Blu-ray Review “The Raven”

Actors: John Cusack, Alice Eve, Luke Evans, Brendan Gleeson, Kevin McNally
Directors: James McTeigue
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Run Time: 110 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When I heard they were making a film about Edgar Allen Poe, I was very excited and also a little upset.  I saw a play in California back in 2009, called “Nevermore” and starred Jeffrey Combs.  It was literally one of the best plays I have ever seen.  His performance was so intense and on-key.  Flash-forward to “The Raven”, I am a Cusack fan but he doesn’t have the skill to really tackle a character like Poe.  The film itself also takes a boring murder-mystery approach and doesn’t take advantage of this wonderful  character and possibilities.  I hope that Stuart Gordon is still planning on bringing “Nevermore” to the screen.  If not the play has recently been revived at the Steven Allen Theater in CA and will play one show on Halloween this year, so don’t miss it.  As for the film, it is work checking out but will leaving you yawning a bit and wanting more.

Official Premise: Baltimore, 1849. While investigating a horrific double murder, police detective Emmett Fields (Luke Evans, Clash of the Titans) makes a startling discovery: the killer’s methods mirror the twisted writings of Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack, High Fidelity). Suspecting Poe at first, Fields ultimately enlists his help to stop future attacks. But in this deadly game of cat and mouse, the stakes are raised with each gruesome slaying as the pair races to catch a madman before he brings every one of Poe’s shocking stories to chilling life….and death.

The Blu-ray presented looks nice in its 1080p transfer, especially with all the dark scenes.  The  DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 really showcases Lucas Vidal’s score very well.  The special features are step up from the film itself. There is a good not great commentary track from the director James McTeigue and producers Marc D. Evans, Trevor Macy, & Aaron Ryder. If you are looking for behind-the-scenes featurettes, this release has no shortage, including “The Raven Guts: Bringing Death to Life”, “The Madness, Misery, and Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe”, “Behind the Beauty and Horror”, “The Raven Presents John Cusack and James McTeigue”, “Music for the Raven: The Team”. This really delves into different aspect of the production and gives a nice insight. There are also six deleted/extended scenes included, all of which were rightfully cut. Lastly there is a the theatrical trailer included.


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