Archive for the ‘Luke Evans’ Category

the Raven

When I saw the trailers for this movie I was excited because as a teenager I was an Edgar Allan Poe fan and I have always like John Cusack. At this time Cusack had been on a roll starring in the disaster movie 2012 and the ridiculous comedy Hot Tub Time Machine.  So I was excited to see this film but work kept me from seeing it opening weekend.  By the time I had time to see the film it was gone and I was like WTF?  So The Raven had disappeared and I with the attention span of a 6 month old had forgotten about the movie.   Fortunately there is the HBO network and it was on the other night and I was able to watch it finally.  While I liked the film I can see why it failed at the box office and most of the critics as well.

During the last days of his life Edgar Allan Poe, played by John Cusack (Hot Tub Time Machine,) is broke and trying to survive day to day life, his alcoholism, and the father of his love Emily, played by Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness.)  Poe is given a new reason to live when his poems become the inspiration of a serial killer in Baltimore.  Poe teams up with Detective Fields, played by Luke Evans (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smog,) to try and capture the man who not only is killing people but has kidnapped Emily and will leave her to die if Poe doesn’t solve the riddle of the killer.

Being a fan of detective type mysteries is one of the reasons why I like this film.  It is by no means a difficult mystery to solve but it is fascinating to watch it unfold.  But I like how Poe and Fields work together to solve the riddles one by one.  It would be easily described as a poor man’s Holmes and Watson.   I also enjoy the look and feel of the film.  I love the look of 1840’s Baltimore and how many times I had to remember that this wasn’t 1800’s London.  I don’t know what it is about the time that I like so much about it.  Maybe it’s the use of horses and gas lamps and the Victorian dresses the ladies wear.  We rarely see films of this time in US history that take place in the eastern part of the States.  Most of the 1800’s films are westerns or Civil War era and I would like to think that there are many stories to be told from 1800 to 1850 New York, Boston, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Anyway I liked that the time and location of the story because my lack of knowledge of the period helped in the overall story telling.

I mentioned earlier this entire film is basically a poor man’s Sherlock Holmes.  This is what I feel is the death of this movie.  Anyone who has seen the Robert Downey Jr films will look at this film and see the Holmes movies as the better film and not think much about telling people to see this one.  I don’t know if that is completely fair considering Holmes is a fictional detective and Poe is a writer of dark stories turned fictional detective.  But that is the direction the writer took and so that is the path that is logical to follow when watching this film.  I think the writer could have bailed himself out if he had made the story more about the Poe poems with detail.  Instead we only see them used as a rough outline with the exception of The Pit and the Pendulum.  The other murders have pieces of other of Poe’s works but did not dig deep into them.  I would have liked to see the movie story wrap itself around the Poe films similar to the way the movie Seven had the seven deadly sins so interwoven in the film.  The Raven doesn’t do this and I feel that this is the biggest failure in the film.  Not that this is a bad story, it just could have gone to a wonderful place if written properly and it wasn’t and instead we get an average film.

I do not know if I will own this movie on Blu-Ray or not.  Maybe if I can get it dirt cheap at a used store.  I like the movie enough to own but I if I get it I don’t know how many times I will watch the film.  This movie also appears to be somewhat of a career killer for John Cusack.  Mind you this would be the second time that happened to him.  Since this film I haven’t seen a single film of his that made it to the big screen and the two that did were both small films.  I worry that Cusack may be disappearing again and that would suck because I find him to be an enjoyable to watch.  Anyway, I say watch the film it is entertaining but should leave you wanting more.



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