Capone quoths THE RAVEN: EverBored!!!
Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.
In concept, I've got nothing against the idea of a film that turns the great and gloomy author/poet Edgar Allan Poe into a crime-fighting tool working with the Baltimore police to solve a series of murders that seem to be inspired by his own grizzly writings. I especially like the idea in the hands of director James McTeigue, whose V FOR VENDETTA adaptation was a great period piece that mixed fact and fiction, and resulted in a rousing call to arms against inequality. So why in God's name was I so astonishingly bored by THE RAVEN?
Perhaps it was John Cusack's underwhelming portrayal of Poe, a drunken lout pining for a woman far above his class (Alice Eve). Or perhaps it was the cardboard cutout portrait of the police detective (Luke Evans) leading the investigations into the murder. And while I'm perfectly aware that THE RAVEN isn't meant to be a straight-forward biopic, finally getting the writer on the screen should have inspired the filmmakers to give us a little taste of his real life rather than just this manufactured stuff.
Perhaps the worse miscalculation is that we really want a "Poe in Love" story; not that I don't find Alice Eve fetching and all, but I'd like to see a little bit inside the soul of the man who could come up with such grotesque and gothic material. I get that Poe was prone to getting lovesick (as well as just sick sick), but that doesn't make for particularly compelling storytelling.
The mystery surrounding the identity of the killer is especially uninspired, and since there are so few characters in THE RAVEN, the identity of the serial killer isn't that tough to figure out. His motives are the only mystery, and even they are rather lackluster. The great Brendan Gleeson is grossly underutilized as Eve's protective father who refuses to let Poe near his princess. But what truly rubbed me the wrong way was what I think will be looked back on as one of the greatest mis-castings in recent film history. Cusack looks like he'd rather be anywhere but in this movie, and after a while I just got sick of looking at his face. I think he's a great actor; please don't think otherwise. But this movie and he simply don't fit.
I guess the look of the film is something I could recommend, although so much of it is shown as murky and fog-covered, it became difficult to admire the lovely sets and locations. What feels missing from THE RAVEN is inspiration. Poe isn't especially heartbroken since Eve's character seems very much in love with him, so that source of gloom and doom is missing. As the film opens, Poe appears to be slowly dying, so that little source of intrigue is killed. In short, I spent most of this film searching for a source of real drama and coming up short. This isn't a film trying hard enough for me to truly hate, but the substantial lack of enthusiasm for the material got me really annoyed.
-- Steve Prokopy
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April 27, 2012, 2:09 a.m. CST
Think about it. Depp's Ichabod Crane teams up with Edgar Allen Poe.
April 27, 2012, 2:10 a.m. CST
April 27, 2012, 2:14 a.m. CST
Honestly I won't even click on them because the titles are so uninteresting. "Oh what a surprise! It's him versus another rom-com!" I'll pass thankyouverymuch. I dont have a problem with him, but I think the ultra-lame "versus" thing is a gimmick that has to end.
April 27, 2012, 2:18 a.m. CST
by Raptor Jesus
What were they thinking?
April 27, 2012, 2:23 a.m. CST
yeah it looks pretty lame...will be curious to see how much box office it pulls in
April 27, 2012, 2:26 a.m. CST
by No Respectable Gentleman
Didn't know Poe wrote THE EDGE ...
April 27, 2012, 2:28 a.m. CST
Poor John Cusack. He deserves better.
April 27, 2012, 2:43 a.m. CST
He took the gig and took the paycheck. Don't feel bad for him.
April 27, 2012, 3:15 a.m. CST
then i can skip the movie
April 27, 2012, 3:52 a.m. CST
by mr. faded glory
Damn...had hopes for this as the directors last effort was pretty damn good.
April 27, 2012, 5:51 a.m. CST
This guy gives the same performance in EVERY film. I don't get why people are into him, or are surprised he makes a dull Poe. It's like if I cast Schwartznegger as Hemingway. You really think we're going to get someone that sounds or looks or feels like ol Papa?
April 27, 2012, 6:30 a.m. CST
Y'know, to win the love of Alice Eve. That might have worked.
April 27, 2012, 6:44 a.m. CST
My wife really wanted to see this film. but hey i may still see it, matinee style! :) -Rex
April 27, 2012, 7:04 a.m. CST
by Bedknobs and Boomsticks
April 27, 2012, 7:10 a.m. CST
Many points to you, my friend.
April 27, 2012, 7:12 a.m. CST
Or was it a call to arms against an unfair, unjust, and tyrannous government? I don't think inequality had anything to do with it. Their certainly didn't seem to be any discussion or even any subtexts about the haves and have nots, the 99 vs the 1%.
April 27, 2012, 7:55 a.m. CST
V was a call to arms agains tyrrany. Inequality? Bummed to hear this mvie did not pan out - it could have been a neat idea in my opinion.
April 27, 2012, 8:26 a.m. CST
by The Garbage Man
You are incorrect, Edgar Allen Poe was not a drug addict. This popular misconception was a slander invented by a professional and romantic rival named Griswold; all of Griswold's "proof" was later shown to be lies and forgeries. Poe was, on the other hand, an alcoholic by his own admission and the accounts of those close to him.
April 27, 2012, 9:07 a.m. CST
I'm kind of crushed they didn't, frankly. A serial killer styling his murders after the works of Poe and there's nothing about an enraged ape shoving broken hookers up chimneys? Can you imagine that shit in 3-D? That is box office gold, for Christ's sake.
April 27, 2012, 9:09 a.m. CST
I guess Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr turned them down.
April 27, 2012, 9:11 a.m. CST
you say "Two dollars!" He said so on Stern. So, you know, be that guy.
April 27, 2012, 9:39 a.m. CST
V for Vendetta is a call to arms against exactly what most clueless fuckers worship and believe in...Government. It has FUCK to do with "Equality", in fact it rails against "Equality" in that the only way to make all things "Equal"(an unnatural state); is to oppress. In the movie and the book series...people ARE equal...Equally Controlled and Equally Miserable. This is what V stands against...trying to get people to wake the fuck up, stop believing in their leaders and rule themselves. V is an Anarchist...not some oppressive,tyrannical Socialist/Fascist. Fucks sake at least try to understand what you reference.
April 27, 2012, 10:14 a.m. CST
Cusack has always been deadpan, but recent stuff has been downright boring.<br><br> 1408 seems to get a lot of positive buzz from talkbackers and livestream rooms.. but isn't it exactly the kind of watered-down PG-13 "horror" we hate?<br><br> 1408 IS exactly the kind of watered-down PG-13 "horror" I hate. Dull, lame, and never gets off the ground. It has a direct-to-video quality to it, and I don't know why people like it.
April 27, 2012, 10:17 a.m. CST
no respectable gentlemen: bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahhahahahhahahahahahhahahahhahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!
Oh you got me with that one! That's gotta be the funniest thing that never happened.
April 27, 2012, 10:46 a.m. CST
by Darth Macchio
Like he wanted to do a biopic or something? I seem to recall reading about him being a HUGE Poe fan and wanting desperately to bring the writer to the big screen. If my recollection is correct, it's kinda odd that the end result has him basically just being a hack for the paycheck.
April 27, 2012, 10:32 p.m. CST
Sure, a few of us get it and don't follow a political party to the death, but the majority just fall right in line and keep voting for the next "savior" to be President. In the meantime, all the tyrannical congressional members keep doing whatever the fuck they want. They're all the same, so don't even start with the Republican vs. Democrat bullshit.
April 28, 2012, 4:49 p.m. CST
.. and that includes video. God what a boring and repetitious piece of dogshit that movie is.
April 28, 2012, 7:23 p.m. CST
Don't knoe about Cusack developing an osession with Sir Edgar, but I know that Stallone has been shouting from the rooftops for years, (even on THIS site), that he's deveoping a Poe biopic. I think he's going for comedy though, just imagine "Yo, Adrian" all roided out, spiking HGH while plaing tiny, dainty, little Edgar Allen Poe. "YOOOOOOooooooooooo" Ebert said a few years ago, I think it was i the review for Con Air, actually, that John Cusack has never, ever, ever made a bad movie. He didn't say all of Cusack's movies were good, just that none of them were BAD. That was a while ago, and considering his filmography up to that point, I think it was a pretty true statement. I'm sure if you really dug into IMDB, you could find a really shitty movie that he had a bit part in when he was young, but nothing's shooting off the top of my head. Since then, however, that statement has gone the way of the dodo. From what I'm hearing about this one, it's another onto the fossil pile. Maybe Piven was his muse. Too bad, even though the ads and trailers for this looked bad, I was kinda stoked for a new McTiegue movie after the pure bliss that was V.
April 28, 2012, 7:24 p.m. CST
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