So Mom's birthday was Thursday, and they had lunch for her at work (she makes whatever dessert someone wants when it's someone else's birthday), so she took today off instead of yesterday--had a pedicure, got her hair did, and then we tried--and failed--to find something for my aunt's birthday (the same day as Mom's, although they're five years apart), so then we went to a movie. I have been agitating for The Wolfman, but I also really want to see Shutter Island, either of which she said she'd see, so we saw... The Book of Eli. (Hey, it's her birthday.) Apparently someone at work told her, "It's action-packed and has a lot of character development!" Okay... no. I mean, I'd give it a solid three stars, but she picked it on that one recommendation, having no idea what else it was about, except that she likes Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman (okay, point). I knew, but I couldn't really think how to explain it without giving too much away. So we get there, and it's artily-photographed, color-desaturated ("Is it gonna look like this the whole time?" "Oh yeah"), post-apocalyptic walking. A lot of walking. A lot. And people robbing and raping and killing and eating people, as you do after the apocalypse. I did laugh my ass off at (SPOILER) >> Disco Cannibal Dumbledore << (/SPOILER), just... because, but it's not really the kind of movie you enjoy for the most part. It's like... Children of Men without the shellshock, or The Road without the scarring of your soul, or Mad Max without the Thunderdome. So it's simultaneously grimmer than the kind of thing I usually go for, but also not as grim as your really top-shelf grimdark cinema. And God bless Gary Oldman, but he was kind of phoning it in, or either he was giving it everything and the script was phoning it in--it had one of those scenes where the villain asks for something and the hero refuses and the villain laughs and cries out to his henchmen, "I love this guy!" In fact, it had two scenes with two different antagonists saying that.
On the plus side, Mila Kunis is in it and is unrecognizably decent. Like, I kept going, "That girl is the spitting image of Mila Kunis, but it just doesn't sound like her at all. She's kind of good, for one. And not on TV." That, and her character gets hardcore after a certain point in the movie--she's kind of tossed around and attacked and taken hostage for much of it, and then >>UNEXPECTED GARROTE IS UNEXPECTED<< and I really started to like the character. I also didn't recognize Jennifer Beals as her mother, which kept itching at me the whole time. I immediately pegged Ray Stevenson, though, and was pleased to see him. Oh, and Tom Waits! That was nice. I won't even tell you who randomly shows up at the end, because it was a pleasant surprise. And again, there's the aforementioned spoiler cameo in the middle of the movie, as mentioned--it's totally That Scene with the Murderous Farmhouse Weirdos you get in this kind of movie (just off the top of my head, see also: Tim Robbins in War of the Worlds; Betty Buckley in The Happening--actually, wasn't she the second of two sets of Murderous Farmhouse Weirdos in that movie?), except that it's AWESOME. So this is what I mean about the script phoning it in a couple of times--when you sit there and go, "Oh, we're at That Part now." On the other hand, there were some really nice touches here and there, and the visuals are really striking, in that greyed-out apocalyptic way. You know. Mom really liked it, though, so: mission accomplished.
Now then! I just got back from seeing Shutter Island--by myself, thnx much, and I'm fully prepared to see The Wolfman solo as well, if I can get a time that works out--but I want to discuss that in a separate entry. So give me--eh, knowing me, probably an hour to write that up. ETA: Okay, here we are. SPOILERS.