Raven, The

Featured In Issue 174, February 2013

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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James McTeigue
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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"The Raven" is set in Baltimore in 1849. While investigating a horrific double murder, police detective Emmett Fields (Evans) makes a startling discovery, the killer's methods mirror the twisted writings of Edgar Allan Poe (Cusack). Suspecting Poe at first, Fields ultimately enlists his help to stop future attacks. But in this deadly game of cat and mouse, the stakes are raised with each gruesome slaying as the pair races to catch a madman before he brings every one of Poe's shocking stories to chilling life...and death. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary by Director James McTeigue, Producers Marc D. Evans, Trevor Macy, and Aaron Ryder; six deleted and extended scenes (HD 10:41); five featurettes: "The Raven Guts: Bringing Death To Life (HD 13:32), "The Madness, Misery, And Mystery Of Edgar Allan Poe" (HD 09:50), "Behind The Beauty And Horror" (HD 02:18), "The Raven Presents John Cusack And James McTeigue" (HD 02:45), and "Music For The Raven: The Team" (HD 05:10); the theatrical trailer; sneak peeks; and a digital copy.

The 1080p AVC picture is stylistically atmospheric with a haunting, mysterious appearance. Contrast is excellent with deep, solid, and defined blacks, and revealing shadow delineation. Much of the scenes take place in darkness or low-light environments, whether in the streets or interiors of early Baltimore. A slight grain enhances the atmospherics. The color palette is warmly hued with natural fleshtones. Resolution is generally revealing of fine detail during close-ups, which enhances the dim settings. This is a wonderfully dark and horrific visual experience that perfectly sets the Poe grim storytelling. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel's audio soundtrack is terrific, with an impressive attention to nuanced detail in the atmospherics, sound effects, and Foley and as such is dimensionally aggressive and dynamic sounding. The orchestral music score is beautifully recorded with a warmly lush string sound bolstered with deep .1 LFE bass extension. Instrumental timbre is rich and nicely defined. Dialogue is always intelligible and effectively integrated. Surround envelopment is immersive, with dimensionalized soundfield ambiance. This is an effective soundtrack that sounds holosonic® and dynamic. (Gary Reber)