Weekly rewind: May 3
BY MICHAEL SMITH World Scene Writer
Thursday, May 03, 2012
5/17/12 at 3:32 AM
Rating: (on a scale of zero to four stars)
Were it not for John Cusack sinking his teeth into his role as Edgar Allan Poe, "The Raven" would be completely irrelevant as a grisly thriller, as a telling of historical fact and even as a nod to the notorious poet.
I went into the theater hopeful - as I do with all films - and with the notion that a dark drama could be intriguing if based on Poe himself helping police hunt down an 1840s killer whose murders are based on Poe's tales of mystery and imagination.
Hope evaporated early on.
The first realization was that the deviously delicious writings of Poe would merely be the grand framework for staging bodies in all manner of mutilation. Second was dialogue so clunky that Poe would have been aghast at the lack of prose and wit.
Then there was the inevitability that writing this poor produces perfunctory performances. Beyond Cusack, this cast is a snoozer (even the delightful Brendan Gleeson looks bad, which I thought was impossible).
In several cases, cardboard cut-outs of the actors would have been equal in their impact.
In the opening scene, we see Poe dying on a park bench, at the age of 40, looking up to see a raven. In the title sequence, we see a raven. As we next watch Poe walk down a Baltimore street, there is a raven picking at some roadkill. Will there be a raven in every scene, I wondered.
|Movie ||Rating (on 4 scale) |
|Titanic 3-D|| |
|21 Jump Street |
|The Hunger Games |
|The Five Year Engagement |
|The Cabin in the Woods |
|Safe House|| |
|Salmon Fishing in the Yemen|
|Think Like a Man|| |
|The Pirates! Band of Misfits|| |
|Mirror Mirror |
|American Reunion|| |
|Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax |
|Journey 2: The Mysterious Island|| |
|Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds|| |
|Wrath of the Titans||
|John Carter |
|The Three Stooges|| |
Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack) tries to help track down a killer while drawing inspiration from his writings in "The Raven." COURTESY / Relativity Media