The Pale Blue Eye (2022)
January 11, 2023 7:21 PM - Subscribe

A world-weary detective is hired to investigate the murder of a West Point cadet. Stymied by the cadets' code of silence, he enlists one of their own to help unravel the case - a young man the world would come to know as Edgar Allan Poe.
posted by Omon Ra (5 comments total)
I thought this was good up until the last ~20 minutes/twist. That ending was ridiculous and unnecessary--seemed tacked onto the story just to be "clever" but was not clever. Otherwise I thought the acting was great and the story was engaging.
posted by kittensyay at 11:17 AM on January 12, 2023 [3 favorites]

On a positive note, I appreciated that Poe introduced himself as "Poe. Edgar A Poe." From my reading, Poe hated his middle name and I respect him for that.
posted by SPrintF at 12:08 AM on January 13, 2023 [2 favorites]

The first climax seemed forced, so the twist seemed like a bit of a reprieve for me. Which is frustrating because I enjoyed the first three quarters very much. Ultimately, I think the secondary characters deserved a longer roll out, and it could have worked better as a four-part series where the backstory got its due. When things come together at the end, I didn't know the characters well enough to buy it. But I enjoyed the two lead performances so much it nearly made up for it.

Taking the structure of a hardboiled, but placing it in the gothic early 19th century was very effective, but in doing so, I needed more context for the characters' lives.
posted by bendybendy at 7:59 AM on January 13, 2023

I didn't mind the ending too much. I always think it's great and amazing that Dudley Dursley has acting chops and a career.

Fucking HATED Christian Bale's line readings. Godawful!!!! A lot of times he is mumbling or almost whispering, which with his big beard means that sometimes it's hard to tell if he has actually spoke. The BIG problem though is that he is always inserting LONG pauses into the middle of sentences. They're not even Shatner-like pauses that happen to overdramatize the expect words. They are big long pauses without emphasis often between the phrases of a sentence, and indeed with each phrase emphasized as if it was complete

Shatner would be like: We must PREVAIIL, whateverthe .. COST.

Bale, in this, is like: But I made certain.     That he recalled.    What she was wearing.     Every detail.      Of her dress.

Once I noticed it, it was **agony** to listen to. I feel like it's someone's idea of a kind of manly poeticism. But it fuckin' sucks.

Another weird thing is that the academy felt strangely nameless, a lot of stuff just floated around feeling vague and without place. Oh wait, he's a regular at this bar? But he never met that Poe guy before? Oh wait Poe is also in the academy?? So, oh wait, the academy's nearby? Oh wait, there's this expert on the occult who lives just down the street? Oh wait for real, Toby Jones is the doctor AND the dad? I needed more establishing for my narrative uptake.
posted by fleacircus at 10:57 AM on January 14, 2023 [1 favorite]

Just streamed this last night. I was kind of surprised that I hadn't heard of it when it was in theaters, considering it had a high-quality cast. I should have noticed that.

All the dialog seemed muffled, not just Christian Bale's. Combined with the sound design that placed constant background noise (animals howling, wind howling, cadets drilling) in every scene, I had to roll it back a few times to catch the dialog.

And the whole tone of the movie seemed muffled as well. A gothic mystery like this might benefit from a little more color, more emoting. There were a lot of candlelit faces emerging from the gloom. EA Poe was the only character acted with much life, although I was impressed by the extreme sourness of the superintendent's expression in every scene.

I didn't see the twist ending coming, but as soon as it did, I was internally nodding my head "oh of course there has to be a twist like this." It fits the genre.
posted by adamrice at 8:59 AM on December 22, 2023

« Older Willow: Children of the Wyrm...   |  Leverage: Redemption: The Bell... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments