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I read a lot of reviews before going to see this movie at my local
cinema, so i entered the room with low expectations, like i was going
to watch an average thriller.. But i was wrong. This movie made a huge
impression to me, i saw what i wasn't expecting, a wonderful film. I
was hanging from the edge of my seat almost the whole duration of the
film. I recommend it to anyone who wants to see a good
mystery-thriller. Best thriller i have seen for a long time.
p.s. People, don't rely on reviews you see on the internet, if you like the genre of the film you are considering to watch, don't hesitate to make the big step and watch it at the cinema, so you can give your own review to your self.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Here in "The Raven (2012)" at the beginning of this film; gore, slash &
hack may drive the characters instead of the characters driving the
gore, hack & slash. This direction may result in poorly developed and
unemotional story growth. This depends upon your personal dramatic
For example, the movie "Silence of the Lambs" may have been written and directed in a more structurally effective emotional method that intends to compel audience involvement where at the end of the movie your heart begins to thump in your chest.
When you look to the classical past to the dramatic plays of William Shakespeare, blood does not hit the floor driving characters into action. The character drives why the blood hits the floor. Here, the development of Edgar Allen Poe is that he's a pitiful, unsuccessful, manic, drunkard and people are starting to be murdered. We know nothing about the murderer. This vacuum about the killer does not compel.
Firstly, for some reason I tend to categorize John Cusack with actor Shia LaBeouf. Both seem to display and act in sometimes inappropriate hyper-kinetic emotional and physical ways to dramatic plot motivations. This results in an unsuccessful attempt to compel a discerning audience into involvement with the story. I find myself attracted to subtleties & nuances. Subtle teasing, brief hints, misdirection, then pay off.
Personally, there was no emotional immersion until 23-minutes 48-seconds before the end of this film. Getting to this moment was uncomfortable. The road was too bumpy and strayed from the final destination.
"The Raven (2012) gets 5 out of 10 stars.
Author Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) is one of those historical figures
who wake the interest not only because of their work, but also because
of their venturesome life (and death), which perfectly reflects the
"tortured artist" archetype. For better or for worse, this has inspired
all kinds of "adaptations" through the decades, which very few have to
do with Poe's short stories and poems; the most recent example is the
film The Raven, which despite not being bad, fails on two important
The screenplay from The Raven shows some ingenuity in combining "reality" with fantasy, incorporating parallels between the characters from the film and Poe's tales (for example, Inspector Fields is obviously an allusion to Auguste Dupin, the famous "knight detective" from Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Purloined Letter). The dialogues cunningly evoke Poe's prose, adding a humorous subtext which lightens the movie and makes it more accessible. The clues left by the murderer create a moderately interesting mystery, which gets increasingly intense as the crimes become more elaborate and straightly affect the main character. And I also have to say that co-screenwriters Hannah Shakespeare (?) and Ben Livingston made the effort of studying Poe's biography in order to bring us an apocryphal, but well raised, theory about the author's last days. However, The Raven didn't leave me very satisfied, because as I previously mentioned, it fails on two important elements.
To start with, we have James McTeigue's weak direction, which displays a general poorness of vision and "personality" in every aspect from the film. And I'm not referring to the slow rhythm from the film...I'm talking about a lack of energy which avoid us to get interested in the characters, or have enthusiasm for the mystery's solution. This is definitely not the same McTeigue who directed V for Vendetta and Ninja Assassin. The other big problem from The Raven is John Cusack. I generally like this actor's work, but his performance in this movie is atrocious. I felt him too frivolous and casual; I could never feel his character's internal conflict, nor the melancholy which has followed him during his whole life. On the opposite, Cusack's Poe is simply Cusack with a beard, gesturing exaggeratedly and trying to make us believe the character's tortuous past without any result. Cusack's bad performance reminded me of the episode The Black Cat from the TV series Masters of Horror, in which the great Jeffrey Combs brought an extraordinary work as Poe. The episode itself wasn't very remarkable, but Combs' performance has stayed in my memory, because with only his look we could feel the character's depressed spirit, the weight of his vices and the anguish for the unavoidable future.
In conclusion, The Raven offers some positive elements, but failed on two very important aspects, such as the direction and the main actor's performance, so I can only give it the slightest recommendation. After the not very satisfactory experience I had with The Raven, I think I will re-watch some of the adaptations of Poe's tales made by director Roger Corman. They weren't very respectful to the literary version, but they were full of atmosphere and excitement.
I think this movie might be appalling to Poe fans. I'm not that
familiar with everything concerning Edgar Allan Poe, so I might not be
the best judge, if you try to find out if this is anything like him or
close to what is known of him. But I don't think that matters much for
this movie. Quite the opposite, I really think this movie works as a
thriller (even with a heightened? Poe in it!).
I like John Cusack in it and it does have a few scary moments in it too. The cast overall is good. And while the story might go where you expect it to go (I don't think there will too many surprises), I still think it works quite fine. A nice little thriller, that might get hurt by the name it got or not. Another take that might be compared to the recent Holmes adaptations (by Guy Ritchie) ...
The idea of incorporating Edgar Allan Poe one of the most famous
writers of all time and his gristly stories together seems like a
pretty cool idea. But the execution wasn't that great, but it's a good
effort. And is worth seeing at least once. The plot is about Edgar
Allan Poe(John Cusack) who is portrayed in a very arrogant character
who is also a drunkard on the trail with Inspector Emmett Fields(Luke
Evans)to catch a killer that kills people in the same manner it's told
in Poe's stories. Now this might be a interesting premise but it goes
in a pretty one dimensional direction without pulling hardly any major
twists. The killer keeps giving the trackers clues and they follow that
clue and that formula is used over and over again. This would be okay
if it didn't go in such a narrow direction to the point it gets dull
after a while. It got my attention sometimes but got bored easily a lot
as well. John Cusack as Edgar was alright but it seemed like he didn't
really care about his role that much. Luke Evans is good in this and
his emotions really pour out and makes his desperation to catch the
killer believable. The motives of the killer and who the killer is made
is the main driving factor of this movie and not how Poe's stories got
incorporated in this movie in a creative and imaginative way. Which is
the main disappointment for this flick. I got the motive of the killer
pretty early on but was hoping there would be more to it, but there
wasn't. It's a okay detective style movie but nothing much you probably
seen in this type of genre. On the plus side I did like how they mixed
reality with fiction although there is way more fiction in this.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This review is on the movie "The Raven," starring John Cusack, Luke
Evans, and Alice Eve. When I saw the previews for this film I was
automatically hook. I haven't read any of Edgar Allan Poe's novels, but
I have heard a lot of great things about them. The previews made the
movie look real catchy with a writer (Edgar Allan Poe) going after a
murderer that is mimicking his novels. Looked like a descent film and I
was excited to see it.
This film is about a writer (Edgar Allan Poe) who has an admirer. The problem with this admirer is that this admirer is willing to bring the deaths in Edgar Allan Poe's novels to life. In the mist of this the murder starts to play a game and challenges Edgar Allan Poe in a battle of wits. To make sure he plays the game, the murderer takes something very valuable to Poe.
I thought this was a very good film. "The Raven" picks up the mystery/thriller ball and doesn't get any scratches on it. I love the way John Cusack character was. I love his passion for his writing and how he felt nothing anyone else was going was better than what he was writing. I also like how just about everything Poe said was dipped in poetic form. The screen writing was simply brilliant in this movie. The ending wasn't typical either. I liked that about this movie. There's nothing like a movie you can't predict. This movie was gruesome though. If your stomach doesn't do well with gruesomeness, you might want to sit this one out. This isn't a difficult movie to follow, but you have to pay attention though. You may have to see the movie two or three times to fully understand how Poe and Fields (detective in movie) figure out the murderers scheme.
Overall, I felt like this was a pretty descent film and I'm giving this film an 8.5 out of 10. You have my blessing to see this film in the movie theaters. I will purchase this movie on DVD.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
John Cusack gives a great performance as Edgar Allen Poe in this film. He really fooled me with the depth of his acting. In the opening scene, I thought he was just going to ham it up and show Poe as a washed up, egotistical horse's rear end. I liked that scene in the bar where he asked the patrons to give the correct answer to the phrase "Quote the Raven" and then someone yelled "Piss off". However he gives enormous intensity and complexity in showing Poe as loving and brilliant as well when he tries to find his kidnapped girlfriend. You sense his desperation. SPOILER ALERT in the end Poe dies when the bad guy forces him to take a drink of poison. HOWEVER, modern day forensic persons have theorized that Poe's death was from rabies due to a bite of one of his pets, may have been the raccoon he had in this film. I also wanted to point out that there is a big GOOF in this film that the IMDb normally reports on their site. In this movie, Poe is called to serve as an adviser by the police after there is a string of brutal murders that seem to match the plots of his books. There is a shot of a news headline in the movie and it shows the words SERIAL KILLER ON THE LOOSE. This movie is set in 1849 and the term serial killer was not even talked about until a century later. To the technical advisor's of this film I say you did a poor job and get your act together.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There are some good things to say about the newest film by director
James McTeigue ("Ninja Assassin," "V For Vendetta"), a combination of
"Sleepy Hollow," "Saw," "Sweeney Todd," "Se7en" and the latter-day
Sherlock Holmes films.
First, it acquaints the uninitiated with the works of Edgar Allan Poe, one of America's most creative and tortured writers. It also gives the author the Sir A. Conan Doyle treatment, bringing literary characters to life and trying to make them cool superhero modern-day detectives.
Poe, while unappreciated in his time, wrote what was considered to be the first detective story ("The Murders Of the Rue Morgue"), so this tale was eagerly awaited by many fans.
There is definitely a film history of Holmes and Watson going back to the 1930s, but Poe was a rather latecomer to the big screen. Until the early 1960s that is, when such films as "The Pit and the Pendulum" (1961), "Tales of Terror" (1962), "The Premature Burial" (1962), "The Raven" (1963), "The Masque of the Red Death" (1964) and "The Tomb of Ligeia" (1965) were released. Most of these starred Vincent Price and were directed by Roger Corman.
The newest installment of "The Raven," however, is one of the first to actually tell the story of the troubled, alcoholic novelist and begins by reminding us that he was found near death on a park bench in Baltimore on Oct. 7, 1849. For years, it was assumed he died of the affects of alcoholism and exposure, but a recent investigation and documentary has fueled the possibility it may have actually been murder.
The story here definitely takes one side of this argument and revolves around events during the last month of his life. While an angry, drunken, almost destitute Poe (John Cusack, "2012," "High Fidelity") scrounges out a living writing critical reviews of other, better-known poets and authors (Longfellow, Emerson, etc.), a series of murders takes place in the Maryland city.
Soon, police detective Fields (Luke Evans, "The Immortals," "Clash Of the Titans") sees a familiar pattern: the crimes are eerily similar to Poe's stories - and the writer is a prime suspect. Once he is cleared of suspicion, however, he becomes Fields' right and man in helping to solve the killings, which reach a level of horrid gore, with throats slashed, limbs hacked, bodies cleaved in half and lips sewn together, among other niceties.
Things hit home, though, when the mad person kidnaps his beloved fiancée, Emily Hamilton (Alice Eve, "She's Out Of My League," "Sex and the City 2"), in a situation straight out of "The Masque of the Red Death." It's now personal, so "The Raven" becomes somewhat of an action/adventure tale, as well.
It's all a decent ride, but not nearly as exciting as the "Sherlock Holmes" franchise, and Cusack is no Robert Downey, Jr. (or even a Johnny Depp, who brought Icabod Crane to life in the Tim Burton adaptation of Washington Irving). He plays a convincing violent drunk, but his scenes with Evans are not very effective and there is little chemistry between him and Eve.
Adding some small, but intriguing support is Brendan Gleeson ("Braveheart," "The Guard") as Emily's father, Captain Hamilton, and Kevin McNally ("Valkyrie," the "Pirates Of the Caribbean" franchise) as Maddux, Poe's perpetually ticked-off newspaper editor (are there any other kind?).
The movie, though, is expected to carried by the two male leads (as Eve spends most of the time locked in a coffin, which is fine, since she could not act her way out of one, anyway), and they just barely manage to pull it off.
There were a few other problems, too, including newspapers which scream with 40 column-inch headlines, "Grisly Double Murder" and "Serial Killer At Large." Anyone who knows ANYTHING about such publications in the 19th Century realizes that they were printed in vertical columns, sometimes eight to 10 across the page and the huge headlines as we know them today did not become fashionable until the 1940s.
That and the fact the term "serial killer" was not even coined until the 1960s. Poe also drops the "F" bomb, which certainly did not exist as an expletive in 1849 (it was an acronym from the 1930s), and seemed to be inserted only as a nod to modern audiences (if not modern - often questionable - sensibilities).
Those are minor details, I know, but when making a period piece, it is nice to actually stick to the period. As far as sets and costume design, the film is fairly accurate, which is certainly appreciated.
Overall, "The Raven" has a few good things to offer, some drawbacks and could have been about 10-15 minutes shorter, despite the fact that it only has a one-hour, 45-minute running time. The second act drags a bit and could have used some judicious editing.
That, plus the pat, predictable conclusion is an extreme disappointment. As for a sequel? Quoth this critic: "Nevermore."
There have been many fictionalised film accounts of historical figures
lately. Last year we learned "the truth" about William Shakespeare in
Anonymous and we will soon see Abraham Lincoln battle vampires in
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Now we have the fun of John Cusack
hamming it up as Edgar Allen Poe in the Gothic mystery The Raven.
In 1849, Poe is a penniless writer who enjoys a drink. He is unable to pay his bar tab and struggling to even get published in the Baltimore Patriot. He is also about to be engaged to the very beautiful Emily (Alice Eve) against her father's (Brendan Gleeson) wishes.
Then murder most foul stalks the streets of Baltimore when a killer starts using Poe's stories as inspiration. A young police detective, Inspector Emmett Fields (Luke Evans), is in charge of the investigation and recruits Poe's help. But the stakes are upped when the killer kidnaps Emily and demands that Poe write about his murders if he wants to save Emily's life.
The Raven is the first film to be made by James McTeigue without the Wachowski Brothers. He showed promise with V for Vendetta but dipped when he directed reshoots for The Invasion as well as the action film Ninja Assassin. With The Raven, McTeigue attempts a Tim Burton-style Gothic horror mystery within a historical framework, but it comes off more as a cross between the Hughes Brothers' adaptation of From Hell, Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes and the Doctor Who episode "The Unicorn and the Wasp."
McTeigue shows signs of an action-film hangover; CGI bullets fly in air, CGI blood splatters in your face and the killer in his cloak and hat looks very much like V and is capable of extraordinary physical feats. He does give us a visually striking film that is rich in a period detail with a dark look throughout. The Raven is a very fast-paced film that does not allow boredom to settle in, but it is too stylised for its own good.
As a story, The Raven could easily have been set in the modern day it nothing from its 19th Century setting. It could have easily have been a movie about a crime novelist who is jaded or struggling for inspiration and a serial killer who uses his/her stories to conduct crimes. That is just a possibility. The idea of using Poe and his poems is more a way of giving the movie more legitimacy and they are recognisable stories, even to people who have not read them.
Cusack is entertainingly bad in The Raven, giving us an over-the-top, Nicolas Cage-esque performance. He is wonderfully miscast as Poe, a man who is meant to be grief-stricken, confrontational and a romantic. He's also intelligent with Sherlock Holmes levels of deduction. He has little chemistry with Eve and Evans was his opposite, giving a very understated performance. Generally the whole movie was miscast.
There are moments of unintentional comedy in the movie as well. Sometimes it is from Cusack yelling in full literary speaking mode, other times it's the police's willingness to use violence or the killer's near superhuman abilities. These moments, topped with Cusack's performance, make The Raven surprisingly entertaining in a way that the filmmakers likely did not attend.
It is obvious that McTeigue and the writers were trying to make their own version of Sleepy Hollow, but it ended coming across more like From Hell. It is not a terrible movie, but it's at least watchable more of a noble failure then anything else.
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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First thing I have to give credit to John Cusack for is award winning performance, and to the supporting cast as well. The movie was great and a great thriller. Not many movie leave me guessing throughout the movie and this one left me guessing all the way to the dramatic conclusion of the movie. There is many different stories about Poe's last few days of life and this one was one of them. If you know the history of Poe then this movie is just amazing and even if you don't really know Poe then movie is still great. My mom watch the movie and she only knew a little about Poe and she like The Raven. I got to give credit to the producer and directors for a flawless movie and to the writers for a wonderful script. I think the best movie of the year.
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