This review is from: The Raven [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I hope that when I die that I am quickly forgotten by most, but remembered by a chosen few. It appears that if you die famous your ghost is anyone's to play with. `Raven' is the latest film to take a real person from history and distort their life. Like `Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter', this film does not set out to harm its heroes reputation, just steal from it. Whilst `Lincoln' was a boring mess of a film, `Raven' is just as messy, but a whole lot more fun. Edgar Allen Poe investigates a serial killer just before his own death.
John Cusack plays Poe and it is one of his better roles in recent years. He has a tendency to look asleep whilst acting, but here he is forced to rail and shout, giving himself and the film much needed gumption. The film itself is a `Seven' style thriller where a killer is using Poe's stories as inspiration for a series of grisly murders. Poe is first suspect, then ally, to Detective Fields (Luke Evans), a man above his head. The narrative rattles along nicely and is daft enough to be fun. It is also interspersed with some quite grisly death scenes that are kooky enough not to scare, but do titillate.
Director James McTeigue proved with `V for Vendetta' that he is adept at genre work and that is certainly the case with the `Raven'. The film is shot to look very dark and McTeigue is able to paper over some of the budget restrictions the film had with decent direction. With adequate production and an interesting narrative, `Raven' is a surprisingly enjoyable film. It is certainly pretty daft at times and undoubtedly one of the more outlandish works of fiction to star a real person, but being fun is enough to make the film worthwhile.
There is a making of available on the BluRay version of the disc as well as an interview with the laconic Cusack. As the HD version has a lot more extras than the DVD and looks better, it is the format to get of this film.