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Raven [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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Top Customer Reviews
However, though this Poe is acceptably modernised in performance, there is a persistent name-dropping of key people from Poe's real history blended less than seamlessly with a graphic-novel stylised version of Poe'ness; there seems to be a distinct lack of the true gothic to the whole atmosphere. Fog & a thinned out forest of thin trees does not make for gothicism. And the blood was hardly super-abundant, indeed, dwelling on death as a motif or telling theme seems to gone by the way-side, becoming background shade.
The overall effect was similar to a blend of From Hell and one of the Conan Doyle based tales that was under the monicker of Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes, it had that 'lets hunt a serial killer in period costume' feel. There was more a sense of Gaston Leroux to the proceedings too, which could have again made it more gothic in the crime arena. But it did not. Perhaps it was a little over-polished.
Clean, clinical with a fine series of performances. Lacking emotional details, or a sense of overt passion, perhaps there was an attempt to avoid the camp or gothic hysteria which could have made it less money but more rewarding. It will probably grow on people, benefit from further watching, but i fear the clinician that made it is driven to a youthful bent, that has limited the sense of pervading dread and sheer gravity of age, that Poe encapsulated & felt. I could have done with a few trappings or cliches just to add a little pepper, say a cobweb or a stage-hand peeling what might be a grape...
This is a fictional story using the real character of Poe, his works, that fact he lived in Baltimore and not much more. The writers of the script wanting to ward off such criticisms have Poe ask, "Is imagination a felony?" Poe teams up with Detective Fields (Luke Evans) and Captain Hamilton (Brendan Gleeson) to find Emily (Alice Eve) who is being held by a man who is killing people in the manner of Poe's tales.
There were a number of things that I didn't like in this blockbuster, first being Cusack's portrayal of Poe himself. It wasn't convincing for me. The opening scene of a full moon, a raven, and a woman screaming was a little too cliche. I felt insulted that the writer thought he could get away with such a shallow script. This is not a good horror story, not a good slasher film, not a good pseudo history, not a good mystery, and not a good love story. It does have a certain amount of appeal to it, but nor worth to go run out and see.
Poe fans do not need to feel they have to rush out and watch this film. The film doesn't really catch his genius and madness.
Parental guide: one F-bomb, no sex, no nudity, some Alice Eve cleavage. No music by the Alan Parson's Project.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Further to the write up of this film I didn't have high expectations, but there was no need to worry it is a great film.Published 5 months ago by Munchkin
This film just doesn't build up any momentum or tension and you frankly care nothing for the characters.
Just terribly, terribly uninvolving.
Luke Evans as a detective is more interesting than John Cusack as E.Poe. Is interpretation is somewhat boring and deja vu. Read morePublished 6 months ago by tshumba
Its a great take on Poe, its pretty bloodthirsty but hey, thsts what we want right !. Very happy with swift service and price.Published 9 months ago by K. L. Smith
Great little film starring John Cusack. Probably one of his best!Published 13 months ago by Julian Wright