Sam Raimi

Ash Vs. Evil Dead Tailer photo
Bruce Campbell's still bad-Ash *rimshot*
The first full trailer for Starz's Ash vs. Evil Dead is out, and it looks way better than it has any right to look. Bruce Campbell is back as Ash, and they're playing up his schlubbiness, age, and cult persona to great effect...

Last of Us Details photo
Last of Us Details

Sam Raimi had to save The Last of Us adaptation from the game's writer


Also, some possible casting news
Jul 25
// Alec Kubas-Meyer
The Last of Us was a fascinating movie with a not-very-good game attached to it. The narrative and cutscenes told a compelling story that were undermined at every minute by stupid decisions forced onto the narrative by i...

NRH's Weekly Analysis: A Freudian take on Spider-Man 2

Jul 01 // Nathan Hardisty
For those who don’t know, Sigmund Freud is largely attributed to being the founder of modern psychology, among Jung, Pavlov and all those other 20th Century cool kids. His theories ranged from abstract thinking to how the conscious, subconscious and unconscious interact to the ways in which sexuality is developed throughout life. Personally, I don’t agree with everything that Freud argued but his thoughts about the id/ego/superego are incredibly applicable to modern superhero films, especially Spider-Man 2. The ‘id’ is basically the primitive part of ourselves that operates on the ‘pleasure’ principle, desiring instant pleasure from food, sex, etc. It’s the first part of ‘us’ to develop. Next comes the ‘ego’ which governs on a ‘reality’ principle, basically one that attempts to compromise and fight off the urges of the ‘id.’ The final piece is one that develops well into teenagerhood, the ‘superego’: the piece of our brain that functions on the ‘moral principle’ which attempts to find the ‘good’ and stray away from selfish solipsistic perceptions of the world. Arguably the only superego in Spider-Man canon is Uncle Ben. In less than six words he instills Peter with a sense of outright moral compulsion. This happens in Spider-Man 1, but in Spider-Man 2 Peter, in a dream sequence, rejects his Uncle's words and turns inwards. The film is his redemption in trying to find his greater superego once more, despite the sacrifices he will have to make along the way. I began thinking about applying Freud to Spider-Man 2 a good while ago and particularly picked up on some dialogue exchanges between Aunt May and Peter involving heroes and kids. Aunt says herself that “I believe there’s a hero in all of us” and that “Kids like Henry need a hero.” One that “keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams.” There’s definitely a Freudian thrust behind this speech. The hero in all of us is the superego, that there truly is one in all of us that keeps us morally centered. “Kids like Henry need a hero” may be a nod to the need to have balance between all of the forces, which the superego brings when it is finally formed. Peter’s selfish retreat away from his superhero duties complicate Aunt May’s speech, as he has to realize that he cannot function without a superego and must fight to claim it back, even if it means sacrificing his dreams. Let’s take a hammer to what seems to be the film’s central focus: control. Harry Osborn lacks it after his father’s death, Doc Ock loses it to the not-hentai-metal tentacles and the psychological impact of his wife’s death, and Peter attempts to find control through compromise. What we have is a constant array of battles between id, ego and the superego -- “a hero in all of us” -- as Doc Ock seems to find his way to attain pleasure by trying to create a sun. Harry’s own psychological trauma is one of the bravest steps the film takes forward. It could so easily switch into a power revenge fantasy in which Harry hires some mercenaries and doesn’t do anything, but instead he slowly succumbs to his id too and creates an alliance with Doc Ock. The big reveal of Harry peeling off the Spider-Man mask was used in a lot of television trailers here in the UK to drive up tensions, and it’s definitely one of the film’s best moments. It’s incredibly interesting to notice how James Franco portrays Harry’s bemusement as Tobey Maguire just rips rope off of himself effortlessly. This is essentially the manifestation of the embodiment of a selfish id confronted with the superior, fully developed superego. But the hero within Peter Parker just seems a lot more interesting, doesn’t it? This is young adult Peter trying to find his superego, his moral compass, and mid-way through the film he bins it in order to try and truly focus in his life. It seems his ego is in control in trying to see a reality, but in reality the superego that belongs to him, his Spider-Man alter-ego, now belongs to the city too. Peter goes through what Freud might’ve coined a ‘psychological ghetto’ (he totally would’ve used those words) in refusing the balance between ego, id and superego. Spider-Man 2 approaches this directly by having its superhero actually fail quite a lot. The entire opening act seems to be pretty much dedicated to Peter’s misery, and when he throws the suit away you understand his thinking. Even his struggle with Doc Ock is only resolved by Peter managing to remember a few words. There has to be bumps on our road to redemption. One could say that Aunt May’s speech of “pride” in death might be the reason Peter chooses the suit over his own life; an attempt to die as a martyr for great change in the city. “Pride” in death also comes into play with Doc Ock’s final minutes. Peter’s superego eventually triumphs and the film almost explicitly says this. The mask itself represents the superego, as soon as Peter dons it again his entire mental hygiene changes. Harry however sees everything underneath the mask as important -- “Let’s see who’s behind this mask” -- a mirror of his own psychological imbalance. His father’s dreams triumph within Harry, but Spider-Man ultimately wins the day. Doc Ock is told point blank by Peter that sometimes we have to give up our “dreams” to do “what’s right”. Spider-Man 2 is ultimately about this force of moral control in the face of what might give us personal satisfaction. Ultimately it delves into superhero psychology more than a lot of modern fodder and ultimately shows Peter’s progression from id/ego/superego to id/ego and then back around to restore balance to his own psyche. It’s interesting to note the actual physical change that Peter undergoes. He has to put his glasses back on after tripping in the ‘Raindrops’ scene, which is just a lovely montage, and this most definitely displays the full-scale of the changes inside Peter. His very perception of himself has changed. The bruises, cuts and struggles towards the end are Peter’s bumps in order to attain his superego again, similar to the inner turmoil that adolescence brings, Freud said the superego came about in teenage years. The marriage with a comic book carnival of young adult inked-imagery with psychological growth is incredibly well realized.
Weekly Analysis photo
A psychological dip into the famed webslinger
Spider-Man 2 is one of the greatest superhero films ever made. It is incredible how it manages to have Peter Parker confront one of the most common dilemmas we all face--time management--and still keep a quick pace; Alfr...

Review: Oz the Great and Powerful

Mar 08 // Matthew Razak
[embed]215020:39758:0[/embed] Oz the Great and PowefulDirector: Sam RaimiRated: PGRelease Date: March 8, 2013  The problem with Oz the Great and Powerful is that it's probably not what you're expecting and thanks to that its issues get elevated. This is legitimately a kid's movie with site gags, over-the-top characters and an approach that emphasizes fun over story. That's not to say the entire film is "kiddy," but the tone of the film is probably not what you're expecting. It's more akin to the original Wizard of Oz than today's modern fantasy epics, and that can be off putting if you aren't ready for it. Even if you are ready for it you're going to find the film weird, for lack of a better term. It's just a strange combination of visual style, plotting, camp and cheesy performances that's hard to either dislike or like. I found myself torn between Raimi's direction feeling horribly out of place or perfectly original. It is definitely a Raimi movie with big, swooping single shots, first person camera, and a penchant for camp and cheese and somehow that's both enjoyable awesome and yet awkward.  It's hard to tell if the cast is hamming it up perfectly or simply not being directed well. James Franco, who plays Oz, is either wonderfully charming or horribly overacting while Mila Kunis wavers between nailing it and completely missing it. Two consistently enjoyable performances come from Rachel Weisz prolifically evil witch and Michelle Williams unbearably good one. It's almost infuriating as a critic to come out of a movie without being able to decide where you fall on a film, but I find myself still switching back and forth between liking it and thinking it missed its points. There are definitely issues with the movie that are easy to point out. The plot is paper thin and is stretched out far longer than it needs to be. Picking up before The Wizard of Oz, the movie tells the story of the wizard himself. We see him sucked into Oz after a hurricane where he meets three witches who are sisters: Glinda (Williams), Theodora (Kunis) and Evanora (Weisz). Oz is tricked by Evanora to go kill Glinda and he takes along his friendly flying monkey (Zach Braff) and a china girl (Joey King). Of course he figures out that Glinda is good and eventually hatches a plan to win back the Emerald City and realize that he is more than just a charlatan.  The story takes a long time to get going. In an homage to the original the movie opens in black and white, letter box style and it stays there for a while. It's actually a great chunk of the movie, but it stretches and once Oz (short of Oscar, by the way) arrives in Oz the movies already been running so long that it feels like they're establishing a second plot entirely. The film really starts to drag until the movies prolific ending, but once again it's hard to get bored thanks to the gorgeous world and Raimi's directing. Coming back to his directing, it's not all wonderful. While he sets up some elaborate shots that are simply breathtaking in 3D his use of the technology is amateurish for the most part. At times I felt like I was on a ride at Disneyland instead of seeing a legitimate movie. It's the kind of things (throwing things at the camera, first person "rides") one would expect out of a 3D 5 years ago before the likes of Hugo showed us that the technology can legitimately be used before. It's again a contradiction because at other times he weaves the camera expertly in stunning single shots that work perfectly for the tech. It's the same for some of the digital stuff as well. Most of it looks gorgeous, especially the China Girl, but at times it's horrendously green screened and awkward. I've basically spent this review trying to decide whether I liked Oz the Great and Powerful or not. I love Sam Raimi and his joy of slapstick and childlike nature and that comes out clearly in this film. On the other hand things never really mesh together as well as they should and the camp comes of forced instead of fun. It's a movie that just doesn't quite click, but is still fun to watch. In such a case, I've determined, a tie breaker must be created. That tie breaker is whether or not a movie features Bruce Campbell. The answer to that questions is that it does, and thus I will say I liked Oz the Great and Powerful.
Oz Review photo
Quite the conundrum
You may or may not know it, but Sam Raimi is a director with a very specific style and thanks to the success of Spider-Man he's usually allowed to let that style run wild. It's an awesomely lavish style that feels both n...


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Sam Raimi explains/kinda dials back Evil Dead 4 comments


It's all for the fans, he says
Mar 04
// Hubert Vigilla
When Sam Raimi said he wants to work on the Evil Dead 4 script this summer, I immediately assumed this would be part of a pattern of Evil Dead sequel disappointments: something might happen, and then it doesn't. (Same thing h...

UPDATE: Sam Raimi to write Evil Dead 4 script this summer

Mar 02 // Hubert Vigilla
From Red Carpet News TV: Can Evil Dead 4 exist alongside the new Evil Dead remake? We don't think about anything too much, but thinking about it right now, yes. The new Evil Dead film doesn't have the Ash character, it's a brand new set of characters in a similar situation. So the Ash character is still either trapped in time in the far flung future in a blasted London, or he's working in S Mart; based on either the Japanese version or the American version of the film. I'm not quite sure yet. That's where Evil Dead 4 would probably pick up.
Raimi writing Evil Dead 4 photo
Groovy
[UPDATE: Sam Raimi confirmed to Red Carpet News TV that he wants to write Evil Dead 4 this summer and make the film. Red Carpet News TV asked how the film would work alongside the upcoming Evil Dead remake and where the plot ...

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Super Bowl TV spot for Oz the Great and Powerful


More of the same from the land of Oz
Feb 04
// Matthew Razak
During the Super Bowl a new trailer for Oz the Great and Powerful landed. You might be forgiven for thinking it was actually not a new trailer since we've seen so many trailers for this film that we've probably seen the...
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List of film propaganda broadcasting during Super Bowl


World speechless in awe of the Hollywood machine's restless rhetoric.
Jan 30
// Nathan Hardisty
This Sunday, February 3rd, there will be many balls kicked in America's annual celebration of the Wounded Knee Massacre; the glorious Super Bowl. Paramount, Universal and Disney have all announced their plans to broadcas...
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New TV spot for Oz: The Great and Powerful


Which witch is which? Someone was paid to write that
Jan 15
// Thor Latham
As the release date draws ever nearer, we're being given a new TV spot for Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful that showcases what I'm assuming is going to be a pretty big part of the film:  exactly who the hell is t...
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Check out new stills from Oz the Great and Powerful


Jan 08
// Logan Otremba
New stills have been released from director Sam Raimi’s newest film, Oz the Great and Powerful. The film stars James Franco as Oscar Diggs, a circus magician who is transported to the world of Oz. From there he gets bro...
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Two new TV spots for Oz the Great and Powerful


Jan 02
// Matthew Razak
Sam Raimi gets my instant attention no matter what, and so every glimpse of his upcoming Oz the Great and Powerful is something I'm happy to receive. During the New Years festivities Disney took the time to toss out the...
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Unseen art from Raimi's Spider-Man 2 features The Lizard


Jan 02
// Nick Valdez
You know how Dr. Curt Connors showed up in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy but never got to turn into The Lizard (even if we got that wish granted several years later)? Apparently, there were plans for Connors to turn into The...
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New Wicked Witch poster for Oz The Great and Powerful


It's not easy being green
Dec 19
// Thor Latham
Here's a new character poster for the Wicked Witch from Sam Raimi's Oz The Great and Powerful. Though you wouldn't know it looking at the poster, that's the lovely Rachel Weisz as the infamous witch and she's looking like a f...
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New Evil Dead poster is brazenly arrogant


Nov 20
// Matthew Razak
Well, damn. Even after hearing Bruce Campbell rave about how scary it was, and being sufficiently creeped out by the trailer at NYCC I didn't think the marketing campaign behind Evil Dead would be this awesomely ful...
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Triptych poster revealed for Oz: The Great and Powerful


Plus a handful of new stills
Nov 13
// Thor Latham
The third piece of the Oz poster puzzle has finally been revealed, giving us a pretty awesome looking triptych poster featuring all of the main characters in Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful. We have all of the wit...
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New poster for Oz The Great and Powerful


Finally we get some flying simians up in here
Nov 08
// Thor Latham
Last time we got a glimpse of the notorious Wicked Witch, and today it looks like we're getting a look at her infamous lackeys, the flying monkeys. Well, to be fair, that adorable little guy in the foreground doesn't look lik...
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Evil Dead remake 'fabulous', according to Bruce Campbell


Aug 21
// Xander Markham
Many people are understandably tentative when it comes to the upcoming Evil Dead remake, but Bruce Campbell is on hand to assure everyone, in rather fruitier fashion than usual, that he has seen the movie and it is 'definitel...
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Sam Raimi no longer attached to World of Warcraft movie


Jul 18
// Matthew Razak
Sam Raimi's a pretty busy fellow. He's got a lot of movies on his plate including the upcoming Oz: The Great and Powerful, which looks delightful. However, it appears he's got one less thing to worry about. One less really, r...

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