And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Our review of the last Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie. Thank God. (Cf. our reviews of 1977’s Amazing Spider-Man, 2002’s Spider-Man and 2004’s Spider-Man 2.)

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Spider-Man 2 (2004)

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYLxsUUA?p=1%5D



Spider-Man (2002)

M.A.N.T.I.S. (1994)
November 4, 2011, 9:23 am
Filed under: Movies, Reviews, Videos | Tags: , , , , , ,

Our review of the 1994 made-for-TV film “from the writer of Batman and the director of Darkman.”



Darkman (1990) – A video supplement

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The Quick and the Dead (1995)
Now there's a halo legend...

Now there’s a halo legend…

A lot of people rightly praise Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy, but I’ve always preferred his…”more mature” feels like an obscenely inaccurate phrase, so I’ll just call them his “middle-period” pieces. Between Evil Dead 2 and Spider-Man, Raimi struggled for mainstream success, feeling – like every decent genre director in the ’80s and ’90s – that niche audiences and cult success are all well and good…until you looked at the numbers. Besides, Universal wanted to create its own TV channel. Who better to make that happen than a writer/director/producer triple threat?

These struggles cost him fans and failed to win him the wide audience Hollywood’s power brokers and spreadsheet psychics insist every director must possess before they’re allowed to sit in the Front Room with the Grown Ups, where they might accidentally/on-purpose break the studio’s Nice Things (like, oh, I don’t know, say…a profitable superhero franchise). While Darkman and Army of Darkness are “kinder” and “gentler” films than either previous Dead movie (and easier to follow than the Great Black Mark on Raimi’s pre-Spider-Man career, Crimewave), I’m going to own up another Fanboy Heresy and admit I actually prefer them to the original Dead duology.

Not that I don’t love the Dead movies, but I prefer flicks with characters over flicks with mobile viscera containers (that just so happen to speak and/or emote). Why do you think I go out of my way to avoid “art house” or “Sundance Channel” films? Continue reading



Darkman (1990)
Justice's "brand new face." Because clean bandages are for pussies and criminals.

Justice’s “brand new face.” Because clean bandages are for criminals.

Things may be different in Japan, but over here in the USA only a bare handful of superheroes were born in movieland. Most come out of comic books, something that astonished me back in 1990 and still astonishes today. You’d think superheroes and the motion picture would go together like peanut butter and a consenting adult sexual partner. Thankfully, over the years, a good crop of people have shared this view and worked their butts off to make their “original” superhero productions happen.

One of those people is Sam Raimi. After the success of Evil Dead 2 proved people couldn’t get enough of Raimi’s morbid, slapstick “humorror,” he could’ve sat back on his laurels and made Army of Darkness. Hell, he could’ve reshot the same story (again), called it Evil Dead 3: The Dead Shall Rise and people would’ve loved him for it. Some of us expected just that from Army of Darkness, in fact. Continue reading