If truth is stranger than fiction, then can a serial killer inspired by the eminently strange writings of Edgar Allan Poe be said to be even stranger still? In THE RAVEN, a mad murderer has managed to engineer the deaths of his victims in ways that accurately (and in some cases, implausibly) replicate the works of one of the true geniuses of horror, and only Poe (John Cusack) can break the clues that will end the crime spree.
Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons sit down to contrast the film with its source materials and discuss whether director James McTeigue (V FOR VENDETTA) has succeeded in turning Poe’s baroque fantasies into a compelling dark mystery. Also in the show: A brief conversation of THE HOBBIT’s less-than-triumphant technical sneak preview, and what’s coming to theaters.
It’s a good week for lush, exquisite cinematography and vividly stylized worlds; maybe not so good a week for compelling narratives. In IMMORTALS, director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar uses Greek mythology as the raw material upon which to invest his skill with staging beautiful, beautiful actors in elaborate tableaux, all in the service of the tale of a lowly peasant (Henry Cavil) who, with the blessings of the gods (including former Apollo Luke Evans), rallies the bedraggled forces of Greece against a sadistic warlord (Mickey Rourke, and are you surprised?). Come join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons as they admire the scenery and debate whether anything exists past the pretty facade.
Then, Larry and Dan briefly discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Lars von Trier’s elegant science fiction drama, MELANCHOLIA, in which a despondent Kirsten Dunst must cope with her own sense of inertia and the threat of a rogue planet on a collision course with Earth. Plus: What’s coming in theaters.