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It’s still Friday to me!

Posted by Mick on January 16, 2010 – 12:45 am

WARNING: This blog entry contains SPOILERS about THE BOOK OF ELI.

You’re the stunt rocker
Everybody looks at you
They no you’re something special
By the things you do

Sad confession time.  I’ve never seen Stunt Rock.

Stunt RockEarlier this evening, that statement would have been true.  But no more.  Tonight, I was the Stunt Rocker.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, let me fill you in.  You’ve probably guessed that Stunt Rock is a movie, but it’s so much more than that.  It’s almost a documentary about Grant Page, famed Australian stuntman.  It stars Grant Page, playing himself.  But the story itself is fictional.  And one of the story elements involves a real heavy metal band/magic act named Sorcery.  They’re in the movie as well, playing – wait for it – a heavy metal band/magic act named Sorcery.  Sorcery has two magicians playing “The King of Wizards” and “The Prince of Darkness” who blend stage magic and pyrotechnics to tell a story of magical battles between the forces of good and evil.  All elaborately choreagraphed to the music of the band.

That’s like a slice of bacon wrapped around another slice of bacon.  Glorious.

The movie was over before I realized there really isn’t a plot.  Things happen, but there’s no conflict, no resolution- except for a subplot involving an actress and her agent,  who won’t let her do her own stunts.  She gets to do a stunt.  Conflict/Resolution solved.

Did this bother me at all?  Nope.  I got 90 minutes of falls, jumps, guys on fire, explosions, car crashes, a guy on fire while he’s falling, heavy metal, and sorcerers with pyro.  It’s “a death wish at 120 decibels”.  What else could you ask for?

A dragon.  So it’s not perfect.  But damn, it’s close.

Last night, I started a discussion of The Book of Eli.  Tonight I’d like to finish it.  To refresh:  The film really deserves to be judged on two separate levels, story and performance.

Let’s get performance out of the way.  It’s magnificent.  Eli dispatching a band of ambushers with his machete, staged in silhouette, will be etched into my subconscious for months.  A rather standard siege on a house becomes a ballet of carnage as the camera flies in and out and around the action.  It’s a gorgeous movie.  Before the screening, Allen Hughes remarked that the most expensive special effect cost them $20 million, and that was Denzel.  He wasn’t kidding.  The success of this movie rests in the performance of Eli, and Denzel delivers.  I believed.

What about the story.  I loved it, but.  The story is about the power of faith.  Not religion.  Not spirituality.  Not a particular faith.  It’s a journey of faith.

If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t read any more of this.  Seriously.

When it appeared that Eli was not only a master hand to hand fighter but also seemingly impervious to gunfire, I thought they were going for the whole “Hand of God” thing a bit hard.  It was almost a relief when he got shot.  Even more when he actually passed away.  There were no magic powers bestowed upon Eli by the “King James” God.  Eli was just a man who believed in his walk.  His faith gave him courage and strength.  Half of winning is believing you can win.  That’s the power of faith.

The movie is in no way an endorsement of religion.  Eli says that all the bibles were destroyed after the war, for being the cause of the war.  Gary Oldman’s character says “It’s not a book, it’s a weapon”.  Eli himself finally abandons the book, and says he was so focused on the book he forgot what it was actually about.  The book winds up at a University, on a library shelf with many other books of faith.

The movie is about a journey of faith.  Believing in something so much you refuse to let anything stand in your way.  And learning along the way that just because you have faith it doesn’t mean you don’t still have something to learn.

At least that’s what I walked out with.  I know that not everyone left with the same feelings.  It may not reach everyone where it reached me.  That’s cool.

I’m the stunt rocker!

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