“The Raven” imagines the mysterious final days of Edgar Allen Poe as an action-mystery straight from the pages of the gothic author’s most macabre stories. Director James McTeigue’s film takes this gimmicky bit of revisionist history weaves it into a bland, forgettable movie. There are a few instances of gore that might momentarily sate horror fans, like an early near-decapitation, but very little makes “The Raven” stand out. It is a thoroughly uninteresting film.
Friday, April 27, 2012
Well that was disappointing.
The final 20 or 25 minutes of “The Five-Year Engagement” is great, and finally lives up to the film’s potential. Too bad the first 100 or so (yes, it’s 124 minute long comedy we’re talking about) are a toothless, meandering waste of time. Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller—the creative team behind “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “The Muppets”— are simply going through the motions here, and by the time they finally get around to the good stuff, the kind of charm and humor that makes their other movies engaging and fun, you’ve lost interest and really just want it all to be over. After the end the let down is so much more severe because you’ve seen how good the movie could have been.
Monday, April 23, 2012
In 1973 Robin Hardy made a little film called “The Wicker Man”, which became a bonafied piece cult horror. A few years ago “The Wicker Man” was remade (remember Nicolas Cage yelling about “The Bees!”). For whatever reason, maybe to cash in, maybe because the remake left a bad taste in his mouth, Hardy made “The Wicker Tree”. Neither a sequel nor a remake of his original film, “Tree” is intended as a thematic companion to “Man”, and ultimately part of a planned “Wicker” trilogy. “The Wicker Tree” is now out on Blu-ray and DVD, and I’m going to go ahead and say, whatever his motivations, Hardy should have left well enough alone and not bothered.