Archive for the ‘Sam Raimi’ Category

Spider-Man 4 SCRAPPED…And Rebooted? That Makes Me MAD!

January 11, 2010

Nikki Finke just broke the following news on her insider blog:

Mike Fleming and I have just confirmed that Sony Pictures decided today to reboot the Spider-Man franchise after franchise director Sam Raimi pulled out of Spider-Man 4 because he felt he couldn’t make its summer release date and keep the film’s creative integrity. This means that Raimi and the cast including star Tobey Maguire are out. There will be no Spider-Man 4. Instead, Mike Fleming is told, the studio will focus on a reboot script by Jamie Vanderbilt with a new director and a new cast. All this took place today at meeting on the lot today. An official Sony Pictures news release about it is expected. My sources tell me that Raimi told Sony Pictures: “I can’t make your date. I can’t go forward creatively.”


 This is frustrating in so many ways.  Spider-Man 4 was originally set to be released on May 5, 2011, and if Sony believed that anyone could shoot, edit, and finish special effects on a $200+ million superhero movie with any shred of quality, then they were setting an impossible standard.  What’s more frustrating to me, though, is the ridiculous need to reboot the entire franchise!  The last Spider-Man movie isn’t even three years old, yet, and audiences really connected with the original cast.  Sure, Spider-Man 3 was a big disappointment, but Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 showed us how great these films could be, I had faith that Raimi and the rest of the cast could turn it around!  Really, I just don’t understand why Sony is so insistent that they must restart the entire Spider-Man story.  It makes them look ashamed of the previous films, and if the issue was really all about the release date, then I don’t understand how this is an effective solution, for it will only delay a new Spider-Man even longer.  My guess is that the problem was that Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and Sam Raimi were asking for too much money.  Whether or not that was even the case, though, why not just recast them and continue the story?  It’s not like we audiences are too stupid to understand who each of the characters are.  It’s a strategy has worked for the Bond franchise for years! 

Honestly, I love Spidey.  I have all the movies, tons of the old comics, a Spider-Man poster on my wall, a an old Spider-Man blanket under my bed.  Raimi’s films exuded love for the character of Peter Parker and a huge respect of Stan Lee’s story.  I’m frustrated that Sony doesn’t seem to share any of that.  Anyone else with me?

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WOW, It’s Sam Raimi

July 22, 2009


It was announced today that Sam Raimi, director of the Evil Dead and Spider-Man series is on board to direct a big screen adaption of World of Warcraft, the massively popular online multiplayer game that is blamed for laziness and break-ups around the globe.

I had only heard inklings about this project and had no idea they were so ready to choose a director, but there you have it. From what I understand about the game (very little) there isn’t much plot. But there’s a huge overworld they’ve created, with different locations and missions, so perhaps these will be incorporated strongly into the films plot. You have that and include the different races that inhabit this world, and you’ve got yourself what’s doomed to be a Lord of the Rings emulation.

But having a respectable director on board (read: one that isn’t Uwe Boll) really helps this project’s legitimacy, so perhaps it will be awesome. Regardless, expect there to be a mass geek exodus from Parent’s Basements across America on opening night.

Expectations Matched And Butchered

May 25, 2009


Currently, and not surprisingly, Pixar’s Up has a 100% Rotten Tomato ranking from 25 reviewers who were lucky enough to see the movie early. Naturally I’m not surprised. Besides Cars which was a 75%er, Pixar’s movies have all been higher than 90%. The Toy Story movies have yet to receive a negative review, and I can’t help but hate the three people who brought Finding Nemo down to 98. But you understand, Pixar has released great movie after great movie, and it seems Up isn’t about to kill that tradition. Pixar could have its next film be about amoeba and I’d have high expectations, so I always thought Up would perform well.


But what HAS surprised me over at Rotten Tomatoes are the early reviews for another release this weekend, Drag Me To Hell. I’ve seen quite a few previews for this movie and did not think much of it. It looks like B movie horror film with a typical, evil Ouija board storyline and a girl who sees ghosts. But I made the critical mistake of forgetting Sam Raimi defined the B-movie horror genre with the Evil Dead series. Along with Up, we have a second 100% on the Tomatoscale. The movie is 15 for 15 so far, with positive reviews that call it a, “fun horror flick that’s a little gross, a bit silly, and entirely entertaining.” So far the Top Critics have yet to drag that down, but I hope this is a surprise hit in the making.

Sam Raimi Should Personally Pay Everybody Who Sat Through Spiderman 3

May 21, 2009


Remember when you walked out of Spider-man? Remember this was before the superhero craze. X-Men had done decently, but really, who expected Spider-man to be such a hit? Sure, it had absurdly cheesy moments, but damn you really enjoyed yourself.

Then came Spider-man 2, a film that once again took everybody by surprise. Wait, this Superhero movie was… incredible. I actually just sat through a fantastic movie. It wasn’t just a fun popcorn action film, it was amazing as its hero claims to be. The genre was legitimized, and it took off into the whirlwind we see today. And Spider-man 2 was, for many, the superhero movie to beat until they got caught up in bat-mania last summer. (Though I thought Batman Begins was just as great).

And to keep up with surprises, Spider-man 3 shocked audiences as well, though much differently. There’s a label on the side of the DVD: “Warning, watching this movie has been known to cause depression, self-mutilation, eye-gouging, vomiting, paranoid schizophrenia, and gout.” Audiences everywhere wondered how in God’s name a series could turn that bad in one film (evidently they had forgotten about the Superman series). It was just awful, we all remember. Peter Parker dresses emo and dances dumbly, which somehow shows he’s ‘evil’ or ‘brooding.’ Apparently, nobody on that set had ever brooded before. Thinking about it makes my blood boil, which is unsavory for me, so I try not to. That picture at the top isn’t a dark, brooding Spider-Man. He’s actually mourning the disaster that was that movie.

Now they’re making Spider-man 4, hopefully trying to redeem themselves and recapture 2‘s glory. It’s a risky move: fourth films are rarely good (Superman IV is regarded as one of the worst movies ever, Batman and Robin was… You remember, even as kids we hated it. Does The Phantom Menace count as a fourth film?) You get it. It’s typical (not guaranteed) in movies that the third is a step down from the others, and then the fourth is somehow even worse. So I’m hoping that Spider-man 4 realizes this and acts accordingly. They have a Pulitzer Prize winning writer penning the screenplay, so that’s a good start. It also seems Sam Raimi knows how royally he f***ed up:

“As far as Spider-Man, I’ve learned a lot of lessons about what people didn’t like and missteps that I’d made. But I learned those lessons on the previous two, I was just a little quieter about them. I made a lot of mistakes, and it’s part of the reason I so want to make this next story of Peter Parker.”

Raimi continued, “I really think I know in my heart who the character is, and I haven’t quite been able to sing the song yet, or bring it out to the extent or degree of detail that I feel in my heart that I can. And I may not be successful, but I still feel like I know it better than I’m able to play it; I feel like the kid that really practiced at the piano recital, with years of comic books, and when I got to my other recitals, I sometimes made some missteps with them. There’s a whole crowd there and they think that’s as well as I know the piece, but I really do know it a lot better than that and I would like one more chance at that character. The Spider-Man films, I’ve made mistakes, but I really do look at them as things that I’ve learned, and hope that when I apply what I’ve learned to this next one, I really make a film that people enjoy and is really true to the character in a fresh, original way. That’s my goal.”

Alright, Raimi. You get this chance to get this right. It looked like Spider-man 3 was just a joke, and that nobody was taking it seriously since they knew it would make more money than the treasury. It’s one of those films where you sit and wonder how it made through so many steps and alterations and checkpoints where somebody didn’t stop and say, “Well, this is just terrible.” Who thought that was a good idea?! I always imagine Raimi telling Tobey Maguire what to do, and having four people behind him with their face in their palms. What I hope is some coffee boy had the nerve to say, “Mr. Raimi, this is really bad.” Then Raimi got really pissy, but after the movie came out he hired that coffee boy full time for having both courage and the common sense to recognize something that sucks more than God’s vacuum cleaner.

At least he recognizes his faults. I have to remember that he also Spider-Man 2, so I can’t judge too harshly. I know he has the capability to give us a more serious movie in line with the second in the trilogy. But he had that same capability for 3 and didn’t just miss the mark, he missed the entire hay stack that the target was pinned up on. So this time, please, don’t make Peter Parker dance.