Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Casque of the Famous Players

If you have nothing else to do (and 10 to 15 dollars not otherwise earmarked for anything), I would recommend going and seeing The Raven. If you have anything (anything) else to do, including but not limited to trimming your nails, I would do that thing first.

The plot is actually quite simple - the film tells the tale of, possibly, the last few days of Edgar Allan Poe's life. Without even two nickels to rub together, Poe (John Cusack) works for a Baltimore newspaper. "Works for", really, is an overstatement, as his poetry and criticism are rarely published, being passed over for the types of gory thrillers for which he is most famous, but which he would prefer not to write. When a murderer begins committing crime eerily reminiscent of Poe's works, he is forced to write from the darker side of his personality to save his fiancee (Alice Eve). And there you go - PLOT.

The Raven doesn't suffer from any one particular malady. Instead, it simply fails more or less across the board.

Its 111-minute runtime is simply too long. The murderer is revealed to all those paying attention about 15 minutes into the movie (and I'm not good at picking those things out). There is absolutely no chemistry between Cusack and Eve.1 The entire movie, the two leads make the following face:

Even the fact that Cusack has a goatee, most likely because it was determined that he'd look goofy with just a mustache, bugged me.  I didn't look terribly hard, but I couldn't find any pictures of Poe with more than a mustache.  It's a stupid thing to haggle over, and he didn't exactly have iconic facial hair, but come on - give ol' Johnny boy a razor.

About the only saving grace of the movie is that Brendan Gleeson looks like...well...frankly he looks like our cat Winston with his humorously bushy beard.

The only time there's even a bloody raven in the movie is at the beginning when it's eating an unborn kitten. Yep. Way to start the movie off right.

1 - That, though, may have had a lot to do with Eve. I really enjoyed She's Out of My League, but Jay Baruchel had more romantic energy with Seann William Scott in Goon than he did with Eve

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