Sunday, February 10, 2013

Once Upon a Midnight Dreary.....

It's a bloody shame I didn't care more about literature back in high school, especially American literature. As I've gotten older, I've grown to enjoy American literature, politics, and even history. Edgar Allen Poe being one of the foremost American writers that I favor. I was about 8 years old when I read stories like The Tell Tale Heart, the Cask of the Amontillado (which was one of my favorites) and The Fall of the House of Usher which always seemed to creep me out, and still does on occasion when I think about it. I was flipping around on Netflix when I saw that the film The Raven starring John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe. Now, it isn't this amazingly incredible story, but it was done very well. James McTeigue directed it (V For Vendetta) and I enjoy his skill as a director, and although I'm not a huge fan of John Cusack, his portrayal of the American author was quite brilliant I thought, but alas I have no knowledge of Edgar Allen Poe as a man other than this film and his writings, so I haven't a clue how accurate the representation is. Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson and Kevin McNally also are in the film and do quite well, even though their characters are rather static. It's essentially a murder mystery of sorts as a psychopath is reenacting some of Poe's works of fiction in a gruesomely, bloody fashion. Poe teams up with the police to try and stop the madman before he goes on killing. It's entertaining and enjoyable, although quite gory at times, and I think I also jumped out of my chair twice so it can get a little creepy. Hence it receives an "Admirable Ability" and I think people would enjoy it for it's pure entertaining value, but I will say that I found John Cusack's performance utterly astounding; I almost forgot that it was him. Watched a little bit of the Grammy's tonight, but found it quite boring. I hadn't really much of a clue who any of the performers were or who were being nominated. Popular music, or past popular music isn't really my thing. Best Documentary Feature is what's up for the Oscars tonight, and yes I haven't an utter clue what any of these are, or I could care less honestly (I do apologize to those who focus on this category though; I would care more if documentaries were more accessible like feature films are). The nominees are: 5 Broken Cameras, The Gatekeepers, How to Survive a Plague, The Invisible War, and Searching for Sugar Man. Well, I just watched all of the trailers and I have to admit that except for the last one all of the documentaries nominated are kind of controversial. I personally want 5 Broken Cameras to win. It's about a Palestinian man who films every day life in the West Bank (I think) using 5 cameras, each of which get broken over the course of filming. I believe the Academy will choose this one as well because of the very nature of its controversy. The Gatekeepers is about an Israeli super secret anti-terrorist organization being interviewed, How to Survive a Plague is about how people fought for AIDs treatment, The Invisible War about rape and abuse to women inside the U.S. military, and Searching for Sugar Man is about discovering who a virtually unknown music artist was before he killed himself. You can Youtube the trailers; very interesting I have to admit. Life is beginning to pick up again; this should be a good week, but next week will certainly be adventurous.

The Raven trailer

The Raven read by Basil Rathbone (skip to 3:00 minute mark to bypass annoying music)

5 Broken Cameras trailer

The Gatekeepers trailer

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