Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Raven


First thing I need to say of this early hidden summer gem, best performance of John Cusack's career.  In the nineties and very early 2000s, we saw a string of great cat and mouse, serial killer thrillers (Seven, Copycat, Scream, From Hell, The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon, Saw).  However, it is something we as moviegoers, do not see anymore and that is a shame.  I personally love the serial killer genre.  So, when I first saw the trailer, I got very excited.  I mean come on, a serial killer thriller and Edgar Allen Poe.  I knew this was going to be a great movie; and I was right.

The name of the movie refers to one of Poe's most infamous poems, The Raven and of course, most of us who went to any high school in America, know of The Tell-Tale Heart.  The film takes place in 19th century Baltimore not long before the death of Poe when a serial killer begins committing murders based on the stories and poems of the famed American writer.  The police, led by Detective Fields (Luke Evans, Clash of the Titans, Immortals) enlist the help of Poe to get into the head of the madman and help catch him before time runs out for someone he loves.

The Raven has a large ominous cloud of sinister suspense running through it's veins.  I can describe it as Sleepy Hollow meets CSI (the Las Vegas one during it's first 7 seasons when it was great).  I actually the similarity to Sleepy Hollow, which is mostly in the cinematography.  When murder occurs in the tiny upstate New York town, Tim Burton puts a dark cloud in the skies because of the darkness on the ground, as is what happens to the city of Baltimore when it gets it's own madman.  There's almost a Gothic haze throughout both films which adds to the suspense.   John Cusack is definitely at the top of his game portraying the infamous American writer, poet, and literary critic.  Edgar Allen Poe was known for being very narcissistic, pampas, and the quite the drinker toward the end of his life in 1849 at the age of 40 when his literary river was quickly running dry.  Cusack portrays his intensity and vulnerability of the situation in an Oscar caliber performance. So, if you are like me and enjoy the ultimate, who-dun-it cat and mouse game then check out The Raven or you will become quite the mental oyster (watch the movie and then this will make much more sense).

Thank you and see you at the next blog. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Avengers

*I do apologize for the length of time between some of these posts.  I've just been very busy but now it is summer and it is time to watch the big summer movies starting with this one, which to date, has already surpassed $1 billion in ticket sales.*


The term blockbuster was coined in the early 1970's during a surge of big budget disaster movies that packed movie theaters. Among the most infamous are Airport (1970), The Poseidon Adventure (1972), Earthquake (1974), The Towering Inferno (1974), Airport '75, and then there was Star Wars (1977).   These were big, loud, action packed movies loaded with the latest special effects of the time and they had star-studded casts.

Nowadays, we all know that the big blockbuster movies come out during the summer and they rock the multiplexes of the world.  Yahoo Movies just released a slide show of 12 movies that have achieved $1 billion in ticket sales world wide.  Well, now it is 13.  The Avengers hit $1 billion less than 2 weeks after release and people, let me tell you, there is a reason for that.  I can pretty much guarantee you that this is not going to be that movie that the entire world loves for the month it is released and by the time it comes out on DVD, we will be asking ourselves, what in the hell was I thinking?.  This movie is not only an orgasm for the eyes and ears, it is smart, smartly written and acted.

The acting and dialogue is in no way cheesy.  All the actors play off each other as if they had already made a trilogy together.  You will laugh your ass off, gasp more than a few times, and basically just sit in awe of what Joss Whedon has put together.  Most of us know there was some controversy at first when casting of Bruce Banner/The Hulk was happening.  Edward Norton wanted the part since he played it in the last movie and it ultimately went to Mark Ruffalo who was sensational.  I will admit, when I heard it was him, I was very skeptical, but he did the part of Bruce Banner much justice.  As far as the rest of the cast, most excellent. Now, I realize most of you have already seen this movie, but avenge that right away and see it again, 2-D or 3-D, just go.

Thank you and see you at the next blog.