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Punisher: War Zone

Punisher War Zone? More like Punisher BORE Zone!

Nah, that was not sincere punning. Actually I was not bored and in fact enjoyed this stupid movie. What I mean to say is “The Punisher? More like The FUNisher!” But you know how it is, people tend to prefer negativity to positivity. That’s why there’s three movies called THE PUNISHER and not a single one called THE REWARDER. So I went the extra mile, I gave you both types of puns. Merry Christmas.

The Punisher is a unique motion picture phenomenon. Not too many characters are in movies three times, with three different actors, three different directors, three different approaches. Not sequels or remakes, each one is a do-over. I can relate to this type of series because I myself am a unique motion picture phenomenon: I am the rare individual who sort of enjoyed all three versions of THE PUNISHER. That’s three more Punisher movies than most people are able to enjoy in their lifetime. In fact I would like to see them continue to remake THE PUNISHER every few years, every time with different actors, every time believing they totally fucked it up all the previous times but this time, this time they’ll get it right, I just know it! If they give up after this one, though, at least we got a trilogy.

Punisher: War ZoneThe PUNISHER WAR ZONE Punisher is played by Ray Stevenson, who was apparently on that show ROME. He’s by far the scariest Punisher, he looks like he could smash his fist right into the center of your skull, which is in fact what he does to a mobster who looks like Lance Bass. This is a huge lumbering Punisher about two or three inches taller than Bigfoot and usually decked out in full combat gear including bulletproof vest that covers the neck and lower jaw. (Although occasionally he just wears a sweater.) This is a scary motherfucker but also the most comical of the Punishers because everything about him is so over the top that sometimes just looking at him made me laugh. Sometimes he kind of reminded me of Patrick Warburton who, come to think of it, should be considered for the fourth Punisher movie. I don’t know man, seeing a big monster like that so passionately dedicated to killing – and I mean REALLY fucking killing – is kind of funny to me. He’s a huge nerd for murdering everybody.

He’s funny because even more than any previous Punisher, this guy DOES. NOT. GIVE. A FUCK. He opens the movie preparing weapons, then he casually walks into a mansion and horribly massacres an entire mafia dinner table, including wives. I don’t think they even got a chance to say grace. (that would’ve kind of made the scene funnier though.)

In the fine tradition of Blade he also doesn’t mind walking around in public covered in weapons. He has kind of a Batcave/flop house set up under a subway tunnel, and that traitorous fat dude from JURASSIC PARK comes by to bring him guns sometimes.

Of course you get some flashes of memory to remind you that his family was slaughtered, and also there is a little girl who likes him and wants to hold his hand even though he killed her dad by accident (whoops). There’s not much more than that to try to give him depth, but Stevenson does have some sad looking eyes that almost imply some tragic beauty or something like that. And the funniest thing about him is that even though he looks like (and is) a guy who would go around causing even lower-tier criminals to literally explode, he cannot hide an intelligence and eloquence in his voice. The motherfucker sounds like a poet. He’s got a soul. I guess that explains why we saw him in the graveyard crying like a baby before we even heard him say anything.

I like the scene where he tries to apologize to the widow of the undercover cop he killed (Julie Benz from RAMBO [4]) by giving her a bag of money. Most of the movie is more about funny violence than character moments, but there are bits here and there. It’s a cliche for a violent character like this to go into a church looking for forgiveness, but they put a good spin on it in this one. It’s revealed that he was once in the seminary and knows the Bible surprisingly well. The best part is when the priest quotes to him the verse about how you will be judged the way you judge others and he says he doesn’t have a problem with that – in other words he’s resigned himself to a violent death himself and knows he deserves it. A nice touch.

Then they put the cherry on top with the classic so bad it’s good/so good it’s bad line “Sometimes I’d like to get my hands on God.” Unfortunately there aren’t enough funny lines like that in the movie, but let’s at least appreciate that one, even if we already saw it in the trailer.

I can’t help but compare this to the other two Punishers, so I will have to say at this point that I liked #2, the Thomas Jane one, the best. Admittedly it’s gonna be hard to go back and watch that one now for the simple fact that Ray Stevenson could probaly swallow Thomas Jane’s head in one bite and not even gag. But it had the best combination of character and storytelling and the cartoonish flights into absurdism were a little more grounded in an old school action movie world like I like and not in the type of artificial soundstage world of the Lundgren and Stevenson editions. I have learned through talkback research that fans of the comic strip are enraged that Thomas Jane Punisher took place in Tampa, because EVERYBODY knows that this story can ONLY take place in New York City just like every god damn movie ever made.

Well, okay, New York is mean streets and everything but not as much when the “New York” is a fake looking one shot in Montreal. At least Tampa was shot in Tampa, and is therefore in the same country that your precious comic strip took place in.

It’s hard to think of it as a real action movie when alot of it is shot with yellow and red lights to make it look like a cartoon world, and the villain Jigsaw (whose face becomes a human Leatherface mask after Punisher teaches him about how glass bottles are recycled) is one of those trying-to-be-funny overacting villains, not the scary type. For example when he unites the different gangs against Punisher there is a “funny” scene where he makes a “patriotic” speech in front of an American flag background. One of those parodies of parodies I’m so sick of.

The actor by the way is Dominic West, who’s only bad part of the time and apparently is great on THE WIRE. Still, it’s weird that John Travolta is the more subtle and restrained villain of these movies. How the fuck did that happen?

I’ve seen a few claims that this is the Punisher movie that “finally does it right,” but I don’t really understand what that means. As far as I can tell it’s very similar to the Lundgren version. They both start with the Punisher already in operation, headquartered underground in New York City, with a task force trying to track him, they both have ludicrously high body counts and cartoonish violence, they both try to show Punisher’s sensitive side by having him help children. In this one there are some characters who are supposed to be meth addicted parkour dudes (somebody calls them an “urban freeflow gang”) – isn’t that a 2008 take on the type of gimmicks they had in the first one (ninjas on slides, throwing star earrings, etc.)? And like that first one they fail to really deliver on the promise of the gimmick, because they kill them without ever doing any impressive freerunning stunts at all. It does lead to a big crowdpleasing laugh when Punisher comes after them, though, so it’s not a total loss.

The appeal is similar to a bad/good slasher movie like SEE NO EVIL or some of the Jason pictures. You laugh at the utter ridiculousness and callousness of the violence. Punisher impales a guy on a spikey fence, then jumps onto his head. He impales a guy’s face on a chair leg. He runs into a fat guy in an elevator (I guess I missed who that was supposed to be) and blows his head off. He picks people up and bashes them through windows and walls, drags people by the ankles, lights people on fire. He blows up a room full of gangsters, then goes out and shoots the bodies. What I’m saying is this is a guy that just overdoes it. And you can’t even say he takes pleasure in overdoing it, because he doesn’t seem to take pleasure in anything. He just doesn’t know how to stop. He has an addictive personality maybe. They say he does this because of what happened to his family and maybe because he’s a veteran but I’m betting his daddy was a drinker too.

A movie like SEE NO EVIL pretends you’re not supposed to root for the killer, PUNISHER WAR ZONE openly presents him as the hero, which is a good joke. At first I wondered how exactly he could get away with all this, but then you realize all the cops just let him go because they like what he does. There’s one FBI agent who is ethical, but he can’t keep Punisher in line and keeps pouting with frustration. He’s like the man with the yellow hat trying to keep Curious George out of trouble.

When I read about how violent and ridiculous the movie was I thought it sounded pretty good, or pretty terrible. Some of the internet writers who raved about this also loved hyperactive movies like CRANK. Although this has a similarly juvenile love of cruelty, I don’t think it’s obnoxious in that same way. The opening credits had me nervous, but the camera and editing work turn out to be restrained, it doesn’t have all that showoffy shit that ruins some movies like this. It does have a schizophrenic soundtrack though, going between a score that I think is a little too big and serious and shitty heavy metal that’s a little too “hey kids, do you like my cool earring? See I’m not old I’m just like you homeys.”

I do mean it when I say this movie is stupid. It relies too much on the sadistic spectacle part without excelling in other areas. The other two Punisher movies prove you can do both – you can be lowbrow and ridiculous and still have a better story and dialogue than this. And the look is a little cheesy. But it is a good laugh and although by the time you read this it might be too late for you, I recommend seeing it with whatever small crowd can be mustered up for it. When I saw it everybody was together in laughing, sometimes with the movie, sometimes (I believe) at it. And it’s refreshing to see a movie with this tone but NOT with the obnoxious editing and camera techniques that these days tend to be a given.

I’m afraid this might be the last try at a Punisher movie but at the very least I hope somebody sees Ray Stevenson in this and decides to cast him as the hero in other action movies. He’s menacing, he seems smart, he can act and yet apparently he’s not above doing this type of shit. That’s a good combination for an action hero.

This entry was posted on Sunday, December 7th, 2008 at 5:15 am and is filed under Action, Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

81 Responses to “Punisher: War Zone”

  1. Vern how about a review of Green Street Hooligans, Lexi Alexander’s other movie. That is some good shit, if kind of derivative of Fight Club (but what guy-movie isn’t these days).

  2. It came straight to DVD over here a few days ago. (And even uncut, which was a huge suprise, because the German youth protectors not just hate any kind of vigilantism in movies, but also were pretty quick with the scissors over the last year, if you know what I mean. But on the other hand, not just Carpenter’s “The Thing”, but also several “Friday The 13th” parts have recently been taken off the “index for media, harmful to young persons” [yes, we got something like that] and also been re-rated to a “not under 16 years” rating. So maybe it will be for a while like back in 2005/06, when even the unrated version of “The Hills Have Eyes” just got away with everything.)
    Anyway, I kinda liked it. It was cheesy, had nothing original to offer (apart from some new ways to die) and it couldn’t decide if it played the violence for laughs or for shocks, but it was short, entertaining and had some well directed shoot outs. Not to mention that I really liked all the bright neon lights in almost every scene. It’s an interesting approach. Just because a movie is dark, it doesn’t mean that it has to look all dark.

  3. All that mix of funny and sadism that amazed you is in the comics written by Garth Ennis. The Ennis’s Punisher is the best. He said he kills for vengeance but everybody replies he killed too much people for bein avenged long time ago. This link maybe will be useful


    By the way I solicited your last book to my dealer and I am expecting for his arrive to Buenos Aires.
    best regards,

  4. Yeah, this film kicks ass. I loved it, though my reasons are unfathomable to my non-Army friends. Army guys get it. We love it.

    I’m with Vern on a fresh Punisher movie every few years. Next time — next time they’ll get it just right, whatever.

    It’s among the very few films that makes me interested in the literary source material. Good looking out, Fabio. I guess I’m going to check out some old comics, somehow. I’m becoming more of a nerd everyday. Does Amazon have this shit?

  5. I laughed out loud uncontrollably 4 times during Punisher: War Zone – 1) when he uses the sidewinder missile to shoot the unimpressive parkour guy, 2) when he shoots the captured mobster in the face and the FBI guy goes “Frank!” like The Punisher is some child who just spilled juice on the rug, 3) when he shoots the guy in the elevator shaft and his head pops off, and 4) the very last scene with the mugger which might as well have had a “wa wa waaaaaa” soundtrack cue. That’s four more laughs than I had at most “comedies” this year. I love this movie too.

  6. **1) when he uses the sidewinder missile to shoot the unimpressive parkour guy,**

    I could rewind and rewatch that part over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over and still be entertained for many moons. Yeah, I smiled & laughed for the ENTIRE film, for sure.

  7. Holy fuck! Did Garth Ennis write THE PUNISHER episodes. The same brilliant disturbed fuck who wrote the most violent and almost unfilmable and allround most fucked up comic of all time; THE PREACHER??!!

    In my opinion there are two reasons to read comics: JUDGE DREDD and THE PREACHER..

  8. THE BOYS is way more unfilmable than PREACHER but for some reason they’re trying to film it anyway.

  9. I don´t know about THE BOYS, but PEACHER has so many elements to scare big studios away I can´t even count’em. Especially in the pornographic ways….

  10. PREACHER not PEACHER…damn my keyboard

  11. oh yeah in the fistfucking department as well if i can recall correctly. Yuuck!!

  12. If anyone ever read Jesse Custer´s backstory and still feel you´ve had a bad childhood you fuckin need help….seriously

  13. Carrying on the Punisher conversation from the Bullet To The Head thread…

    Marvel doesn’t like to sit on properties, and since they’ve regained the rights to Punisher, I’ve heard a lot from Kevin Feige about him bringing the character back.

    The reason I put some validity into this is that Ray Stevenson has gone on record frequently as having a good enough relationship with Marvel that they would want him as Punisher somewhere down the line. If this were not the case, Stevenson likely wouldn’t be in Thor as Volstagg, a hefty character that requires a fatsuit.

    I think the studio had entertained a TV “Punisher” for Fox that would deal with a young version of the character (and thus would not involve Stevenson) but I know that, until the very last minute, the Punisher was considered as a potential character in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The storyline in the current Punisher War Zone run, which involves the Punisher hunted down by the Avengers, is pretty similar to what was planned, but I guess they shitcanned it at the last minute.

    I believe they want to bring in Blade as well, but that might be where they also introduce supernatural stuff to the Marvel universe. I’m guessing that would involve us seeing Dr. Strange and a re-acquired Ghost Rider as well, which could mean a Midnight Sons storyline would be in place. Or, now that Marvel has Daredevil back, Marvel Knights?

  14. I still think they should just do a build-up to a Marvel Knights movie the same way they had a build up to Avengers. Having Daredevil, Punisher, Ghost Rider, Blade, Moon Knight, Luke Cage and Black Panther all in the same movie would blow my mindhole.

  15. Knox:That’s exactly what I was thinking ! Recently Marvel had a crossover called “Shadowland” all with “street-level” heroes , just a little bit after Civil War ( I’m not sure about that , because I read the comics here in Italy ). If you take out Ghost Rider , all of the above heroes are NOT special effects-heavy , so they can save on budget. DC is doing DTV animated movies , but think about a line of street level , live action DTV movies with minor characters , all leading up to a DTV crossover, maybe supported by the SHIELD tv show !

  16. You gotta throw Iron Fist in there. Who would be Scott Adkins, obviously, to balance out Michael Jai White as Luke Cage. Throw in Michael C. Hall as Daredevil, Chewitel Ejiofor as Black Panther, keep Blade, Ghost Rider, and Punisher as is, and you’ve got something pretty awesome.

    I have no opinions on Moon Knight. Because he’s Moon Knight.

  17. And Tony Jaa as Shang Chi.

  18. I’d love to see Daredevil just appear as Matt Murdock for a few movies as somebody’s legal council before getting his own thing.

  19. I like Moon Knight , I always have , he’s like a ninja with a “moon” theme and multiple personalities , religious problems and visions . I don’t care much about Iron Fist or Luke Cage , I know they’re classic characters but I never liked that “heroes for hire” thing. It’s just me , but I prefer hero or mercenary , not a mix of the two . Speaking of mercenaries , in DTV projects you can introduce a lot of smaller characters from the cool merc underworld of Marvel comics , like Taskmaster , Death’s Head , Ghost and Spymaster , or assassins like the Hand ninjas ( recently in Shadowland). Hell , it worked with Arrow , with both Deadshot and Deathstroke , why not in a Marvel production? Plus Ghost and Spymaster are regular Iron Man villains , so you can link them to the movies . Go “galactic” with the movies , down-to-earth with TV or DTV . I don’t know how much a Guardians of the Galaxy will work in cinemas , I think it’s a risky , if bold , move from Marvel , but if that’s a failure , try the smaller scale projects. Even the occult , supernatural stories like the Midnight Sons is interesting .Was Morbius the living vampire in that storyline? If he was part of the group , they can even use the current vampire craze to boost the ratings . I don’t like very much Morbius , but he’s way more hardcore that Twilight , that’s for sure . Yeah Blade vs Morbius , that’s a cool battle !

  20. The Punisher is a great character, but what makes him stand out as a Marvel comic book character (guns, violence, and a high body count) makes him a pretty generic character for an action film. That means anybody that is tasked with adapting the material is going to have go one of 2 ways, they are either going to embrace the absurdity of the cartoonish level of violence associated with the character and present it in an over the top way like they did in PUNISHER: WARZONE, or they will have to handle it an a serious way. If they take a serious approach then you risk making a film that feels like a DEATH WISH knock off. For example it is not a Punisher film but ROLLING THUNDER could easily be a story about Frank Castle, and if you tried to make a serious Punisher film it would end up being compared to RT, DW and all the other vigilante revenge films that have been made over the years.

  21. In the tradition of Robocop the cartoon and other R rated properties making their way into children’s programing, Ray Stevenson has already reprised his role as the Punisher:


  22. I would lie if I would say that this didn’t make me laugh.

  23. Can we discuss this Dirty Laundry thing that came up in the BTTH comments? The conventional wisdom is that “that’s how it should’ve been done” in the movie, that it’s more like the comic books because in the comic books he’s not a cool character who plays people against each other and outsmarts people and is interesting, he’s just an angry guy who savagely murders black criminals, I guess? Do I understand that correctly?

    I guess I don’t know the comics but to me Thomas Jane’s movie version was way better than that one-dimensional fake-dark, bordering-on-racist bullshit short film. I don’t get why that is more entertaining to people. If you gotta go the “he’s just a guy with big guns and he fuckin shoots everybody and it’s awesome” route I think it can only be done as sort of a comedy like in the Dolph and Stevenson versions, both of which I enjoy. To me, treating it dead serious like in the short just comes off dumb. But I’m definitely in the minority on this one.

    Personally I think the Jane movie is the best of the three, but Stevenson is so good I don’t see how you can top him so I would be happy if he returned as the character and murdered Spider-man or whatever. On the other hand it would be cool if they just had yet another guy do yet another unrelated Punisher movie and kept doing that forever.

  24. caruso_stalker217

    February 3rd, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I can’t believe I’m gonna ask this question, but would you have found it less bordering-on-racist if he was an angry black guy who savagely murders white criminals?

    My apologies in advance if this spawns a discussion leading to somebody posting links to white supremacist websites.

  25. The first problem I have with that “Dirty Laundry” thing is that damn shaky-real-gritty style again : the cuts are too quick, and too many , the camera too close , etc….well , at least in the action parts…but I was happy to see Jane “reprising” his role in that short , plus Perlman . Also the CGI blood is a little bad , but I think I’m getting accustomed to it , everyone is using it . I liked Jane in everything I’ve seen him , and I think he deserves more recognition ( and I’m starting to feel the same , only on a smaller scale , about Momoa , to link back to the other comments ), so I was glad that there was a chance for a new chapter with him . His Punisher was smarter , yes , and less over the top than the Stevenson one, but his movie was also full of crazy characters like Guitar-man and Kevin Nash , it wasn’t only him playing bad guys against each other , it also had some humor in it ( and , ok , failed humor when you think about the neighbours).

  26. Yeah, I don’t quite get the praise for Dirty Laundry either. I appreciate the over-the-top violence and everything, but to me it seems very self-serious and yes, uncomfortably racist. Caruso, you can’t just flip things around like that in a vacuum and expect things to line up exactly. There’s a massive context you’re ignoring.

    Probably my favourite incarnation of the Punisher is the PUNISHER MAX comic series by Garth Ennis. It’s incredibly violent, but it’s got a streak of black comedy a mile wide. And yes, he does regularly use his knowledge of military tactics to outsmart criminals. That’s a big part of the comedy, that he’s willing to go so far over the line and use dirty guerilla tactics, like in the first issue where he kills a mafia kingpin and then crashes his funeral to massacre all the mourners.

    In those funnybooks Frank’s not particularly deep or interesting as a character. That’s intentional, though; Ennis wanted to strip the character back until he’s more like a destructive force of nature than a human being. The fun of the comic comes from watching how the criminals struggle against it, like tiny fish trying to outswim a great white shark. The Ennis comics also imply that there was something broken in Frank long before his family was killed. That just gave him an excuse.

    The closest thing the Punisher has to a main antagonist in those comics (they tend not last too long) is the mercenary gangster Barracuda introduced in Vol 6. You would like that story arc, Vern, since it’s about the Punisher murdering Enron-type white collar criminals. I used to think Barracuda would make a good villain in a movie (Ray Stevenson has suggested him for a PWZ sequel), but now I’m not so sure. He is a horrific black stereotype, but pushed so far that it lapses into parody. Ennis’ knows what he’s doing there (it’s kind of his trademark), but in a movie that’s likely to go horribly wrong (see Dirty Laundry for details).

    Of all the Punisher movies, PWZ is my favourite and is the closest in tone to PUNISHER MAX, although it underlines the goofy comedy in ways I didn’t think were strictly necessary (Jigsaw’s hammy Patton-esque speech, for instance). Blowing up a parkour meth-head with a rocket launcher is funny enough all by itself, and very Garth Ennis.

  27. Sorry about the wall of text. I like the Punisher.

  28. caruso_stalker217

    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    “Caruso, you can’t just flip things around like that in a vacuum and expect things to line up exactly. There’s a massive context you’re ignoring.”

    That’s true. But if the situation was reversed there would still be people saying it’s racist. (Mostly old white guys)

    I guess my question is, would it seem less racist-ish if they had thrown a few white guys in there, just because? How many Jeff Goldblums in Jughead hats does it take to balance the scales?

  29. caruso_stalker217

    February 3rd, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Anyway, Dolph will always have the best Punisher movie.

  30. “That’s true. But if the situation was reversed there would still be people saying it’s racist. (Mostly old white guys)”

    Yeah, and they’d be wrong. Or at best right in such a miniscule, myopic fashion that it doesn’t matter.

    “I guess my question is, would it seem less racist-ish if they had thrown a few white guys in there, just because? How many Jeff Goldblums in Jughead hats does it take to balance the scales?”

    It’s tricky situation with a short film like this. You don’t have time to present a lot of context or develop your characters, so often you have to rely on broad caricature. I don’t think the guy who made this is a racist, I just think he employed a bunch of lazy cliches without thinking too hard about the subtext. That’s a problem. Including some white guys “just because” is a clumsy solution, but at least it’s a solution. It would have been better if the film didn’t lean so heavily on crude racial stereotypes.

    And obviously I would replace everybody with Jeff Goldblums in Jughead hats, including Tom Jane, but that’s just me.

  31. I’ve never read the comic books, and have only seen the two movies released in the last decade (as well as DIRTY LAUNDRY). So given my basic knowledge to the character’s back story, I’d like to see a movie done about the origin story, as real as possible. A veteran of an unpopular war, dealing with the death of his family and how he avenges it. Make it as far-removed from a comic book movie as possible…at first. As things ratchet up in terms of tension and action, then you go for the big guns (quite literally in this case). But set it upon a surface of reality.

  32. onthewall: I don’t know, I really liked that PUNISHER ’89 and PWZ skipped the origin story. We’ve seen that same story told in a LOT of other vigilante films, so why not skip to what everyone is here to see? I guess I’m more of a DEATH WISH 3 kind of guy.

    I liked that PUNISHER MAX addressed the fact that Frank Castle’s murder spree went way beyond what anyone could call revenge. They aged Frank Castle up in line with his origin story, so he was a Vietnam vet in his 60s. He’d been operating as the Punisher for decades and killed thousands of people. He was like a murder machine without an off switch. (Note: Recently this metaphor was made literal when the Punisher was blown to pieces and reassembled into a lumbering undead monster called FrankenCastle. It was awesome. Many Punisher fans hated this story arc because they are idiots.)

  33. i need to rewatch DIRTY LAUNDRY, because any racism that short might have featured was lost on me the first time. I just thought it was cool seeing Frank Castle in a mundane situation that ends up into some violent shit.

    I like THE PUNISHER 2004, but compared to the ridiculous Dolph version or WARZONE its not the best. As far as actionmovies that came since, its a rare breed to see action being shot so clearly, but its too much time spent on his neighbours and and all that scheming. Time that could have been more effetively spent dealing out some punishment. He is not called THE SCHEMER,you know. I

  34. I enjoy DIRTY LAUNDRY okay b/c I want to support that format, the notion that talented & talented big-name people are out there doing competent micro-movies just for the hell of it, for a non-paying YouTube audience.

    (Though obviously they wish to use it to grow interest, attract producers, & catapult themselves into a lucrative film franchise.)

    It’s not a great action short, and the tone is part-badass, part-cool, part-disturbing, and part-meh, but it was a decent, weird one-off even if it doesn’t lead to bigger things. I’m for it.

  35. The reason you didn’t see any racism, Shoot, is because there isn’t any.

  36. Really? Am I the only one who was a little uncomfortable seeing Tom Jane execute a bunch of black people while Ron Perlman growls “fuckin’ animals”? If it were not so utterly humourless, if I felt like I was supposed to be laughing instead of thinking it was rad and cool, then I might feel a little bit better about it. Oh well, I don’t want to make too big a deal about it. We’re not talking Michael Bay’s Steppin’ Fetchbots here, and like Mouth said, it’s pretty cool that Tom Jane and co would do something like this for free. It’s clear that Tom Jane loves the character.

  37. I don’t know, but I think using the R-word, whenever a criminal in a movie isn’t white or is called an animal after he beat up and raped a woman and is about to kill a child, is a little bit too much. “Animal” is a pretty race neutral insult, if you ask me and is usually used to describe someone’s behaviour and not their skin color.
    Also every woman in this short is portrayed as a prostitute and a victim and nobody called it misogynistic so far!

  38. The racial element just opens up cans of worms the short is not even remotely equipped to deal with. It’s not racist, necessarily, but it is distracting.

    I will also reiterate from the BULLET TO THE HEAD thread that I don’t see how this version is appreciably different from what we’ve seen thus far. I’d watch it if they made it into a movie, sure, but I wouldn’t be like, “Finally!” like a lot of people seem to be saying. I’d be like, “Yeah, that’s the Punisher. That’s what he does.”

  39. Also, it could be argued that it’s a kind of a misguided bit of racism to try to avoid casting particular races in negative roles, because you’re not seeing them as a whole, rather than that one attribute. When there was a bit of an internet campaign to get Donald Glover to be the new Spider-man, one issue I could see coming up with it is how the visual of a black hero interacting with a cast of antagonists who are typically white might come across as the conflict being racially driven(to idiots). Would Flash Thompson have to be recast as black so his bullying wouldn’t seem like it was because Peter was black, or would they transparently try to avoid this by giving him at least one black friend also bullying Peter, and would this sort of paranoid tokenism be extended to the main villains? We’re not at the point where these thoughts don’t creep into considerations when writing, casting or watching movies, even though we should be at the point where it’s not an issue.
    And it’s not just race. This applies to other things. The video game [redacted]: ARKHAM CITY got some controversy over the fact that when you play as Catwoman in the game, the in-mates(a racially diverse group of violent criminals working for psychopaths and stuck in an all-male environment), referred to her as “bitch” a lot and made comments implying an intent to commit sexual assault on her. How is that sort of behaviour NOT appropriate in the context presented? I’ve seen some argue it’s because they don’t react like that to [redacted], that they’re either more fearful, or just aggressive, but…yeah, that’s how they’re supposed to react to [redacted]. He’s got a rep and sets out to be feared. Catwoman meanwhile is a burglar who generally avoids trouble and dresses more for sex appeal. She’s SUPPOSED to be underestimated, which makes it more badass when she beats the shit out of them.
    And as a flip on it that annoyed me lately, in the new Kevin Bacon series THE FOLLOWING, there’s a twist in the pilot episode that a gay couple living next door to a witness and former surviving victim of the serial killer are in fact followers of the guy and kidnap the woman, and when the feds discover this, it’s just assumed that because so much of their cover is fake that the fact they’re gay must also be fabricated, which makes sense on one level I suppose. Gay men aren’t treated as being all that physically threatening by society, so having them be the confidants to the girl fits. But you know, why CAN’T a fictional serial killer be anything other than a 20s-40s heterosexual white male? Buffallo Bill in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS was…well, it’s not entirely clear if he really is a woman trapped in a man’s body, or just thinks he is, but he’s definitely not just a plain ol’ straight guy. And I can’t really think of any fictional black serial killers off the top of my head(not including Candyman, because he’s supernatural)

    But as regards another Punisher movie, a good way to do a DTV one would be to have him kill a bunch of mobsters at the start, but get captured by the cops and sent to prison, only for it to be his plan, as he’s after a made man serving a life sentence who still runs things from the inside. You’d then have Castle in an environment where no one is an ally, and in addition to the cons, there’d be corrupt guards to deal with, and the climax could be based around a prison riot. I’m sure they’ve done a storyline like this in the comics. There was something similar when he guest appeared in Daredevil.

  40. Wanna know how to do a fresh take on a Punisher movie? Instead of having it take place in the “real world”, set it in a world with superheroes (like Punisher in the comics) and have him take on a corrupt super team who the world worships as heroes but who are actually a bunch of scumbags. I mean, who doesn’t like seeing some spandex clad super-type get shot in the face?

  41. When he’s used correctly , even in the comics he can be pretty smart , using military tactics ,but also acting undercover , infiltrating in various environments.I remember in the old school comics “The Punisher Warzone” ( the first translated in Italian because it was in black and white , like 90% of our comics or manga…and in that comic there was the Punisher Armory , with datacards on the weapons he used, remember ? That was cool) there was a storyline with Frank going undercover in a school as a professor , to fight a gang of drug dealers , exactly like the Substitute , but with the comic book elements of his high tech gadgets and Mircochip helping him. I think that the story was illustrated by Portacio . That’s when I like the Punisher best , with a crime-thriller-movie storyline but with a little comic over-the-top elements . Sometimes he’s used like an angry berserk psycho , but that’s the writer’s fault, in my opinion , and that can be true even for other characters , like Wolverine .

  42. Knox : That’s also Marshal Law !!!

  43. Mr M: That’s pretty much what I meant. I didn’t think it was malicious or hateful, I just thought it was distracting.

    Stu: I watched that whole ARKHAM CITY thing play out on FILM CRIT HULK’s blog, and I guess I’m being a giant liberal pussy again but I agreed with FCH. The whole “Catwoman uses her sexuality against her enemies” thing… 99% of the time it’s total bullshit. They basically start with the tits and ass and build a flimsy justification around it. One of my favourite Catwoman stories is SELINA’S BIG SCORE. It’s basically a Parker homage; the guy who wrote and illustrated it, Darwyn Cooke, went on to do those great PARKER graphic novels. In that comic, and the rest of Ed Brubaker’s excellent run, Selina really IS a master thief with sex appeal. Compare those comics to ARKHAM CITY or a lot of other Catwoman series, especially the terrible new-52 reboot, and the difference is clear.

    Anyway, the main problem with the game is that the bad guys constantly make rape threats and call her “bitch” every other line. The game developers didn’t do it on purpose; they could record only so many lines of dialog and use only certain curse words while not exceeding their TEEN rating (think on that for a while). Like in DIRTY LAUNDRY it’s borne out of laziness rather than any malicious intent, but that’s still no excuse. People have a responsibility to consider the subtext of their art. Arguments of “logic” and “realism” do not really apply when you are talking about a billionaire dressing up like a [redacted] and punching sharks in the face.

    I don’t think it’s a huge deal and that ARKHAM CITY is still an excellent game, easily in my top five of this generation. I like a lot about DIRTY LAUNDRY as well. But people should be able to discuss the subtext of them without everybody flipping their shit. I was watching KEY AND PEELE the other day and they said that “‘Racist’ is like the N-word for white people”, and it’s true. It’s hard to discuss without people getting defensive.

    Kermit: Punisher Armory was nuts. It was just the writer (as Castle) getting way too excited as he explained the merits of various lovingly illustrated firearms. Pure gun fetishism.

  44. Crustacean- “People have a responsibility to consider the subtext of their art.”, yes, but without ignoring the context too. When I say she’s meant to be underestimated, I mean the writer’s intend that. Whether Selina Kyle means for her dress sense to get that reaction is moot, a woman who dressed like that and doesn’t have a big mystique over her like [redacted]’s WOULD be underestimated. As much as a badass as we the reader know she is, other factors of the type of character she is would affect how others perceive her. She’s a professional thief who does jobs either for herself or on behalf of others, usually for cash. She doesn’t have turf or any grand plans. When people cross her, she’ll do something about it, but she doesn’t do it to build an image for herself, so it’s not really all that likely that word would spread about her doing that sort of thing, especially such a sexist male dominated world. Criminals aren’t going to want it getting out about how they got beat up by a woman. When they start writing her like she WANTS to be taken seriously as anything other than a professional thief and doing the things necessary for that, I’ll buy random criminals being scared of her the same way they are [redacted]. But she’s not going to do that, and it’d be a bit of an uphill struggle for her. She wants to keep low key and by the nature of being a loner who’s not a total bad guy yet neither a superhero, she’s an underdog.

  45. I have no problem with Catwoman dressing sexy or being an underdog. Like you said, a big part of her appeal is that she’s an outsider who only gets involved with long underwear types, hero or villain, to make a profit. I don’t want her to be [redacted] and I just think her character works the best when she’s being underestimated, I just don’t see how that concept has to be expressed by the bad guys constantly calling her “bitch” and implying that they are going to rape her dead/unconscious body.

  46. starring at Catwoman’s ass was one of my favorite parts of Arkham City

  47. Charles – Oh I agree about the problem with making Punisher movies. To make him stick, I think I like Knox Harrington’s basic pitch. Imagine if in the SHIELD tv show, you have an episode where they’re going after the Punisher or meet up with him. In this world of superheroes and monsters and magic, he’s the down to Earth soldier with the training, experience, and hardware. I said this in the BTTH thread, but I like to think he would be the guy you would need for a story where the SHIELD cast is backed up against the wall fighting a greater adversary (HYDRA?) and well, he’s the sort of guy they could team up with and have him kill countless henchmen.

    Then if he gets good reaction from his appearance(s), you could spin-off his own TV show or DTV movie series.

    Of course I’ll argue that THE RUNAWAYS will be the next Marvel TV show if SHIELD does well. Not quite material for a movie, but TV show? Absolutely. I want to say yes on HEROES FOR HIRE for tv as well, but a movie for them can absolutely work.

    Mr. Majestyk – I must agree on Moon Knight, not hatred just indifference. To me as a kid, he was a Batman knock-off, except he wore white and had numb chucks or something like that. Then again I liked Night

    Vern – off-topic: But are the DIRTY HARRY movies racist for all the black people Eastwood has shot over 5 movies? Not changing the topic, just curious where you stand on that.

    CrustaceanHate – I think its more Catwoman flaunting her sexuality, not as a weapon or any kind, but more to fuck with her adversaries. Its on the par with a tough guy taunting his adversaries with one-liners. You know, mind games. She is the hot sex they’ll never get. And you know what? What’s wrong with enjoying sex? I have no problems with women flaunting it. (Not like James Bond gets shit for flaunting his.)

    But ARKHAM CITY nailed an idea of what a good Catwoman movie could/should be. Not a heroine, but a honest to God thief who must outsmart her criminal rivals and corrupt cops to score the loot. Thats the movie I want. I would pay to watch that.

    And I dont know why criminals need to be “afraid” of her. She’s not a superhero. She may fuck one but she enjoys stealing and all the build-up to success way too much.

  48. RRA: Here’s a fun ARKHAM CITY drinking game; take a drink every time Catwoman, or any woman, is introduced in a cut-scene with the camera staring directly at her butt. You are now dead of alcohol poisoning. How convenient that Catwoman’s sex-loving, post-feminist flaunting just so happens to entail the camera ogling her boobs and butt. We dudes sure lucked out on that one, huh?

    Anyway, I agree that Catwoman should be an outsider and a thief. My ideal Catwoman movie would be a straight-up heist movie except instead of stealing from a casino owner or whatever they’d be stealing from a supervillain like Mr Freeze or the Penguin. [redacted] may be incorporated into their plan, the same way cops or security forces might be used as a diversion in a Parker novel, but he wouldn’t appear on-screen at all.

  49. CrustaceanHate – You make it sound like that’s a bad thing. Postfeminism ignoring sex is nonsense. I will give you all credit on that 52 Catwoman, with the grotesque body dimensions. Its a long running joke about women in costumes having ridiculously big boobs and butts, but that Catwoman set a new standard. (At least she wasn’t murdered and shoved into a fridge. Yet.)

    I like your pitch. Honestly I think we could do a movie of that sort with Anne Hathaway, but alas WB has no interest (for whatever reason) and Nolan is done with anything [redacted] related.

    Which ties into my repeatedly-posted rant against WB’s lack of vision or knowledge or care about their own comic book company they own, and contrast them with Marvel currently.

    I admire the Marvel people for having a vision, 5 year plans and taking some risks along the way in the idea that even if they have defeats they’ll only be tangible and not that destructive in the big picture for them. (I’m sure thats how they sold making both CAPTAIN AMERICA and THOR before THE AVENGERS, the former two more or less blockbusters made to advertize that “mega-blockbuster.” Marvel are rewritting the blockbuster rule book, for better or worse.)

    If LatinoReview is right about them aiming to make a PLANET HULK movie, well on paper that is a very awesome idea. Along with already announced plans for Ant-Man, S.H.I.E.L.D. tv show, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, and I’m damn certain Black Panther inevitably someday because…why not?

    Or put it another way how WB has fucked the dog, we’re getting a Rocket Raccoon movie before we’re getting a Wonder Woman movie.

  50. A PLANET HULK movie sounds great. Conan the Barbarian with Ruffalo’s Hulk? Sign me up. All of the rest of the stuff sounds pretty bizarre (was anybody asking for a GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY movie?) but I was convinced that THOR and CAPTAIN AMERICA would be huge disasters, so who knows? I guess they know what they are doing.

    What do you think of the MAN OF STEEL trailer? When they announced Zack Snyder as director I joked that we might finally get a fun Superman movie where he punches a guy in the face, but the trailer makes it look like they’re doubling down on the brooding seriousness. I am a little troubled by the part where kindly old Pa Kent tells Clark that maybe he should have let a busload of children die rather than expose his identity. I hope that makes more sense in context, because otherwise what the hell?

  51. Well he doesn’t look too proud of himself when he says it, so the context seems pretty clear to me, that Pa Kent knows the good his son can do, but as a parent is worried about what’ll happen when he goes public. Which seems a bit more interesting a depiction than just Pa Kent having ingrained wisdom and clear cut moral certainty. And the alternate voiceovers for the teaser trailer highlight that Jor-El has EXPECTATIONS for Clark to do great things, whereas Jonathan knows that potential is there, but that it has to be Clark’s choice.

  52. “A PLANET HULK movie sounds great. Conan the Barbarian with Ruffalo’s Hulk? Sign me up. All of the rest of the stuff sounds pretty bizarre (was anybody asking for a GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY movie?) but I was convinced that THOR and CAPTAIN AMERICA would be huge disasters, so who knows? I guess they know what they are doing.”

    CrustaceanHate – Not talking about you, but I find it weird whenever Internet nerds whine about comic books getting adapted that they know nothing about. They’re acting just like regular folks who never heard of Iron Man before 2008.

    I’m not saying GUARDIANS will be a good movie, but you know what? It can work, and I understand why Marvel is making it. It’ll be their own STAR WARS or FARSCAPE of sorts in space opera adventure which at times can be screwball. It could be the movie that GREEN LANTERN could’ve been, a journey into the other side of the galaxy with bizarre alien creatures and weird shit. (Instead of fighting some bland monster on Earth.) Its misfits ganging up together and becoming a superpowered police force. I don’t know if Broddie would agree with my definition for GOTG, but thats how I’ll try to explain it.

    I admire that Marvel’s ambition only grew after AVENGERS’ billion bucks. GOTG will be their first franchise-attempt without it being centered around an Avengers member, and an obscure property at that. And Rocket Raccoon could easily steal the show (he did for me, I’ll admit.) Which means a new marketing bonanza for Marvel/Disney.

    Nevermind that many GOTG members have ties to Thanos, who may or may not show up in the AVENGERS someday. Latino Review reported a rumor that *SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER* Iron Man 3 ends with Tony Stark in space and meeting the GOTG, with GOTG ending the same way. So yeah AVENGERS 2 could be Thanos? *END SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER*

    “What do you think of the MAN OF STEEL trailer? When they announced Zack Snyder as director I joked that we might finally get a fun Superman movie where he punches a guy in the face, but the trailer makes it look like they’re doubling down on the brooding seriousness. I am a little troubled by the part where kindly old Pa Kent tells Clark that maybe he should have let a busload of children die rather than expose his identity. I hope that makes more sense in context, because otherwise what the hell?”

    I have to agree with Stu.

    I don’t like Snyder’s movies that I have seen, but I’m hoping that this will be good. I’m a Superman fan, its about time we geta good Supes movie again. We haven’t had one in what, 32 years? Be nice for him to return to the public conciousness.
    I do find it strange how the Internet has turned against Nolan/Goyer. Amazing how those same shits calling them brilliant and masterful and wanting them to do a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie now wish every DC movie was like THE AVENGERS, which is apples to [redacted]’s oranges. Amazing how those entitled small-minded bitches do that.

    We really got a dismal DC movie that tried to Marvel-up, and that was GREEN LANTERN. Jesus that movie was a big letdown for me. You go into outer space to meet crazy creatures in foreign worlds never visited by humans before…and you go back for some trivial 3rd act? I wanted to throw my popcorn at the screen. Talk about dropping the ball.

    I think that’s the big difference between Marvel and DC, among many others. Marvel are run by fans or at least people who seem to get these properties. Whether one thought of those movies, I the fan can say at least that they’re trying to stab at those characters’ core appeals for the laymen who never picked up a funny book. DC is run by people who aren’t necessarily nerds themselves and have no interest in CBMs unless they’re Superman or [redacted], and only because those two have made good money for WB in the past.

    I look at DC and I think, they’re really selling themselves short or find ways to fuck up something simple. For example the latter, JONAH HEX they turned from a cowboy movie (with crazy shit here and there but in essence a badass Clint Eastwood western) into WILD WILD WEST 2.

    Or better yet, what movies in recent years have made a shitload of money? Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games. What do all 3 have in common? Movies about young adults that are keyed at young adults, but are universal entertainments, and all genre-set in fantasy (or sci-fi). What does DC have similar in material in their stable of titles? TEEN TITANS. I’m shocked they haven’t already fast tracked that son of a bitch after all those billions made by those franchises I mentioned. Its money on the table, collecting dust.

    I like Guillermo Del Toro’s plan to make a magical superteam with DC/Vertigo magical characters. That’s fucking BRILLIANT. From there if that makes money, you could spin-off Zatanna or reboot Swamp Thing and redeem John Constantine. Give us that evil wonderful bastard from the comics, not Neo attending a RESERVOIR DOGS fan convention.

  53. Also just because I’m in mind with Marvel, how about the Marvel movies that Marvel doesn’t run?

    I hated WOLVERINE: ORIGINS, but I have hope for THE WOLVERINE and rooting for it. As one of the few Vernites who is sorta a fan of James Mangold (the Peter Hyams of his time), on paper that can work.

    I’m hyped up for Bryan Singer returning to X-Men for DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. Intrigued as hell to see how he plays with the time travel elements and oh yeah, Sentinels will be in an X-Men movie finally. yes!!!!!!!!!

    I was one of the new nerds online who apparently liked AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, and yes I still hold that a sequel could easily be better. They started shooting this week, so I hope that’s good even though its being quite rushed into production and we have two villains that could easily become another SChumacher-era Batman movie of villains crowding out the hero. Both these films come out next summer.

    Still nothing on FANTASTIC FOUR, but hey I hope they do a good one. (And it can be done Fox. Just rent THE INCREDIBLES for some inspiration. Brad Bird nailed FF to a degree.) Don’t do shitty sitcoms like the two that were made earlier.

    You know I was intrigue however by Joe Carnahan’s pitch for his DAREDEVIL movie, set in the 1970s NYC. Imagine that movie within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, become their prequel franchise like FIRST CLASS at Fox but broadly for the MCU universe. Imagine that as the bridge between Captain America’s 1940s with Iron Man/Avengers modern day, and in that series you could show a young Nick Fury or whatever stuff you want to do. I mean a shitty 70s-era superheroine like Dazzler could work because its the 70s. Be nice to get a Marvel franchise that’s on the street and not a foreign planet or lab or whatever.

    (Consider if Marvel gets around to making a Black Panther series. You could show him back in the 70s or 80s, when his father wore that costume and kicked ass and join with Fury. Alot of fun one can be done with that series.)

  54. I forgot to add this one last thought on DD, I’m sorry folks. Then we can go back to Punisher: War Zone.

    But what intrigued me when Carnahan revealed his sizzle reel pitch movie was that his Daredevil potentially could be a fascinating dichotomy between the lawyer Matt Murdock fighting for clients in the court of law, and the badass vigilante at night. This is liberalism versus Fascism, and really (in his mind) in the very cynical 1970s era of Watergate and Vietnam when Americans believed the law had become a joke and corrupt institution hijacked by the criminals…well that would be really why Murdock becomes Daredevil. This was the time of DIRTY HARRY and DEATH WISH when vigilantism became a popular fantasy. He’s an intelligent, semi-sensitive, cultured Travis Bickle. Not quite gone haywire like Bickle, but he easily could fall into that abyss which he’s struggling with.

    If I remember right, before Fox let the film rights lapse back to Marvel, they had planned to do a DD movie based off that storyline where Kingpin and other criminals learn DD’s secret identity and MM has to go balls to the walls as they go after him. I quite liked that, solid material for a movie.

  55. Interesting, Mark Millar (Fox’s new Marvel movie consultant) has just called out the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie inevitably doomed, a “good way to waste $200 million.”

    His rationality? The characters are out of date.

    Yeah that might explain why the last two [redacted] movies each made a billion bucks.

    Millar, shut up.


  56. Millar may be a self-aggrandizing twat, but he entertains me. I think people take his schtick a bit too seriously. Don’t worry, everyone, he’s a closet self-hating nerd just like the rest of us.

    Also, he has a point. How many people has Aquaman raped? Very few, I’m guessing, making him totally irrelevant in today’s superhero landscape.

  57. Mr. M – Nor has he murdered any of his girlfriends and shoved her into a fridge.

    But this just makes him sound dumb. That bit about whining about “how can they have Aquaman talk underwater?” is equally goofy.

    Its easy mark, do what Spielberg did with TINTIN and that dog who talkedin those comics: Don’t make him talk because you can’t pull it off unless you go David Lynch DUNE with the whispers when people are internal monologuing and yeah people don’t want that.

    Then again, I suppose this is Millar trolling DC and the Internet and if so….good trolling. He is playing into nerd anxiety that DC will fuck up a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie all in the vein attempt of quickly trying to catch up with Marvel or something.

  58. Green Lantern was letdown for me too, but hey , better than that proposed “Green Lantern Comedy” project with Jack Black, right ? I don’t think that DC is only run by people that do not understand their characters , and , at least in the writing department , they have some serious nerds in love with the material and with the rich history of DC : Geoff Johns is the best example , in my opinion. His stuff with GL is the most fun I had ( and I’m still having ) with comics in years! I just don’t know how they fucked that up so bad when all they had to do was look at the comics and ….and just adapt them.

    And this Mark Millar Marvel Movie consultant is the writer of Wanted ? I never liked that guy…..

  59. I don’t know much about him but I give him props for his magazine CLiNT. It has a pretty good movie column in it in my opinion.

    I think the Jack Black comedy Green Lantern could’ve been funny, but it’s hard to say whether it would’ve been funnier than the one they made or not.

  60. “What does DC have similar in material in their stable of titles? TEEN TITANS. I’m shocked they haven’t already fast tracked that son of a bitch after all those billions made by those franchises I mentioned. Its money on the table, collecting dust. ”

    I figure the issue with that is that TT is basically a spinoff of multiple franchises, most of which don’t actually exist yet. It’d be weird to introduce Kid Flash, Wonder Girl and Speedy before their mentor figures had movies. Good thing we’ve got the YOUNG JUSTICE cartoon for that and- oh, it’s cancelled.

    And I have a love/hate thing with Mark Millar. I like a good deal of his stuff, but he does tend to try to be needlessly shocking and edgy far too much, say stupid things (like video games are for Pedophiles and that he was surprised to learn that black people could get downs syndrome), and it’s hard not to think a lot of his creator owned projects are just cranked out to be sold as movies. Funny too how he thinks DC characters are outdated. Probably thinks the same thing about SHAZAM, but that didn’t stop him from lifting a good chunk of it for SUPERIOR. Or pitching Nemesis as “What if Batman was a cunt? I can’t believe no one ever thought of that before!”. Except his former buddy Grant Morrison kinda did when he introduced Prometheus in JLA around the same time Millar was one of the writers of it, and even that character was inspired by an old [redacted] villain called The Wrath.

  61. ^what if [redacted] was a cunt?

  62. From what I’ve read online , The GL Comedy movie script was full of glowing green condoms , fart and butt jokes . The worst kind of Jack Black comedy . I liked him in Tropic Thunder and Be Kind Rewind , so I know the guy can be very funny without being vulgar , if he’s working with the right writer or director , but that looked really bad . Martin Lawrence/Eddie Murphy-fat-suit-movie level bad. Plus it was very disrespectful of the source material .The Reynolds one at the very least introduced us to a small fraction of the GL universe , OA and the Corps , but then decided to focus on Earth again. It was a missed opportunity . Oh well , in a couple of years they will try again , maybe with a darker-grittier take on Hal Jordan…and it may actually work, when it comes to GL. In the comics he’s kind of an intergalactic cop , and some of the other Lanterns don’t have any kind of problem with “killing criminals” or “destroying planets” , even Hal in one issue is “okay” with Sinestro being sentenced to death. He’s way more complex than the movie Jordan , that’s for sure.

  63. CallMeKermit – yeah I believe DC Animation even did a Direct to DVD cartoon where they did GL as basically an outer space cop movie, and that really is what the live-action movie should’ve been. I mean be unique, differentiate yourself from being IRON MAN 2.0…which WB decided upon instead.

    You know what annoyed me about us not getting a new GL movie anytime soon? No Guy Gardner. I want that bowl haircut goon (really looks like if one of the Beatles got raped by an Orangutan), and maybe in a future movie Batman to knock him out with one punch.

    No evidence, but I truely believe GREEN LANTERN’s epic dropping the ball helped convince Marvel to go into GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. IF GL had been good and had made money, I have trouble believing GOTG would’ve happened, or else be seen as ripping off GL.

    “I figure the issue with that is that TT is basically a spinoff of multiple franchises, most of which don’t actually exist yet. It’d be weird to introduce Kid Flash, Wonder Girl and Speedy before their mentor figures had movies. Good thing we’ve got the YOUNG JUSTICE cartoon for that and- oh, it’s cancelled.”

    Not a problem for what I had in mind, which was the “classic” Marv Wolfman/George Perez TT line-up from the 80s which if I remember correctly was a hot commercial rival of X-MEN back then, and for some of the same appeals. (Including gratuitous skimpy costumes for the women with big…assets.)

    On that spin-off problem, you only have to deal with obviously Robin and that whole [redacted] thing, which isn’t that big of a deal. (OK sure you have another character that came from Doom Patrol, but no offense people don’t give a shit about Doom Patrol.) Do a new rebooted [redacted] movie where Dick Grayson quits/gets fired, then lead into a TT film, or since [redacted] is well-familiar to audiences at this rate….start off with TT while around that same time you can do your rebooted [redacted] movie in the aftermath of that vacancy, with [redacted] recruiting a young Tim Drake or Jason Todd whatever.

    If DC were doing like Marvel, imagine say a WONDER WOMAN movie where you would introduce Donna Troy as her adopted sister on that Island, in the sequel or a TT film, she would join her surrogate older sister in man’s world and join TT.

  64. I’m surprised you’d expect DC to do anything sensible with Teen Titans, considering how crappily they’ve handled it recently. TT gives them a perfect opportunity to start fresh and reach younger audiences, but instead they tie it up with some of the most convoluted continuity in the entire DCU (and that’s saying something) and appeal to same core base of aging, insecure males who think that everything should be rapey and violent.

    I’ve never been a big fan of GL, but I’d like to see a Dirty-Harry-in-space take on it. “That’s it, Jordan! I’ve had it up to here with your methods. You blew up a planet on your last mission and got nothin’ to show for it. Now I’ve got the Guardians breathing down my neck. You’re off the case! Hand over your badge and your power ring.”

    I agree with Millar that a JLA movie would be a good way to lose $100M, but that’s only because I don’t trust WB to do it without falling on their faces. Yeah, I don’t care for DC much these days.

  65. The Green Lantern comedy was written by Robert Smigel, so I bet it had some funny jokes in it.

  66. CrustaceanHate – Oh sure and I can’t say I disagree with you. I’m just saying objectively speaking, a TT film (imagine a 5-6 film series done on top of each other, think HP and TWILIGHT) could both work as movies, and of course make money.

    But as I said before, in a fair world where WB isn’t depending upon Mr. Nolan…yeah they could pull it off. I have no faith in them currently without Nolan involved, and that’s really a problem. God I wish my pissyness at WB is rewarded with me being proved wrong.

    Vern – really? Interesting. I did not know that.

  67. I’ve never heard about this GL comedy. I read the Vanity Fair interview with Smigel about it, and it doesn’t seem like he had much respect for the character. I mean, I don’t think you need to have a full set of mint-condition action figures to direct a superhero movie, but he says the movie ended with a joke about the whole “Superman spinning the Earth back in time” thing, which is one of the laziest superhero references on the planet.

    I don’t really care about GL (still haven’t seen the movie we DID get) but if I was a fan I’d probably be annoyed too. And I like Jack Black.

  68. “That’s it, Jordan! I’ve had it up to here with your methods. You blew up a planet on your last mission and got nothin’ to show for it. Now I’ve got the Guardians breathing down my neck. You’re off the case! Hand over your badge and your power ring.”

    That’s actually happened in the books ! In recent storylines too , and in another story a Green Lantern ( Stewart) was under process because he killed a comrade in the line of duty , on purpose . So , as , you can see , there’s plenty of grey in the comics , none of the GL corpsmen are shining-bright-hero stereotypes.

    Guy Gardner is another example : I literally hated that moron ! Now he’s an integral part of the corps and I can’t imagine GL without him, but he actually evolved from a gigantic asshole of a character…and that punch , RRA , was perfect timing , after weeks of build up! After that famous punch from Dredd , in my opinion , the second best punch in comics ever.

  69. CMK – funny you bring up Judge Dredd, 2000 AD put out a teaser for an upcoming issue which insinuates that he’s coming out of the closet. Now I don’t believe that, it’ll instead be part of a story that a Judge Dredd imposter did this or a clone or just another badass cop who loves to say he’s the law, except to his male date as well. Of course inevitably fans are not happy with this because….I don’t know?

    But really I honestly would love it if indeed it turned out he was gay. I mean not that it would matter at all since Dredd has never bothered to pursue a romance or marriage, he’s too busy kicking ass and enforcing the law. What difference would it make?

  70. I’m quite partial to this punch myself, because it’s a great visual punchline to The Joker declaring he can’t really bring himself to be a supercriminal while [redacted] is gone, so he’ll instead turn to crimefighting because “What could be funnier than that?”

    That’s not what it’s about. It’s about how there’s a gay nightclub based around the fetishisation of Dredd, where patrons have to either dress as him or as a perp.
    There’s a review here:
    and a piece on the reaction to the story, with the writer’s comments on Dredd’s sexuality:

    And yeah, GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT was basically a (PG Cartoon)space opera version of Training Day.

  71. Stu – alright thanks for the Judge Dredd clarification.

    Meanwhile, BadassDigest reported that WB has junked Beall’s JUSTICE LEAGUE script. Meanwhile Latino Review’s El Mayimbe claims that when WB offered JUSTICE LEAGUE to Ben Affleck, they also wanted him to play Batman along with directing the movie.

  72. I invite you to travel with me as I use these journeys to change my prayer:
    Drops of Light I, II, III, & IV. In fact, Expedition Trips
    is currently offering a 50% discount to child
    travelers who accompany their parents. The most
    important finding of our expedition was this ‘ the marriages of those in Antarctica survive and thrive for the most part because they recognize that communication is at the heart of their relationship.

  73. Wow, how about that GOTG stinger, huh guys? Wasn’t expecting a particular gun-toting vigilante to show up *wink*

  74. Netflix is planning a Punisher show. I like this.

  75. Shoot – When I heard that news, I actually thought of what Vern wrote above about each new Punisher media, each time supposedly more “comics accurate” than before. Of course this time Marvel itself will produce this show so it should be interesting how they tackle him for 13 episodes at a time.

    Not that it’s coming anytime soon. I expect it to come out in their “Phase 2” (Marvel doing Netflix like they’re doing their movies if you think about it) after Defenders drops…whenever that is. So 2018, 2019?

  76. I finally watched this the other day and felt that it was brilliant exploitation at points. Also while it’s not my favorite of The Punisher movies (the Dolph one is best to me because it nailed the tone) since it goes far too right where the Jane one went to left this is definitely the first time I felt they completely nailed the character.

    As someone who grew up reading War Journal, War Zone and the self titled book back in the late 80s and early 90s I grinned a shitload through this because Stevenson really did FEEL like Frank Castle ripped straight from the books. It was very impressive and not something I expected considering all the negative feedback the movie got.

    Here’s hoping Marvel’s shot continues that fidelity to the character while returning to a tone more similar to the Dolph movie’s which in turn was similar to the Punisher books from the character’s true pop culture prime.

  77. I started playing that 2005 PUNISHER game that is so infamous for being awesome. And it is fucking hilarious. There is a scene in which Frank Castle is infiltrating a mob funeral ( a funeral he was directly involved with). He does so by replacing the corpse with himself and an M-60 machine gun in the casket. He first tosses out the corpse from the casket saying “Too bad I could only kill you once”, putting the corpse in a fricking garbage bin(!) and then when the funeral takes place. You,as The Punisher, opens the casket and spits fire on every single grieving mobster asshole with an M-60- That is so satisfying. And also hilarious as a lot of them starts freaking out, panicking like headless chicken while you pick them off in gruesome fashion.

    And then there is this. At the end of each level you get a ridiculous news clip about the events of that level After a level at the zoo you get:

    “PUNISHER KILLS ZOO ANIMALS. MAKE CHILDREN CRY” And there is a absolutely priceless image of Punisher punching a polar bear in the face. I wish I knew how to implement images , because that shit is probably my top ten of all time.

  78. Shoot McKay – yeah if I remember right, those newspaper clippings had panels (especially the polar bear punch) directly taken from the Garth Ennis comics run.

  79. And…the week just got shittier!

    RIP Ray Stevenson, STILL my fav On Screen Punisher

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