I don’t normally do movie or book reviews on this site (maybe I should?), but I couldn’t resist saying a few words about John Cusack’s new movie The Raven. I had read some reviews before seeing the movie, most of which were iffy and not so kind. After seeing the movie, I couldn’t help but wonder what movie these critics went to see. Let me say, I’m not a movie critic. I’m just your average movie fan, who happens to love both Cusack and Edgar Allan Poe. Maybe that’s why I loved the movie. Or maybe it’s just because it entertained me to no end.
I will grant the critics that Cusack doesn’t play the a@#hole very well; he’s too likeable a personality to pull off that kind of character in only a few a@#hole-based scenes. Perhaps if the character he played was an a@#hole throughout the movie, the Cusack-familiar fan would begin to believe. As it stands, Cusack only got to play Edgar as ‘unlikeable’ for a scene or two. I will also grant the critics that much of the enjoyment I received from the movie was from the cleverness of the concept and not necessarily from the acting or the movie itself. I’m just enough of a Poe fan to recognize the hints and references to his work, but not enough of a Poe expert to be able to put each and every dramatically ironic situation into perspective. Meaning, I was left feeling tantalized throughout the movie, wondering how much of the movie was based on the facts of Poe’s life, and how much was based on fiction. It was intellectually stimulating, and made me want to go home and read more from (and of) Poe. (BTW–I got that same feeling when I recently saw Anonymous.)
Not every movie is for everyone. Clearly, The Raven isn’t for most critics. But for me, a Cusack and Poe fan, it was two hours of worthy entertainment. I’m glad (as I usually am) that I ignored the critics and went to see the movie for myself.
And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off the Rue Morgue…