Wednesday, November 19, 2008


In For the Trailers Never Ever Give a Thought to Me, SamuraiFrog listed some thoughts he had one some upcoming movies. In the comments, I noted that I agreed with most, but vehemently disagreed with the ones I disagreed with.

Now, in the case of Punisher: War Zone, that may be a little unfair. In fairness, I don't think it'll be good. I just think I'll watch it anyway.

I enjoyed The Punisher by Jonathan Hensleigh. Not without reservation, mind you, but I certainly thought dropping Thomas Jane for this... follow-up... was definitely throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Basically, I think Hensleigh was given an unlikely task... a task that would have required a great director to pull off, and he fell short of that. What was asked of him was to blend together the early style with the style (and story) of Welcome Back, Frank by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. Perhaps someone like a Quentin Tarantino could have made that work, but Hensleigh doesn't quite.

He comes closer than most likely would have. Basically, both storylines and styles work on their own. Ok, John Travolta doesn't really work as the lead villain. It seems like Hensleigh tries to keep his hamminess reigned in, and he almost works at those moments.

How do I feel about Frank Castle, the original comic book character? Well, like most characters that have been around that long and reinvented and overused as often as Castle, it's hard to say. I like the good books. I find a lot of his stuff a lot more boring than makes much sense, but I think the basic concept is solid and entertaining.

I can't think I understand what this new movie is trying to accomplish different, and to the extent I can, I can't say I'm entirely impressed. And yet, seeing Ray Stevenson with the skull on his chest, looking remarkably like the original Ross Andru drawings, I know I won't be able to resist the call.


Keith said...

I'm sure I'll see this one, plus I liked Ray Stevenson on Rome. I'll like to see his take on Frank Castle.

Mob said...

While nothing I'll have to see immediately, I'm sure I'll check this film out eventually.

I've enjoyed Stevenson in other things, but wouldn't have minded Thomas Jane coming back in the role.

I'll have to admit that Stevenson is much closer physically and age-wise to what I first imagined the Punisher looking like though...

Neil Sarver said...

Keith, I'm still trying to get myself around to "Rome". I know, I ought to, but it still feels like "the show that got 'Deadwood' canceled" to me. Stevenson looks right here, I'll definitely give it that.

Mob, I have no clue how rushed I'll be either. And I agree, he looks very much like The Punisher would in my mind, so it'll be more than worth at least a shot.

Karl said...

All I can say is race you to the theater. I've been a Punisher fan from way back when he was introduced in a Spidy comic. Always wondered why they didn't do a feature, and when they did I thought it was lame. This one looks a bit more intense, and more like the "War Journals".

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