The Raven (2012)

The Raven
Director: James McTeigue
Writer: Hannah Shakespeare, Ben Livingston
Cast: John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson, Kevin McNally, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Jimmy Yuill, Sam Hazeldine
Seen on: 9.5.2022

Plot:
Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack) is not what one would consider a successful writer. Barely making enough money, poverty exacerbated by a drinking problem, he has really nothing but a bit of infamy. He would like to marry Emily Hamilton (Alice Eve), and she him, but her father Captain Hamilton (Brendan Gleeson) disapproves. When a mother and daughter turn up murdered just like in one of of Poe’s stories, the suspicion of the police fall on him at first. Especially when another body turns up. But Poe can convince Detective Fields (Luke Evans) that he is not to blame. Instead, they team up to find the killer before he can use another of Poe’s stories.

Although the film is loosely inspired by some circumstances of Poe’s life, you should not make the mistake of thinking it is any way, shape, or form realistic. It’s the fever dream version of Poe’s last weeks of life. Unfortunately, it’s not a particularly interesting fever dream.

The film poster showing Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack) walking fiercely, gun in hand. In the background behind him stretch a pair of red wings in which we can see a crying woman, a dead body and men looking fiercely.
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Faster (2010)

Faster
Director: George Tillman Jr.
Writer: Tony Gayton, Joe Gayton
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Gugino, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Maggie Grace, Xander Berkeley, Tom Berenger, Matt Gerald, Mike Epps, Moon Bloodgood, Jennifer Carpenter, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Seen on: 31.5.2021

Plot:
The Driver (Dwayne Johnson) spent ten years in prison after a bank robbery, but now he is finally being released – and he has people to go after. He immediately goes for it, too. Leaving the investigating detectives (Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Gugino) puzzling over his motives. Meanwhile, a bored billionaire and killer-for-hire (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) is sent after the Driver as well. The Driver doesn’t have much time to finish his business.

Faster was probably the worst Dwayne Johnson film I ever saw. I mean, usually his films are, if not exactly good, at least entertaining all the way. But this one was just dreary and trying way too hard.

The film poster showing the Driver (Dwayne Johnson) standing tall, revolver in hand.
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The Invisible Man (2020)

The Invisible Man
Director: Leigh Whannell
Writer: Leigh Whannell
Based on: H. G. Wellsnovel
Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Harriet Dyer, Michael Dorman
Seen on: 5.3.2020

Content Note: domestic violence, psychological abuse, stalking

Plot:
Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) finally manages to leave her abusive partner Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) in the middle of the night with the help of her sister Emily (Harriet Dyer). Now she’s staying with her friend James (Aldis Hodge) and his daughter Sydney (Storm Reid), but she’s still terrified that Adrian will find her. That’s when the news reaches her that Adrian killed himself and left her some money. Relieved at first, Cecilia soon notices strange things going on around her and is certain that Adrian is back in her life even if she can’t see him.

The Invisible Man is a really strong film that effectively uses its central and by now much-explored idea to make something completely new of it. I was very impressed and creeped out.

The film poster showing Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) looking at something behind her where there is only darkness.
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