Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: The Raven

Is this another sequel to the crow?

Once upon a late night dreary, while we pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious points of random Batman lore,
While we quibbled, nearly fighting, suddenly there came a prompting,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at our theater door.
`'Tis some visitor,' we muttered, `tapping at our theater door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled us - filled us with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of our hearts, We stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at our theater door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at our theater door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently our souls grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said we, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness we implore;
But the fact is we were quibbling, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at our theater door,
That we scarce were sure we heard you' - here we opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long we stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only words there spoken were the whispered words, `This movie blows!'
This we whispered, and an echo murmured back the words, `This movie blows!'
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all our souls within us burning,
Soon again we heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said we, `surely that is something at our theater row;
Let us see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let our hearts be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Then, we thought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' we cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of the film before!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this film before!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said we, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, we implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said we, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell these souls with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
 They shall see a movie that shall wash out this painful memory with blood and gore -
Clasp a rare and brilliant film whom the angels named in days a fore?'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' We shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave our loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out our hearts, and take thy form from off our door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

That was my attempt to use the words of Edgar Allen Poe and my own to tell you how much I hated this movie. There is almost nothing about this movie I didn't hate. The night started of grand with a great dinner at Goodwood Barbecue, but as we left we should have paid heed to the omens around us that warned us the movie would be a disaster. I came in expecting nothing and somehow I left super disappointed.

I should have noticed the fact that John Cusack was starring int he film and as we all know he has been phoning it in since the early 90's. Also he lost 20 pounds for the role but for some reason he grew out a goatee even though Poe never had more than a mustache a possibly a bit of a van dyke during a couple of his different phases.

Note the lack of a goatee on the one with talent.
Also the actors that they got to star in the movie were not the first choices. Ewan McGregor was supposed to be Edgar Allan Poe and Jeremy Renner was to be Inspector Fields. That would have helped the movie a bit but you still can't overcome terrible writing. The dialogue was very wooden and poor and the delivery didn't help in that at all.  The characters would randomly get angry without cause and when I thought that they should lose control they were rather placid.

The movie was so boring. It was all we could do to not yell at the screen, but I can assure you that had we been alone in the theater we would have been shouting up a storm. In the end there were only two characters I cared about even a little. A pet raccoon and Emily (Alice Eve) and she is only included because I think she is attractive. Actually I changed my mind! I don't care about her! I just remembered that she was playing a piece of music on the piano by Claude Debussy even though he wouldn't be born for another thirteen years from the time the film supposedly took place.

Also since the movie is based on Edgar Allan Poe you would think they would check their facts but nooooo, fact checking is just too darn hard. An example is when he gets asked if he had ever written a story involving a sailor and he replies that he hasn't. I literally read a story by Poe last week that involved a sailor called Descent in the Maelstrom and that is not the only one he has written about them. Grrrr! Consider my hackles officially raised. One more thing! Poe never signed his work Edgar Allan Poe because Allan was the name of his step-father and he hated the man! GRAAHHH!! ZAC SMASH!!!!!

Sorry about that. As soon as I find a replacement shirt I will get back to the review. Okay now that I am freshly shirted here I go.

Also this was in the movie! Okay it wasn't exactly the same thing, but the mask that Poe wears at the masquerade ball reminded me of this snickers mask a lot. Why would you make something that looks like this? That is ridiculous and you should be ashamed for what you have done.

Tell me that isn't what it looks like.

When I first heard about this project I was excited because it was an original idea that seemed to have a lot of potential. As the opening drew nearer I started to lose faith because of what I was seeing and what the critics were saying. This movie made me oh so very sad, even though I learned that if you are poisoned you don't just have a second wind you actually can have up to six or seven winds. Also coffins from the 1840's are airtight even if you think you can see a sliver of light coming through it is only there to fool you.  Never see this movie. If you do see it you can't say I didn't warn you, but you still can come to me and I will comfort you and we can wallow in our sadness together. But hey at least it wasn't Skyline.

Rating 1.5 Stars

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