Today, I was lucky enough to snag an exclusive interview with Sam Raimi*
Director of Spiderman 3!
I met him around the corner of my place at a restaurant that is dog friendly so I brought Roscoe. I found a table and he showed up fifteen minutes late. He apologized and explained things have been hectic. We both ordered grilled cheese, fries and cokes.
Me: Thanks for meeting with me.
Sam Raimi: No problem. Cute dog.
Me: Thanks. That's Roscoe. So umm.... how's it going?
Sam: Did you... see the movie?
Me: Yeah I went last night... at midnight.
(Sam sips his soda.)
Me: In that case it was awesome!
Sam: Sandman looked cool though, right?
Me: Yeah. But "Sandman"? He sort of half-sucks, dude. He looked cool and all, but I mean you spray him with a firehouse and he goes down the drain! I can't be threatened by a supervillain you can beat with a supersoaker!
Sam: I know! Don't you think I know!? I was in an early meeting talking about what to do in this installment and we just "mentioned" the idea of Sandman... by the end of the week they already cast what's his face... ummm... Sideways schmuck... with the.... face.
Me: Hayden Thompson Shrimp.... or something...?
Sam: Something like that. Nice guy. (whispers) smokes alot of weed. don't print that. Anyway, they ran the numbers or whatever and Sandman got locked in. Sony... they just... Friggin Sony! (slaps the table)
Me: What about Sony?
Sam: C'mon man. Everyone knows Sony is going down the tubes! Gay Wii made Playstation3 its bitch! Talk about blindsided! There's star trek red alerts blaring out of that place...
Me: So they put alot of pressure on the whole Spidey thing?
Sam: It was all on me! I mean, imagine filming a movie on the Titanic. Everyone running around like crazy. People bailing on lifeboats. Sirens. All they told me over and over was, 'Remember! Women and children first! Women and children first, Sam!' So we sort of had to make the movie for... women and children....uh... first....
Me: So that's why there was all that emotional crap. And lovey sweet stuff. And wimpy villains?
Sam: (sighs) Yeah.
Me: But you made two awesome Spidey movies! Couldn't you have made whatever you wanted? You wrote this one!
Sam: I wrote it with my brother Ivan. But to be honest, I remember watching a lot of TV while writing. I got this like giant TV and... I guess I shouldn't have done that. And if... I dunno... if Ivan was excited about pages I'd just sort of scan them and sign off, yknow? Can I give your dog my crust?
Me: Sure... Sit Roscoe.
(Sam he gives Roscoe his crust)
Sam: I was also kind of tired y'know. It's been so back to back... to back. I haven't even had time to play in my money yet! I have so much money now! You have no idea!!! So much!
Me: Can I have some?
Me: Well,....can Roscoe have some?
Sam: No. He's a dog.
Me: I can hold it for him... How about if we...
Sam: ....get more pickles?
Me: Fine. I'll flag the waitress. So what happened with this flick! Seriously?
Sam: I just didn't have the strength to fight for.... my story... the movie I wanted. The movie current was way strong against it.
Me: What was your story?
Sam: You wanna hear it?
Sam: Ok. First off it was an R. Right off the bat that's a no go.
(Sam sips the rest of his soda and finishes his last couple fries.)
Sam: My idea was to have Peter Parker in grad school for science. He's all tired all the time because he's working nights as a photographer to pay for school. Whatever. He's all broke and stuff. Blah blah. In the lab at the university and he discovers the Venom black goo stuff, right? That's how he finds it...
Me: Definitely beats the (cough) alien meteor landing like ten feet away from him and MJ. Then hitching a ride on the back of his scooter thing....
Sam: I know. Yeah that was Ivan. Long story. Big fight. Anyway, at the lab, Peter keeps wanting to remove the protective glass and touch the goo--- it's whispering at him all seductive and stuff, but people keep walking in just in time to distract him or whatever. And he doesn't touch it.
Me: Right. So far so good...
Sam: And Peter is sort of bored with being a superhero. Catching bank robbers and muggers and stuff is all way too easy for him now. He starts getting fancy about his crimefighting and show-offy. Funny stuff! But it's boring for him too. There's no super villains. Instead of getting psyched about crime fighting-- he's just tired of it and feels underappreciated with the mean Daily Bugle stories and stuff.
(Roscoe jumps up at Sam)
Me: Roscoe down! Down!
(He pats Roscoe's head)
Sam: It's ok. I like dogs. Anyway, Mary Jane Kristen Dunst is off doing whatever acting wherever...
Me: Kristen? Isn't it Kirsten? Kirsten Dunst?
Sam: Shit! Is it!?! I've been calling her "Kristen" this whole time...
Me: Yeah I'm pretty sure it's Kirsten.
Sam: Well, shit! She should have friggin said something! I mean what the....
Me: Yeah. I'll google it later but I'm pretty sure...
Sam: Anyway, whatever. Peter gets totally obsessed with the Venom goo. He gets out of bed and goes to the lab at night just to look at it. It's like a secret romance. MJ thinks he's cheating with on her what's her face. Blondie. Peter thinks he's fascinated by the science of it-- but it's really about the goo. Calling to him. The goo is cutesy at this point. He starts blowing off showing up at crimes to be with the goo. He goes MIA.
Sam: On the other side, Green Goblin Jr. guy with the eyebrows and good hair decides he wants to be a super hero too-- and starts showing up at crimes in progress... in place of Spidey. He wants some glory too! But he sucks at being a superhero. He keeps messing up and the crooks keep getting away. He gets humiliated. J. Jonah trashes him. Headline: Super Hero? Super Zero. Dead Dad DaFoe starts calling him a failure in the mirror all that crap.
Me: Right I dig it...
Me: I'm with you. Totally. You want another coke?
Sam: No, I'm good. I want pickles still though.
Me: Ok! I'll try to get the waitress.
Sam: Thanks. I'll totally expense this...
Me: You sure?
Sam chews on an ice cube.
Sam: I can expense a jet.
Me: Ooh... you wanna?? Today?!
Sam: They're overrated anyway.
Me: Are they really?!
Sam: No totally not. They're awesome.
Me: I figured...
Sam: Anyway, this new super villain comes on the scene. 'The Scorpion'. Remember him? With the big tail.
Me: Yeah he was cool. Cooler than Sandman. I always liked The Scorpion.
Sam: Yeah, but Scorpion is the villain locked in for 4-- so we couldn't touch him.
Me: There's gonna be a 4?
Sam: Yah. Joel Schumacher.
Me: Jeezus! No!
Sam: It's the rumor. I know... I don't know...
Me: Are you serious?!?!
Sam: (laughs) No!...
Sam: Ok. Anyway, Scorpion does some crime stuff and Spidey shows up all cocky to fight him. And Spidey takes a real bad asskicking....real bad... he was too cocky and got whupped.
Sam: Almost killed!
Sam: Then Spidey goes to the lab and finally touches the black goo! Venom goo covers him. He feels the power and all that. Heals him. He digs it. He wants revenge on Scorpion.
Me: Ok. Cool.
Sam: Next time Scorpion does bad stuff, Blacksuit Spidey shows up and they fight again. But Spidey goes way overboard kicking Scorpion's ass! Like whales on him. And then violently kills The Scorpion! On purpose! Totally rips his tail off and stabs him in the chest with it!
Sam: In front of a crowd! Children and everything! Crowd goes silent... then they boo Spidey... He hisses at them...
Me: Love it...
Sam: Spiderman runs off and feels scared. He's never killed anyone like that before. Mary Jane thinks that it's the new suit but Peter defends it all angry. He trashes her place. He's totally out of control, right?!
Sam: Blah blah blah whatever. He finally gets a clue and doesn't want the suit anymore. He knows it's bad. But he can't get it off. He struggles with it. He finally gets it off and contains it. But Green Goblin Junior badly wants to be a kickass guy since he got humiliated. So he steals the goo and becomes Venom. He's filled with all that rage and stuff. With the lashy tongue and it all leads up to...
Me: The big fight!
Sam: Huge fight!! Venom is vicious! Bitey! Killing people in his way outright! Ripping people apart! Bloody....
Me: Then Spidey wins. Peter rededicates himself to crime. He breaks it off with MJ. Set up for 4 somehow...
Sam: That would have been cool, right?
Me: Yeah... this movie.... wasn't that.... cool.
Sam: I know... I'm sorry... I feel bad about it. The whole thing just got away from me. I knew I should have left well enough alone and just passed on it..
Me: I gotta admit... this had...
Sam: Too many stupid coincidences! Dialogue problems! Logic problems! All the crying crap! I know! Cornball and terrible!
Me: Yeah I gotta admit. People were laughing at the 'emotional' scenes in the theater I was in. Out right laughing at them. And this was a midnight show. Hard cores.
Sam: I know. I know. I at least wanted to piece together good action -- but it got all sloppy and skippy. I mean they blew so much money on stupid Sandman we couldn't even make the building smashes all crunchy and stuff!
Me: Yeah I was sort of surprised about that. With all the money and stuff I just expected it to at least look totally awesome... but....
Sam: Ok enough! I get it!
Sam: Hey! You wanna do that thing you in your reviews? With the three good things, three bad things? I like those...
Me: You read my site?!
Sam: Sometimes... not lately though... You talk too much about your dog...
Me: I know... I heard... Ok I'll do the thing.... Thanks for lunch.
Sam: No problem.
Me: You sure you don't want to go on a jet ride today because...
Sam: Yeah...No. Next time.
Me: You sure you don't wanna... give me a.... million dollars?
Sam: Yes. I'm sure. Maybe next time.
Sam: No. Not really...
Me: Hey why don't you make another Evil Dead?
Sam: Maybe... I've been thinking that would be.... groovy. I really wanna... Bruce wants to too of course.
Me: Of course. He was great again in this by the way. A highlight.
Sam: He's always great.
Sam: Oh well. You do your best and that's the best you can do. Back to the grind...
(Sam leaves a $50 bill on the table and walks off and hails a cab.)
Three Good Things About This Movie
- I liked the scene when Spiderman was grooving down the street with Venom.
- Sandman was cool looking and I liked his whumpy sand sounds.
- I got to finally see what all this hubbub was about. Added up to about nine seconds on screen. No wonder this movie cost a gillion dollars.
Three Bad Things About This Movie
- It seemed like it was made in a completely different world than the other
- Seeing Tobey Macguire on screen again made me feel like he overstayed his welcome as Peter Parker.
- I was distracted by how offbeat the whole thing was across the board.
All in all, I thought movie was a big step down from the other two spideys. I wasn't blown away by anything really except for the wacked out senselessness and cringy moments of awful. That's not to say I was hating this flick as I was watching it. There were some winner scenes. But for the most part, I just sort of stared at the thing feeling a little sad that it seemed to be trapped in a venom goo of mangled corporate terribleness... and saying secret prayers that they can learn from their over-indulgence... or under. One or the other...
*Sam Raimi was not present nor aware of this interview.