May 23, 2012

My piece on the adventure thriller The Raven is now up on two websites.

Cusack as Poe looks remarkably non-writerly and too much action man–albeit an alcoholic  one, at that–with his physique, though they did make his pallor a tad whiter.  The classy, hot blonde Alice Eve works pretty well as the Annabel Lee of Poe’s affection. And despite the fact that you get conflicting images of a poor man’s Rebecca Romjin and  that Victoria’s Secret model (I forget whatsername) when you see her on screen, but if she’s good enough for Edgar Allan, then she’s good enough for me. Oh, corsets for Baltimore women. Damn.

Well, now, check out what the copycat does. I wonder if some sicko will replicate “Some Kind of Noir” one day.

REVIEW: Serial thrills and detective games in ‘The Raven’

By Karl R. De Mesa, · Monday, May 21, 2012 · 2:24 pm

John Cusack has always had the uncanny knack of making his characters sympathetic and loveable no matter how despondently put upon they are.

There’s the Federal agent in “Con-Air” fighting bureaucracy and fugitives, the neurotic record shop owner in “High Fidelity”, and the high school everyman with lofty romantic aspirations in “Say Anything”.

Edgar Allan Poe isn’t any different. That’s the alcoholic, choleric, social pariah, and master of the macabre Poe who put the frights to every living soul with his stories and poems. Specifically his iconic poem.

His last five days were a mystery to all though, especially his death on a park bench, and this is what the film proceeds to explore.

“The Raven” is a mystery thriller that puts Poe in the limelight as a reluctant consulting investigator. And boy, does he ever hate his new job.

Poe is the down-and-out writer and editor his biographers say he was when the movie opens; already famous because of “The Raven” but not quite famous enough to buy himself alcohol.

Poe is also very much in love with Emily Hamilton (played by blonde bombshell Alice Eve), daughter of a wealthy city aristocrat, whom he plans to marry despite her father’s hatred of the poor writer.

Parallel to this we are shown how police find a mother and daughter brutally murdered in imitation of a Poe story—one of the fictional murders recently published in gory detail in the local newspaper. Poe is quickly arrested and questioned by police, but another copycat murder happens quickly enough, ruling him out.

So now a serial killer is on the loose with Poe’s writings as handbook and inspiration. Clearly, this guy is a big, big fan.

Read the rest of the Interaksyon review HERE.

Movie review: Blues for the Poe copycat in ‘The Raven’

BY KARL R. DE MESA May 23, 2012 2:23pm

It’s hard to overstate the influence of Edgar Allan Poe to that niche of literary geeks known as horror fans. He casts a long, mustachioed shadow in the direction of anything grisly and macabre, illuminating the world through a pallbearer’s dark glasses.
For me, his stories have given vent to many an angst-ridden fantasy. Who hasn’t entertained thoughts of violence against his boss, co-worker or rival? But after reading something like “The Cask of Amontillado,” where the protagonist bricks up his friend alive for an insult, your brain is floored into spewing its steam of hostility and fury at the sheer monstrosity of it. After that, well, it just kind of takes the wind out of your revenge plans.
Now, read the other review on the website HERE.

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