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The black raven of boredom devoured my bitter brain with the fickle flicker of each passing frame. He paused every now and then in between a burp and a bite to remind me that this film's folly was to be blinded by the madness of the night where the dull destiny of dreariness consumed every painted pixel of deadly distortion and the illumination of reason was abandoned in a passionless puddle of great proportion. Alas, when the closing credits finally rolled in response to my prayers to the good Lord above who also resides as a gift to the mind deep within, I began to feel my empty skull slowly heal with the rapid exit of this foul-smelling memory of witnessing this sinister cinematic sin. And as I cast my eyes over to the lifeless bones of the black raven who died with his clutching claws desperately targeting the rewind button on the dusty remote, I suddenly discovered a tiny handwritten note which had been tied tightly around his faint and feeble throat. It read as follows: "To whomever survives this torturous agony of melancholious monotony concealed within less than five evil gigabytes of diabolically conceived insanity, do not forget to warn others of this wicked curse in the hopes they might avoid this treacherous calamity thrust upon the silly stage of Poe-profanity as a small stain trying to soil forever the sweet innocence of divinely evolving humanity."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To be an author and to live your work must be a wonderfully surreal
experience. If you're someone like, say, J.K. Rowling, to walk through
a Hogwarts film set is a gift; it's the physical manifestation of your
imagination, come to life before your very eyes. The same, however, may
not be said if you're someone like Edgar Allan Poe.
And yet, live his work is precisely what Poe must do in the new drama The Raven. Directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta), The Raven tells the fictitious account of the mysterious last days of famed writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe. In the film, Poe (John Cusack) becomes the inspiration for a serial killer, one who draws upon even the minutest details of the writer's short stories to stage his killings. When a team headed by a Detective Fields (Luke Evans) begins to hunt the killer, Poe, the natural expert on the recurring murders, finds himself fighting for the woman he loves (Alice Eve) and challenged by a mastermind more disturbed than he.
To this day, no one really knows what caused Poe's death, or what, exactly, occurred in the last few days he was alive, and The Raven's attempt to answer those questions is, admittedly, quite creative. (I mean, what better way for the author of "The Tell-Tale Heart" to go than chasing a deranged murderer?) In fact, screenwriters Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare (ironically) attempt a tactic similar to that employed in 1998's romantic comedy Shakespeare in Loveboth films try to concoct clever scenarios that might lend some insight as to what actually inspired some of the world's literary geniuses. However, while The Raven tries to paint a thrilling picture of said events, try is really all it manages to do. Unlike Shakespeare, The Raven never succeeds in executing its tale with much intelligence; neither does it do so with wit, elegance, or much subtlety.
It's unfortunate that this film is bogged down by such a thinly-crafted script and rather messy direction because I found, and actually still find, the entire concept to be quite fascinating; then again, I've been intrigued by Poe for as long as I can remember. And considering who, and what, the movie is about, I found it to be more silly than scary; I mean, I'm pretty sure I laughed during scenes (and lines, especially) I probably wasn't supposed to, and found Poe's human heart-eating pet raccoon Carl far more amusing than I probably should have.
To read the rest of the review (IMDb form too short) visit: http://custodianfilmcritic.com/theraven/
We liked this movie a lot. It was well staged,and filmed. It didn't drag, and made sense. It was very much in the spirit of Poe. We liked John Cusack in the role. A lot of movies seem chaotic and poorly thought out. This rolled right along, to a satisfactory Poe like ending. The credits were unique and linked to the story itself. I rarely watch horror films, but going to see a movie about Edgar Allen Poe, I expected to see the Poe story lines--he's the original horror-suspense master. They played off these elements. We generally see a movie every week, and this one worked for us. Sherlock Holmes and Hugo had a lot of mindless running around. This one had a plot that hung together. I loved the costumes, the atmosphere, and old buildings.
I really wanted to like this film, I really did. Something was off,
though. Was it the script? Perhaps, although I can't find a clear fault
in it. Some of the sophistication of the crimes and of the
investigative methods were clearly out of the era, but overall it was
OK. The production values were good, the direction was good, the acting
was good. The atmosphere was dark and claustrophobic as in Poe's
writing. Yet, I didn't quite find the enjoyment I was looking for.
The only thing I can think off was John Cusack. He and Alice Eve had no chemistry (and how can you not have it with Alice Eve?!) and the thing I had most trouble believing were not the way the criminal always barely escapes, not the story or the era or the feel of the movie, but that Cusack's character had any feelings at all. He seemed apathetic and occasionally angry. That was it. And that made the film, a good film overall, not be better than average.
In 1849, in Baltimore, Edgar Allen Poe (John Cusack) is a penniless
writer with drinking problem that writes reviews in the Baltimore
Patriot. Emily Hamilton (Alice Eve) and he are in love but her father
Captain Charles Hamilton (Brendan Gleeson) despises him.
When a mother and her twelve year-old daughter are mysteriously murdered in a locked room, the efficient Detective Emmett Fields (Luke Evans) finds a hidden spring in a window nailed shut that opens the window and he recalls an Allen Poe story. Then the writer Griswold (John Warnaby) that has criticized the stories of Poe is murdered in the same way of another gory story.
They find a scarlet mask in Griswold and Poe recalls another tale about another murder in a ball. Fields believes that the killer has inspired in Edgar Alen Poe's stories to commit his crimes and that Emily is in danger. Captain Hamilton does not call off the party and the criminal creates a diversion to kidnap Emily. Now Poe must participate in a game following the killer's instruction.
"The Raven" is a movie with a nice cinematography, but also with a boring story and unpleasant characters. The film is directed with heavy hand by James McTeigue that makes a movie without witty situations like, for example, in Sherlock Holmes films. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "O Corvo" ("The Raven")
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm not sure where all the good reviews are coming from, this was an
incredibly boring movie despite the gore.
Let's face it, if you've seen the recent sherlock holmes movies, this should be very familiar(they've even taken stock footage from those movies). The only difference is that the fact the detective character is a poet, and the killer is killing the same way as Poe's books and kidnapped his beloved, an extremely contrived way to get him to follow up on the case.
The real detective is useless, who serves no purpose other than to ask Holmes, sorry, Poe for help.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Raven TRASH IT (C-) I don't know why I decided to watch john Cusack movie" The Raven" as far as I remember I never liked a John Cusack movie in my life unless if he was in some 90s movie I don't remember at this time. The Raven tried to capture the imagination of Tim Burton's Classic Sleepy Hallow and failed miserably. You may have slightly created the same atmosphere but The Raven was too loud, too crud and too much filled with obnoxiousness of John Cusack's character. The best part has to be the ending he ., wow I was so happy. John Cusack is terrible from beginning to end. Alice Eve tried her best to bring some humanity to the movie as a girl buried in the cascade. Luke Evens is always wasted in supporting roles, I think it's about time to give him a lead role to see what he can bring to the table. On the whole, it's terrible though at times time pass but way to loud to be enjoyable.
Well, here was a misfire. THE RAVEN is another one of those films where
I should have listened to the critics. But, come on, the premise was
cool and it's not often that John Cusack disappoints. Plus it was
directed by James McTeigue, the man behind V FOR VENDETTA. How did this
turn out so poorly? I remember having read reviews for it but I never
actually seeing it arrive in theaters. I guess I know why now. I don't
know a whole lot about the life of Edgar Allan Poe but I do enjoy his
stories. This wasn't enough to find anything to love about the movie.
This is throwaway entertainment at best, though entertainment might be
too strong a word because I was pretty bored. The movie is a
mystery/thriller based around the details leading to Poe's mysterious
death in 1849. Poe is a penniless alcoholic scratching for booze money
from his apathetic editor who wants nothing more than another macabre
tale to capture his readers' attention (and money). Meanwhile, Poe is
courting the daughter of a powerful man with a hatred for the alcoholic
vagabond. When Baltimore is haunted by a serial killer who draws his
inspiration from Poe's tales, the author is approached by Detective
Fields to act as a consultant in hunting the murderer. Soon, the
investigation turns personal for Poe when his beloved Emily is taken
captive and they must work against the clock, following clues to find
her before she becomes the killer's final victim.
THE RAVEN is an obvious attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Guy Ritchie's SHERLOCK HOLMES franchise. It fails. Whereas Ritchie's movies are fun, exciting (if loose) adaptations of the source material, McTeigue's movie is boring and formulaic. It just drones on from one scene to the next, connecting the dots to a conclusion that I just didn't care about. I realized the reason a lot of the tension fizzles is because the movie continues to cut away from the investigation to Emily and her captivity. Maybe if we weren't constantly reminded that Emily is alive, there would've have been a bit of suspense as Poe and Fields race to save her life. "Will they save her? Will she die before they can stop the murderer? Oh wait, there she is. Nope, she's fine." Then there's the matter of the final reveal of the culprit. I'm not going to reveal their identity here for those out there who are interested in the movie, but I was pretty disappointed. To be honest, I didn't even recognize the person at first. I had to think back and remember if I'd seen them in the movie before that point. There are no clues or pieces for the audience to try and solve the case in their own minds, it's just: here's a bunch of brutal murders and here's the killer. Surprise! The murders themselves are mildly interesting, particularly the scene drawn from Poe's "Pit and the Pendulum". The violence loses some of its edge due to the shoddy CG that fills out the movie. Nothing looks genuine. In 2011, Roland Emmerich used CG to create expansive shots of Elizabethan era London for his film ANONYMOUS and it worked great, but McTeigue tries the same technique for 19th century Baltimore and it falls flat because it looks fake.
Speaking of fake, let's chat about the cast. I love Cusack but he was sorely miscast as Poe. From the very beginning, he never really disappeared into the character and always came off as John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe with a hint of Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes. As much as I enjoy Cusack, I'm not sure he's the right person for any sort of period piece. Throw him back in the hot tub time machine and let someone more appropriate tackle a role like Poe. Luke Evans is Poe's partner in the investigation, Detective Fields. Fields is a dull character with nothing defining about him with the exception that he's intelligent and all business. Good for him, but it doesn't make for the most exciting character. Alice Eve is beautiful as Emily and Brendan Gleeson is probably the best in the cast as Captain Hamilton, Emily's father and ardent Poe hater. Shallow characters in a shallow movie. That about sums up THE RAVEN. It's a forgettable experience that had a hard enough time capturing my attention while I was watching it. If you're looking for a thriller but don't really want to have to put any thought into the experience, THE RAVEN might be what you want.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Oh dear. Much as a am a fan of John Cusak this is simply a terrible
movie. Sure it looks and sounds good in high definition . As others
have alluded to the director captures the whole Sleepy Hollow
atmosphere 100%. The only redeeming feature was the Cusak portrayal of
Poe. Down on his luck , his glory days behind him Poe is seen as a
belligerent and egotistical drunk.
The amalgamation of truth and fiction simply does not work. Everything is thrown into the mixer from Hammer horror , to Sherlock Holmes to even Saw. Afet the 40 minute mark my mind began to wonder. Even with its serial killer (emblazoned on a newspaper headline - pointed in one scene towards the camera, in case you were not following) copycatting Poes more famous death scenes plot, the affair is strangely tension free. The identity of the killer results in a shrug of the shoulders - oh its him . Who would have guessed? I was never engaged enough to even try to guess the killers identity. If Poes death is shrouded in mystery this certainly doesn't pretend to be a viable explanation.
So I saw the preview for the raven a month or so back and was intrigued by the premise of the film. I loved from hell so I thought that I might be able to relive some of that with this film. If you don't know the premise of the movie already then go somewhere else. With that being said, I felt that it was just blah. No groundbreaking stuff here literally your average serial killer mystery with poe stories to spice up killings and a deflated twist at the end. Quite frankly I feel that John Cusack has lost his touch and he looked very out of place when walking around the cheap set of London in the film, His name or face just doesn't hold the power that it used too and it shows due to this movie, Why was he cast in this film? it made no sense to me. I love the man, don't get me wrong, but I couldn't help but think that depp or downey could have dominated this film, cusacks attempt at being the funny eccentric writer/ detective that drinks too much was not convincing and I felt that he was predictable and boring as Poe. Is the movie unwatchable ? no , its entertaining if you don't want to think hard what so ever and your idea of a good time is watching a actor on the wrong side of 40 flailing around London trying to re enact the glory days of his once promising career. Unfortunaetly this movie is a hard one to justify to go see because there is just too many other films out there that are much much better. I'll end my review with this, there was 1 other couple in the theater when I saw it.
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