easter eggs" in the movie as well. As an homage to the 1930s noir version of Scarface, the filmmakers have included a cross or religious icon somewhere in the frame whenever Eli kills someone. From the look of the trailer, there are probably going to be a lot of crosses. Posted 01.07.10 by reelz