The Raven [Blu-ray]
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"The Raven" as a movie demonstrates that you can make a movie that bridges the biographical facts of Poe's life and its own artistic vision and still make an interesting movie. The movie is driven by the premise, a serial killer starts a series of killings in Baltimore that emulate some of the more gruesome murders in Poe's stories. When the first murder is done inside a locked room, police detective Fields (Luke Evans) recognizes it as the setting of an Edgar Allan Poe story. Fields brings in Poe (John Cusack) at first as suspect, but when another murder occurs Poe quickly becomes the first criminal profiler and consultant. Poe helps Fields both in what kind of mind the killer may have and of course in the details from his stories. The killer kidnaps Poe's girlfriend Emily (Alice Eve) with the killer promising clues as to Emily's whereabouts with each new murder he commits.
The filmmakers, director James McTeigue and writers Ben Livingstone and Hannah Shakespeare don't try to recast Poe's character as a superhero or give the movie Poe attributes that the real Poe didn't or couldn't possess. As mentioned before, the filmmakers stick fairly accurately to the known elements of Poe's last few days, although there are some artistic liberties taken, and they still present an entertaining movie with a few twists and turns as to who the murderer is.Read more ›
I'm just thinking aloud here, but I would have loved to see a fictional Poe film set in the months prior to his death in 1849, one that made a genuine attempt at showing viewers what Poe was like, what demons bedeviled him, that sort of thing. The device of the fictional detective story involving Poe could have illuminated the non-fictional aspects of his life, aspects that contributed to his tragic, premature death.
But, no, here we get a sanitized, generally likable Poe with only the barest nods to the man's excesses, depression, and hardships. To be fair here, the film at least mentions that Poe lost his young wife to tuberculosis and that the tragedy still haunted him. But not all that much, according to this movie. There also isn't much grittiness or realism in the depiction of Baltimore in 1849, even though numerous crime scenes in bad parts of town are depicted. There was more moody darkness in the Robert Downey Jr. "Sherlock Holmes" movies.
Finally, worse than the broadness evident in the depictions of characters and locations, the movie didn't even give poor Poe the dignity of his inherent flaws when it came to his death. In other words, flattering or not, Poe's demons and weaknesses were part of who he was and why he died, and that should have been shown in the movie.Read more ›
The story was really interesting, even though I didn't know very much about Edgar Allen Poe to start with.
The movie keeps you guessing through the entire thing. Great story line with great twists and turns.
Baltimore, 1849 and we find Poe (John Cusack) as a drunkard trying to get his works published by the local newspaper edited by Maddux (Kevin McNally). His devoted assistant is Ivan (Sam Hazeldine). In the midst of Poe's financial decline a series of murders occur, murders that appear to be copies of Poe's many stories, and the police (Detective Fields - the talented Luke Evans - and Captain Hamilton - Brendan Gleason) decide to engage Poe's help in solving them. As a side story Poe is infatuated with his boss's daughter Emily (Alice Eve) and when Emily goes missing Poe s determined to capture the serial killer, even making it known that he would trade his useless life to save Emily's life. The remainder of the film is a chase to the finish and along the way we learn the references to many of Poe's great poems and stories.
No, this is not a great film, but suspend reality and it is an entertaining mystery movie. The cast is solid and the special effects are convincing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For some reason I absolutely love this movie. I can't explain it. There is nothing I can specifically write that can possible describe why it's good. It just is.Published 12 days ago by Brandon Davis
The macabre and lurid tales of Edgar Allan Poe are vividly brought to life - and death - in this stylish, gothic thriller starring John Cusack as the... Read more
The Raven was a great film..John Cusack mastered Edgar Allan Poe. I was beautifully fimed, acted and directed. I recommend this film.Published 18 days ago by Liz Smith
What if someone wrote horror stories and the things that he wrote about started to happen? That’s what happens to Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusak) in this critically acclaimed movie. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Deitra Wedd
I love the film, but was left wondering where were all the slaves in 1849 Baltimore?Published 29 days ago by jps