REVIEW: Evil Dead [2013]

“Okay. Let’s play cold turkey.” I wouldn’t say hopes were high, but I did enter Fede Alvarez‘s Evil Dead remake with an open mind. I liked the idea of bringing the series back to horror as the original Sam Raimi chiller was the trilogy’s best to me. In concert with this was my complete lack of nostalgia due to my never having seen them until my twenties. So there was literally nothing telling me it couldn’t be successful—including Raimi and star Bruce Campbell giving their thumbs up as producers. I…

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REVIEW: Army of Darkness [1993]

“Well hello, Mr. Fancy Pants” Only Sam Raimi knows how you travel from The Evil Dead‘s straight low-budget horror to the campy “ultimate experience of medieval horror” ten years later, but it’s obviously worked for him considering the series jump-started his promising career to the heights of Hollywood’s Spider-Man. Even so, that original trilogy is a curious case in cinematic history switching genres and mythology on the fly to get weirder and weirder and more loved as a result. Ask ten people and nine will probably say the cheese ball…

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REVIEW: Evil Dead II [1987]

Give me back my hand. Seven years after Sam Raimi’s low-budget horror The Evil Dead came onto the scene with ample scares and impressive special effects, its inevitable sequel released. I say inevitable because Raimi wasn’t initially interested, firmly in the belief that going back to the well wouldn’t be necessary once his latest proved a success. Well, his publicist put out an announcement for one anyway and it’s a good thing since Crimewave never quite lived up to Raimi’s expectations. So it was back to the woods, cabin, and…

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REVIEW: The Evil Dead [1983]

“There’s bodies in the cellar” It appears my friends misinformed me many years ago when my decision to watch The Evil Dead came up. I was told to skip the first because Evil Dead II was “pretty much” a remake of it anyway. Whereas the original was a straight horror, the “sequel” skewed comedic and therefore proved truer to the direction the franchise ultimately headed with the Bruce Campbell-led Army of Darkness. I took their advice and watched the second and third installment, writing off the low budget “nasty” Stephen…

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REVIEW: Oz the Great and Powerful [2013]

“What’s the third up?” I have to reevaluate my distaste for everything Oz not existing inside the mind of Dorothy Gale now that I’ve discovered Victor Fleming’s seminal work The Wizard of Oz wasn’t as faithful to its source material as I once assumed. I could never ignore how the simple attempt to craft a prequel within a fictitious fantasy world was in direct opposition to what made the original so timeless and important to lost children yearning for more than they have. And then I read how L. Frank…

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REVIEW: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters [2013]

“Never enter a house made of candy” The thing that’s so disappointing about Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is the rather ingenious premise at its back. Taking the classic Grimm Brothers tale and expanding on the results of what escaping an evil witch in the woods as children by burning her alive in an oven is so simple and obvious that it’s a wonder no one had thought of it before (not counting The Brothers Grimm). Credit Norwegian writer/director Tommy Wirkola for seeing the potential in transforming these scared kids…

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REVIEW: The Amazing Spider-Man [2012]

“Up your what, Dad?” Ten years after Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man joined Bryan Singer‘s X-Men in proving the superhero genre could be taken seriously in the annals of cinematic history, the reset button has been pressed for a fresh new look. Between Marvel taking the initiative to pool their collective, solely-owned properties into one giant universe of quasi sequels with 2008’s Iron Man and DC Comics lucking into Christopher Nolan‘s vision of Batman as more than a surreally cartoonish romp in the darkness, what was one of the most legitimate comic…

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Posterized Propaganda July 2012: Meet the new poster, same as the old one

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Not even superhero heaven can save this summer from continuing its uninspiring dearth of quality posters. But what do you expect when there are four sequels/reboots in the mix? A…

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REVIEW: Drag Me To Hell [2009]

“I welcome the dead into my soul” When I heard that Sam Raimi was back onto the Spider-Man train, signed on for the fourth installment, I was a bit lost for words. We all know how the third film in the series was a pale shadow of the previous two and the rumors were swirling about a remake of the movie that made him a cult filmmaker, The Evil Dead, so why visit the land of superheroes again? At the moment, I can only think that he is looking for…

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REVIEW: Spider-Man 3 [2007]

“I’d give my life for them” So here it is, the final piece to the Raimi/Maguire trilogy of superheroes and love conquering all. The first two installments in the franchise helped rejuvenate the comic book movie, making them be taken seriously and showing that a little imagination surrounded by the real world could create suspense, action, and heart. Spider-Man 3 had a lot of expectations to live up to, and not just to be cohesive and complete with three villains and a couple new faces on the side. I know…

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