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The Punisher: WarZone


Tim Bradstreet

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Guest AdminGuyX

I never disagreed with you. The holidays is a terrible time to release anything but holiday films, and romcoms.

 

But, if I may, I don't think it had anything to do with this. I think this could have been a July 4th movie and it still would have failed.

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I think it was andy or justaguy that I got into a disagreement regarding that. I don't know, maybe if it was released in September, like it was originally suppose to, maybe it would have done better. There's no real knowing.

 

Though I used AVP-R as an example but that movie pulled in $28,206,419 its first weekend.

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Yeah, and I think I previously had mentioned how The Mist was utterly ruined by the Holiday release.

Bringing it up really had nothing to do with Jane, or Ray VS Jane, none of that.

Mist had similar darkness in terms of violence and genre theme. One's an action movie and the other is horror but that's not the point.

Heavy themes, y'know, like DEATH.

Mist tested off the charts. Stephen King, Frank Darabont . . . . it had a LOT going for it, but the holiday release didn't mix.

Oh, and there were these two other movies out around the same time, There Will Be Blood, and No Country, that couldn't have helped.

There's already enough depression around the Holidays ;)

 

It goes against logic in a way especially if there is no real competition, it leads one to think that since there isn't another horror or action movie running against it that it should be the alternative holiday time choice for people who ain't in a 'feel good' mood. Seems like that's backfired recently.

 

- TB

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Lionsgate released Transporter 3 the week before, so I'm sure that didn't help at all. Counter programming always seems to backfire, Grindhouse was released on Easter. Although that was about 3 hours long and so that lead limited show times.

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It made $4,657,998 domestically, and opened in 2,508 theaters. And Box Office Mojo has $134,760 for foreign release for some reason, bringing the total up to $4,792,758.

The information on this site vis a vis foreign grosses is suspect. There is no date for release in any other country until January 2009. Box Office Mojo lists grosses from several Arab countries which suggest another reason to question these figuers. The website lists Lionsgate as the distributors but it's Sony who has the international distribution rights.

 

It is my understanding that this does NOT include the Canadian market, which appears to be part of the "US" release. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call it the North American release.

 

Nomad

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Figured some of the guys on here might be interested in this...


WarZoneSignedPoster.jpg


Bigfanboy.com is giving away five full-size theatrical posters for PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, signed by Ray Stevenson. This promotion is an effort to get a few more folks into theaters this weekend to check out the film. To enter fans just need to send in a ticket stub from the first two weeks of the movie's run. Entries must be received by December 17, and the contest is only open to residents of the United States. Good odds on winning! Show your support of Frank Castle this weekend at the box office, and you just might walk away with one of these beauties! All of the info can be found over at BIGFANBOY.com

While at the site, check out my review for PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, and give a listen to last week's podcast featuring Timmy!
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Guest AdminGuyX

Hey there Mark, thanks for the post. It was good show. Everybody should be listening to your show regularly, but if they haven't been, maybe you'll have some new subscribers!

 

There is 102 shows before this one that will entertain and amuse you. And the site as a whole is always fun to surf around on.

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There is 102 shows before this one that will entertain and amuse you. And the site as a whole is always fun to surf around on.

 

 

Not to mention that Tim is in more than a handful of these. If you like Tim and Tom's podcasts, these are fun to listen to as well.

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Figured some of the guys on here might be interested in this...

 

Bigfanboy.com is giving away five full-size theatrical posters for PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, signed by Ray Stevenson. This promotion is an effort to get a few more folks into theaters this weekend to check out the film. To enter fans just need to send in a ticket stub from the first two weeks of the movie's run. Entries must be received by December 17, and the contest is only open to residents of the United States. Good odds on winning! Show your support of Frank Castle this weekend at the box office, and you just might walk away with one of these beauties! All of the info can be found over at BIGFANBOY.com

 

While at the site, check out my review for PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, and give a listen to last week's podcast featuring Timmy!

 

Thanks for posting this Mark.

Great promo for the fans!

 

- TB

 

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I listened to the BIGFANBOY podcast today while doing some work, good stuff but you need to get a better phone Tim, or stop dropping it!!

 

Out of curiosty where can I find Tom Jane podcasts? they should be worth a listen. Are they one the RAW website?

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We have a couple, clearly marked.

Depth of Field - Season 1-Episode 9 and Season 2 - Bonus track.

You can also search and download from iTunes.

 

As for the Bigfanboy Radio Livecast . . . Mark can likely direct you to the individual episodes.

 

- TB

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It is my understanding that this does NOT include the Canadian market, which appears to be part of the "US" release. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call it the North American release.

 

Nomad

 

Yep, box office figures DO include Canadian theatres. Our release dates parallel with yours.

 

I remember back in November 1999 either Variety or The Hollywood Reporter remarked that the newly opened Paramount Cinema in Montreal had pulled the largest box office receipts on the continent due to Sleepy Hollow and Tomorrow Never Dies being out at the same time.

There's very few Canadian owned or originated theatre chains left so they all report back to the same corporate masters in the US.

 

-Jay

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Great interview with Michael Wandmacher

 

 

 

Composers aren’t normally thought of as tough guys. But just try knocking a Duracell battery off of Michael Wandmacher’s shoulder, and you’re likely to find yourself in a world of hurt with this martial arts belt-holding musician. And that’s not counting what happens to the villains who find themselves on the wrong end of Wandmacher’s action scores, especially the thugs who dare cross the orchestral bombast, hard-driving guitar chords and eerie electronica of PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, a score that’s likely to blast Wandmacher up another few rungs in Hollywood’s thrill-kill scoring scene.

 

The Minnesota native already had a kick up in the genre when he got his start for the American re-scores of Jackie Chan’s ARMOR OF GOD, TWIN DRAGONS and DRUNKEN MASTER II before more-than-capably handling original genre material like MODERN VAMPIRES and ON THE BORDERLINE. However, it would be Disney’s far-more innocent MAX KEEBLE’S BIG ADVENTURE that would give Wandmacher his first major studio break. Since then, Wandmacher’s pulsing orchestral work has included TV’s NIGHT STALKER and SAMURAI GIRL, with such film soundtracks as TRAIN, THE KILLING FLOOR and NEVER BACK DOWN showing off Wandmacher’s geek love for horror and fisticuffs.

 

But Michael Wandmacher’s work has rarely hit the psychopathically heroic heights of PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, a film and score that’s sure to put bloody honor back into a hero who was blasted in more ways than one on his last cinematic outing. WAR ZONE rectifies that defamation with the kind of musical blood, thunder and gunpowder that defines Marvel’s most merciless “superhero.” But then, perhaps only a composer who’s taken his action chops to a whole new level could give this iconic, skull-wearing vigilante the merciless melody he deserves.

 

iF: How do you think your previous action scores led you to THE PUNISHER: WAR ZONE?

 

MICHAEL WANDMACHER: While there isn't a particular score or credit that facilitated getting PWZ, the backlog of action scores I've amassed over the years was certainly helpful towards getting in the loop of people considered for the job. Action/thriller scores have always been a creative happy place for me. So, when the time came, there was no lack of material to help persuade everyone in the decision making process that I could make a great score for PWZ.

 

iF: How familiar were you with the Punisher comics before taking the job?

 

WANDMACHER: Very familiar. Like I-could-go-on-a-gameshow-and-win-money-answering-Punisher-questions familiar. I've followed the exploits of Frank Castle since he teamed up with The Jackal in Spider-Man #129 back in 1974. Since then, there have been many incarnations of The Punisher, be it in "War Journal", "War Zone", the regular series' in the 80s and 90s, all the way to the current MAX label. I've read and collected them all. Some of the best one-offs and crossovers in all of Marvel's history are focused on The Punisher.

 

iF: The last PUNISHER is regarded as one of the worst made, and scored Marvel films. How important was it for you to put respect back into the series, no more so than with the music?

 

WANDMACHER: My primary focus throughout the making of this score was creating a definitive musical identity for The Punisher. I knew I needed something dark, relentless and muscular, but I also couldn't forget Frank's humanity, his personal torment and deep sadness. So, I approached the job equally as a fan and as a composer. Taking that angle helped tremendously when trying to sort out what to keep and what to scrap. After completing a cue I would ask myself as a fan if the music was working. If so, it stayed in the score. At the end of the process, I had something that I knew was true to The Punisher in every sense. His theme, especially, is equal parts stoic, forceful, dark and mournful.

 

iF: Were you taken aback that a woman made such a body-packed film, or did you find her as cinematically bloodthirsty as any of the boys, especially when it came to the scoring?

 

WANDMACHER: It didn't surprise me at all. It was very clear from the look of the film that Lexi Alexander had done her homework in terms of translating The Punisher's domain to the big screen. All the details were there. Some of the sets looked as if panels from MAX series books had been magically lifted right off the page! Staging the violence "correctly", in Punisher terms, seemed to evolve naturally from the tone and look of the movie. Plus, Lexi is a world champion martial artist. She's no stranger to a good fight.

 

iF: Even with so much tough action music, how did you want to bring out the buried humanity in Frank Castle?

 

WANDMACHER: You've touched on something important here! The thing that makes Frank so intriguing to most is the sadness and turmoil that drive his near-amoral vigilantism. Showcasing the part of him that is most flawed, the most humane, was critical in the score. If the audience simply perceives Frank as a machine, they'll lose interest and certainly won't give his M.O. the benefit of the doubt. This all led to using a rather sizable orchestra (70+ with strings and brass only), a minimum of clearly defined themes and a set of motifs that could highlight critical emotional moments in the story. You'll find throughout the score that primary melodies are focused, straightforward and highly versatile - just like The Punisher. Because he's a "comic book" hero, it also gives license to use a strong thematic approach. I wanted to capitalize on that. Too few films like this have a melody you can hum on the way out of the theater. This one does.

 

iF: How "military" did you want to make WAR ZONE’s score?

 

WANDMACHER: Not as much as you might think. While Frank's military background is his "superpower", I thought using a rote military-style approach in the music would make the character seem too one-dimensional and rather cliché, even campy. The action scenes are sprinkled with snare cadences and the like, but I opted to use powerful, dynamic ostinatos and slowly rising string repetitions to mimic a relentless entity, like an approaching battalion.

 

iF: Is the score's use of weird, electronic grooves used to reflect the fact that Castle's as twisted as the foes he kills?

 

WANDMACHER: It started as that. But as I worked through the movie this approach stopped working for me. I stuck to using all the strange sounds for Frank's interactions with Jigsaw and Looney Bin Jim. And for creating tone and textural elements depending on where a particular scene is taking place. I love programming complete weirdness for my rhythm tracks, but sorry Frank, it just ended up lending itself to the bad guys!

 

iF: Do you think the music shows a nobility to Frank's work?

 

WANDMACHER: Absolutely. Being a vigilante puts you in a very confusing place morally. Many people would consider what The Punisher does as noble as it is horrifying. Much of music that accompanies Frank throughout the film is thematically powerful, almost majestic at times, but often veers off into something very dark or tense in the next bar or two. Capturing that "noble criminal" aspect of Frank was tricky.

 

iF: Talk about Jigsaw's music

 

WANDMACHER: Sheer dread. All of it. Dissonant and disfigured, just like him. I focused on sounds created by metals and glass, much of it highly processed, to offset all of the atonal strings and brass that accompany his screen time. In some cases I used power tools. And quite a bit of prepared piano. However, when Looney Bin Jim enters the picture I also injected the use of LOTS of brass mutes and chromatic lines in the bass and celli. There's something about the way those two characters interact that's almost comic. They have this goofy, loving brotherly bond that stays in tact amidst all the merciless mayhem they create. Plus, they're both insane. It's arch in every sense, so it felt right to do a little of that with the music.

 

iF: PUNISHER: WAR ZONE has an unusually big orchestral sound, and power for a smaller budget film. How did you achieve it?

 

WANDMACHER: The first decision was to use strings and brass only for the orchestra. I felt it was the best way to get the point across when dealing with The Punisher. He's just not a "flute" kind of guy. Tim Simonec came up with the idea of using tuba and contrabass trombone together for really powerful low end and my assistant and orchestrator, Susie Benchasil, did a bang up job of putting together the rest of the band and getting the balances right specifically for the music I was writing. We had six horns, four trombones, three trumpets and 50+ strings. I programmed everything else. It's been my practice since I started in this business to program and produce all of my electronic score elements. I actually really enjoy that. Most mixers are bummed when they find out I have more plug-ins than they do!

 

iF: There's a lot of controversy regarded this Punisher's production, as well as its possible censorship. How did that behind-the-scenes war zone affect your work on the film?

 

WANDMACHER: It didn't. Everything went very well on my end and everyone was a tremendous support. Once the filmmakers knew I was on track, they let me run with it. I was on a very short schedule. I had to write it in about 3.5 weeks and use about ten days to record and mix.

 

iF: You're a composer who can actually kick ass. Tell us about your love of martial arts, and do you think it transfers to your action music?

 

WANDMACHER: I've followed martial arts since I was a kid and spent 17 years doing it myself. By default, if you train to fight you're naturally interested in watching other people do it, too. Hence, MANY hours of my life have been spent watching action films. This is the genre that most imprinted itself on my film music brain.

 

iF: Are you happiest having your music blast away in the action arena?

 

WANDMACHER: I do get a lot of gratification from working in this genre. I like BIG music. Conversely, I'm as much a horror fan as anyone out there, I love animation and I am fascinated by primitive world music. A dream would be to score some outrageously huge sword and sorcery epic. I guess action is a place where I'm comfortable, but I don't rule out other styles. Ever. One of my favorite scoring experiences was doing a documentary called MAN OF TWO HAVANAS. The bulk of the score was rather intimate guitar and rhythm-section pieces steeped in traditional Cuban music. I learned how to play a tres for that. It was a very organic and spontaneous process. Not my usual fare, but tons of fun just the same.

 

iF: You're scoring a 3-D remake of MY BLOODY VALENTINE next. What can we expect from the film and your music?

 

WANDMACHER: The film is a rocket sled ride from start of finish. It starts on furious and accelerates to insane. The 3-D is amazing and the whole process has been an absolute blast. As for the score, it's about as big and brazen as a horror score can get. No mercy. He He.

 

iF: Who would be your favorite Marvel superhero to score?

 

WANDMACHER: That's a tough one! Mainly because I just did one of them! Punisher was the top of my list, seriously. Looking forward, Dr. Strange would be damn cool. All of the director choices Marvel has been making as of late make projects like Thor and Captain America a whole lot more interesting. Heck, I don't know. I'd be thrilled working on any of them!

 

http://www.ifmagazine.com/feature.asp?article=3111

 

Nomad

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Hey, Michael just sent me this link. Good stuff. Now I gotta wait a few days to post my interview with him. Don't want to end-to-end compete with this cool one ;)

Actually, when I post it I'm going to create a new thread so we can talk back about the interview, Michael himself, as well as his work inside and outside of Warzone - free from this mammoth thread.

 

- TB

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Hey, Michael just sent me this link. Good stuff. Now I gotta wait a few days to post my interview with him. Don't want to end-to-end compete with this cool one ;)

Actually, when I post it I'm going to create a new thread so we can talk back about the interview, Michael himself, as well as his work inside and outside of Warzone - free from this mammoth thread.

 

- TB

 

Great idea! Can you move the interview above to that thread? I'll be REAL happy to get off THIS one! :P

 

Nomad

 

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Yes, of course. I want to lead it with my interview though so the second Michael gets me his answers I'll start the thread.

It'll be cool cause we can also talk about his upcoming score for My Bloody Valentine 3-D as well as his other fine works.

Plus, Michael is going nowhere but up and there are lots of cool things on the horizon.

 

- tb

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

 

SCORE REVIEW - PUNISHER: WAR ZONE

 

 

Punisher: War Zone

Music by Michael Wandmacher

Costa Communications Promo

46 Tracks 64:52 mins

 

The Marvel Comics character, The Punisher, has already enjoyed one cinematic outing, which was quite entertaining. Now, Frank Castle returns, this time in the guise of Ray Stevenson (so memorable in the Rome TV series); with a new composer in tow, in the person of Michael Wandmacher. The previous film was scored by Italian Carlo Siliotto, whose score actually received quite a bit of critical acclaim, but which I found did little for the film and sported a main theme far removed from the kind of thing I was expecting and hoping for.

 

This is probably Wandmacher's biggest assignment to date and so what has he delivered?

 

Well, the composer's publicists kindly sent me a promo disc of what could possibly be, at over an hour's running time, the complete score. Certainly, his main theme is much more suitable to the character, heard initially over the "Main Titles" as a thunderous, horns-lead, rhythmic affair, mixing electronics and much percussion with the orchestra, all elements found throughout the score; though at times the theme shows its versatility when it returns in more subtle, meaningful variations. Much of the action that follows relies quite heavily on a big bank of percussion to provide some pretty powerful and exciting passages; and, there are also suitably menacing moments of villainy, often characterised by cold electronic sounds, throughout.

 

But it's not all action and menace by any means, and brief moments of sentiment, poignancy and tragedy can be found here and there, where delicate keyboards, strings and woodwinds have their say.

 

Although a song album has been released by Lion's Gate, so far, regrettably, there is no news of a score album, so you'll have to see the film if you want to hear Wandmacher's music, though you can listen to a couple of tracks by visiting www.myspace.com/michaelwandmacher.

 

http://screensounds.blogspot.com/2008/12/s...e-punisher.html

 

Nomad

 

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I don't think this is speaking out of school, especially since I say this quite unofficially . . .

The score that Wandmacher hooked me up with is 21 tracks at just over 48 minutes running time.

I'm pretty sure (though not positive) that what he sent me is what is planned for the CD's release, fine tuned and trimmed down.

Michael also related to me that the score would be released sooner than later.

I can't relay exact dates but we should see something in the very not too distant.

 

- TB

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I don't think this is speaking out of school, especially since I say this quite unofficially . . .

The score that Wandmacher hooked me up with is 21 tracks at just over 48 minutes running time.

I'm pretty sure (though not positive) that what he sent me is what is planned for the CD's release, fine tuned and trimmed down.

Michael also related to me that the score would be released sooner than later.

I can't relay exact dates but we should see something in the very not too distant.

 

- TB

 

I don't think I would be speaking out of school either to mention that Michael told me the Powers That Be wanted to move the release date up because of the MANY hits his MySpace account received when he posted his music for Punisher War Zone. He mentioned that it MAY even be released before the end of this year.

 

I think it's WONDERFUL that internet interest from fans is making this happen! *crossing fingers and toes*

 

Nomad

 

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I don't think I would be speaking out of school either to mention that Michael told me the Powers That Be wanted to move the release date up because of the MANY hits his MySpace account received when he posted his music for Punisher War Zone.

 

Nomad

 

Yeah, that was outta hand.

Say what you want about Punisher fans. But we DO pay attention ;)

 

- Tb

 

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