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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

The Book of Eli (review)

The Road to Denzel

When they left the multiplex the parking lot was cold and gray. The people shuffling like zombies silent and hopeless. Tolling in the silence the lost dreams of embarking upon Cameron’s otherworldly journey snuffed in the endless flashing sold out sold out sold out. The boy sighed. The man’s heart ached for everything the boy would not know at least till next weekend, and for the yawning desperation that had pushed them toward cliché and nonsense and the sickly ashy brown cinematography and civilization clutter that had come to signify the end of everything, and how it wouldn’t really be so bad after all.
Was Denzel one of the good guys? the boy asked. No, the man said. Yes. Impossible to explain to the boy and his innocence that the world was full of imperfection and decent people doing bad things sometimes for what they thought were good reasons but that good guys doing bad things in movies didnt necessarily mean that they walked a landscape that was authentic. The god-creators of the apoca-punk hellscape they’d stumbled from. Bad is cool. The man sighed.

***

Papa?

What?

I liked his things.

Denzel’s treasures from the world before. Like a fantasia of consumerism. KFC wetnaps. An old iPod and a battery to keep it charged. A leatherbound book to read every night.

He was carrying the fire, right, Papa?

Yes.

The book was the fire?

Yes. No. The boy wouldnt understand. To Denzel, yes. To the god-creators of the apoca-punk hellscape. But really the words in the book were the fire, a fire that could burn. Anyone could see that. No one needed the book. Just the words. Not even the words. Just words that sounded right. Anyone smart could make new words that could burn.

And that’s why the bad man wanted the book?

Gary Oldman.

Okay. Gary Oldman. That’s why he wanted the book?

Yes.

Okay.

The man sighed.

***

Papa?

What?

There was no food.

No.

Because Denzel had to eat a cat.

Yes.

We would never eat a cat, would we?

No.

Okay. Papa?

What?

If there was no food, how come there were big fat guys helping the bad guy?

I dont know.

Big fat guys need food to get fat.

Yes.

But big fat guys are scary.

Yes.

Okay.

***

Papa?

What?

Would bad people really kill good people over a book?

Yes.

Okay. Papa?

What?

Would good people really die over a book?

Yes.

Okay. Papa?

What?

Isn’t that kind of stupid?

Yes. No. The man longed for the boy’s purity and at the same time longed for the boy to become a man who understood that some ideas were worth dying for. Not all ideas. A man who could tell the difference. A man who knew that sometimes ideas kill themselves. Ideas sometimes stop being useful when they lose their context. The god-creators of the apoca-punk hellscape were blinded by one context.

The man sighed.

***

Papa?

What?

That stuff at the end. It was kind of silly, wasn’t it?

What? The people who were–

No. I liked that. It made sense. I mean, that one thing we learned. It wasn’t really fair, was it?

Oh. No. It wasn’t really fair.

Papa?

What?

The people who made the movie. They weren’t carrying the fire, were they?

No. Unless they were carrying the old Twilight Zone fire. Or the old Canticle for Leibowitz fire. Or the old Fahrenheit 451 fire.

What’s old Twilight Zone fire?

Never mind.

The man sighed.


MPAA: rated R for some brutal violence and language

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine

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