By Matt Singer | Criticwire April 27, 2012 at 9:25AM
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, what to write about on Criticwire the following morning suddenly there came a tapping, as of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. Then I realized it was just my dog asking to go out. Kind of killed the whole mood.
After alleviating the business at hand (or paw), I realized that today's release of "The Raven," starring John Cusack as famous poet turned private detective Edgar Allan Poe, offered a unique opportunity for critics. Everyone knows "The Raven," and everyone can quote its most famous line: "Quoth the raven, nevermore." Ah but quot(h)ing it is easy. Incorporating it into a review, that takes a bit more skill. Here, now, the finest uses of that great line in "The Raven" reviews. I realize this post will soon be forgotten as a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore. But until then:
"It's just a bore; quoth the raven, 'Go see something else.'"
"[The film] would have benefited from a director who could have said nevermore."
"But [the] villain... still dresses like The Shadow, while people say things like 'Poe, you’ve done it again!' and 'The ways of God and men, as in Providence, is not our way.' Okay. After that, we’ll quote 'The Raven,' nevermore."
"Quoth the raven: 'Eh.'"
"It's tempting to simply say 'nevermore' about 'The Raven.'"
"The raven had it right in Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous poem. 'Nevermore' is precisely what filmgoers will be vowing after sitting through 'The Raven.'"
"There's a scene in the unhinged Edgar Allan Poe thriller, 'The Raven' -- and it's not too soon, I don't think, to say 'Nevermore' -- when a man is strapped to a table by a mysterious assassin.
"Quoth this critic: It’s a bore."
"The title echoes Poe’s most famous poem - and the only sensible response is a horrified cry of ‘Nevermore!’"
And, in humble recognition of the one critic who went the extra mile and threw in a "quoth" and a "nevermore" --
"What was Poe doing that made him ponder, weak and weary? Why, quoth 'The Raven,' he was chasing a serial killer who was perpetuating ghastly crimes inspired by the horror master’s vivid imagination and fleet pen."
"Should he ever again attempt drama after this? Nevermore!"