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  The Raven
Posted by: Mike on Jul 16th, 2012 1 Comment »

The Raven Review

The Raven

It makes me sad to say it given how much I love John Cusack. It really does.  But it has to be said.  The Raven is a pile of crap.

Its first problem is that it is a period piece, taking place in 1849, which is always hard to do for set designers and prop people.  Very few period movies have felt natural to me.  There’s always something about the way that they talk, that just doesn’t feel right.  You can say right words for that period, but when you say them with inflection and tone of how we speak now, it just doesn’t feel right.

The story itself is quite imaginative, but not quite enough to make me really invested in it, despite how much I love John Cusack.

Alive Eve continues to be one of my biggest celebrity crushes, but doesn’t do much for the movie or the plot.  She plays the love interest of Poe (Cusack), which is hardly believable, whether or not Poe actually dated a woman who was young enough to be his daughter.  (I later learned that Poe was famous for dating a relative of his, a first cousin, if I recall correctly.)

At one point, I had to stop the movie and look up whether or not it was shot in 3D, as there were a few scenes that felt very 3D to me, but alas, it was not.  What I was misinterpreting as 3D filming, was simply some bad CGI (specifically “The Pit and The Pendulum” scene, if you’ve seen it, or for when you watch.)

I really wanted to like the movie, but I didn’t find myself vested in any of what was happening.  Without spoiling much of things – a mysterious person is killing people and using Poe’s poems and stories as his inspiration. So the police call Poe in to help and hand him over a gun (they were very gun happy back then, apparently.)  A few short chapters later, and Poe’s fiance (Emily, played by Alice Eve) is kidnapped by said killer, who then plays a very Saw-esque game with Poe and Emily’s father (Brendan Gleeson).

In the end, I’m not sure I cared about what happened.  Sure, there were some cool scenes, and nice little surprise at the end.  But all in all, I was almost completely indifferent as to whether or not Poe rescues Emily.  It really pains me to say it, given how much I love Mr. Cusack.  He just hasn’t been himself in recent years, obviously.  Perhaps it’s time to get back to that sequel to Say Anything… or possibly a High Fidelity 2?

To sum up: stay away from this.  Unless you have a really big thing for Edgar Allen Poe, there’s really nothing great to see here.  While Cusack looks the part, he doesn’t pull off being the part, unfortunately.

Posted by: Mike on Nov 15th, 2009 1 Comment »

2012 Review


Let’s get this out of the way right up front: 2012 is not nearly as horrible as you may have read.  Pulling $65 million in its first weekend, it doesn’t seem like people are caring what reviews say, anyway.  Given my unhealthy love of John Cusack, I had to see the movie.  It looks like others had the same desire, as 2012 was number one at the box office this weekend.

Roland Emmerich’s known for primarily one thing: destroying the entire freakin’ planet.  Proof? He’s directed The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day, and Godzilla.  If you need more proof that this guy wants the planet to be destroyed, you need to get out more.  What better person to helm the direction of 2012?  None, I say.

For those of you living under a rock, here’s the rundown of what 2012 is about:

The planet is doomed.  It’s 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar, and they’ve predicted we’re all going to die.  Some scientist type folks discover that the center of the Earth is heating up too fast and that we’re all doomed.  The Governments of the world get involved, and begin a plan to save the human race.

That’s the summation of the film.  The actuality of the movie is that there’s tons of action, lots of destruction and a whole ton of amazing CGI effects.

I’ll admit that I didn’t think the movie was perfect, far from it.  But I didn’t have the expectation that this was going to be the next The Prestige or The Wizard of Oz or anything. I expected to have a good time watching things explode, fall apart, and a bunch of humans fight for their lives.  I got what I wanted.

I could have done without some parts, certainly.  I wouldn’t have objected if the movie was an hour shorter.  Would that have worked? Doubtful, given the importance of pretty much everything that happens in the film. But I still would have liked it to be a bit shorter.  Action type movies should be pushing three hours, especially mindless ones where you can doze off at times because you don’t have to pay attention to anything that isn’t exploding.

The ultimate message of the film is one of hope. It’s Hollywood trying to badger into our heads that humans are good at heart. (I feel like there’s a lot more of these movies lately than there used to be, which is fine. I’m just sayin’.)

I’m glad I saw this on the big screen.  However, doing so made me realize something: big screen films aren’t as impressive as Blu-ray discs are.  While the sound is still better than what most people have at home, Blu-ray is a far superior picture to what I’ve seen in theaters lately.  Movie theaters need to step up the game if they want to keep butts in seats.  While you certainly can’t compete with a big screen at home, watching it on a smaller screen with people you won’t be afraid to “shush” is certainly worth it. Price of tickets and snacks aside, watching at home is generally a more enjoyable experience, for me at least.

My wrapup: if you dig any of Emmerich’s films about the world falling apart, 2012 is for you.  It’s got everything you’d expect from seeing the trailer: the world falls apart, John Cusack is the everyman, the kids are adorable, a surprise spot by a wacky Woody Harrelson, and overall catastrophe.  What more do you want from a feel-good mindless film?  Check out 2012 while it’s still in theaters.  It’s not as bad as you’re thinking it’ll be.

  2012 Trailer Starring Cusack and Peet
Posted by: Christine on Jun 20th, 2009 1 Comment »

It’s no secret that the MovieSnobs staff is crazy for John Cusack. Naturally when Allen from sent me this trailer, I had to share it here. 2012 is a disaster movie from the director of Independance Day and The Day After Tomorrow, but unlike those movies, this one stars John Cusack.

Quite frankly, I don’t care if the plot is stupid or the other actors are lame, Cusack does extraordinarily well in the-world-is-falling-apart-type movies (see 1408 – seriously, if you haven’t seen it, rent it now.). I’m a little tired of seeing him and Amanda Peet get cast together, but she’s a good actress so I’ll deal with it. I’m excited to see Liam James from “Psych” in a movie role (playing Cusack’s son).

Enough about my opinion, check out the trailer below.

2012 will be released on November 13, 2009 and also stars Thandie Newton and Danny Glover.

  New Review: Grace Is Gone
Posted by: Christine on May 30th, 2008 Leave a Comment »

Mike saw the John Cusack drama Grace Is Gone and gave it a glowing five-star review. He says,

It just seems like John Cusack gets better and better, the older he gets. He picks fantastic movies, with amazing stories, and just nails performances…If you’re a Cusack fan (as I am), this movie needs to be seen. It’s depressing as hell, but absolutely worth seeing. John is simply amazing.

Read Mike’s full review »

  Igor Teaser Trailer Starring John Cusack
Posted by: Christine on May 9th, 2008 Leave a Comment »

We here at MovieSnobs are big fans of John Cusack (let’s be honest – who isn’t?). Needless to say, when we heard he was doing another animated feature, we were thrilled. Igor tells the story of an Igor (which in this context is synonymous with “scientist assistant” who doesn’t want to be an Igor anymore. He wants to invent something and win the science fair on his own.

The trailer is available on Yahoo Movies, and it’s absolutely brilliant. From the use of “She Blinded Me With Science” to the voicework of Cusack, Steve Buscemi, Eddie Izzard, and Sean Hayes, among other all-stars, the trailer is wonderful. The movie will be out September 19th. I highly recommend checking out the trailer.

  Cusack’s War, Inc. Poster
Posted by: Christine on Mar 25th, 2008 Leave a Comment »

An all-star cast adorns this poster for War, Inc.: John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Dan Aykroyd, Sir Ben Kingsley, Marisa Tomei, and Hilary Duff (whose all-star status is arguable).

War, Inc. is a political comedy premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, and will his limited release May 23rd, 2008.

  John Cusack & Rain = Good Movie
Posted by: Mike on Jul 30th, 2007 6 Comments »

I’ve had a theory for quite a while, and was only disproved one time (America’s Sweethearts), that John Cusack must have it in his contract that he always has to be in a scene in the rain. Proof:

It appears John loves being rained on. However, the only movie (until recently) he doesn’t get rained on in, is America’s Sweethearts. Though one could argue there’s no rain in 1408. I would disagree, while there’s no naturally made rain in the movie, there’s definitely some sprinklers showing down on our hero.

  John Cusack
Posted by: Mike on Dec 6th, 2005 Leave a Comment »

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