The Raven: STOP ACTING JOHN CUSACK!

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I had to see the Raven. I have read Edgar Allen Poe since I was 12. So even though I hate John Cusack and scary movies (yes, probably any normal human being wouldn’t think it was scary, but I’m special). I saw it.

This 2012 thriller directed by James McTeigue very loosely follows the end of Poe’s (John Cusack) life. A violent serial killer starts butchering people in the fashion of Poe’s gruesome stories. Then the killer directly challenges him when he kidnaps Poe’s fiancé (Alice Eve). Poe has to work with a detective (Luke Evans) and go further into the depths of darkness than even he ever has (Ha, I just made my emo side proud) to save the woman he loves.

My first response to this movie was me screaming and jumping ten feet and slapping my friend Sara for laughing at me. But I think my screaming was justified considering the movie showed EVERYTHING IN THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM SCENE!!!! Not even Quentin Tarantino has done a more disturbing film sequence. According to sara the blood looked really fake, but I wasn’t noticing that BECAUSE I WAS WATCHING A FREAKIN BLADE PLUNGE THROUGH A FAT GUY’S STOMACH!

Finally a day later I have finally reached objectivity to critique this film without having the urge to go find a stuffed animal. To be honest, this movie only has one real flaw. But it was a big enough flaw to ruin the movie. And that grievous error was casting John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post in which I ranted about my disappointment that John Cusack was going to be in this role, but I would like to guarantee I had an open mind. However, as I predicted, Cusack just did a horrible job. He actually had pretty good writing to work with that fought to make his character seem dynamic. However, Cusack couldn’t get the timing right to make the funny parts as funny as they could have been, and in the scenes when he is talking about his famous Poe darkness, he overacts and seems fake. Cusack, go back to apocalyptic movies that no one sees anyway so we don’t have to worry about you anymore.

I was also quite disappointed that the movie does not accurately show Poe’s death. The movie has Poe found raving mad until he dies of poison. In reality, he died raving mad because he had rabies. It could have been very easy to incorporate the rabies. Everything would be the same except Cusack would be on that park bench foaming at the mouth with red eyes and perhaps trying to bite a few people. Can’t we let him die with dignity? You know, Old Yeller style?

I give a lot of kudos for many references to Poe’s works that I am familiar with, including The Cask of Amontillado, the Tell Tale Heart, and the Raven, of course. To my delight, the movie ends with Poe reciting through voice over my favorite Poe poem, Dream Within a Dream. There were also references to true facts about Poe’s life, like how he was thrown out of West Point.

However, movies live or die with their casting. And since Cusack was a horrible fit, this movie just did not work. However, I give it a 3 rather than a 1 because of some of the good elements it did have. Now, I have to say this: Cusack, your acting career should be nevermore. Cheesy, I know, but I had to.

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The Dictator: An Excuse For Cohen To Show The World His Dick

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So, I just saw the Dictator. For the first time in a movie theater, I saw people regularly going in and out to get beers. That was new, but I understand that this is the perfect movie to drink to. Maybe if I had been drunk it would have actually made sense.

After being a homophobic tourist in Borat and shocking the world with explicit homosexual pornography in Bruno, Sacha Boren Cohen now stars in The Dictator which both mocks dictators and American politics. It pretty much mocks everything. In The Dictator, Aladeen, (Sacha Boren Cohen) a repressive dictator trying to ensure democracy never comes to his country. He goes to New York with his brother (Ben Kingsley) to attend a UN meeting when his brother betrays him and replaces him with a double. Alone in New York, Aladeen can only trust Zoey (Anna Feris) and a scientist he tried to execute (Jason Mantzoukas) to save his country…from being saved.

As my regular readers know, I look for stories in movies and characters. That aspect of the Dictator did not make sense at all. Why would a guy Aladeen tried to execute try to help him? However, considering it is a comedy, I’ll take it at face value. As far as comedy goes, over all, I thought it could be funnier. In a comedy, I want to be laughing constantly, rupturing my spleen in the process. Then I can sue the studio for hurting me and take care of my student debt. Anyway, the Dictator had its moments, but there were long periods, some like thirty minutes, in which I was not laughing at all. However, I will recognize there were moments of comedic genius that almost made it worth sitting through the long stretches.

All in all, I am pretty glad I saw it, but that was mainly because I had just seen the Raven and needed something uplifting to stop me from cringing from the pit in the pendulum scene and John Cusack’s terrible acting. And it worked. But I give it a 3 for not living up to my fraudulent expectations. I went to Austin College. I have a lot of debt.

Battleship: Proving We Will Never be Free From Transformers

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I just watched the Battleship trailer for the first time. Honestly, I thought for a few seconds that I was watching a spoof trailer instead of the real thing. Then I realized it wasn’t, and I laughed while dying inside.

Of course, I can only judge the trailer, which starts out with a romantic dilemma: man in navy wants to marry unidentifiable bimbo, but her father, man’s superior officer won’t let him, and man has to earn his respect. Queue Transformer coming out of ocean. What? Now, I haven’t played Battleship in a long time, but I don’t remember alien ships flying out of the grid. But it definitely would have made the game more interesting at least. Don’t know if it is the best move for a movie however.

And what the hell is Liam Neeson doing in this film? Was The Grey when you pretended to be Wolverine not destructive enough for your career? I still have faith in you, man because of your awesome voice, but you’re not giving me much!

I think I actually figured this movie out. Maybe after insulting Americans by screwing with the Moon Landing, Michael Bay wasn’t allowed to make another Transformers movie, so he posed himself as Peter Berg to slip transformers into the movie and use it as his sequel. Look world, Transformers can swim! I think they would be awesome at water ballet.

So the film industry has gone from making movies inspired by toys to board games. I can’t wait for Hungry Hungry Hippos. I already have the plot that can be accosted by Michael Bay. Hippos of Africa live in peace. And then, Transformers jump out of the Nile, and they have to deal with it by being hungry hungry and eating Transformer ass. I’d see it. I want James Earl Jones as the voice for Bubble Bum, the leader of the Hippos, and Julie Andrews for the voice of his romantic interest.

Sound ridiculous? I think I’ve made my point.