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Punisher: War Zone (GET IT RIGHT THIS TIME!)
jalford at 5:02PM, Dec. 12, 2008
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Hi. Well, I had about as much fun at this movie as I could've for a Punisher flick. Granted, I think this one is the best of the three that they've done. Everybody always hangs the Dolph Lundgren as being the worst of the previous two, but I personally think the Thomas Jane edition from four years ago was serious lacking.

Anyways, in this one, it's a complete reboot of the storyline, totally ignoring the previous films(much to the delight of sarcastic fanboys everywhere). This movie takes the story to New York where ex-cop Frank Castle has been going on a killing spree for the last five years as a vigilante. After taking down most of the bigwigs in the largest Italian mafia family in town, he sets his sights on the remaining members who're doing a shipment with some Russians. Punisher steps in and stops them, but accidently kills an FBI agent there. During the raid, Billy “The Beaut” is horribly scarred, and re-emerges as the villian Jigsaw. Jigsaw busts his crazy-ass brother, Looney Bin Jim, out of the nuthouse to get revenge on Castle, and gain back what money he's lost.

Punisher spends too much of the movie worrying about the family of the FBI agent he whacked, and the stereotypical daughter who is the only one who sees the good in him is the most overused ploy in any of these misunderstood vigilante movies. I thought I was watching Darkman 3 there for a few minutes! There's also the overused criminal killer going to the church to get redemption stock footage. Didn't Daredevil aready cover this? Why do all these Marvel Comics movies have to have a scene in a New York church? Even Incredible Hulk had one!

Dominic West plays a pretty good Jigsaw. He definately wins for third best movie supervillian of 2008. At least they finally used one of the more generic Punisher villains instead of just some Godfather reject. Wayne Knight was also good casting as Microchip. The director probably went, “Oh, just get the fat dude from Seinfeld.”

Punisher's actual “punishing” is a little better in this one. Instead of the last one where he kept egging on the hoods to kill each other off, he just takes them out himself. I dunno how he managed to walk around town with about twenty bazookas strapped to his back, and at least not get any fallen arches. But he just brutalizes dudes in this one.

If you wanna see a reasonably decent adaption of a Marvel Comics title, then this is pretty good. Its certainly more faithful to the comics than either Incredible Hulk or Iron Man were to their original source material. It's not necessarily the best superhero movie of the year, but then neither was Hancock.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:06PM
ozoneocean at 6:26PM, Dec. 12, 2008
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God thread title :)
I knew what you were talking about this time.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
Sea_Cow at 12:56AM, Dec. 13, 2008
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I think the Thomas Jane one is underrated. It was pretty enjoyable as an action flick, even if it didn't follow the comics perfectly. The one with Lundgren is a completely different story. I mean, the yakuza? Come on!
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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:26PM
machinehead at 5:12PM, Dec. 13, 2008
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I'm not a fan of the Punisher comic so I have no basis when it comes to that but a really enjoyed the Thomas Jane 2004 Punisher I thought it was great.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:49PM
Mushroomcomix at 7:22AM, Dec. 16, 2008
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I did read the old Punisher comics and still enjoyed the 2004 flick, I have yet to see the new one though.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:08PM
mlai at 8:28AM, Dec. 16, 2008
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The best Punisher comics ever was the Punisher Armory, that limited series with pictures of a bunch of weapons and equipment, with an offscreen Frank Castle commenting, colorfully and at length, on each item.

It felt like I was drinking with Frank in his cabin in the woods, and he's showing me around his trove. That is, if I was someone hardcore enough to be having a drink with Frank.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
lba at 11:10AM, Dec. 16, 2008
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In my personal opinion the War Zone comics were a pretty disgusting abuse of The Punisher to begin with and I don't think you can make a decent movie out of crap source material. Especially not with what I saw acting in that movie and the crap they packed into it before I walked out. I felt like I wasted my $12.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:29PM
NickGuy at 1:39PM, Dec. 16, 2008
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they will never get punisher right in the movies. ever. thats because hollywood doesnt understand what makes the punisher work.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:15PM
mlai at 5:30PM, Dec. 16, 2008
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What exactly is hard to understand about Punisher?

He's a ruthless vigilante who sees things in black & white, and hunts organized crime. Hollywood should have plenty of experience in that genre.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
jalford at 4:04AM, Dec. 18, 2008
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They should do a Marvel Knights version of Daredevil.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:06PM
Aurora Borealis at 5:45PM, Dec. 19, 2008
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lba
In my personal opinion the War Zone comics were a pretty disgusting abuse of The Punisher to begin with and I don't think you can make a decent movie out of crap source material. Especially not with what I saw acting in that movie and the crap they packed into it before I walked out. I felt like I wasted my $12.

Excuse me? You mean the War Zone comic from the 90s? The one that started with the absolutely amazing storyarc by Chuck Dixon? Cause if yes… ok, I won't go there, let's just say that for me that storyline was THE Punisher.

As for the movies. I have yet to see the new one so lets focus on the older ones.

Am I the only one who enjoyed the Dolph one? I mean that was loads of fun. There was actually something HAPPENING most of the movie, unlike the Thomas Jane one that felt like he's moping around most of the time. And the only good bits were swiped straight from Ennis' Punisher comics.

I don't know. Maybe it's because every other marvel movie from that period sucked really badly. I mean… Spider-Man in winter boots shooting a rope instead of web? Ahaha. And I remember Hulk being just as bad and was mercifully spared the atrocity of Captain America movie. I remember the only thing that I didn't like was the lack of the skull on his chest, but at least there was one on every of his knives so it didn't bother me that much.

And that scene with two guys with guns vs a crowd of swordfighters? Priceless :D
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:08AM
lba at 7:28PM, Dec. 19, 2008
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Aurora Borealis
Excuse me? You mean the War Zone comic from the 90s? The one that started with the absolutely amazing storyarc by Chuck Dixon? Cause if yes… ok, I won't go there, let's just say that for me that storyline was THE Punisher.

If we're talking the one they're currently putting into TPB's where Frank looked like what ends up happening when Mr. Universe and the Hulk have a baby on steroids, then yeah I'm talking about that one. I tend to remember them by visual reference rather than when they came out so if there's another War Zone I don't remember it. I just remember feeling like Frank looked horribly awkward and disproportionate and that the writing kind of felt like it was dumbing him down from his normal self.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:29PM
Aurora Borealis at 12:24PM, Dec. 20, 2008
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lba
Aurora Borealis
Excuse me? You mean the War Zone comic from the 90s? The one that started with the absolutely amazing storyarc by Chuck Dixon? Cause if yes… ok, I won't go there, let's just say that for me that storyline was THE Punisher.

If we're talking the one they're currently putting into TPB's where Frank looked like what ends up happening when Mr. Universe and the Hulk have a baby on steroids, then yeah I'm talking about that one. I tend to remember them by visual reference rather than when they came out so if there's another War Zone I don't remember it. I just remember feeling like Frank looked horribly awkward and disproportionate and that the writing kind of felt like it was dumbing him down from his normal self.

War JOURNAL by any chance? The one that started with a Civil War tie-in? Cause he does look like he's pumping steroids every day.

I don't think the 90s War Zone was ever traded entirely (beyond the first 6-issue story arc where Frank Castle takes on the mob from the inside as Jonny Tower). That first story arc was the main inspiration for Ennis' run. It should be easy to tell too as it has art by John Romita Jr.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:08AM
lba at 6:19PM, Dec. 20, 2008
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I had to take another look at the books while I was at the bookstore. My screw up on the title. I mistook War Journal for War Zone and just assumed they changed up the name a bit when they switched it from the comic to the movie. The movie just seemed too similar in their choice of actor/visuals and plot, with the way it felt dumbed down, to War Journal to me to make the connection on the names. War Zone was definitely better than the movie makes it out to be. I guess that's what I get for never looking at titles and remembering comics only by artwork.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:29PM
Aurora Borealis at 11:09PM, Dec. 22, 2008
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There we go :)

There's a second series named War Zone that comes out currently (miniseries) and there used to be a second War Journal back in the day (when they had FOUR Punisher titles at once). And at least 5 or however many series simply named “The Punisher”.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:08AM

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