Sunday, May 6, 2012

THE RAVEN by Pamela Powell

I feel like I should say, THE RAVEN, as reviewed by Pamela Powell because as we all know "The Raven" is by Edgar Allan Poe.  The movie, THE RAVEN,  is a spin about Poe and his works during the last few days of his life.  A "fan" is using Poe's stories as a checklist to complete murders and taunting Poe by taking his love hostage.  With each murder, a clue is given as to the whereabouts of his betrothed, Miss Emily Hamilton.  Time is of the essence and Poe must work with the law to find her before it's too late.

It appears that May is a month of movie mediocrity.  (Yes, I love alliteration!)  THE RAVEN had promise.  I loved reading "The Tell-tale Heart" to my kids around Halloween.  I vaguely remembered other stories and poems from my high school literature class and was intrigued to see how they would put this movie together.  I now wish I was a better literature student as the references in the movie would have made more sense.  This will push me to catch up on what I have missed, which is a good thing! 

The Raven stars John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Eve, and Brendan Gleeson.  The story line was interesting and showed potential with the first scene capturing your attention with anticipation of possible horrific outcomes.  Murder abounded for the first 30 minutes which brought you up to a point of climax only to be lulled for most of the remainder of the movie.  There was so much that happened in the beginning that they couldn't keep that pace going for its entirety.  Many gruesome scenes followed by torture and gory deaths were points used to keep the audience watching (or in my case, looking over at my daughter).  The acting seemed stilted, stiff, and lacked emotion which is never a good thing to keep an audience entranced.  I would have imagined Poe to be a very emotional and passionate person and the only passion I saw was when he was drunk.  Most of the movie was flat in the emotional category.  The head detective, played by Luke Evans, seemed to have one level of acting as well and I was thoroughly distracted by his very sharp and long canine teeth.  I almost wondered if it was going to turn into a vampire movie as that seems to be all the rage right now anyway!  Finally, I know that attention to detail is really something that is difficult in a movie and I'm going to mention something that I am sure no one else would catch.  I am quite sure that at the end of the movie, high in the sky, we catch a glimpse of a MAGPIE and not a RAVEN!  But that's just me being a bit picky or maybe I just imagined it.

Overall, this was average at best and I would wait for the DVD if you're a fan of Poe. If you see this, try to read the following which will make the movie a bit more enjoyable:  "The Angel of the Odd," "The Cask of Amontillado," "The Masque of the Red Death," "The Pit and the Pendulum," and my favorite, "The Tell-Tale Heart."  On the very positive side, this movie has reawakened a love of literature and Poe and I want to read the stories and poems I don't recall or don't know at all.  

4 Reels out of 10

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