Monday, 10 October 2011

The Raven offends me

It's that kind of day when I'm mad at a lot of stuff. This is one of them. I have a sneaking suspicion that the people who made The Raven (2011) haven't even touched Poe's biography with a stick. I looks like they didn't even bother reading up his Wikipedia article or something.

I could kinda live with the fact that they would take Edgar's character and put him into a story with a murder mystery, weaved perhaps into a darker period of his life. This movie does nothing of the sort. It doesn't even pretend to care.

Hey, producers, why not invent a new character, a gothic novelist that gets the fictional murders in his stories aped by a real killer? Since that's what you have basically done anyway?

I'd even swallow the whole "let's turn a sickly drunk tormented poet into a detective action hero" bullshit, if it wasn't that one scene in the trailer where the sexy wife chick says "I love you Edgar, be careful." and then they totally make out if it wasn't so completely out of sync with Poe's real married life and consequentially so seriously fucked up.

And even if you ignore that, you can't help but notice what a cliched, rehash-of-a-rehash, ass-looking, artistry-lacking piece crap the movie looks like. Newsflash: Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow was fun because it took the gory imagery of Hammer films and  made something fresh with them. In short - this movie is going to be SHIT.

I'm slightly more kind to Anonymous, because Shakespeare is actually a person of at least some controversy and mystery so there's more leeway for artistic freedom. It also seems to have a plot that carries the movie at least some of the way (before becoming completely nonsensical). Admittedly, most of the controversy surrounding Shakespeare's identity is sensationalist/elitist bullshit, but it's at least partially bearable to see a real person put into a fictional tale in this context. Kinda like Alan Moore's take on Jack the Ripper in From Hell (again pretty much completely skewed by the movie version). But hey, Anonymous looks like shit anyway.

And before you conclude I hate fun or something, I actually love stupid and camp stuff, of which there is plenty of evidence on this blog, I'd say. As long as it's done with love, fun and a modicum of intelligence. There's a difference between dumb stupid and fun stupid.

Also, yes, I'm judging movies by their trailers, shut up.

1 comment:

  1. You are obviously a cranky old man. Poe basically invented the serial killer, so obviously he should be fighting one in a movie.

    And just because our modern notion of the serial killer didn't emerge until long after he was dead, well that's no reason to keep them away from historical figures!

    Then you'd miss out on such gems as The Federalist Murders. Can Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison convince the people of New York State to accept the Constitution, AND track down the anti-American "red coat" killer?

    Or Blood Mountain: William Shakespeare and Dr. John Dee team up to solve a series of grisly murders, deep in the heart of Transylvania. But soon enough they discover their killer isn't the usual social outsider. "Dee, what have you found in that bathtub there?" "This residue... Bill, this is dried blood!"

    And the full-length Brother Cadfel feature, where he takes on Gilles de Rais!

    But seriously, any Poe movie worth it's salt should include three-day drunken blackouts and the ghost of his dead wife haunting him. We all know how she died, so why should we worry about her being buried alive?

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