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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

my week at the movies: ‘The Book of Eli,’ ‘Fish Tank’

Slow week while everyone except me jets off to Sundance. Warner Bros. is holding The Book of Eli (opens in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. on January 15) till Wednesday night, which doesn’t inspire great hope, but at least it is screening. It’s all about how Our Hero Denzel is carrying Viggo Mortensen’s flame after the robot holocaust, or something — I liked the Hughes Brothers’ last movie, From Hell, so is it too much to hope for a not-downright-awful movie? Also, it’s science fiction, nominally, at least, which I’m a sucker for. Plus, I love the audacity of this poster. This is a mainstream movie, and it’s selling itself to us with an image of its villain and a tagline of “Religion Is Power.” Wow.

I’m not actually gonna attend a screening of the British film Fish Tank this week: I’m just gonna catch it when it debuts on IFC on Demand on Friday, January 15. True, it will also open on two screens, both in New York, but most of my readers who will see this film or might be interested in it will have to resort to the small screen, either on-demand or on DVD. (When it opened in the U.K. back in September, it was on only 47 screens; it will be released on Region 2 DVD in the U.K. on January 25. No Canadian theatrical release has been announced at all.) So I will, too. I’ve heard positive general murmurings from my fellow critics who have attended a screening here in NYC, which doesn’t surprise me: Andrea Arnold’s previous film, Red Road, was tough and uncompromising and totally riveting.



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