Monday, December 31, 2012

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World - reviewed.

If you were seeking a friend for the end of the world, I hope you weren’t unfortunate enough to find Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

That may be too harsh. After all, the movie didn’t absolutely suck. It was alright, at best, though.

I had high hopes because the cast was fairly impressive.

Steve Carell and Kiera Knightley lead the cast – filled out by Melanie Lynskey (the girl from Two and a Half Men), Adam Brody (the dude who was on the O.C.), William Petersen (you know how he is, C.S.I. fans), Rob Corddry and Patton Oswalt.

That’s what should have tipped me off. Anytime you get a bunch of comedians together, the movie can be a hit or miss. Sometimes the comedians are given too much leniency with the script and they ad-lib their way into the ‘trying too hard’ zone.

The movie had a few funny moments, but it all felt very...already done.

The scene with Patton Oswalt talking about “stuffing the cookie” with Steve Carell was comedic shock value that wasn’t shocking.

That’s the problem I have with some comedies like Hot Tub Time Machine, The Heartbreak Kid, The Hangover series and, to a lesser extent, Bridesmaids.

Each movie tries to outdo each other with raunchy jokes and over-the-top, unrealistic scenarios. I’m good with the raunchy jokes – so long as it makes sense. I think the makers of the original American Pie did that nicely. Their conversations weren’t so filled with unrealistic sexual or absurd banter that it took away from the story. They had enough realism to balance out the ‘shock comedy.’

Unfortunately Seeking a Friend … did not.

The story was simple enough. It's announced that NASA has spotted an asteroid that is headed towards Earth and will, in fact, destroy it. Dodge Petersen (Steve Carell) hears this news alongside his wife while sitting in the car. His wife immediately jumps out and runs away, through the park. Apparently she didn't want to spend her last living days with Dodge.

After working his dead-end job at an insurance agency the next day and a few other events that lead Dodge to hate his life (which include cameos by Oswalt and Corddry), Dodge finds a crying woman on his fire escape. It turns out to be his quirky neighbor, Penny.

She had a fight with her boyfriend. They console each other by talking about their problems and watching TV before falling asleep. No cookie for Dodge yet. The next morning Dodge walks Penny back to her apartment.

As the end of the world draws near, an angry mob starts looting Los Angeles. Dodge and Penny narrowly escape the mob. Unfortunately Penny's boyfriend Owen (Adam Brody) got left behind.

Thus, the road trip begins.

There were a few funny parts of their trip. Keira Knightley's interaction with the Sheriff when she was pulled over for speeding was hilarious.

The scene at Friendsy's resturaunt wasn't bad.

Other than that, I was left going, "meh."

A love story is wrapped up in the center of all the craziness, but it never gets the chance to progress into something I care about.

Related Content:
The Dark Knight Rises - revisited.
The Raven - reviewed.
Planet of the Apes - reviewed.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

12 celebs to follow on Twitter in 2013

As you start off the New Year, why not do it with some humor and entertainment sent straight to your Twitter feed?

I’m not one of those who has Twitter updates sent to my phone, so unless I’m at work, at my desk (yep, I use Twitter for work purposes all the time), I’m not inundated with updates.

I work in news media, so I get all the updates from the Associated Press, CNN, Fox News, and the local police. There’s some light-hearted tweets as well, but a lot of what I see is about vehicle accidents, fatalities and criminal investigations.

When I am on Twitter, I like a little variety. A little bit of entertainment to be sprinkled in with the death and destruction.

Here are 12 celebrities I follow that usually provide me with a laugh, if not a break from the hard news:

12. Barbara Eden (@Barbara_Eden)
Jeannie is on Twitter. Doesn’t get much better. Watching Barbara Eden in her revealing pink outfit on “I Dream of Jeannie” re-runs was something I did a lot of. Now, you’re not going to get much controversy by following Barbara Eden. She’s no Lindsay Lohan. Instead, Barbara posts every so often, usually hoping that everyone has a safe holiday, or offering her condolences on some of the tragedies, like Hurricane Sandy or the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. Joyfulness and warm thoughts is what you’ll get from Jeannie. It’s like a nice little slice of warm Apple Pie. Maybe that wasn’t the best example after admitting that I used to watch her on TV when I was younger.

11. Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman)
He’s nowhere near as exciting as Wolverine, but Hugh Jackman does sometimes tweet about Wolverine. If you’re wanting to get the latest updates on The Wolverine, set to be released in July, then his Twitter account is one to follow. Lately he's been posting a lot of pics from his press tour for Les Miserables. While promoting the film, he ran into the Gangnam Style dude. That alone is worth a follow. You never know who he'll run into.

10. Betty White (@BettyWhite)
Her tweets aren’t the most exciting. I’ll say that up front. Her account mostly consists of ‘thank you’s’ for her fans and a way to find out about public or televised appearances. That being said, it’s Betty White. She’s on Twitter at 90 years old. Gotta’ show her some love by following. I think it's just cool that someone her age is with the times and willing to get the hang of Twitter.

9. Pitbull (@Pitbull)
You can follow Mr. Worldwide on all his adventures. While he, like most of the celebrities on this list, does his fair share of promoting (his music, TV appearances, etc.), but he also posts photos, giving you a glimpse of the backstage environment at the events he performs at. That's the most interesting part in my opinion. Chances are I'm never actually going to be backstage at the Grammy Awards or the VMA's, so Pitbull's Twitter account is the next best thing.

8. The Rock (@TheRock)
Tweets you see from The Rock could probably be found in a ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul: For Guys’ book. He’s all about positive energy, often tweeting about putting in the hard work to achieve your dreams. If he’s not talking about seizing opportunities or opening closed doors, he’s tweeting about fitness, WWE, or his latest movie.

7. Natalya Neidhart (@NatbyNature)
She’s the daughter of the famous wrestler, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. She happens to also be a wrestler herself. When her tweets don't consist of fashion, she's posting photos of her grouchy looking cat, Gismo, making comments about the various cities she’s currently traveling in or to, and sharing backstage photos and retweets from her fans. Her tweets are a little off-beat, which makes her all the more fun to follow.

6. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (@hitRECordJoe)
His tweets aren’t the most exciting, but following Joseph Gordon-Levitt it is a nice way to keep up with all his latest projects. There’s a lot of promotion and retweets, but most of it his for his hitRECord project, which is an online collaborative production company founded and owned by Levitt. As a result, you get to see some cool videos, photos and other artistic work that you probably would otherwise never have been exposed to.

5. Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien)
Rather than giving you reasons to follow Conan, can someone give me a reason not to follow him? Obviously he’s not for everyone. Some people have told me they think he’s lame. I, however, always get a kick out of him – even when his jokes aren’t up to par. On his show, he’s usually having such a good time laughing at his jokes that it doesn’t even matter if anyone laughs along with him. It’s that kind of mood that is contagious, whether you’re watching Conan on TV or reading his tweets.

4. Jessie Kresa a.k.a. ODB (@TheODBBAM)
This one is a character. For those of you who aren’t familiar with her, Jessie Kresa is better known as O.D.B., an outrageous, over-the-top, wild and crazy female wrestler. She’s just as fun on Twitter, often posting about backyard barbecues and working at her bar in Minnesota. Other times you get a fun 140 character or less story about an airplane adventure with an annoying passenger who happened to sit beside her.

3. P!nk (@Pink)
She usually includes a great mix of humor and very real personal opinion on her albums and her Twitter account isn't any different. She'll post photos of the beach at sunset, which makes you jealous. She'll post inspirational quotes that make you half-nauseated, yet still put you into a peaceful frame of mind. She’ll tweet her Instagrams, which range from food to the oddities of everyday life to her travels while on tour. Her 1-year-old little girl, Willow, isn’t left out either.

2. Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow)
If you enjoy her television show, you should enjoy her Twitter feed. Ellen, of course, promotes her show and her show’s guests, but it’s not just promotion, promotion, promotion. There are fun photos, comments on various happenings in the entertainment world, and corny jokes. The serious issues are left off this Twitter feed, so it’s a nice change of pace from the sometimes depressing tweets sent out by @CNN and @FoxNews.

1. Pee Wee Herman (@peeweeherman)
He’s my favorite to follow. Most of his tweets are about random things. Maybe it’s a fun photo. Or maybe it’s a tweet about cookie dough-flavored pancake batter. Mr. Herman always finds and retweets things that lighten the day.

Those are 12 of the celebs who keep the day fresh and fun in the Twitterverse.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

My most anticipated movies of 2013

Well now that we know the world isn’t going to end (whew!), we can focus on next year.

As the new year approaches, it’s natural to wonder what the next 365 days has in store.

You could choose to focus on which new year’s resolutions to make. Or maybe pat yourself on the back for successfully accomplishing items on this year’s list.

There are other important things to think about though – like which 2013 movie is going to be the most awesome.

I’m strictly talking super hero movies here.

There’s quite an impressive list that’s scheduled for release in the next 12 months. Here are the standouts in my mind:

6. Thor: The Dark World (Nov. 8)
Chris Hemsworth reprises his role as the God of Thunder next November. After Thor’s decent original outing at the boxoffice and 2012’s super-successful Avengers, I don’t think the Marvel executives have too much to worry about with this one. It’s pretty much a guarantee that it will do well. Tom Hiddleston is returning as “Loki” and Princess Amdala (aka Natalie Portman) will return in the role of, "Jane Foster," Thor’s love interest. I’m most excited to see Anthony Hopkins returning as Odin though. If he can provide us with another moment like this, then I’ll be mark out.

5. The Wolverine (July 26)
It’s Wolverine’s first big-screen appearance since 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which didn’t fare so well on the box office charts. Personally, I thought the movie was pretty decent. I was thrilled to see two of my favorite characters – Gambit and The Blob – have appearances in the film. Origin’s main mutant villains were Sabertooth (Liev Schreiber) and Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds). The film showed us how Wolverine got his Adamantium claws. The Wolverine is apparently supposed to be a stand-alone film, following the events of X3: The Last Stand. It should be a pretty cool flick. I’m assuming we’ll see some ninja fighting since the movie is set and was filmed in Japan. Wolverine’s foe this time around? The Silver Samurai. I remember Samurai looking pretty impressive on some trading cards I used to have back in the 90s, so I’m anxious to see him come to life.

4. G.I. Joe: Retaliation (March 29)
To be honest, I’m not sure how well this movie will do. I’m not sure how good it will be. I am disappointed that the story line will have very little continuity since most of the cast from the first film was not asked to be involved in the second. I hate bad continuity.

However, there are three reasons I’ll be seeing this one in the theatres. The first is Jinx.

She’s a ninja who does her combat blindfolded. She was originally a character in the animated film G.I. Joe, released in 1987. The production still of her looks pretty damn cool.

The second reason I want to see G.I. Joe 2 is because of the mountain-side fight scene. I saw it in a preview clip and ever since I saw that, I wanted to see the movie itself. I would imagine it’s pretty difficult to come up with entertaining fight scenes after the influx of hero and combat movies in the past 20-some years. I’ve never heard of a mountain-side fight scene though. Looks pretty cool.

Last, and most importantly, Cobra Commander looks legit.

I liked Joseph Gorden-Levitt's portrayal of ‘the Doctor’ in the first G.I. Joe film, but I was disappointed that he wasn’t a full-fledged Cobra Commander. I think a lot of fellow G.I. Joe fans felt the same way. Well, the makers of G.I. Joe 2 seemed to have listened because the photos of Cobra Commander look awesome!

3. Star Trek: Into Darkness (May 17)
I haven’t seen the opening 9-minutes yet because I haven’t been out to see The Hobbit yet. Actually I don’t want to see the opening 9 minutes. I’d rather wait and let it all be fresh when I see the movie in its entirety. I was definitely on the Star Wars side of the fence growing up, but after seeing 2009’s Star Trek, I’ve been getting more and more into the franchise. I have some of the original movies on my Netflix list now. I’ve read that some fans are pretty excited about Benedict Cumberbatch being in the film. Apparently he’s the villain. I’ve never heard of him before. I guess I will in about six months.

2. Iron Man 3 (May 13)
When he’s not entertaining alongside Jude Law in the Sherlock Holmes series, Robert Downey Jr. is delivering witty comebacks as Tony Stark. He’s taken that character and turned it into a trilogy (with hopefully more to come). I’ll admit, I was never a huge Iron Man fan. I remember seeing him make a cameo on the animated Spider-Man series on Fox Kids and I thought he was a pretty cool character, but after seeing Iron Man in 2008, I was hooked. The sequel didn’t disappoint. Iron Man’s parts in The Avengers were perfect. I definitely have expectations that the third Iron Man film will deliver. I really don’t have any doubt that I’ll be just as entertained with this one as I was with the first.

1. Man of Steel (June 13)
What could possibly beat out Iron Man? How about The Man of Steel? It’s freakin’ Superman – back in a major way, with Christopher Nolan telling his story this time around. After Nolan’s immensely successful Dark Knight trilogy, there’s definitely some pressure on this film. After seeing two of the preview clips, it’s highly anticipated in my book. The previews alone leaves you going, “This is going to be epic!”

Related Content:
The Dark Knight Rises - revisited.
Star Trek: Into Darkness teaser released
More Star Wars, Indiana Jones films?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises - revisited.

When I first saw The Dark Knight Rises, I had a lot of mixed emotions.

Batman was my favorite super hero growing up, so the final movie of The Dark Knight trilogy was something I anticipated ever since I saw the ending of The Dark Knight.

The shooting in Colorado stopped that excitement. It was still amazing to watch the conclusion of the Christopher Nolan-directed trilogy, but it wasn’t as enjoyable as I’d anticipated.

After seeing the movie twice more on the big screen in the dollar theatre and several times now on DVD, the Colorado shooting isn’t the first thing I think of when I watch the movie.

I don’t get a somber feeling anymore; instead there’s a feeling of finality – which is appropriate given that this movie marks the end of the journey that started 7 years ago with Batman Begins.

I’ve seen it several times over, but The Dark Knight Rises is not the most epic movie of all time.

There's actually a few problems I have with it.

The plot seems unrealistic. Baine taking control of Gotham for several months, while the Federal Government doesn’t do anything? Seems unlikely.

Even though Baine had a nuclear weapon and threatened to use it if anyone left, it seemed odd that nobody would try.

Or maybe it’s just the fact that the movie’s makers used a few minutes of pseudo-montages to show several months worth of events, yet the first hour and a half focused on just a few days. Maybe it just felt too rushed.

Batman makes his way into the blocked off city apparently with ease. It's never explained how he gets back into Gotham without any resources, but I don't think that's a negative. In fact I kind of like that they didn't explain that. It's part of the fun that is Batman. He always has tricks.

I did think it was very convenient that his Batship, which was left atop a skyscraper, was left untouched, despite the city being controlled by criminals.

I guess the criminals didn't like to leave the ground floor.

Then there’s the big battle between Baine’s followers and the police near the end of the movie. Batman and Baine travel through the mess so they can do battle against each other.

It, of course, makes sense for the main hero of the movie and the main villain to do battle, but what about the other thugs and the officers? Is there not one brave soul of that bunch that wanted to at least attempt a shot at Baine or Batman?

Baine and Batman battle into a building that just happens to be empty. Then there’s a long piece of dialogue and even though there’s a huge fight amongst several thousand people going on just outside, not one of them wander into the building and interrupt the dialogue.

That’s just not realistic.

The Dark Knight trilogy tries to live in the real world. While The Dark Knight was very successful in this, The Dark Knight Rises was a little more comic book than real life. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I think it hurts the movie – especially since sequentially it follows The Dark Knight.

In some ways, I prefer The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker adds a kind of appeal that can’t be matched.

While there is no mention of The Joker, The Dark Knight Rises ties up all other loose ends. In fact, with the introduction of the Miranda Tate character, the final installment of the trilogy ties up loose ends that you didn’t even know existed.

It tells Bruce Wayne’s story – not just Batman’s adventures in Gotham.

On top of that, there’s a lot of societal issues at play that fit into today’s current financial climate.

“There’s a storm coming Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches because when it hits you’ll wonder how you all thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”

-Selina Kyle whispers into Bruce Wayne’s ear

Despite the plot pitfalls, it was still an incredibly solid movie. Seeing Batman rise up not once, but twice in this film was very cool to see.

Seeing Bane finally be made into a credible villain on the big screen was a major positive. Tom Hardy and Christopher Nolan's interpretation of the character came off impressively bad-ass.

It was also nice to see a super hero movie that wasn’t about a villain trying to take over the world. While The Avengers, Star Trek, Battleship, and The Transformers see the hero fight off impending alien takeovers, Batman’s villains live within their means. They want to change society and, in doing so, cause destruction for Gotham City.

While The Dark Knight Rises answers a lot of questions, it does leave a couple unanswered: what will happen with the rumored Justice League movie will pan out.

Will Christian Bale reprise his role as Bruce Wayne and the caped crusader? Will one of the other characters from The Dark Knight Rises wear the Batman costume?

Even though his name was revealed as “Robin,” Joseph Gordon-Levitt could easily take over the role of Batman instead of the Boy Wonder.

Or will D.C. and Warner Brothers decide to do a reboot – giving an entirely new actor a chance to play Bruce Wayne and/or Batman?

Furthermore, what about Catwoman? Some of the best moments in The Dark Knight Rises do belong to Anne Hattheway and her portrayal of Catwoman.

Will we see a prequel, showing how Selina Kyle ended up in Gotham? Or perhaps she will return in a Justice League film. Although unlikely, I would welcome her presence in that film.

Related Content:
The Dark Knight Rises - reviewed.
The Raven - reviewed.
Planet of the Apes - reviewed.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Bruno Mars: Unorthodox Jukebox - reviewed.

Old school doo-wop meets new age pop. It’s a style that Bruno Mars has all but perfected since his debut album years ago. I’m not sure there’s another artist out there today who could make the kind of music Mars does. It’s very…..unorthodox. It’s fitting that his latest album is titled Unorthodox Jukebox.

Bruno belts it out in his now-trademark style on his sophomore album. The songs on Unorthodox Jukebox are like an eclectic mix of Elivs’ rock, Michael Jackson’s pop hits and Elton John’s ballads. There’s even a bit of reggae thrown in there.

Young Girls: Bruno is at it again – spending more money on girls who just don’t appreciate him.

“I’m addicted and I don’t know why/Guess I’ve always been this way
All these roads steer me wrong/But I still drive them all night long.”

Bruno obviously doesn’t do a ballad the way someone like Adele does, but he does it very well in his own style. It’s a great follow to “Grenade.”

Locked Out Of Heaven: This one was definitely the most rocking song of the bunch and an appropriate choice for the first single. Every time I hear it on the radio I turn the volume up. It's impossible not to be infected by this one.

Gorilla: In an interview with a Charlotte radio station a few weeks ago, Bruno said he was feeling very horny when he was writing this album. He must’ve jotted this one down at the height of that feeling.

“You’ve got your legs up in the sky with the Devil in your eyes/Let me hear you say you want it all,” Bruno sings.

“You’ll be banging on my chest – bang, bang – 'Gorilla’/You and me baby, making love like gorillas.”

Corny and horny. It just isn’t a good combination. You know what this one reminds me of? “You and me baby, ain’t nothing but mammals, so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.”

Bloodhound Gang had success with the lyrics on “Discovery Channel," but unfortunately it doesn't quite work for Bruno.

He's has done a good job with making some unusual lyrics come off as legit in the past, but even he can’t make it work on this track – which comes complete with gorilla sounds in the background. He does get points for originality and effort though.

Treasure: Bruno Mars could’ve easily fit into any number of musical eras. This is a tune that could be taken right out of the 70s.

He’s trying to woo a woman in this disco throwback. I’m not sure if it’s an effective wooing song, but it sure is fun to listen to.

Moonshine: This is probably the most unusual song on the album.

I’m not really sure what genre this song would fit into. It wasn’t a fast tempo, but it wasn’t exactly a slow one either. It sounds like it borrows from the 70’s club scene, but it still feels uniquely fresh.

Moonshine is about rekindling with a former lover while possibly being under the influence of some moonshine.

“Moonshine, take us to the stars tonight/Take us to that special place/That place we went the last time/The last time.”

When I Was Your Man: Bruno takes it down a notch on this one, sending out an apology for neglecting his woman. The lyrics are simple and effective.

Mistaken in his priorities, he sings, “Too young, too dumb to realize that
I shoulda’ bought you flowers/And held your hand/Shoulda’ gave you all my hours/When I had the chance."

"Take you to every party/Cause all you wanted to do was dance/Now my baby’s dancing/But she’s dancing with another man”

You can really feel his sincerity on this one. He successfully shows his softer side and makes you realize that there’s a crapload of vocal ability there.

Natalie: Whoever Natalie is, she scorned Bruno Mars good.

“I’m diggin a ditch for this gold diggin’ bitch/Watch out she’s quick.”

Message received – loud and clear. Bruno turns whatever heartbreak he had into a fun track that will have you tapping your fingertips against the steering wheel if it ever ends up on the radio.

Show Me: This is Bruno Mars’ island track. It’s his best Bob Marley and it works for him. As he’s trying to woo his woman with this song, the song conjures up images of crystal-blue waves crashing against the beach and someone sipping a coconut drink.

I don't know if the wooing works, but it is a fun song to listen to.

Money Make Her Smile: The theme of this track, as you can probably guess by the title, is about a gold-digger.

“It’s not complicated, so this won’t take a while/You see, music make her dance and money, money, money make her smile.”

Mars lives up to that line on this song. He keeps it simple with repeated lyrics and beats.

If I Knew: Ending the album with some 50s crooning, Mars shows that if there was any doubt before, he’s got the knack of mixing different eras to create a very modern sound.

"I wouldn't have done all the things that I have done/If I knew one day you'd come."

A heartbreak song here, it's almost as good as "When I Was Your Man," but not quite. Still, a very good track, ending a very good album.

I wouldn’t be surprised to hear a number of these songs hit the airwaves over the next year or so. When it comes to making pop music, Bruno Mars is becoming an innovator.

Top tracks:
Locked Out of Heaven
Young Girls

Related Content:
Kelly Clarkson: Don't Rush - reviewed.
Phil Phillips: Home - reviewed.
Christina Aguilera: Lotus - reviewed.
P!nk: The Truth About Love - reviewed.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kelly Clarkson: Don't Rush - reviewed.

Happiness for the heart. That’s what Kelly Clarkson’s collaboration with Vince Gill on "Don’t Rush" is.

It’s kind of a jazzy-country little tune. It conjures up images of blue skies and sunshine while driving down a two-lane road, top down, mid-afternoon, without a care in the world.

When I saw the track listing for Kelly Clarkson’s greatest hits album, I was skeptical at how a collaboration with Vince Gill would turn out. While other pop stars like Christina Aguilera and P!nk are doing collaborations with Cee Lo Green and Nate Russ, Clarkson continues to keep one foot (or at least a few toes) planted in the country genre.

Much like her duet with Jason Aldean last year, this new collaboration was successful.

Kelly Clarkson’s voice has become one of the most recognizable on the radio since she won American Idol a decade ago, but her versatility is truly underrated. She can sing any song from any era and make it damn good.

Kelly’s performance alongside Vince at the Country Music Awards a few weeks back was the first time I heard this song. I found it stuck in my head, so it’s now part of my iTunes collection.

It’s a song that goes 4 minutes in length, but I’ve been repeating it on iTunes because it goes by so quickly. I find myself humming along, but the song ends, and, thus, I repeat.

I’m not a die-hard fan, so I won’t be buying the Kelly Clarkson greatest hits album that "Don’t Rush" can be found on, but I had to get this track.

The cover art for Clarkson’s Greatest Hits - Chapter One album may be unimpressive, but this song most definitely isn’t.

Related Content:
Phil Phillips: Home - reviewed.
Christina Aguilera: Lotus - reviewed.
P!nk: The Truth About Love - reviewed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Raven - reviewed.

The Raven is a poor man’s Sherlock Holmes.

Instead of being highly entertained, wishing there was a sequel, and considering buying a DVD copy of my own, I found myself grateful that I Redboxed this one.

It wasn’t a ‘bad movie,’ but it was almost more disappointing than one because I was hoping for something good.

If you break it down, all the elements were in place for what should have been an awesome movie.

Set in Edgar Allen Poe's last days, The Raven is a murder mystery with interesting costuming and a few cool action sequences.

In addition to that, Edgar Allen Poe is a historical character with a bit of a fan base already built in.

John Cusack (who plays Edgar Allen Poe) was cast very well. In fact, I was really impressed with Cusack. I can't think of a better Poe.

After seeing this film, I think he would have made a good Sherlock Holmes.

He probably wouldn't have been as comedic as Robert Downey Jr. is as Sherlock, but I think Cusack would have done well with the role.

His acting in The Raven probably wasn’t Oscar-worthy, but he did his job and he did it well. The rest of the cast was believable too.

The substance wasn’t there though.

The character of the detective seemed to serve very little purpose. It was like he was a tag-along throughout the entire film -- not in the way Robin is to Batman or Watson is to Holmes, but in a, 'Why are you even here?' sort of way.

In this film, it was the writing that was lacking. There wasn’t enough levity to make it a comedy like Sherlock Holmes. At the same time, it definitely wasn’t an all-out drama.

The dialogue was fine, but the plot itself wasn’t riveting. Instead, it was slow and boring. There were a couple of twists that I wasn’t expecting, but when the surprises were revealed, I found that I didn’t really care that much.

I wasn’t invested into this movie or the characters. I wanted to be. I wanted to watch The Raven and be anxiously waiting to see what happens next. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t.

Related Content:
Planet of the Apes - reviewed.
Prometheus - reviewed.
The Big Bang Theory (seasons 1 - 4) - reviewed.