Mark Wills

Santa Fe Station, May 4

The 39-year-old country singer/songwriter, who peaked in 2003 after charting 16 singles, stuck to his oldies: “Jacob’s Ladder,” “Take It All Out on Me” and the anti-bullying theme song “Don’t Laugh At Me.” By staying in his strike zone, Wills largely neglected his most recent album, 2011’s Looking for America, and with it any chance for a contemporary connection.

The intimate sit-down show allowed for a great deal of commentary between songs, which only gave Wills the opportunity to brag about how he was able to sing for a living. When Wills invited requests, he rejected all but one, explaining that he was “too stupid” or that he “forgot the words.” And yet, when Wills closed his performance with 2002’s still-popular radio hit “19 Somethin’,” he sounded as smooth and agreeable as ever, proving that he yet may have the capacity for a comeback … if he can just get out of his own way. ★☆☆☆☆

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The Raven

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The Raven

By Tribune Media Services

(R) ★★☆☆☆ Quoth the raven: “Eh.” Someone in 1849 Baltimore is on a murder spree, riffing on methods of torture and execution depicted in the stories of Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack), whom a local detective (Luke Evans) suspects. Poe’s intended (Alice Eve) believes in her man, certainly more than her disapproving father (Brendan Gleeson) does. While the setup has potential, the suspense and action sequences fail to engage. Cusack has his moments, but an overall yawner.

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