Author Topic: Sam Raimi  (Read 2547 times)

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Offline Rhombaad

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Sam Raimi
« on: August 05, 2011, 04:11:35 PM »
Since posting about the new Spider-Man movie set to come out next year, I was reminded of something that's been on my mind for a while now. I know Sam Raimi has legions of fans, and critics always seem to love his movies, but I've never been that much of a fan. I know a lot of people who loved the first Spider-Man film, but I thought it was one of the corniest pieces of shit I'd seen on the silver screen in quite some time. I was laughing at most of the scenes that I assumed were supposed to be serious. That's never good when trying to suck an audience member into a film.

I was wondering what other people thought of Raimi's work. I liked the first part of Army of Darkness, but the second half bored me to tears. I never enjoyed the first two Evil Dead films, either. I haven't seen Drag Me to Hell, and I don't plan on it based on what I've seen of his other films. I dunno, am I alone here? I'm not saying he's a bad director; it's hard to have so many fans and such critical praise if you really do suck at directing. I just don't enjoy his films that much.

Another filmmaker I like, who has had a similar career to Raimi, is Peter Jackson. While others seem to despite some of his most recent work, I get a kick out of it. I never liked his splatter films (Brain Dead almost made me throw up; never a good idea to eat dinner when watching one of those), but I really enjoyed The Lord of the Rings films (despite their numerous deviations from the source material, I thought they were really well made and captured the spirit of Tolkien's writing, though many might disagree) and even the remake of King Kong (though parts of it were almost as laughable as Spider-Man(.

Again, it might just be a matter of taste, but I thought he was a worthy enough director to talk about.

Offline Oburi

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Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2011, 04:32:26 PM »
When I was younger I went on a Raime kick and bought his entire film collection (even the ones I didn't like(For love of the Game)). But looking back I can easily admit that a good 2/3rds of his films are garbage to me. However, the Evil Dead movies are such a big part of my childhood. I know the second and third film are the ones people usually go nuts over but the first one is my favorite. Seeing it in theaters was such a great time.
As for Jackson, he's pretty solid. His old zombie movies are awesome (i love Dead Alive) and his big blockbusters are future classics. King Kong was awesome! I didn't think I would ever like a remake like that but seeing it in theaters for the first time I'll admit I was overpowered by the movie magic. Particularly the dinosaur fights and insects had me in awe. And of course I'm a huge LOTR fan so as far as I'm concerned Peter Jackson may be me favorite blockbuster right now, beating out Cameron even. I'm far more excited for The Hobbit than Avatar 2. 

Offline Eluvei

Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2011, 04:47:41 PM »
My favorite thing he's done is a cameo on Miller's Crossing, but I like pretty much all of his movies, sometimes even unironically.

Offline Griffith

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Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2011, 05:32:17 PM »
What a random thread, I thought he'd died or something when I first saw it. :griffnotevil:

Anyway, I'm pretty much the opposite, I enjoy Raimi, and Jackson mostly leaves me cold. I think it's a good comparison though, they're both technically impressive directors, but sometimes their big budget films feel a little too technically put together, like they can only go through the motions (ok, this is going to be a dramatic part where Aragorn/Spider-Man has their big turn... but it's not going to be quite believable or compelling). King Kong was technically super impressive to me, but Jackson ruined it by making it a five hour bestiality parable. As for Raimi, I do recommend seeing Drag Me to Hell, and A Simple Plan.

Offline Rhombaad

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Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2011, 05:40:21 PM »
What a random thread, I thought he'd died or something when I first saw it. :griffnotevil:

Haha, I was debating whether or not to post about it when I was getting ready for work this morning, seeing as how random it was. But hey, I felt it was appropriate for this section of the forums.

Anyway, I'm pretty much the opposite, I enjoy Raimi, and Jackson mostly leaves me cold. I think it's a good comparison though, they're both technically impressive directors, but sometimes their big budget films feel a little too technically put together, like they can only go through the motions (ok, this is going to be a dramatic part where Aragorn/Spider-Man has their big turn... but it's not going to be quite believable or compelling).

I agree wholeheartedly. I guess it's just a matter of taste for me. I thought that LotR was a lot more compelling than some of the dramatic turns in King Kong (although the last third of the movie is the most impressive for me technically and emotionally).

King Kong was technically super impressive to me, but Jackson ruined it by making it a five hour bestiality parable.

Strangely enough, that's what I loved the most about the movie (although I don't view it in such an extreme way :ganishka:). I thought it was nice that Jackson through an idea of his own in there instead of doing a simple scene-by-scene remake. To each his own. :serpico:

As for Raimi, I do recommend seeing Drag Me to Hell, and A Simple Plan.

Shit, I take back part of what I said. I loved A Simple Plan and I completely forgot that Raimi directed it. Hope this doesn't ruin the point of the thread... :troll:

Offline NightCrawler

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Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2011, 06:17:24 PM »
I think they're both subpar directors.
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Offline Aazealh

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Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2011, 06:55:31 PM »
I'm not the biggest fan of Raimi either. I guess my favorite film of his would be Darkman. The Evil Dead flicks are cool but I'm not madly in love with them or anything. Not a big fan of his Spider-Man trilogy. It's more or less the same with Peter Jackson. Dead Alive is definitely a cult classic but I'm not especially fond of it. His Lord of the Rings trilogy is admirable in many ways, but I didn't enjoy them all that much. My favorite would have to be the first one. I liked The Frighteners back in the day though, fun movie.

Offline Griffith

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Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2011, 07:36:40 PM »
I agree wholeheartedly. I guess it's just a matter of taste for me. I thought that LotR was a lot more compelling than some of the dramatic turns in King Kong (although the last third of the movie is the most impressive for me technically and emotionally).

To me the climax of the movie was when the third T-Rex showed up. :guts:

Strangely enough, that's what I loved the most about the movie (although I don't view it in such an extreme way :ganishka:). I thought it was nice that Jackson through an idea of his own in there instead of doing a simple scene-by-scene remake. To each his own. :serpico:

Well, I should emphasize that I was bothered by the length, not the love story. The movie could have been an hour shorter and much better for it.

Shit, I take back part of what I said. I loved A Simple Plan and I completely forgot that Raimi directed it. Hope this doesn't ruin the point of the thread... :troll:

Nah, that's Raimi's problem, if he would make more movies like that that would ruin the point of the thread, in a good way. When you look at his career in 2000 and how excited I was at the time for him to be doing Spider-Man (which I liked), financial success aside I'm pretty disappointed where he's gone from there, or hasn't.

I think they're both subpar directors.

What's your definition of par? I don't think they're average or below by any means, but simply lacking something. They've either slightly underachieved or greatly overachieved depending on how you look at it.


BTW, strange coincidence, but in my brief time as a movie reviewer for the school paper my two big reviews were of Spider-Man and Lord of the Rings, only these two directors biggest films (I must of had the nerd beat). It was great, I got out of school so I could go watch LOTR and submit my review before the deadline, and even still I wrote a template of the review the night before and literally phoned in the rest on a pay phone at the theater. REPORTING! Good times. =)

Offline IncantatioN

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Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2011, 08:14:00 PM »
Sam Raimi - Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Darkman, A Simple Plan, Spiderman 2 (though I haven't seen it in a while).
Peter Jackson - Bad Taste, Dead Alive, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, King Kong.

The other movies they both made really don't hold up for me. I wouldn't go watch the movie just because Sam or Peter directed it.
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Offline Rhombaad

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Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2011, 08:52:29 PM »
To me the climax of the movie was when the third T-Rex showed up. :guts:

Haha, yeah that was pretty great. It took me by surprise. I remember leaning over to my girlfriend at the time and going, "Sweet, he upped the number of T-Rex's by tw--holy shit!" :isidro:

Well, I should emphasize that I was bothered by the length, not the love story. The movie could have been an hour shorter and much better for it.

As much as I enjoy the movie, I couldn't agree more. I watched it recently with my current girlfriend (she had never seen it before) and it started dragging when they got back to New York, despite that being my favorite part of the film. They should have been on the island within 15-20 minutes of the film starting. Instead it took almost 35 min. for them to get to the island.

What's your definition of par? I don't think they're average or below by any means, but simply lacking something. They've either slightly underachieved or greatly overachieved depending on how you look at it.

I would put Christopher Nolan into that category, too. As much as I love Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Inception, they never get me emotionally. Technically, they're extremely solid films, but they just feel cold to me. It's like he's going through the motions, but not getting anything out of it. The plots of all three films I very much enjoyed, but instead of, for example, feeling devastated for both Bruce and Harvey when Rachel was killed, I didn't feel a thing. The actors gave it their all, no doubt, but the way her part was written left me feeling next to nothing. The same with Inception; I should have felt nothing but empathy for Dom losing his wife and being haunted by her, but I just didn't.

Oddly enough, I feel the same way about Raimi.  Just look at the scene between Mary Jane and Peter Parker in Aunt May's hospital room in the first Spider-Man; I'm supposed to care that she's admitting her love for him, but the dialogue is so bad that I get taken completely out of the moment.

BTW, strange coincidence, but in my brief time as a movie reviewer for the school paper my two big reviews were of Spider-Man and Lord of the Rings, only these two directors biggest films (I must of had the nerd beat). It was great, I got out of school so I could go watch LOTR and submit my review before the deadline, and even still I wrote a template of the review the night before and literally phoned in the rest on a pay phone at the theater. REPORTING! Good times. =)

Nice! That must have been a lot of fun. :serpico:

Offline IncantatioN

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Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2011, 09:17:30 PM »
Nolan's been a lot more consistent than either director (Following, Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and Inception ... all pretty good!).

EDIT: I thought that particular scene you mention in Inception was pretty powerful, in addition to the scene that reminded me of 2001: A Space Odyssey (in the way it looked) where the son confronts the father. It's definitely subjective because everyone can feel differently for the same scene :griffnotevil:
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 09:27:45 PM by IncantatioN »
At the end of time, a moment will come when just one man remains. Then the moment will pass. Man will be gone. There will be nothing to show that we were ever here... but stardust.

Offline Eluvei

Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2011, 10:59:23 PM »
I feel the same way about Nolan, Rhombaad. I think his Batman movies are so mediocre. The fight scenes are too confusing, like the Hong Kong one and the last one in TDK, which was downright incomprehensible; the car chase scenes (best part of the movies) are filled with ridiculous unfunny remarks by stupid cops which just ruins it for me; the plot is way too unbelievable/comic bookish for a movie that wants us so much to believe that it has a foot on reality. And the worst part, of course, is Bale's gutural voice. I mean, get real dude stop speaking like that.

Inception was too long and filled with such boring dialogue. The action scenes were alright though!

Offline Griffith

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Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2011, 06:33:32 AM »
You're making mountains out of molehills with The Dark Knight (batvoice still? c'mon).

Anyway, Nolan is certainly methodical and I thought of him too when we were discussing that aspect of Raimi and Jackson before, but unlike them I think it actually reflects his style rather than his limitations. His movies are at their best when at their most cerebral.

Offline Eluvei

Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2011, 07:43:41 AM »
You're making mountains out of molehills with The Dark Knight (batvoice still? c'mon).

That's kinda what I meant, though. The molehills are so numerous that they seem like a mountain of pure shit from afar. :troll:
But yeah, so many little things bother me that in the end I find myself laughing at them rather than enjoying the movie.

Offline Griffith

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Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2011, 08:20:11 AM »
I'm all for nitpicking as you know, but I kinda meant those molehills don't amount to much; bat voice, comic bookishness (well, yeah, only one foot in reality, it's still a Batman movie), the action, which, unlike Begins, I didn't find so incomprehensible, etc. My enduring gripe is the clumsy moralizing and unnecessary subplots, but for all its flaws it's still an ambitiously big and complex movie that's done so well you take that for granted and the bat voice becomes "the worst part." If that's what stands out as worst, bravo.

I find myself in an odd place defending The Dark Knight, a movie I wouldn't think would need it, or would get it from me anyway. It's like it's so recognizably overrated it's in danger of becoming underrated. =)

Offline Proj2501

Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2011, 01:44:34 PM »
Raimi's films in particular seem to have lost their with the surge of CGI. His Evil Dead films were so admirable because of practical effects. At least, this is why I liked them. Imagine Army of Darkness made now? The finale would be a camera-swooping, CGI 'EPIC'. The original is so hooky you can tell the skeleton soldiers are held up on rods and being moved by stage hands below, that's why it's charming.

With Jackson, I think his films get a huge pass at first due to the technical aspects of what goes into to make them. Impressive? Sure. Gollum? Still stands up IMO. However, having JUST recently watched The Two Towers and Return of the King, some CGI looks dated already, which is nuts when you think about it.

What I'm getting at in a nutshell is this: Remember when the all the Matrix films came out?

Technically, at the time, mind blowing. Now since we've become VERY conditioned to spotting what was done in camera and out, the only solid film in the Matrix trilogy is the first. Why? The story took precedent. The concept was more or less unique (Dark City, I know). That's what made that film for me, the most memorable.

I'd love to watch Raimi and Jackson films where CGI and 'cutting edge special effects' aren't the reasons we're going to see them.


Offline Oburi

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Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2011, 04:49:12 PM »
The other movies they both made really don't hold up for me. I wouldn't go watch the movie just because Sam or Peter directed it.

I think that's a good way to put. I love certain movies from both directors but I would never go see a film just because they made it. For example I never saw The Lovely Bones (Jackson) nor did I ever see the final Spiderman movie, and I never will probably.

But yea Evil Dead, Dead Alive, The Frighteners, LOTR trilogy, King Kong and even Heavenly Creatures are all good films for me. But that's it really, just a handful a quality movies. I can think of a few other filmmakers who I actually would go to the theater just to see a film because they made it.

Offline Rhombaad

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Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2011, 05:54:35 PM »
I feel the same way about Nolan, Rhombaad. I think his Batman movies are so mediocre.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, I never said that his films were mediocre. I just said that some of the scenes where we're supposed to feel this big emotional surge fell through to me. I love his Batman films (although The Dark Knight is far superior to Batman Begins), as well as Inception.

The fight scenes are too confusing, like the Hong Kong one and the last one in TDK, which was downright incomprehensible;

I'm going to have to side with Griffith on this one. While I didn't enjoy the majority of the fight scenes in Batman Begins, I thought they made a big improvement with The Dark Knight. Instead of fast cutting and quick camera movements, Nolan did what all good directors do: he took a step back and allowed us to see the action in its entirety. I didn't find the final action scene in The Dark Knight incomprehensible, although I can see how some could, with the Bat-vision incorporated into the live action. Still a big improvement over the first film.

Inception was too long and filled with such boring dialogue.

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. :serpico:

Offline Eluvei

Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2011, 06:38:20 PM »
My enduring gripe is the clumsy moralizing and unnecessary subplots, but for all its flaws it's still an ambitiously big and complex movie that's done so well you take that for granted and the bat voice becomes "the worst part." If that's what stands out as worst, bravo.

I agree that its ambitiousness is one of the things that makes it stand out, but can you explain to me what makes this movie "complex"? When you say that immediately after mentioning the clumsy moralizing, it makes me wonder.

I find myself in an odd place defending The Dark Knight, a movie I wouldn't think would need it, or would get it from me anyway. It's like it's so recognizably overrated it's in danger of becoming underrated. =)

I dunno, there are some undeniably great things about the movie, I doubt it'll ever be underrated. When I say it's mediocre, I don't mean that in a terrible way. I mean it in a "two and a half stars out of five" way

Whoa, whoa, whoa, I never said that his films were mediocre.

Oh, I just meant that I also feel no emotional attachment to his movies. Although I admit that I find pretty weird that you manage to love the movies without feeling what you think you're supposed to feel during key scenes such as Rachel's death and so on.

Offline Griffith

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Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2011, 07:20:19 PM »
I agree that its ambitiousness is one of the things that makes it stand out, but can you explain to me what makes this movie "complex"? When you say that immediately after mentioning the clumsy moralizing, it makes me wonder.

I meant there was a lot of shit to juggle in the plot and they made it look easy, not that the whole "people are good" crap was deep or anything.

I dunno, there are some undeniably great things about the movie, I doubt it'll ever be underrated. When I say it's mediocre, I don't mean that in a terrible way. I mean it in a "two and a half stars out of five" way

I think you're giving mediocre a good name. I mean, what's three stars then?

Oh, I just meant that I also feel no emotional attachment to his movies. Although I admit that I find pretty weird that you manage to love the movies without feeling what you think you're supposed to feel during key scenes such as Rachel's death and so on.

I still appreciate them intellectually, and I'm just at a point where a rarely feel emotional about any scene in a movie (and usually it's really schlocky if it happens =). I mean, was I really supposed to be emotional about Batman's fictional ugly girlfriend in the movie? No (I'll leave that sort of thing to my mom), but I understood why Batman was and I liked what came out of it. I would have liked it less if they'd tried harder to elicit some cheap emotion out of me.

Offline Eluvei

Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2011, 07:42:32 PM »
I mean, was I really supposed to be emotional about Batman's fictional ugly girlfriend in the movie? No (I'll leave that sort of thing to my mom), but I understood why Batman was and I liked what came out of it. I would have liked it less if they'd tried harder to elicit some cheap emotion out of me.

What I understood from Rhombaad's post is that he felt he was supposed to be emotional about fictional Batman's fictional ugly girlfriend and Leonardo DiCaprio's dead wife haunting his fictional life, and Nolan was unable to make that shit work (and I agreed with that). But I guess I could have been overreacting to his complaint, and that's not a big deal to him either. It is to me because I'm a "mom". :sad:

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Re: Sam Raimi
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2011, 07:59:33 PM »
With TDK and Inception I'm not sure if you're really supposed to feel any really deep emotional attachment to the female love interest. If they failed anywhere, and I'm really talking about TDK, it was getting an emotional investment in the lead male's (Bruce Wayne's) struggle with loss, hopelessness, and despair. In Inception, at least toward the end when things became more clear, I could relate and sympathize with the character more. When Bruce Wayne was brooding over Rachel's death it was more of a "Batman looks cooler when he's suited up in deep thought without his mask on" moment for me. That's one thing I hope they get better in TDKR, a reconnection with Bruce Wayne's struggle. I just didn't feel it in TDK.

As for Raimi I can't really say anything bad about him. He's a horror director with a heart and a good sense of humor. Right up my alley, usually. Jackson has shown that he has a really deep love for his craft as well as source material and his attention to details is pretty impressive. I rank them pretty high in my book, albeit seperately than Nolan (what happened to the director's thread btw?). Lovely Bones was a failure and Jackson knew it, so I give it a pass... for now. Same with Spider-man 3 and Raimi. I actually didn't hate either of those movies, but you can tell the director's were face-palming come post-production... probably even pre-production in Raimi's case.

btw, in case some of you weren't aware:

New Evil Dead movie without Raimi directing.  :schnoz:
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 08:20:18 PM by Deci »