Sam Raimi

Movie Issues: Darkman

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Movie Issues: Darkman

This week the guys step into the darkness with the world of Sam Raimi’s 1990 movie, Darkman. The movie where Liam Neeson is horribly attacked and left for dead. With his face damaged beyond healing he becomes the Darkman, a man set on revenge on those who took his life away. With his use of face prosthetics, he can be anyone anywhere. Yea, it’s a really crazy flick that whats to be Batman and The Shadow SO bad it hurts. The guys also talk all about some of the new movies coming out later this year. Please download and enjoy.  Read On

Movie Issues: The Quick and the Dead

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Movie Issues: The Quick and the Dead

This week the guys getty on up and ride into the sunset of the wild wild west! That’s right, we finally got around to watching the 1995’s The Quick and the Dead, the Sam Raimi directed western where Sharon Stone enters a deadly dueling competition in an attempt to exact revenge for her father’s death by taking on Gene Hackman.  Thus drama ensues. It’s a fun filled ride old west style! The guys also talk some more about the new X-Men flick, so it’s just another day at the Movie Issues HQ. Please download and enjoy! Read On

Movie Issues Review: Evil Dead

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Movie Issues Review: Evil Dead

The Son of Sam has returned, and his name is Fede Alvarez. Based on the 1981 Cult Classic The Evil Dead directed by Sam Raimi (Wizard of Oz), the newest incarnation Evil Dead released this friday isn’t a remake as many have thought, but rather an intended sequel with A LOT of fan service to the original. Evil Dead still finds a familiar cast of young 20-somethings in a familiar cabin where an evil is released and one by one everyone dies brutal, gory deaths in a film that is relentless from beginning to end.

evil-dead-poster-hi-res Read On

Movie Issues: OZ the Great and Powerful

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Movie Issues: OZ the Great and Powerful

After the grand finale of the Harry Potter series, most of the big studios have been trying to fill the “magic-kid friendly-franchise” slot left vacant. First up at the plate is Disney’s OZ: The Great and Powerful.

Welcome back to the merry old of land of OZ, and leading us down this new yellow brick road is director Sam Raimi, bringing his unique signature style to a fun, magical film that the whole family can enjoy.

Oz_GreatAndPowerful

Read On

Sam Raimi to direct World of Warcraft movie – No Emo Dancing Orcs Allowed

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Sam Raimi, Director of World of Warcraft

Sam Raimi, Director of World of Warcraft

Aint it Cool News is reporting that Sam Rami (Spider Man 1) will be directing the much anticipated World of Warcraft movie.  The first time the movie was announced during Blizzcon 2007.  The only thing we got was one piece of concept art, it was in early pre-production stages, and that it would be coming out in 2009.  Well it’s 2009 now and back in June, the IMDB listing for the WoW movie quietly changed it’s status to coming out in 2011.

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Concept Art

With the awesome talents of Sam Raimi teaming up with the awesomeness of Legendary pictures, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a [Legendary World of Warcraft Movie] and won’t be seeing much emo dancing.

Drag Me To Hell

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Oh, Sam Raimi.  You know you’ve made it when the unique flavor of your early low budget films still describes your core style even when you have a huge crazy budget (for another example of this see the films of Kevin Smith).  With Drag Me To Hell, Raimi makes a “classic” Sam Raimi movie, for better and for worse.  Mostly worse.  Drag Me is old-fashioned in interesting and unexpected ways, from the score to star Alison Lohman’s appliances to boyfriend Justin Long’s entire character, and including a general lack of commitment to any kind of modern sensibility of fun or scariness.  Plenty of things exist just to serve the film, in obviously silly ways.  Who else but a Raimi lead would have an anvil, much less store it hanging from a chain?  Especially a twenty-something girlie-girl mortgage banker girl.  Except for all the trademark gross-out silliness, this movie could have been released in 1960.  But then again, we DO have the trademark gross-out silliness: expectorating terrible things, shooting body parts at people and stuff at body parts, and icky embraces, with the camera at a 25 degree angle, is familiar to the point of near-impatience.  Don’t forget the mucus, very important.

As the heavy, we have a very spooky gypsy, played with ferocious sincerity by TV veteran Lorna Raver.  Raver seems to be trying so hard to legitimize her first major role in a motion picture, and by extension the rest of the movie, I feel bad about how little I enjoyed the film as a whole.  She herself is pretty enjoyable, until she’s forced to go along with Raimi’s particular fetishes.  Lohman does all she can, which is act pretty, determined, surprised, nervous, brave, helpless, etc. as called for by the hokey, dorky story.  At one point she’s desperate enough to break a cardinal rule of Good Guys, the next she can barely summon the brain power to operate a motor vehicle.  There’s nothing wrong with hokey or dorky as long as either the story is interesting (see: Fido) or the dorkiness serves a purpose (see: Showtime’s musical Reefer Madness).  What Drag Me To Hell fails to accomplish is an unselfconsciousness that would let the movie be fun rather than look like it’s trying to be serious while also trying to capture the campy fun spirit of a shoestring production (see: Evil Dead 2 for a Raimi counterexample).  By the time you have Justin Long trying to generate all the gravitas for what is ostensibly something very life-threatening and profoundly scary — “I don’t know what I believe in any more” — you’ve ventured beyond any possibility of self-parody into just lazy.  And no Bruce Campbell cameo?  Come on, you’re not even trying, Sam!

Drag Me To Hell is mildly scary at parts, slightly grosser than that in other party, occasionally novel (see aforementioned old-fashioned touches), often poky, and finally pays off with a terrible, frowny goat puppet.  I really can’t recommend it.  Despite the fact that I support the idea of comedy horror, I do generally ask that it contain at the very least either comedy or horror, both preferred.

MPAA Rating PG-13
Release date 5/22/09
Time in minutes 99
Director Sam Raimi
Studio Universal Pictures

Comments Off on Spider-Man

Spider-Man

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As with many comic-book hero film adaptations, I was apprehensive about this latest attempt. Not only was it Spider-Man, whose story still reeks with the scent of 1960’s nuclear misinformation and silliness, but also it starred Tobey Maguire! Tobey Maguire for Pete’s sake. Skinny, sloe-eyed, whiny of voice, and not exactly someone you imagine being able to put down the self-torture kit long enough to go save someone. I was pleased to discover that he actually did a good job, and his weird wimp act really worked for him as Peter Parker. Once he’s buffed out and has put the mask on, it doesn’t really matter who is playing Spider-Man, because the computer is doing it.

Sure, lots of the action shots were so hyper as to feel rushed and odd; and his Spider-bod was too rubbery and flexible as it flipped through the air. Overall the computer effects were very very good, especially in marrying live action with CGI; the previews that started airing a year before were clearly 100% CGI and 0% actor, even the explosively obvious nipples of Kirsten Dunst. Understanding why they famously withdrew the preview shot of the World Trade Centers (with a helicopter caught in a huge web between them, twitching like an insect), I still hope it gets included on the DVD for posterity. It was one of the only reasons I ended up seeing the film. It was creative and impressive and actually a lot of the sequences honestly lived up to that level.

Thankfully, director Sam Raimi knows a little bit about exposing the cool in something that is irrevocably cheesy. Take, for example, Spider-man’s costume debut, hilariously parodied for the MTV Movie Awards by Jack Black (that whole segment was excellent). I won’t say what it was, though I am sure you have seen the film by now, but Bruce Campbell makes his requisite cameo as a dubious and abusive MC. Because we know the Spider-Duds are a little corny and not all that arachnidesque, we can laugh with the audience laughing at Parker jumping about in a proto-super-hero uniform.

However, I do not think we were meant to laugh at the Green Goblin as much as we ended up doing. The Goblin is played with full on histrionics by Willem “Jesus Christ” Dafoe, and he does an admirable job making the Goblin’s whole…thing seem very deep and meaningful. The mask designer, well, we need to talk. There is one scene, a dialogue between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin; they both have their masks on and guess what – all the head bobbing in the world won’t replace being able to see an actor’s eyes. It was actually so comical it was kind of embarrassing, especially when Goblin strikes an “Alas poor Yorick” pose. It was like watching a Thunderbirds episode with no strings. Cuh-reepy!

A few of the scientific details were changed about Spidey’s abilities, which I appreciated from a reduction-of-corn value, even though purists were disgusted at Parker’s downgraded science achievements. Hey, the lad drinks Dr Pepper, what more do you want? In fact, every brand name Spidey touches is right out there for you to emulate. Come on kids, don’t you want nasty little hairs growing out of your fingertips?

Oh yeah, Kirsten “Bring It On” Dunst. She sure is pretty, but after crazy/beautiful and this she had better do some more great character roles because she is going to lose all that great acting ground she got on Interview With a Vampire, ER, and of course, the greatest cheerleader movie of all time. The sequel is already slated for 2004…

MPAA Rating PG-13
Release date 5/3/02
Time in minutes 121
Director Sam Raimi
Studio Columbia Tristar