Sam the Man - Part II

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Sam the Man - Part II

MovieBob continues his in-depth look at the filmography of Sam Raimi.

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The parallels between Raimi's career and Peter Jackson's are eerie.

Hmmmm. I really liked the new Evil Dead, but the idea of crossing cannon between the new and the old... sounds dangerous at best. I foresee some serious tone-clash, unless they plan on gradually morphing the tone of the new franchise into lighter territory, just like they did the old one... so, not impossible.

I enjoyed the career retrospective style article, and hope to see a few more in the future. Thanks, Bob.

Neat article. I think Spider-Man 2 is really good as well, but better than the Avengers? Maybe not.

MovieBob:
Either way, the series was such a massive hit that it inspired a wave of fantasy/action copycats seeking to apply the Raimi/Tapert style to everything from Sinbad to Robin Hood to Mortal Kombat (yes, really).

Oh god... I thought that was just a horrible dream....

Figures bob would still praise Spider-Man 3 after all this time. That movie made the first transformers look well written.

WanderingFool:

MovieBob:
Either way, the series was such a massive hit that it inspired a wave of fantasy/action copycats seeking to apply the Raimi/Tapert style to everything from Sinbad to Robin Hood to Mortal Kombat (yes, really).

Oh god... I thought that was just a horrible dream....

It gets worse: there was also a Saturday morning cartoon.

OT: Man do I miss Herc and Xena. That's about all I have to say about this. I tried getting into Legend of the Seeker, but it took itself too seriously, it was way too mid-2000's (read: too much post 9/11 cynicism) for me to get into. Haven't seen Spartacus, since I don't get HBO (or Stars or whatever it's on. It's one of those premium channels.), but I'm kind of surprised to find out Raimi was behind it. I guess that explains why Lucy Lawless is in the cast, though.

Side note about Lucy Lawless: am I the only one who never really saw the attraction to her (the other girls, on the other hand...) in Xena, but thinks she got a lot better with age? She actually looks younger and prettier now than she did in the 90's, at least to me.

Really? The Dark Knight isn't even in you Top 5 super-hero movies?! I know Nolan's trilogy isn't perfect (Too full of itself at times, a little too self-consciously 'dark', Christian Bale's Bat-Voice, costumes that aren't actually any less ridiculous that the infamous 'Bat-Nipples'), but I would have thought at least 1 of that trilogy would be in your Top 5. Are we now so quick to dismiss everything about Nolan's films that were legitimately fantastic just because Marvel Studio's on the other side have started having more fun?

Am I the only one who didn't like any of the spider-man movies? I grew up on the 90s animated series so I'm pretty sure my view is extremely biased based on that... but I liked the 90s spiderman a lot more than the movie version.

Can we agree that the end of Drag Me To Hell was fucking awesome? Yes?

When i went to see spiderman 1 and 2 in the cinema i liked them a lot (i never liked 3) but rewatching them makes me cringe they to me at least have aged really badly and come off awkward and uninteresting.

NinjaDeathSlap:
Really? The Dark Knight isn't even in you Top 5 super-hero movies?! I know Nolan's trilogy isn't perfect (Too full of itself at times, a little too self-consciously 'dark', Christian Bale's Bat-Voice, costumes that aren't actually any less ridiculous that the infamous 'Bat-Nipples'), but I would have thought at least 1 of that trilogy would be in your Top 5. Are we now so quick to dismiss everything about Nolan's films that were legitimately fantastic just because Marvel Studio's on the other side have started having more fun?

Given that, in his video reviews, his usual snapshot of "Best Super Hero Movies" goes Spiderman 2, Superman 2, The Dark Knight, I would assume that this is a case where he recognises TDK as an excellent movie (and important to the history of the genre in terms of public perception ect.) but it's just not one of his personal 5 favourite super-hero movies. Kinda how like I'm never gonna try to argue that High Fidelity is a better movie than say Citizen Kane, Shawshank Redemption, Godfather II or their ilk, but it's still my personal favourite movie of all time.

How is it that we ALWAYS forget the most important part of the Spiderman films? THEY HAD BRUCE CAMPBELL?!?!?!

All movie reviews should start with: Did not have Bruce F*%$ing Campbell. All reviewer scores should go from 1-8, losing two points for: Not having enough Bruce Campbell.

Who could possibly forget this guy?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffAl6oCtJNc

Xena and Hercules was the highlight of my 90s done by him. His relative, Ted, was hilarious as Joxer.

Hmmmm... I like Spider-Man 2 a lot, but caling it "better" than The Avengers might be stretching it out a bit and also, I don't care how you put it, Spider-Man 3 is an abomination. Well, maybe it isn't that bad, but I don't like it >:(

As for Hercules and Xena, I loooove them both to pieces :D

XENA brought back the TV action heroine, Floods of female action heroines(Including tv's Buffy) came AFTER it.
It does not give nearly enough credit for what it acheived

This article is the perfect example of how completely incompetent MovieBob is regarding film reviews. The original Spider-man trilogy was a terrible series of movies. Tobi McGuire is a terrible actor, Kirstin Dunst (sp?) was a flat Mary Jane Watson, a most of the movies seem like Spider-man is a whiny prick rather than a hero with real world problems.

The only way which the films can be viewed in a good light is in comparison to the previous Superhero movies that had come out. We'd just past through some terrible Batman movies, Superman was a perfect example of cheesy 80s movies, and X-men had only a shell of its comic book counterparts depth.

Spider-man was a decent movie for the time, but in no way could it compare with any of the more recent Marvel or DC movies which showcase actual characters. I like to think of them as a "rough rehearsal" of the actual production.

Though I agree the costume was certainly better looking than the new movies...

Rogue 09:

The only way which the films can be viewed in a good light is in comparison to the previous Superhero movies that had come out. We'd just past through some terrible Batman movies, Superman was a perfect example of cheesy 80s movies, and X-men had only a shell of its comic book counterparts depth.

Spider-man was a decent movie for the time, but in no way could it compare with any of the more recent Marvel or DC movies which showcase actual characters. I like to think of them as a "rough rehearsal" of the actual production.

Are you kidding me? One of the primary purposes of adapting ANY form of art or literature into film is to bring that story, style AND substance, into a living format. Which Raimi's "Spider-Man" movies do in spades.

Visuals, content, story adaption and characters are all great transitions. McGuire is a well-versed feeb of a Parker and suits the character better than anyone has to date. Not saying someone COULDN'T do it better, but he does amazingly all his own. The action is wonderfully true to the comic and the cinematography is gorgeous. It looks great, even today, it sounds great and, above all, they are EXTREMELY good "Spider-Man" adaptations.

Seriously, are you kidding?

I can't quite put my finger on why, but I really didn't care for spiderman 2, despite liking the first one.

Maybe it was the whole convoluted losing-powers-because-of-something-oh-theyre-back-now plot thread.
Maybe it was the silly AI taking over his personality buisness, because that makes all kinds of sense right?
Maybe it was me wondering why the police can't shoot Doc Oc, seeing how he's not wearing armor or anything.
Maybe it was that half the city had seen Peter's face, but no worries no one will tell.
Maybe it was how Mary Jane leaving her fiancee at the altar was played as a joke, although the guy had done nothing wrong except that his upside-down kissing skills weren't as good.

But those are all relatively small problems. Maybe they just add up for me, or maybe I was in a bad mood when watching it. Eh, either way.

I'm sorry, but the Legend of the Seeker is irredeemably terrible in every way.

Ah, Hercules and Xena, the highlight of my preteen TV experience. Sometimes they were cheesy and goofy, but it was the '90's, so I let it pass. Those 2 shows were my introduction to Bruce "The Chin" Campbell, and he is a boss. As for Spartacus, I thought I smelled the Raiminess all over that with the over-melodramatic acting and the "like-300-with-a-fraction-of-the-budget" visual effects. I cannot recall anyone on those shows speaking in the tone of a normal human being; they're either whispering at a level that's barely audible to human ears OR SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF THEIR GODDAMN LINGS TO SPOUT OFF AS MANY ANACHRONISTIC CURSE WORDS AS POSSIBLE!!!
Am I still mad at Spider-Man 3? What gave you that idea?

Never mention Legend of the Seeker. It was terrible, and this is coming from someone who actively tried to ignore the bad parts and like the whole, and failed. Badly.

That isn't to say that the series it is based off of, "The Sword of Truth" series, is perfect. Far from it (it's always been kinda preachy, and by the final 3 books it becomes so preachy I actually had trouble finishing them). It's just that, even as flawed as it is, it was still way better than the mish mash of ideas and concepts that was the show.

It starts off decently too, and then just degenerates rapidly.

GDW:

Rogue 09:

The only way which the films can be viewed in a good light is in comparison to the previous Superhero movies that had come out. We'd just past through some terrible Batman movies, Superman was a perfect example of cheesy 80s movies, and X-men had only a shell of its comic book counterparts depth.

Spider-man was a decent movie for the time, but in no way could it compare with any of the more recent Marvel or DC movies which showcase actual characters. I like to think of them as a "rough rehearsal" of the actual production.

Are you kidding me? One of the primary purposes of adapting ANY form of art or literature into film is to bring that story, style AND substance, into a living format. Which Raimi's "Spider-Man" movies do in spades.

Visuals, content, story adaption and characters are all great transitions. McGuire is a well-versed feeb of a Parker and suits the character better than anyone has to date. Not saying someone COULDN'T do it better, but he does amazingly all his own. The action is wonderfully true to the comic and the cinematography is gorgeous. It looks great, even today, it sounds great and, above all, they are EXTREMELY good "Spider-Man" adaptations.

Seriously, are you kidding?

No... no I am not kidding. Have you read Spider-man? Spider-man (Comics) was a genius who felt an incredible amount of guilt due to his role in his Uncle's death. His goal was not to atone, but to make sure that nobody had to go through what he did. He also was constantly having to care for his aunt, who he felt doubly responsible for. This kept him distant from his friends and co-workers, who constantly reached out to him but took his absent-mindedness for rudeness and being snide. Spider-man was constantly at odds with the sheer weight of the responsibility he bore and how much sheer enjoyment he felt in the action.

Spider-man (movie trilogy) was a completely awkward and inappropriate weirdo ("when I saw you on stage I cried"???). He was bullied not because of his intimidating intellect, but because he was a creepy stalker who took pictures of girls he crushed on. Even the bus driver hated Spider-man in the first movie! As we proceed, he goes on the whine and complain about how put upon he feels, when in the comic books he was genuinely concerned he may have become a menace to society and was too in love with the thrills to notice.

By the time we get to the final movie, Peter Parker is almost a complete d-bag even before he gets the symbiote!

Peter Parker was sought after by the ladies in the comic book, and is one of the chief reasons for the drama between Flash and himself. In the movies he's not just a nerd, but a complete loser (something that is not "substance" or "style" ripped from the comic books). This is even before we talk about how the villains are completely wrong!

The Green Goblin wants to run a criminal empire in the books, in the movies it's all about world domination. Doc Ock is a danger because he's haphazardly trying to save humanity in the movies, but in the books it is half to fund crazy experiments and half for the love of crime, and don't even get me started on the issues with Sandman and the Symbiote!

So, I've got to ask... are you kidding?

Both Hercules and Xena, certainly had their moments and made a mark, both series just went on for too long for their own sake. Plots went from silly/fun into just soap opera stupid in the end.

Still don't get the whole fascination with Spiderman movies. I thought they were maybe average for superhero movies (but that's not much of a standard).
Story was silly (again probably average by superhero movie standards), characters were seriously emo (and yes I know that Spiderman comics also have a certain drama to them, but Spiderman starts losing powers because he is depressed WTH!?), Spiderman looked bad and just plain wrong in movement, actors looked, for the lack of a better word, ugly, Green Goblin mask was again lame as all hell*, Grace was very poorly cast as Broch/Venom...basically most things that made some of Raimi's stuff interesting and fun, just looked wrong here.

*and Nolan showed that realistic can be cool

Rogue 09:
This article is the perfect example of how completely incompetent MovieBob is regarding film reviews. The original Spider-man trilogy was a terrible series. I mean he has the gall to have a different opinion on a subjective medium than me? The great Rogue 09? God amongst men? Lets burn him at the stake for this blasphemy. As we all know there is only one true objective opinion of films and it is mine. For i in my infinite wisdom have decided the true interpretation of a character with 50 years of stories behind him. why listen to a man who has shown a wealth of comicbook knowledge on his show nearly every week when you have the great rogue 09. Thank god for me

There I fixed that so you sound a little less over the top.
Sorry but you came off a bit silly

OT: Nice retrospective moviebob. It's always nice to see some positivity around in the land of cynicism that is the Internet

Wasn't there a "young Hercules" spin off series too?

Anyway, I'm gunna have to watch a simple plan, looks interesting and the only one of the bunch I haven't watched.

mojopin87:
I'm sorry, but the Legend of the Seeker is irredeemably terrible in every way.

You don't like your Seekers looking more fragile than Kahlen? Or Zed basically being worthless with Wizard's Rules that are actually made up jokes even though they are the central theme of almost all of the books? How about a nice terrible ending to the first (and second) season that unnecessarily extended the tension between Richard and Kahlan into the next season, which basically led to an awful WTF death of Darken Rahl and an even more jumbled mess of a second season? How about the slow motion Hercules style combat with a Sword of Truth that's no different from any other weapon. And then there's the Sisters of Light that are not Sorceress', but red Ninjas that attack with blades. Or how about how they trivialized everything from Richard's encounter with Denna to his relationship with his father (Darken...not Panis), to Cara and Nikki 1 and Nikki 2, to the D'Haran bond that's really as pointless as the rest of the show, but is THE main theme of the last 6 books of TSoT...

Yeah...I don't care how awesome Hercules and Zena were....or how great Sparticus is. Raimi ruined Legend of the Seeker and that is unforgivable. He might as well run The Dark Tower off a cliff and finish me off...

Legend of the Seeker was pretty fun if you don't give a crap about the source material - which, let's face it, is mediocre fantasy schlock married to Ayn Rand. It's on about the same level as the Inheritance Cycle.

You didn't mention Jack of All Trades.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Rogue 09:

GDW:

Rogue 09:

The only way which the films can be viewed in a good light is in comparison to the previous Superhero movies that had come out. We'd just past through some terrible Batman movies, Superman was a perfect example of cheesy 80s movies, and X-men had only a shell of its comic book counterparts depth.

Spider-man was a decent movie for the time, but in no way could it compare with any of the more recent Marvel or DC movies which showcase actual characters. I like to think of them as a "rough rehearsal" of the actual production.

Are you kidding me? One of the primary purposes of adapting ANY form of art or literature into film is to bring that story, style AND substance, into a living format. Which Raimi's "Spider-Man" movies do in spades.

Visuals, content, story adaption and characters are all great transitions. McGuire is a well-versed feeb of a Parker and suits the character better than anyone has to date. Not saying someone COULDN'T do it better, but he does amazingly all his own. The action is wonderfully true to the comic and the cinematography is gorgeous. It looks great, even today, it sounds great and, above all, they are EXTREMELY good "Spider-Man" adaptations.

Seriously, are you kidding?

No... no I am not kidding. Have you read Spider-man? Spider-man (Comics) was a genius who felt an incredible amount of guilt due to his role in his Uncle's death. His goal was not to atone, but to make sure that nobody had to go through what he did. He also was constantly having to care for his aunt, who he felt doubly responsible for. This kept him distant from his friends and co-workers, who constantly reached out to him but took his absent-mindedness for rudeness and being snide. Spider-man was constantly at odds with the sheer weight of the responsibility he bore and how much sheer enjoyment he felt in the action.

Spider-man (movie trilogy) was a completely awkward and inappropriate weirdo ("when I saw you on stage I cried"???). He was bullied not because of his intimidating intellect, but because he was a creepy stalker who took pictures of girls he crushed on. Even the bus driver hated Spider-man in the first movie! As we proceed, he goes on the whine and complain about how put upon he feels, when in the comic books he was genuinely concerned he may have become a menace to society and was too in love with the thrills to notice.

By the time we get to the final movie, Peter Parker is almost a complete d-bag even before he gets the symbiote!

Peter Parker was sought after by the ladies in the comic book, and is one of the chief reasons for the drama between Flash and himself. In the movies he's not just a nerd, but a complete loser (something that is not "substance" or "style" ripped from the comic books). This is even before we talk about how the villains are completely wrong!

The Green Goblin wants to run a criminal empire in the books, in the movies it's all about world domination. Doc Ock is a danger because he's haphazardly trying to save humanity in the movies, but in the books it is half to fund crazy experiments and half for the love of crime, and don't even get me started on the issues with Sandman and the Symbiote!

So, I've got to ask... are you kidding?

Man, I thought I was the only person on this site who didn't like those movies. In fact, I pretty much hate the entire early 2000's superhero movie revival because all of those movies had the same sort of flaws you're listing for Spiderman. We didn't get a good movie out of it until Batman Begins, and we didn't get a good /superhero/ movie out of it unill Ironman.

Mr_Terrific:

mojopin87:
I'm sorry, but the Legend of the Seeker is irredeemably terrible in every way.

You don't like your Seekers looking more fragile than Kahlen? Or Zed basically being worthless with Wizard's Rules that are actually made up jokes even though they are the central theme of almost all of the books? How about a nice terrible ending to the first (and second) season that unnecessarily extended the tension between Richard and Kahlan into the next season, which basically led to an awful WTF death of Darken Rahl and an even more jumbled mess of a second season? How about the slow motion Hercules style combat with a Sword of Truth that's no different from any other weapon. And then there's the Sisters of Light that are not Sorceress', but red Ninjas that attack with blades. Or how about how they trivialized everything from Richard's encounter with Denna to his relationship with his father (Darken...not Panis), to Cara and Nikki 1 and Nikki 2, to the D'Haran bond that's really as pointless as the rest of the show, but is THE main theme of the last 6 books of TSoT...

Yeah...I don't care how awesome Hercules and Zena were....or how great Sparticus is. Raimi ruined Legend of the Seeker and that is unforgivable. He might as well run The Dark Tower off a cliff and finish me off...

It's okay, Raimi fans (like me, minus his later stuff) didn't like LotS either. It was too dark and serious for them, and not dark and serious enough for fans of the books (like you.)

Before this article, I was only aware of Sam Raimi from the Spiderman trilogy. Thanks Bob for sharing the story of this man and making me realize who I should credit for so many of my favorite properties. I loved Hercules, Xena, Spartacus, and Legend of the Seeker to a lesser extent. For my own sake, I just want to say that The Quick & The Dead was awesome and For Love of the Game is my favorite baseball movie not named Field of Dreams or Bull Durham.

Also, the fact that the same guy was behind Hercules and Legend of the Seeker explains A LOT for me. That show always seemed to me as if it was Kevin Sorbo and company playing through a Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

Edit:

Andy of Comix Inc:
You didn't mention Jack of All Trades.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH

He did that work of brilliance too? I'm starting to feel really guilty that I didn't know that much about Raimi.

Raimi is still one of my favorite filmmakers, though I was disappointed by "Oz" somewhat. I think Spider Man 2 is the best of his work by far, and it is my favorite superhero film of all time as well. Though, I still do not see why everyone is so fond of The Avengers, it was mediocre at best, and a far cry from Spider Man and Watchmen.

I do remember watching "For love of the Game" and not even knowing it was a Sam Raimi film at the time. Did you know that they removed a full-frontal nude scene starring Costnerd in the final stages of production?

So what is the 3rd JCVD movie that holds up?

Weird. I've never liked Spiderman 2. Was probably my least favourite, actually.

Owyn_Merrilin:
It's okay, Raimi fans (like me, minus his later stuff) didn't like LotS either. It was too dark and serious for them, and not dark and serious enough for fans of the books (like you.)

It's not that the show wasn't dark and serious enough it's that it pretty much took a giant steaming dump all over the source material.Apart from the characters names the show bears very little resemblance to the novels it's supposedly based on

Also not enough rape in the tv show

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