Trailer Friday – The Raven

When you hear the name John Cusack, you do not think character role. You do not think historical character, and you most certainly do not think historical character role. Why? Because it’s John Cusack. John Cusack is the guy in the rom coms, holding the stereo over his head to get the girl in Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything (1989) or leaving fate to decide his destiny in Serendipity (2001). Yes, Cusack has filled various roles over his long career, such as a Jewish art dealer in Max (2002) or as a puppeteer in the Oscar-nominated Being John Malkovich (1999). He’s even in dipped his toes in the screenwriting business when he co-wrote and starred in the political film War, Inc (2008).

No matter how you look at it though, his most well-known roles are romantic comedies or thrillers such as the over-the-top 2012 from 2009. Cusack is your everyman who looks and talks the same in just about everything he’s in. He’s usually very likable, but it seems like there’s often an “X-factor” that he’s lacking. Or maybe it’s that most of us are so accustomed to watching him play the underdog, that his talent is far more underrated. Born in Chicago, Cusack has retained a low profile, staying out of the media limelight.

And now we have this awesome trailer for The Raven, which actually came out in early October of last year. Perhaps I was sleeping or completely unaware of its release, but after a viewing, I was immediately pulled in. Now I have to see this movie. From the trailer, one can assume a few things:

–John Cusack is playing the legendary Edgar Allen Poe

–The movie is more of an action/thriller than a drama

–There’s a story being told here that is atypical of what many of us assume Edgar Allen Poe is about

Cusack’s done the thrillers before, as well as portrayed a writer in Stephen King’s adapted book-to-movie 1408 (2008), and now he’s playing the historically dark and edgy writer Edgar Allen Poe. As someone commented on the YouTube video, the movie appears to have a very Sherlock Holmes-like feel and look to it, as well as similar type story line.

Director James McTeigue is no stranger to the action genre, having assisted in directing both Matrix sequels (1999, 2003), V for Vendetta (2005), and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002). Watch for The Raven to open in theaters March 9.

4 thoughts on “Trailer Friday – The Raven

  1. To be completely honest I think a bit different; I think this IS a ‘John Cusack-type of film’. This film follows quite logically and nicely from his previous thrillers such as ‘Runaway Jury’, ‘1408’ and, most notably, ‘Identity’. It could be said in ‘1408’ and ‘Identity’ he was playing a leading role (a sort of, character role). He was unconventional hero in all those films, and something tells me playing a writer in this film – will make him an unconventional hero here too. This film is precisely ‘his type of film’ because ‘The Raven’ can’t be that good. I do not think this film is going to be great because its seems like a cheap-thrill – the film copies a lot from such films as ‘From Hell’ and ‘Sleepy Hollow’. Thus it wont’s be as good or as original.


    • Hey there, dbmoviesblog! I guess he does play the unconventional hero at times, huh? I guess for me, this is a big surprise seeing him in a more period type film. I consider Cusack a more modern looking person, so seeing him play a figure in a historical-based time and setting makes movies like 2012 and even 1408 seem far different and makes The Raven appear way out there for Cusack, in my opinion. Then again, I haven’t see some of his lesser known films, such as Identity, so I have less to compare.

      I have seen “Sleep Hollow,” however, and don’t get quite the same vibe as you do. Although the plot revolved around a mystery killer, Sleepy Hollow is fictionally-based, filled with fictional characters. Edgar Allen Poe is a real guy who wrote one of the most well-known poems to survive far past him, The Raven. This interesting take on how a killer is using a strange, dark, famous writer’s work to give hints as to how or where he’s killing his victims–definitely takes a different turn from “Sleepy Hollow.” I haven’t seen “From Hell,” so I can’t comment on that. I will say that it reminds me a lot of the more recent Sherlock Holmes films to come out.

      Most movies borrow from other movies, but I don’t think this movie is aiming to be as original as others have. Then again, I understand how you’re thinking that it won’t live up to better movies which have done similar things. I think time will tell – after I see it, I’m sure I’ll be able to make a better assessment. There’s only so much you can take from a trailer. Thanks for reading and leaving some feedback!


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