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The Book of Eli

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If anyone has an IMDB account, they should post the question about the trailer music there. I'm sure someone knows. Also, looking at the cast, I found another reason to get excited: Tom Waits!

 

I asked on the message board. We'll see if anyone replies.

 

I didn't bother reading the comments over there, but judging from the thread titles, the flick doesn't seem to be getting much love over on IMDb. Big surprise. Everyone is always so positive there. :rolleyes:

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Just wanted to jump in here...When Tim showed me the trailer yesterday and I was floored. I am an enormous fan of post apocalyptic -style sci-fi. We have 'The Road' with Viggo coming out soon, and now THIS??....awesome. oh and GARY OLDMAN as a villian....serve me 3 helpings please!

 

The first words out of my mouth after I saw this: "MEL GIBSON NEEDS TO DIRECT AND STAR IN ANOTHER MAD MAX!!!!" imagine that. Epic.

 

My two cents on the trailer...minor, minor criticisms by the way, Denzel and Mila Kunis looked too clean. Especially their clothing, but I reserve my picky fan-boy judgement for Jan. 2010....which is way, WAY too frackin long to wait for something that looks this gorgeous.

 

I am such a junkie for this genre.

 

Among my favorites in no partiuclar order really and in my opinion...the world needs to be wrecked to qualify. Obviously there are the dystopian films like Bladerunner, but those are not showing enough destruction for me lol...anyhoo:

 

The Road Warrior

Escape From New York

Logan's Run

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (still confused why Tina Turner was in that, but no denying that song will be stuck in my head forever)

Akira!!!!

Resident Evil Extinction

Equilibrium

I am Legend

Children of Men

The Blood of Heroes!!! (love this one)

28 Days Later/ 28 Weeks Later

Reign of Fire

Terminator Salvation

Hardware (especially the opening shot)

Cyborg...yep, even this super cheesy Van Damme piece. lol.

Class of 1999 (SO cheeesy, but seen it a bunch of times)

THX 1138

Cherry 2000!!! (good lord I have seen this a zillion times on cable)

Samurai 7 (Anime)

Fallout 3 (granted a video game, but it plays like a movie...IMO...best game ever)

Doomsday (not amazing at all, and had moments where I though I was watching a car commercial, but had it's moments with nice visuals here and there)

Battlestar Galactica Sci-Fi Channel series

The Postman....long-winded, but I still like parts of it.

Waterworld also, but Dennis Hopper's character was almost too much and I never liked it when Kostner's character hit the woman.

 

Please, please anyone... recommend some more for me! :D

it now I think, but as a fan... I should've sought this out a long time ago. Also need to re-watch Zardoz. Tim let me borrow Le Dernier Combat, so will be checking that out as well.

 

 

BOOK OF ELI....I cannot wait!!!! Just looks deliciously harsh!

Cheers!

--jim

 

 

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A great list, James. a couple of which I haven't seen and will have to check out.

 

The Matrix trilogy would have to fit in there somewhere. And the TV version of Stephen King's The Stand also comes to mind.

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Goddamn lists.

OK, here's mine.

 

Mad Max

The Road Warrior

Children Of Men

Planet Of the Apes (it HAS to qualify).

Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (sue me, I have a soft spot).

The Omega Man

Soylent Green

The Ultimate Warrior (1975) Yes, it's possible you've never heard of this. Yul Brynner is the lead. Robert Clouse (Enter The Dragon) directs. Max Von Sydow, William Smith, a young Stephen (The History Of Violence) McHattie, star. Plot - "Atomic holocaust is not the only plague that threatens our future. New York City, 2012 A.D.: In a devastated world, one tired man finds a reason to fight." - See it if you dare.

Escape From New York

Logan's Run

Zardoz

THX 1138

The Blood Of Heroes

Reign Of Fire

A Boy And His Dog

Damnation Alley

Mad Max III

Cherry 2000 (yep, gotta give it a vote for Ben Johnson if nothing else ;)

28 Days Later

I Am Legend

The Postman - If only they'd stayed true to David Brin's novel - Still, parts worked.

Le Dernier Combat (1983) aka The Last Combat - Luc Besson's second film is worth a look.

Can't add Resident Evil Extinction or Doomsday as they are so derivative of better films (no offense JD).

I'm sure there are a couple I missed.

 

I fully expect The Book Of Eli to rank near the top of the list.

 

- TB

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I asked on the message board. We'll see if anyone replies.

 

I didn't bother reading the comments over there, but judging from the thread titles, the flick doesn't seem to be getting much love over on IMDb. Big surprise. Everyone is always so positive there. :rolleyes:

 

 

Yeah, I scanned the threads too, but nothing came up music wise. There is a lot of slamming of the film I see. Too bad. Though I did see someone brough up Chris' work.

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There are folks at IMDB slamming the film????

Uh, OK.

Yeah, I know . . . SHOCKING!!!! ;)

I guess it's good that the IMDB forum does not require an IQ check.

I like some of the enlightened fan reviews but there are just as many ludicrous morons who post there as well.

One thing we've learned . . . NEVER go see what folks are saying a bout a movie we like or support over at IMDB.

IMDB is an invaluable resource but their boards are a disgrace for the most part.

I don't know how anyone who actually cares about film could stand to surround themselves with that for very long.

Thankfully, most of the world knows this already ;)

 

I do suppose the forums are worth a look if you are interested in discovering what the jackwipe contingent are chattering about.

But if you want an honest, insightful, and discerning viewpoint it's best to look elsewhere.

There ARE some good people over there, don't get me wrong. They're just hopelessly outnumbered.

 

Curiosity used to get the better of me and I'd go peek, but it always makes me angry as hell and really, what's the point?

 

Can't wait to see more from The Book Of Eli.

 

- TB

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Yeah, you don't need an IQ to post over there just a credit card (for some reason). That place is good for a laugh every now and then, especially the Punisher :War Zone board, that one just keeps getting better and better as time goes on.

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There are folks at IMDB slamming the film????

Uh, OK.

Yeah, I know . . . SHOCKING!!!! ;)

I guess it's good that the IMDB forum does not require an IQ check.

I like some of the enlightened fan reviews but there are just as many ludicrous morons who post there as well.

One thing we've learned . . . NEVER go see what folks are saying a bout a movie we like or support over at IMDB.

IMDB is an invaluable resource but their boards are a disgrace for the most part.

I don't know how anyone who actually cares about film could stand to surround themselves with that for very long.

Thankfully, most of the world knows this already ;)

 

I do suppose the forums are worth a look if you are interested in discovering what the jackwipe contingent are chattering about.

But if you want an honest, insightful, and discerning viewpoint it's best to look elsewhere.

There ARE some good people over there, don't get me wrong. They're just hopelessly outnumbered.

 

Curiosity used to get the better of me and I'd go peek, but it always makes me angry as hell and really, what's the point?

 

Can't wait to see more from The Book Of Eli.

 

 

- TB

 

I've been over there, and you couldn't be more right. It's like a bunch of retarded twelve year olds were let loose over there. They are the kids who act tough online, but you know all they need is a couple of broken fingers to smarten them up. ;)

 

I am really looking forward to this movie. Loved the trailer, and Denzel will make an awesome bad ass yet again. Oldman as the villain? That had me sold already.

 

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I'm diggin' on those lists - love to see like minds.

 

Planet Of the Apes (it HAS to qualify).

Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (sue me, I have a soft spot).

The Omega Man

The Ultimate Warrior (1975)

 

Yeah, baby - the Hestonian trifecta - oh, wait! Soylent Green!

 

And I love all things YUL myself!

 

I have great nostalgia for Logan's Run, Hardware, Cherry 2000, and A Boy and His Dog.

 

The Book of Eli shall live, dammit! Mark our words!

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The only reason I check IMDB boards is so I can get info, like last week on HUNG. I wanted to know what the song was at the end. It took a day, but some one posted it. I like that the RAW board is more of a community, not just a bunch of yahoo's that post whatever just to get a reaction. IMDB has some good posters, but man oh man, too much high school bullshit.

 

Back to Eli. Any news of weather there will be an "art of" or "making of" book featuring some of the board drawings?

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The Blood of Heroes!!! (love this one)

 

I'm sooooooooooo happy to see this on your list. I love this movie so much it hurts. I've always said that when I become a big Hollywood producer and can make any movie I want... a remake of this film would definitely be high on my list. Or at the very least a comicbook/animated series.

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Guest AdminGuyX

I remember seeing A Boy and His Dog in the middle of the night on Showtime like 20 years ago, and I fell for it immediately. Like 15 minutes in, I was hooked. I still love it.

 

Escape from New York is really close to Blade Runner in terms of films that have really stayed with me and permeated my consciousness since I was young. I have a handful of films that I can say effected who I was as a person, and really helped me fall in love with dark genre films. This is one of them.

 

I would not be surprised, at this point, if The Book of Eli became one of my favorites. The trailer just has me all kinds of pumped up.

 

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Since we're discussing favorite post-apoc films... my all-time fave, and undoubtedly one that influenced me, is a 1980s BBC TV docu-drama called "Threads" about a Soviet nuclear attack on England and its aftermath. It was made around the same time as its American equivalent, "The Day After" and is similar in its approach but far more uncompromising, bleak and brutal. They actually made us watch this in school and it gave me nightmares for years afterward. Still does, sometimes.

 

Everyone should see it. And everyone can as the entire film is available on Google Video:

 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2...g&q=Threads

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The Book of Eli is definitely something worth getting excited about! I am a bit burned out on so many movies being recreations of stories and characters we already know and in most cases the movies end up being far less than what we remembered them for. I'm ecstatic to see there is going to be a story I know nothing about with such a tremendous cast.

 

It's so very cool of both Gary Whitta and Chris Weston (met you briefly at SDCC) to join the RAW boards and share in our appreciation. I like the opportunity to get an idea of what's behind the making of the film and the passion going into it.

 

Sadly my first exposure to post-apocalyptic was an RPG called Gamma World when I was about 12.

 

Mike

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Since we're discussing favorite post-apoc films... my all-time fave, and undoubtedly one that influenced me, is a 1980s BBC TV docu-drama called "Threads" about a Soviet nuclear attack on England and its aftermath. It was made around the same time as its American equivalent, "The Day After" and is similar in its approach but far more uncompromising, bleak and brutal. They actually made us watch this in school and it gave me nightmares for years afterward. Still does, sometimes.

 

Everyone should see it. And everyone can as the entire film is available on Google Video:

 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2...g&q=Threads

 

Yes, I remember seeing both of these. The Day After was a two-part miniseries on netwoek tv, and appears to be available on netflix. Threads was broadcast on the local PBS station where I was living. As I recall, there was a lot of debate about nuclear proliferation at the time. I only saw Threads the one time so long ago, but mentioning it brings specific scenes to mind. It being from the point of view of what life became like for a young woman, and then her daughter, was poignant.....and terrifying.

 

Ah, the thin veneer of civilization.

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Yeah, baby - the Hestonian trifecta - oh, wait! Soylent Green!

 

Damn those spur of the moment lists! Yes, How could I forget Soylent Green!!

Well it's added now ;)

Late 60's early 70's Heston films, the passion of my youth.

Unfortunately I discovered it all through edited for television type syndication in the mid 70's.

I remember getting to stay up past bedtime one Friday night and seeing Omega Man.

The albino Vampires FUCKED me up! And the end, where Neville lays Christ-like in the fountain with that supercool folding stock auto rifle . . .

That image has stayed with me ever since.

Ahh, blissful nightmares!! Soylent Green too, shit that movie scared me to death when I was 11 or 12.

But these are the films that fueled my passion to draw and create.

When Mad Max, then Escape From NY, then The Road Warrior hit, I was suddenly far beyond Star Wars.

As incredible as Star Wars was to this 10 year old in 1977, it was the post apocalyptic thrillers that came soon after that became the ultimate grist.

 

So yeah, I've/we've loved these films like crazy but as we get older and evolve as human beings so then do our tastes and sensibilities.

A lot of the films we've mentioned are classics that stand the test of time, whether through nostalgia or through great 'ahead of it's time' filmmaking.

Book Of Eli looks and feels like the kind of film that's evolved with us. Based on what we've seen it feels like a film that was made for a more mature audience, not the same old tired formula tricks so prevalent in today's Hollywood. A film the takes the genre seriously and does not insult the discerning fans of its Post Apocalyptic progenitors. It seems the kind of film many of us have dreamed about making but no one in power has the balls to make because it's original. Sure, feet planted firmly in the genre but ORIGINAL in content. It's sad that it takes an A list Hollywood player like Denzel to finance a serious post apocalyptic film. Just me speculating but I have a feeling that that is the only way it got a green light, at least for the budget (Not to slight Gary's by all accounts amazing screenplay). Thankfully Denzel was willing to do a film like Eli at this point in his career. Hard to see anyone else as the lead.

 

Got a glimpse of a bald headed Ray Stevenson in the trailer and he looks pretty badass.

Can't wait to see Oldman unleash.

 

3 films I'm looking very forward to - The Book Of Eli, Solomon Kane, and The Road.

3 movies that aren't sequels or remakes!!!

 

- TB

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Great list, nice to see someone pick ZARDOZ. I loved that damn movie. And Logans RUN as well (but the guns for the sandmen were really crappy!)

DAMNATION ALLEY

WAR OF THE WORLDS...the original, not the crap made by the mouth piece of Scientology.

 

HADISHI NO GEN (the Hiroshima bomb) Japanese Anime with english subtitles. I've only seen this once, at an anime convention in Toronto. I couldn't even remember the name of the movie, I had to look it up. It is an Anime that follows a family in 1945 Hirosima and builds to the bomb. it is positivily beautiful, haunting, tremendously sad and I don't think i ever want to see it again. I don't know if or where it is available.

 

 

My personal favorite cheesy filled flick....DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS! Man eating plants that uproot themselves and very very very very slowly stalk humans and eat them because the humans are ever so clumsy and continuosly fall down in front of them...but I loved it. I'm also a big fan of all those "wrong science" ATOMIC AGE end of the world flicks, like 1959's THE BEACH, with Gregory Peck.

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A lot of the films we've mentioned are classics that stand the test of time, whether through nostalgia or through great 'ahead of it's time' filmmaking.

Book Of Eli looks and feels like the kind of film that's evolved with us. Based on what we've seen it feels like a film that was made for a more mature audience, not the same old tired formula tricks so prevalent in today's Hollywood. A film the takes the genre seriously and does not insult the discerning fans of its Post Apocalyptic progenitors. It seems the kind of film many of us have dreamed about making but no one in power has the balls to make because it's original. Sure, feet planted firmly in the genre but ORIGINAL in content. It's sad that it takes an A list Hollywood player like Denzel to finance.

I have a feeling that that is the only way it got a green light, at least for the budget (Not to slight Gary's by all accounts amazing screenplay). Thankfully Denzel was willing to do a film like Eli at this point in his career. Hard to see anyone else as the lead.

 

Well said, Tim! I'm glad that someone like Denzel plays the lead in a movie like this. A great actor and he is also still convincing as the warrior doing the action stuff - the best of both worlds. Sure you could have a younger martial arts guy in the role, but it's the acting and charisma of someone like Washington that takes it one step further. Gary Oldman does that as well. This is gonna be a enjoyable ride at least and if the writing and the direction are great too, then we might get something like The Road Warrior for the 21th century...

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Well said, Tim! I'm glad that someone like Denzel plays the lead in a movie like this. A great actor and he is also still convincing as the warrior doing the action stuff - the best of both worlds. Sure you could have a younger martial arts guy in the role, but it's the acting and charisma of someone like Washington that takes it one step further. Gary Oldman does that as well. This is gonna be a enjoyable ride at least and if the writing and the direction are great too, then we might get something like The Road Warrior for the 21th century...

It actually would have been very difficult to cast this role for a younger actor. It was always very important to the story that Eli was an older guy, someone who had been walking for 30 years and considered something of an "old man" in the context of this world (in which most older people have died/been killed off). So the challenge was to find an older actor who was both commercial enough for the studio and able to pull off the kind of fight scenes you'd expect from a younger man. That's a very short list, and we were lucky to get the absolute best guy on it. I don't know many actors - if any - of Denzel's age (55 this year) and stature who'd be willing to lose 60lbs and train for six months with the best martial arts instructors in the world in order to make some of the things his character has to do in this movie look believable. And yeah, he brings a gravitas to the film that you're just not going to get from a younger actor...

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Yeah, that's awesome. Not unlike what he did for The Hurricane or any other of his physical roles.

Jane always says, Hell, if someone's paying me I'll lose weight, gain weight, train extensively, whatever is required to make the role believable.

I think on that level Washington and Jane speak the same language.

 

I dig that Denzel was the Hughes Bros first choice. Talk about flying up the mountain of above the line budget ;)

That Denzel was up for stepping into the role of Eli makes my heart sing. It's definitely something he's never done before.

 

And yeah, a younger guy, even if it was written for a younger guy it would not have the resonance an actor of this age and caliber has.

It's called seasoning, it's called character. Only a few guys could make that character so real and believable AND bring the budget necessary.

Denzel tops that list, Russell Crowe is on that list (though not as old).

I'd love to see Crowe in a film like this, lose the weight, train . . . But I am way happy with Denzel and I cannot wait to see him do his thing.

Travolta too is a guy who would be on that list, and I'm sure he's a very nice fella BUT THANK GOD he is not on display here.

Costner too, yes, even Costner still has the pull. But he's done this already his way and we all know the results of that.

Clive Owen would have been interesting. He's quickly found himself reading the same scripts the as the guys above. Yet not quite old enough for the part.

Will Smith? Naturally he's on that list but too young and recently off a post apocalyptic thriller of his own. Maybe in 15-20 years ;)

Viggo? Hmmm, that would be interesting too. Then there's two words, The Road.

 

What I love about the casting of Denzel is that he is very much a character actor in the body of a lead actor.

That is a hard commodity to come by. Which is why I'd consider this PERFECT casting.

 

What is amazing to me is that (and granted, I'm not privy to the history of this film coming together) The Book Of Eli seems to have been charmed from day one. Maybe Gary can offer the real story ;) The right script, the right director/s, the right lead actor, and by all accounts a production that went off without so much as a hitch. Professional through and through. People that were PREPARED. A collective group of creators who've been through the trenches.

The Hughes' have paid their dues. Eli seems like the film that will break them into the real deal.

 

Have I mentioned how excited about this film I am?

 

- tb

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What is amazing to me is that (and granted, I'm not privy to the history of this film coming together) The Book Of Eli seems to have been charmed from day one. Maybe Gary can offer the real story ;) The right script, the right director/s, the right lead actor, and by all accounts a production that went off without so much as a hitch.

In some ways yes, in some ways no. We were on kind of a fast track from the beginning but at one point we were completely halted for several months after WB became skittish about making the movie. It was only after Denzel used his not-inconsiderable juice and Alcon came on to fully finance the movie that we finally got the green light and went full-speed into production. Since then it's been smooth sailing but there was definitely a while there when it looked like we were dead in the water. But even with that delay I was still standing on set literally two years to the day after I first sold the script, so I have no real complaints!

 

Even during production there were some weird times that made us feel like "someone upstairs" either really wanted this movie made or not at all. One day's filming would be completely wiped out by a sandstorm, but on another day we'd get an absolute perfect gust of wind at exactly the right time that would just make for an amazing shot. There's one particular shot in the movie after Denzel kills a bunch of bad guys where a gust of wind blows across him at just the right moment and creates the kind of perfect "hero shot" that you'd never get in a thousand takes if you were trying to recreate it. The directors even commented that no-one would ever believe it happened by accident because it just looks too perfect :)

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Yeah, the pros and cons of filming outdoors :P Overall it helps create the atmosphere I guess.

 

Nice list, Tim. I also think that Crowe could rock in a sci-fi movie. Daniel Day-Lewis? Maybe if they remake Outland ^^

 

 

Gary, may I ask you a couple of writing questions?

 

- I would like to know what your main inspirations were for the story and how much worldbuilding and research you did for this post-apocalyptic world?

 

- Are you a planer with a detailed outline and character files etc. or do you start right away with just a vague idea?

 

Thanks in advance!

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In some ways yes, in some ways no. We were on kind of a fast track from the beginning but at one point we were completely halted for several months after WB became skittish about making the movie. It was only after Denzel used his not-inconsiderable juice and Alcon came on to fully finance the movie that we finally got the green light and went full-speed into production. Since then it's been smooth sailing but there was definitely a while there when it looked like we were dead in the water. But even with that delay I was still standing on set literally two years to the day after I first sold the script, so I have no real complaints!

 

Even during production there were some weird times that made us feel like "someone upstairs" either really wanted this movie made or not at all. One day's filming would be completely wiped out by a sandstorm, but on another day we'd get an absolute perfect gust of wind at exactly the right time that would just make for an amazing shot. There's one particular shot in the movie after Denzel kills a bunch of bad guys where a gust of wind blows across him at just the right moment and creates the kind of perfect "hero shot" that you'd never get in a thousand takes if you were trying to recreate it. The directors even commented that no-one would ever believe it happened by accident because it just looks too perfect :)

 

 

Oh man, tell me about it ;) We were working on preproduction on Blade II and we didn't get a real green light until about 3 weeks in. We didn't know if we were just wasting our time or what. Little Nicky tanked like a lead weight and New Line was sweating even being in business. Thankfully the stars ended up aligning.

 

Thank goodness for Denzel's juice. Studios are SO unwilling to take a risk even with an A list star. You said it yourself, WB was plugging 7? films at SDCC and The Book Of Eli was the only one of those films that wasn't a remake, a re-boot, based on an existing character/IP, or a sequel? Proof is in the pudding. No one is willing to put their ass on the line for something that doesn't have a built in audience. Even if your star, the director/s, and the genre itself do.

 

Been a long time since someone made a decent budgeted honest to God - Post Apocalyptic thriller . . . The Postman 1997?

I Am Legend? To an extent I guess . . . Maybe that film's BO performance helped the bean counters . . . Who's to say.

Either way it's risky, original screenplay, and one thing that I don't see is the car/road mayhem of Max and Road Warrior which would at least somewhat guarantee a certain amount of 15-25 year old male ticket buyers. Christ, does Death Race ring a bell? Yeesh.

But no, it looks like it definitely isn't a car movie so we got a bunch of dudes wandering the wasteland on foot. Even with some savagely choreographed fight scenes it still seems like an uphill battle.

 

Man even with the stall on finance, it seems like you guys was charmed!

All I can say is GOOD FOR YOU, and certainly good for us ;)

Hell, the fact that you were even on set! That's just great for the whole production.

It alarms me how often the writer is just cut out of the actual filmmaking process.

The classic example of a studio's ability to shortcut actual thinking.

 

 

You know the thing that really has me excited is that Eli seems like the film I've been wanting to make or be a part of, or even just sit in the theater and watch for a long time now. A human drama first, a film. A film that just happens to have both feet in the genre. A smart film that wasn't created or marketed at a bunch of snickering 15 year olds texting on their fucking cell phones. A film that adults and a younger audience would be equally in tune with.

Not everything is a fucking formula. Making films based solely off of marketing research is quickly eroding what was once great about Hollywood.

It's always been a business, but Satan's Balls! It used to be about the artists too.

 

Just one reason to stand and cheer for Gary, Denzel, Albert, Allen, and company.

 

- TB

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