Your annual defense of Spider-Man 3 is here

Of the three Spider-Man movies directed for Sony by Sam Raimi, it was the last chapter that received the most critical attention. Most of that was negatively directed towards Tobey Maguire's dance sequence, a baffling moment that somehow avoided the cutting room floor. Its other major sorepoint was the depiction of Venom, a fan-favorite character from the comics, who was misrepresented onscreen after being pushed into the movie at the last minute.

While it's been several years since Spider-Man 3 hit cinemas, it's a topic that still generates discussion as actor Topher Grace -- who played Venom -- was recently asked by THR about the film's shortcomings. "I know the movie did well for Sony," he says, "but I also know a lot of people weren't happy with it. I think Sam is so talented. I remember one time I was on ninth unit. (Laughs.) Ninth unit? It's like he's running a small country...."

"This summer, there was a movie like that where people are just slamming a big studio movie. I would love to see anyone who's slamming one of those movies try to fit in Sam Raimi's position. He was like the president of a small country — by the way, it had the gross national income of a small country, too. I have huge respect for him. I think, on a whole, he did such a fantastic job [on that trilogy]."

There's no mistaking Sam Raimi's ability to deliver a big blockbuster, but his hardcore fans will no doubt be more enthralled by his next project Ash Vs. Evil Dead which debuts in the US October 31 on Starz.