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Tim Bradstreet

The Punisher: WarZone

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By Tom...he was portrayed wonderfully...by Hensleigh and Co... not so much, at least for fans of the comics, which is what really counts in a comic film right? Otherwise it's just another movie with a guy who happens to be named Frank Castle and has a skull on his shirt. Not saying there was no faith to the comics (see my post in the 04 Punisher thread) just that so many unnecessary liberties were taken. It would have "deepened" it to do a lot of things to Frank, but were they NECESSARY. Was the comic THAT bad that it needed changed?

 

As for Ray vs. Tom? Is there really anyone sporting a death match here. I think Tom was wonderful and I think Ray will be wonderful. Pretty much end of story for me.

 

Fred

Yeah. I've been accused of touting Ray way too much here. Even to the extent I got my own internet stalker! :lol: But I looked over the previous 15 of my posts and there was no mention of Ray outside of the obvious fact that he was now playing Frank Castle.

 

I'm definitely a big fan of his, but even *I* don't obsess much over that HERE.

 

HERE, I'm much more interested in talking about the film and my hopes for it. I adore Frank Castle. It wouldn't be too far amiss to say there's some hero-worship there, to the extent that one can think of a fictional charactrer as a hero. And maybe I even wish that SOME of Frank's qualities were present in more men than is true today. Frank is really an anachronism...a man for the wild west, which is why I can see Hensleigh wanting to do his homage to Sergio Leone films. It just didn't work, in my opinion.

 

Anyway, it's not about Jane or Stevenson, other than the fact that the next time we see Frank, it'll be Stevenson giving him to us.

 

Nomad

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Werent a lot of people also angry about Frank downing alcohol and pointing a gun at himself? All of that was in the comics too.

 

Yeah they were.

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But they are innocent, Frank did absolutely nothing to Saint, just because Saint believed Castle was at fault doesn't mean he was at fault. Though I guess they weren't innocent enough.

 

And regarding being partly culpable, not really, undercover operatives are pretty well protected regarding their true identities. And going by the extended cut if Jimmy Weeks hadn't sold him out nothing would have happened. The family really wasn't in danger because of his work.

 

Exactly, Frank wasnt even the one who pulled the trigger on Saint's son in the first place.

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By Tom...he was portrayed wonderfully...by Hensleigh and Co... not so much, at least for fans of the comics, which is what really counts in a comic film right? Otherwise it's just another movie with a guy who happens to be named Frank Castle and has a skull on his shirt. Not saying there was no faith to the comics (see my post in the 04 Punisher thread) just that so many unnecessary liberties were taken. It would have "deepened" it to do a lot of things to Frank, but were they NECESSARY. Was the comic THAT bad that it needed changed?

 

As for Ray vs. Tom? Is there really anyone sporting a death match here. I think Tom was wonderful and I think Ray will be wonderful. Pretty much end of story for me.

 

Fred

I agree with you Fred :)

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Yeah. I've been accused of touting Ray way too much here. Even to the extent I got my own internet stalker! :lol: But I looked over the previous 15 of my posts and there was no mention of Ray outside of the obvious fact that he was now playing Frank Castle.

 

I'm definitely a big fan of his, but even *I* don't obsess much over that HERE.

 

HERE, I'm much more interested in talking about the film and my hopes for it. I adore Frank Castle. It wouldn't be too far amiss to say there's some hero-worship there, to the extent that one can think of a fictional charactrer as a hero. And maybe I even wish that SOME of Frank's qualities were present in more men than is true today. Frank is really an anachronism...a man for the wild west, which is why I can see Hensleigh wanting to do his homage to Sergio Leone films. It just didn't work, in my opinion.

 

Anyway, it's not about Jane or Stevenson, other than the fact that the next time we see Frank, it'll be Stevenson giving him to us.

 

Nomad

You are always cool in my book Nomad and I agree with you :)

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Frank is really an anachronism...a man for the wild west, which is why I can see Hensleigh wanting to do his homage to Sergio Leone films. It just didn't work, in my opinion.

 

Nomad

 

Not trying to be a nit, but Nomad, didn't you mention a few pages back that you hadn't seen the '04 Punisher film?

If I misunderstood what you said and you HAVE seen it then disregard the next two sentences ;)

Just go rent the damn thing so when you say stuff like this you really will mean what you say.

I know Sage and likely other friends have spelled it all out for you but nothing can take the place of how you see a film through your own eyes.

 

------------------------------------------------

 

I've said this before, I think Hensleigh gets a bad rap for things that were either embraced or demanded by the studios.

He's the easy target, the obvious one. Folks can say what they want about his film, just remember that it's a directorial debut, that things like locations and certain story points were not ideal for him either. But you end up making sacrifices/compromises and make the best of the opportunity (Ask Lexi or Steve about that ;)

I applaud him for what he tried to do.

I also recommend that anyone wishing to be fair in their critique give a listen to the director's commentary. It gives a lot of insight into the process and the hurdles/pitfalls of working for "the man" on a budget. There is, after all, a bigger picture here. I know he tried to do his best by the fans. If he fell short of that in some people's estimation it honestly wasn't because he didn't care about the character.

 

- TB

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I haven't listen to 04 film commentary a long time.As a film student I think that Robert Rodriguez does the best commentaries.He goes into every details and show you how to shoot a big scene.Without spending too much money on them.

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Not trying to be a nit, but Nomad, didn't you mention a few pages back that you hadn't seen the '04 Punisher film?

If I misunderstood what you said and you HAVE seen it then disregard the next two sentences ;)

Just go rent the damn thing so when you say stuff like this you really will mean what you say.

I know Sage and likely other friends have spelled it all out for you but nothing can take the place of how you see a film through your own eyes.

 

------------------------------------------------ <·>

 

I've said this before, I think Hensleigh gets a bad rap for things that were either embraced or demanded by the studios.

He's the easy target, the obvious one. Folks can say what they want about his film, just remember that it's a directorial debut, that things like locations and certain story points were not ideal for him either. But you end up making sacrifices/compromises and make the best of the opportunity (Ask Lexi or Steve about that ;)

I applaud him for what he tried to do.

I also recommend that anyone wishing to be fair in their critique give a listen to the director's commentary. It gives a lot of insight into the process and the hurdles/pitfalls of working for "the man" on a budget. There is, after all, a bigger picture here. I know he tried to do his best by the fans. If he fell short of that in some people's estimation it honestly wasn't because he didn't care about the character.

 

- TB

 

I have NO idea where you got the notion that I've not seen the 2004 Punisher. You think I would comment on a film I'd not seen??? And seen more than once??? Even with Punisher War Zone, I only go so far as to say I THINK it will be good or I HOPE it will be good or I WANT it to be good. You think I would get my opinions from OTHERS???? and not bother to see the film and make up my OWN mind?????

 

GRRRRRRRRR. *snarls at you* Just kidding! :P

 

Seriously, Tim, the minute I heard Ray was cast in that role, I purchased BOTH previous Punisher films AND ordered all the MAX series comic books. Moreover, I saw BOTH previous films LONG before becoming aware of Norse Sage or of any other opinions on those films.

 

In general, I'm not a fan of "homages" to other directors or styles. The reason for that is that they are so seldom well-done. They are certainly NOT something a first-time director should be doing. Rather, he should be seeking his OWN voice. The only contemporary director who does homages well, in my opinion, is Curtis Hanson, who directed L.A. Confidential and who won an Oscar for Best Screenplay Adaptation for that same film. He was nominated for Best Director as well, but that was the year of Titanic and he lost to Cameron.

 

Every director is beholden to the studios in some way, shape or form unless you're of the James Cameron ilk, and even HE may have to deal with some of that. So it's not much of an excuse to me that Hensleigh had to deal with it. Moreover, Hensleigh's position as the responsible party is increased by virtue of his name on the script as well.

 

Nomad

 

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Guest FADoss
No, I probably should have made it more clear, I was talking about what Patrick Gray and Nomad said. That Castle wasn't interpreted right or understood, at which I brought up Year One and told Nomad to read it.

 

And you know thinking back to Year One, I know how Fred hated the "detective work", but he does do a little bit of that in Year One with the alcoholic reporter, he's more the muscle but it's kinda no different then the recon he was doing in the film.

 

Except that in the 04 film he was taking all that time with the people who killed his entire family and THAT ain't Frank. If he knew Saint was responsible for killing his family, comic book Frank would have had Saint dead and we would have had a 30 minute film. NOW, if he had no clue who it was, I could have seen some more detective work...Frank style...like popsicle interrogations etc.

 

BUT, once he knew, game over. Also, and this is more philosophical than anything else I've posted here so far, what is the point in going through all that elaborate plotting to make Saint kill his wife and best friend...and murder his other son, if you only let him SUFFER with that knowledge for a couple minuted before you blow him up. That's the kind of shit you do to a guy right before he spends a lifetime behind bars...not right before you kill him. No point in it. In other words, not something Frank would do. He's utilitarian all the way.

 

Haven't read YEAR ONE yet BTW. Most of the newer Punisher stuff has escaped me, but I'm on a mission to intake as much as possible.

 

Fred

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And regarding being partly culpable, not really, undercover operatives are pretty well protected regarding their true identities. And going by the extended cut if Jimmy Weeks hadn't sold him out nothing would have happened. The family really wasn't in danger because of his work.

 

BULLSHIT. Anyone who wears a badge puts his family at risk. Anyone who puts on a military uniform puts his family at risk. "Pretty well protected" and "if you aren't sold out" implies BIG risk. NOW, I think his wife knew and understood. I think most wives and husbands of folks who serve understand, but the idea that they were perfectly safe is way off...again...another variance from the comics. Frank was sticking his nose places that got his family killed. AND THAT'S NOT A BAD THING! The man was serving his country. He was taking risks to help others...but that ain't comic book Frank.

 

Fred

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Due to my job being far more demanding than usual these days, I haven’t got all that much time to post at the moment, here or anywhere else.

But given recent events, I think I’ll go from luring mode to posting mode…

 

Tom Jane’s outline for the proverbial sequel to The Punisher (2004) was excellent, certainly a huge improvement over the previous movie. I particularly enjoyed the scene lifted from “Welcome back, Frank”, originally with Daredevil. That could have been cinematic gold. I would have loved to see that movie brought to life, and I regret that we won’t be able to see it. Thank you, LGF. Jane, I do hope that you will be able to make a movie like you had hoped for “The Punisher 2”, even if it carries another title. I also really appreciate the clarification of your departure, which I always respected, but now understand in a new way.

 

That said, I am very exited about how PWZ is shaping up. I would have loved to see Jane’s vision for the Punisher brought too life, but even if it is very different, Lexi and Steve Gainer’s vision has me wildly exited too. My major concern at this point is how much LGF potentially could screw it over in post.

 

As we’re taking about the origin here, I’ll just rehash what I wrote in an earlier post:

 

 

What I disliked the most with Hensleigh’s vision of the Punisher, was his complete and total butchering of the origin. The rest I could tolerate, but not that.

How it can be possible to fuck up something which should be so simple to put on screen is completely beyond me. Scrapping the Punisher’s proper origin in favour of putting a “Mad Max” reference or two in its place destroyed the movie for me, and in the process much of Frank Castle’s philosophical justification for becoming THE PUNISHER in the first place was taken away.

 

The proper comic book (MAX or otherwise) origin gives Castle a reason and justification to be the Punisher.

While on a day out in the park, the Castle family stumbled over a mob execution and suddenly become witnesses. It doesn't matter if they simply were caught in the crossfire or if they were killed after a panicked and desperate split second decision to kill off any innocent bystanders who happened to be witnesses. The point is that the shooters would have reacted the exact same way if it had been any other random jogger, couple, family or whoever else that happened to stumble into their affairs, it was just sheer bad luck and nothing else that it happened to be the Castle's. Had they not stumbled onto that specific location within a very critical time frame probably only lasting somewhere from seconds to minutes, they would have been perfectly fine. What happened to them could just as well have happened to anyone else instead. The outcome would likely have been the same if another family stumbled onto the scene within the same critical time interval, or if other shooters and mobster families altogether were involved. Crime destroys innocent lives randomly and indiscriminately. Violence and crime could strike at anyone, blindly and at random. There is no justice, as was shown by the courts failure to convict anyone, despite Castle’s eager testimonial. It was but a random situation made possible by crime in general and organised crime in particular, and this is what gives The Punisher some level of philosophical justification to go after ALL criminals. It’s not personal. It’s war.

 

In the movie however, this casual ambiguity and coincidence which is rather profound when you think about it had nothing to do with it. The Saint's weren't having a shootout with another group of mobsters, they were deliberately and actively seeking out Frank Castle and Castle only with the express intention of killing the entire extended family as a direct retaliation towards Frank personally for being the pointman in an FBI sting (why the hell give him so much blame anyway? He was just an actor who played dead before things got really ugly, he didn’t pull the trigger or anything). As such, what happened to Castle could never have happened to anyone else. It could only happen to him, and only within a very specific situation. For all we know, the Saints had never harmed anyone not already involved with organised crime. What happened to Castle happened for one reason only, Howard Saint had a score to settle with him personally, and Olivia Saint wanted Castle's wanted it extended to the whole family for the same reason. It was but personal vendetta, nothing else. This gives Frank Castle all the more reason go after the Saint's specifically, but it all but strips him off any justification to take out anyone else.

 

Indeed, in the movie, the decision to go after all criminals comes seemingly completely out of the blue. One moment the Hensleigh penned Castle charather is contemplating suicide, the next he is determined to call himself the Punisher and kill criminals and rapists (yet he seemingly doesn’t care about the Toro bros). Why? What the hell for? What motivated him to devote his life to this purpose rather than committing suicide or putting his life back together? Joan is after all right there waiting for him; and even told him that good memories could save his life, as they in the end did. How did those memories at the flick of a switch convince him to choose as he did? I always felt that ending was tacked on as a last minute addition, as it didn’t jive with the origin at all.

 

One of the things I appreciate the most with PWZ, is that it looks like the origin will be fixed.

 

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What also bugged me about the '04 movie was the fact that they were sent there specifically to kill Frank, and they failed to do so. They wouldn't have shot him in the chest, they would have blown his brains out. That's another reason why the original origin worked.

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Guest AdminGuyX
What also bugged me about the '04 movie was the fact that they were sent there specifically to kill Frank, and they failed to do so. They wouldn't have shot him in the chest, they would have blown his brains out. That's another reason why the original origin worked.

 

Well, thematically and metaphorically they didn't fail. They killed Frank Castle that day.

 

The 04 film is always going to be a contridiction for me. Things I love, things I dont.

 

Like I've said elsewhere in this dogpile, the changing of the origins didn't bother me because I liked the idea that they were tyring to kill his entire family during a moment of happiness and celebration. That was evocative.

 

I would rather have seen it play out differently than it did. I think his wife and kid should have been killed first, not last, and he should have been lying next to them bleeding out - helpless - while the rest of his family was being attacked. It would have offered more drama and vulnerability I think. It was an interesting idea to explore either way.

 

The portrayal of the killings just felt like too much of a gag heavy stunt reel for me, as opposed to being emotionally tied into the story. The film offered lots of room for action scenes, I think the family being murdered should have been treated like a dramatic scene, not an action scene.

 

I wish they'd of set the family attack in one of Tampa's parks too. Had Frank and his wife and son been off by themselves for a walk or something, making them vulnerable, and had the attack on his family start there. They attack them, and then move on to everyone else, leaving Frank for dead when he isn't, and then his father finds him, both wounded, they set out to take on the killers without any sort of upper hand. They go to work and take them down, but his father is killed.

 

I enjoyed the dialogue chatting up the guns, but putting Castle and his dad in a room with guns while killers approach doesn't leave a lot of room for surprizes. You see the entire sequence unfold long before it ever does.

 

I absolutely loved seeing Tom Jane and Roy Scheider together though, and the small moment they had taking up arms was cool for me. That was exciting stuff as I'm a huge fan of both actors. I wanted more of that team blowing away bad guys though. It was good chemistry.

 

Tampa has a couple of really great parks that could have stood in well as a substitue for Central park in NY. Having lived and filmed around the city though, I still wish they'd of utilized more of the grittier locations. There are some great back alleys and brick streets.

 

When they shot in Tampa, the channelside district was all broken down warehouses and desolation. Would have been great to see Frank moving through those areas. Now it's all condos and storefronts.

 

Anyway, For WARZONE, I'm interested to see where Ray goes with Castle more than anything else. Very much like Tom, I have a strong feeling I'm going to walk out thinking "Great portrayal of Frank set inside a so-so film".

 

I am hoping to be proven wrong (about the film, not Ray), I just know better.

 

:)

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Guest FADoss
Well, thematically and metaphorically they didn't fail. They killed Frank Castle that day.

 

Tell that to Howard Saint.:)

 

The 04 film is always going to be a contridiction for me. Things I love, things I dont.

 

Like I've said elsewhere in this dogpile, the changing of the origins didn't bother me because I liked the idea that they were tyring to kill his entire family during a moment of happiness and celebration. That was evocative.

 

But they could have accomplished the same thing with just his wife and kids…and you would have had your dramatic scene versus your actions scene since no one but the bad guys would have had guns. Looking at the quick shot of Ray holding his kids in PWZ, I think there is enough evidence that the same thing could have been done with Jane’s version and been VERY successful.

 

I wish they'd of set the family attack in one of Tampa's parks too. Had Frank and his wife and son been off by themselves for a walk or something, making them vulnerable, and had the attack on his family start there. They attack them, and then move on to everyone else, leaving Frank for dead when he isn't, and then his father finds him, both wounded, they set out to take on the killers without any sort of upper hand. They go to work and take them down, but his father is killed.

 

THAT would have been awesome…blending both origins…but again, Frank being a cop is worse to me than them killing his whole family. I love the above idea though.

 

I absolutely loved seeing Tom Jane and Roy Scheider together though, and the small moment they had taking up arms was cool for me. That was exciting stuff as I'm a huge fan of both actors. I wanted more of that team blowing away bad guys though. It was good chemistry.

 

This was a GREAT moment in the film.

 

Agree on Ray as well BTW.

 

Fred

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But they could have accomplished the same thing with just his wife and kids

 

Maybe, but expanding the origin to include his whole family celebrating the future didn't bother me at all. It was one of those things that, for me, could have happened in the comic book.

 

I don't look at the comics as scripture, and though they changed the nature of the origin from random violence to revenge, I still think it works as a springboard for Frank Castle's war on crime.

 

I guess it never mattered to me if it was random or not. Oviously it does to some other folks, and I respect that.

 

Frank being a cop is worse to me than them killing his whole family

 

Yeah, this bugged me too, but it wasn't a dealbreaker in and of itself. I didn't like the opening with him in character. I've no doubt it was fun to play from an acting standpoint, but the entire setup of who Frank is, and what Frank does, for me, fell flat.

 

It's easy to pick apart, I know, and I don't mean to keep going back on the negative aspects of the 04 film. Watching it again on FX recently reminded me of the things I enjoyed about it more than what I didn't. I hadn't watched it in a while.

 

What about updating his military service, and changing wars and such? I always thought the jungles of Vietnam was very important to the type of warrior Castle was inside the city of new York.

 

But, for some reason, changing his origin to Tampa, and having his war being Iraq seemed to make sense somehow, in an odd abstract way.

 

What is his origin in WARZONE?

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Noeland...changing the war is going to have to happen. It's getting harder and harder to have a Vietnam vet roaming the streets as a trained killer be believable without some Captain America supersoldier syrum. :) It's one of the things I hate about comics. 60 years of Batman stories and the man is still in his 30s. Johnny Storm has been a teenager off and on for 30+ years. Time stream and comics sucks.

 

Hopefully I haven't given anyone the impression that I HATED the 04 film. It's good...and I have no problem with taking liberties when it's required, but changing things that didn't need to ba changed didn't impress me. The Punisher's story is a simple one...and SHOULD BE one that is hard to mess up. It should also translate to the screen fairly easily.

 

So what's happened?

 

Fred

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I know it's a question most fans probably wont want answered but how long till Frank in this continuity ends? he's pushing 60 and seeing as that these stories look to set Castle in the real world there's gotta be a point where he cant handle his one man war anymore.... How and when do you guys feel it should end for him?

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Guest FADoss
I know it's a question most fans probably wont want answered but how long till Frank in this continuity ends? he's pushing 60 and seeing as that these stories look to set Castle in the real world there's gotta be a point where he cant handle his one man war anymore.... How and when do you guys feel it should end for him?

 

Funny you should mention that. Over on the GPA forum, Kevin was badmouthing Matt Fraction because Matt wanted to kill of Frank Castle during Civil War and replace him with a new version...much like Steve Rogers...

 

Again, the one thing I hate about comics is the conitnuity issues and time stream. It's why I prefer to read new comics like "Invincible", stuff like "Walking Dead", "Fear Agent", "Bad Planet" and "Astro City". The time streams aren't fucked up and they KILL people off.

 

How long do you think Steve Rogers will stay dead.

 

I, for one, am not enitrely against the eventual death of Frank Castle...

 

But then there's Bruce Wayne...

 

Fred

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I have NO idea where you got the notion that I've not seen the 2004 Punisher. You think I would comment on a film I'd not seen??? And seen more than once??? Even with Punisher War Zone, I only go so far as to say I THINK it will be good or I HOPE it will be good or I WANT it to be good. You think I would get my opinions from OTHERS???? and not bother to see the film and make up my OWN mind?????

 

GRRRRRRRRR. *snarls at you* Just kidding! :P

 

Seriously, Tim, the minute I heard Ray was cast in that role, I purchased BOTH previous Punisher films AND ordered all the MAX series comic books. Moreover, I saw BOTH previous films LONG before becoming aware of Norse Sage or of any other opinions on those films.

 

In general, I'm not a fan of "homages" to other directors or styles. The reason for that is that they are so seldom well-done. They are certainly NOT something a first-time director should be doing. Rather, he should be seeking his OWN voice. The only contemporary director who does homages well, in my opinion, is Curtis Hanson, who directed L.A. Confidential and who won an Oscar for Best Screenplay Adaptation for that same film. He was nominated for Best Director as well, but that was the year of Titanic and he lost to Cameron.

 

Every director is beholden to the studios in some way, shape or form unless you're of the James Cameron ilk, and even HE may have to deal with some of that. So it's not much of an excuse to me that Hensleigh had to deal with it. Moreover, Hensleigh's position as the responsible party is increased by virtue of his name on the script as well.

 

Nomad

 

The issues with the 2004 version that had MOST people upset (Tampa, palm trees, "the sting" operation instead of the outright execution) are NOTHING compared to this fundamental mis-understanding and mis-interpretation of the Frank Castle character and his raison d'etre.

 

I haven't seen it, so I have no fucking clue one way or the other, but I HOPE PWZ gets at least THAT part right.

 

Nomad

 

This was the bit that had me confused - bottom line is separated by a gap and the last sentence by a comma, but when I read it I interpreted the line highlighted in green as connected to your thought about the '04 film. Obviously I smoke the true meaning now thanks to your clarification. As I mentioned, please disregard my comments in the event that I had misinterpreted you ;) I mentioned Norse Sage and maybe others as having possibly influenced your thoughts in the event that you had not seen the film, given that The Sage has researched this subject in depth, and because his opinion is one that you respect. That postulation too is rendered moot by your clarification. I wasn't attempting to sandbag you :) I was only asking an honest question.

 

 

As for the Hensleigh thing, what I offered was not intended as any kind of excuse. I'm suggesting that there is a larger picture to consider should folks wish to open their eyes and minds to the true business of studio based development. Also consider that Michael France's name is on that script too, but I don't see anyone singling him out. And remember, Marvel itself had the power to veto or demand. The script was approved by Marvel as well as by Artisan. So my point here is that Hensleigh was on a leash, led by the two studios. Don't you think they deserve some share of culpability for the final result, good OR bad?

 

Normally people don't really give a shit about the ins and outs, but since we're constantly putting the topic of these films under the microscope I think these thoughts bear consideration.

 

- TB

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As for the Hensleigh thing, what I offered was not intended as any kind of excuse. I'm suggesting that there is a larger picture to consider should folks wish to open their eyes and minds to the true business of studio based development. Also consider that Michael France's name is on that script too, but I don't see anyone singling him out. And remember, Marvel itself had the power to veto or demand. The script was approved by Marvel as well as by Artisan. So my point here is that Hensleigh was on a leash, led by the two studios. Don't you think they deserve some share of culpability for the final result, good OR bad?

 

Normally people don't really give a shit about the ins and outs, but since we're constantly putting the topic of these films under the microscope I think these thoughts bear consideration.

 

- TB

 

Nobody singles out Michael France because he is in no way responsible for what came out, even Hensleigh said he didn't know why France got to share credit as I remember. France had Jigsaw in the script (he mentioned this in an interview, apparently Jigsaw took deforming injury after deforming injury until he finally got killed,) he had BRUNO COSTA in the script... but he also had Frank's father as a former hitman nicknamed the Punisher, and Frank going undercover to work for Costa as I understood it.

 

The fact that he ripped out the stupid hitman plot AND faithful elements like Costa and Jigsaw alike makes me think Hensleigh pretty much rewrote the thing from the ground up. Marvel signed on too though, they supposedly liked the FBI angle, which was overall pretty useless.

 

I'm just saying.

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See, to me, the inclusion of frank's whole family just rubbed me the wrong way as well. LIke I said before, I'm a long time fan of the character, and for years, the origin stayed the same. Innocent family minding their own business, with no connections to the mob happens upon something they shouldn't see. As a result, they're murdered, but the bad guys made a mistake, they didn't do a good enough job and one of them lived, just so happens that the one that lived is a badass soldier who decided to try to right all the wrongs.

 

Flash forward to the 2004 film. Frank is law enforcement, HUGE deviation from the comics right there. Frank is directly involved in business revolving around the people who are responsible for his family's death. HUGE deviation from the comics again. Frank and his family live in florida.......frank gets his skull shirt from his dead son.......?!? I don't need to keep going. I know I'm probably going to get some posts in response saying how I need to let this stuff go, and how this film was actually a throwback to old crime films, but guess what? No matter how much people keep saying that, it doesn't take away the fact that in the process of turning The PUnisher comic into a movie, they changed the KEY ELEMENTS that made the character unique. You take away the trademarked name of the punisher and this movie is a complete afterthought, probably straight to DVD, because at it's core, the Punisher as a character has been done many times, by great actors (bronson) and shit actors (stephen segal, van damme, probably corben bernsen at some point:))

 

I don't see how anyone can argue what I stated above, it's a fact that they made unnecessary changes in that movie, and I think it's a key factor in how the movie plays out. I don't doubt that everyone involved in making it had the best intentions, but who doesn't when making a film for a studio. Good intentions don't always translate to good movies.

 

Regardless of how I feel about this movie, I still view that as just another creative team taking a crack at the character, and some people enjoyed it, so it CAN'T be viewed as a failure.

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It's a film and it's different take on the character. I get people are pissed about it not being like the comic, like I said it's just another take.

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....

As for the Hensleigh thing, what I offered was not an excuse. I'm suggesting that there is a larger picture to consider should folks wish to open their eyes and minds to the true business of studio based development. Also consider that Michael France's name is on that script too, but I don't see anyone singling him out. And remember, Marvel itself had the power to veto or demand. The script was approved by Marvel as well as by Artisan. So my point here is that Hensleigh was on a leash, led by the two studios. Don't you think they deserve some share of culpability for the final result, good OR bad?

 

Normally people don't really give a shit about the ins and outs, but since we're constantly putting the topic of these films under the microscope I think these thoughts bear consideration.

 

- TB

While it should be obvious to everyone that I primarily blame Hensleigh for bringing his interpretation of the Punisher to life in a way far more respectful to the cinema of the seventies rather than the actual source material; a good chunk of the blame must also be placed on Marvel and Artisan too for allowing that particurlar script and direction to happen in the first place. Whenever something goes wring, it is seldom squarely one persons fault, but rather a chain of events and co-operation.

 

I know that I'm being harsh in cristism of Hensleigh, however I would have been far more forgiving had he been responisble for either just the script or just the direction. But as it is, Hensleigh is the architect behind both, and so I hold him more responsible than I otherwise would have.

 

From I gather from reading his draft of the script, hearing the DVD commentary (which is one amazing commentary track btw) and seeing the extended cut (why the fuck is this not on Blu-ray???), as well as reading TL's praise of him; I simply feel that his basic vision of the story fundamentally is not a Punisher story. Even if the studio had done everything in their power to make the movie he wanted rather than blocking him on so many things, I still think the movie would not have been entirely to my liking due to the many unnecessary changes made. Mind you, the movie would have been far more enjoyable had it been filmed exactly as it was written. I'd be perfectly happy with a four hour running time if that makes for a better movie. I have no problem seeing why Artisan greenlit his script, as it works pretty good as a standalone revenge movie script. But I have never understood how Marvel could approve of it, as they surely should have reacted to the many liberties taken with their characther. Someone should have put their foot down there and then.

 

Now the Michael France script on the other hand... I remember reading it, and thinking "now this is the script they SHOULD have done". While the France draft had its issues too, it definately had more of a Punisher feel to it.

 

I honestly think that if they had based the 2004 movie on the Michael France script and comissioned Hensleigh only to clean it up a bit, and locked, say, Walter Hill as a director; the finished movie would not only be a bigger hit with fans and general audiences alike, but spawn direct sequels and quite possibly be closer to the Punisher movie Jane wanted. I feel cheated.

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