Monday, February 27, 2012

The Raven (2012). Let's talk about what the hell this movie is.

So most of us, especially anyone in the United States has read Edgar Allan Poe's, The Raven. Most may not understand what it's about, but you at least know about it. The poem has been animated into one of the Treehouse of Horror episodes in The Simpsons, and even Christopher Walken has audio of him reading it, which is a delight. To sum it up for those who haven't read it or remember it, The Raven tells of a talking raven's mysterious visit to a distraught man, who is slowly descending into madness after the loss of his lover, Lenore. Sitting on a bust of Pallas, the raven seems to further instigate his distress with its constant repetition of the word "nevermore" as his dementia sets in.

A little history on Poe and the poem, it first appeared in the New York Evening Mirror on January 29, 1845. Printed twice, it became immensely popular and made Edgar Allan Poe a household name and national celebrity. Readers began to identify poem with poet, earning Poe the nickname "The Raven". The poem was soon widely reprinted, imitated, and parodied. Though it made Poe popular in his day, it did not bring him significant financial success, as he later lamented, "I have made no money. I am as poor now as ever I was in my life – except in hope, which is by no means bankable".

Poor dude, he was poor forevermore.

Here, you can listen to Christopher Walken read the entire poem. It's quite awesome.

So as Hollywood is ought to do, unable to come up with an original idea, they have taken The Raven--a license-free and public domain idea--and as you would expect, bastardized it. I dare say, an even bigger bastardization than Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes movies.

Here's The Simpson's version, sadly I couldn't find the full animated version.

The upcoming movie entitled The Raven, is an American thriller film directed by James McTeigue, who directed V for Vendetta. It's going to star 2012 apocalypse survivor John Cusack (who has dipped his toe into horror before with the films, Identity and 1408), Alice Eve and Oliver Jackson-Cohen. It'll be released on April 27, 2012.

The Raven (2012) movie trailer in all its terrible glory

So, what's the story? Well, it has nothing to do with the poem that's for sure, or Edgar Allan Poe's life. I mentioned earlier Guy Ritchie turning Sherlock Holmes from a sophisticated sleuth into a slapstick comical action movie farce. Well, it seems McTeigue plans to do the same with writer Edgar Allan Poe.

The film's story plans to tell of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe's life, in which the author pursues a serial killer whose murders mirror those in Poe's stories, because the only way to stop the serial killer is to have the person who wrote the stories or something...

Poe teams up with a young Baltimore detective played by Emmett Fileds (Luke Evans) to hunt down the serial killer. As the attacks continue, it appears someone close to Poe may become the murderer's next victim, and raises the stakes higher yadda, yadda, yadda, dribble, dribble, blah.

It should come to no surprise that Hollywood likes to shit all over things, but this one really hurts. Considering, at least to me, that he is one of the forefathers of horror and very revered in my opinion. If you're going to do a "Poe" movie and modernize it, just take one of his existing stories, but no, I'm sure a bunch of people in suits thought that would be a "bad idea" or "boring" and this fictional take, which sports Cusack as Poe running around with a pistol, as a good idea.

The actual Poe claimed to have written the poem very logically and methodically, intending to create a poem that would appeal to both critical and popular tastes, somehow I doubt this movie will appease to either. If the movie turns out good, I'll eat crow, or rather, raven.

1 comment:

  1. I feel obligated to defend the Sherlock Holmes movies because Robert Downey Jr. is awesome. Even if the movies themselves could be better.

    That being said, this Raven movie looks like crap. Which makes me sad, because mixing John Cusak with a Poe tale could've been awesome if they'd done it right.