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The Punisher: WarZone

Tim Bradstreet

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My take on the Punisher is this...if you focus only on the "guy who's family was wrongfully killed so he goes on a vengeance spree" it's not really The Punisher.


Is that really what you got from reading my posts? As for that not being The Punisher, I'd say that's your interpretation and there are many.


If you take the OTHER half of it, which is "guy who also happens to be a normal human who picks up guns and goes toe to toe with supervillians and holds his own along side Spiderman" THEN you have an interesting...ORIGINAL story.


No, you would have a comic book movie. And putting together Punisher and Spiderman, or let's say The Jackal doesn't automatically mean it would be interesting or original. It could still turn out to be the same recycled shit we're handed on a regular basis. Just because there have been a few hits lately I wouldn't get too wrapped up in it. For every Iron Man there are 5 Ghost Riders just waiting to completely disappoint us.


Quit hoping for a Deathwish sequel and start looking for a Punisher film.


Fred, I'm only wishing they could take a more adult tack with the story. Does anyone here want a Deathwish sequel? Raise your hands.

No Fred, we don't want a Deathwish sequel. But I think a lot of us would like a serious film that doesn't cater to a certain demographic.

I'm talking Alien VS any one of the dozens of rip-offs of Alien. I'm talking The Wild Bunch VS Young Guns.

You can still do a movie based in the world of Punisher Max, have Jigsaw and all the rest of the baddies but imagine that in the vein of The Usual Suspects instead of a variation on appealing to the lowest common denominator.


I think some of the modern stories have ignored the roots (outside WJ). Punisher as "just another vigilante" is not all that cool to me.


So be it. I think it's the shit.


I'm not condoning a movie that is straight up goofy shit, but the argument that it SHOULD NOT BE A COMIC BOOK FILM is just dumb. Go to the Death Wish remake thread for that crap. This here is THE PUNISHER.


Yes, and we're speaking passionately about it. Maybe I'm the one who's to blame here for wanting something MORE than a comic book. How you can say that's "just dumb" is beyond me backwards through evolution. That might be the most obtuse thing I've ever heard you say. You are walking straight into surface dweller territory. Film is a much wider medium than comics. And while comics are superfuckingcool, with film you have an opportunity to trump that. It's not crap Fred, and your suggestion that it is angers me.


- TB


And Mike...Ray sounds like another guy I know...



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Yes, and we're speaking passionately about it. Maybe I'm the one who's to blame here for wanting something MORE than a comic book. How you can say that's "just dumb" is beyond me backwards through evolution. That might be the most obtuse thing I've ever heard you say. You are walking straight into surface dweller territory. Film is a much wider medium than comics. And while comics are superfuckingcool, with film you have an opportunity to trump that. It's not crap Fred, and your suggestion that it is angers me.


- TB


Oooh, Tim. You just made me hot! *fanning self* :P


Nomad ;)

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Yeah, after what Tim said in his SDCC post, Ray really does seem committed. Even if the movie does turn out to be a mess, I'm sure his performance will be the highlight of it.


Dude I think it's safe to say that EVERYONE who battled the elements in Montreal was committed to this movie.

Lexi's passion landed Doug Hutchinson when he really wanted nothing to do with it.

And I loved what he said about this set being the best group he's been with since The Green Mile. I was there (The Mile) and it was awesome.

We've seen Steve Gainer's commitment first hand.

I didn't know much about Ray's take aside from what I read in interviews, but when I met him it really reminded me of Jane.

Ray absolutely loves the character in the same way Frank Castle captured Jane's imagination.

They both spoke so passionately about their commitment, and the nuts and bolts behind what makes Frank Castle The Punisher, and how they each identify with it.

What you have right now is a guy who is as supremely dedicated to the role as Jane was.

And in spite of everything that has transpired, Jane still loves that character.

They both put their bodies and their souls on the line to capture a piece of Castle.

Ray was actually gleeful, animated, like a little kid when talking about the subject.

It made me feel that in spite of any negative feelings I or anyone else might have about this film - what we're going to get from the star is 200%.

And THAT my friends, wins me over.

Regardless of the reasons that Lexi has been shut out at this point I don't think anyone can deny her energy, dedication, and drive to make this film as well as she could make it. Everyone I've spoken to or heard about who spent time in the trenches with her praises her big time. Talking on the phone with Alexander she made me feel like going to war for her.


Whatever is going on I'm sure she felt she should step up to defend her vision.

I applaud her for that. But fighting for your vision can have adverse consequences, especially if Big Daddy Studio doesn't see eye to eye.

At the end of the day it's their call, it's their investment. As an artist it can feel like having your soul ripped out.

Jane said about Dark Country, "If it's shit at least I only have myself to blame". Meaning, the movie is his, good or bad, shit or shine.

He got to put his own vision out there without a lot of compromise.

When you work with someone else's money on a bigger playing field, or you don't have the benefit of being a big time Hollywood player who has earned final cut, then the word of the day IS compromise. And all you can do is try and manage that as best you can. Part with the stuff you can part with and hold on like hell to the stuff that is really important. You have to be willing to play both games, vision and compromise. It's gotta be difficult to say the least.


To Lexi and her crew of lunatics and stars (sometimes interchangeable) - Thanks for putting it all on the line.


- TB

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Well, yeah. Mis-wording on my part really.


Not at all Mike, I was just elaborating on what you started ;)


Thanks also for the UGO tip. Made a whole lot of sense. Thank you Detective Soap.

Shame about Chris Franke but thankfully they are sticking with a composer.

I'm going to have to find out who now.


- TB

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Guys, I think I know what is going on here.

Having followed another LGF movie for some time, I've been afraid of this happening.


Someone tell me I'm wrong.

Please, for the love of god, let me be wrong. Don't let this be hwat is happening here.


The thought has occured to me that the architect behind the bad press might be the fairly newly appointed LGF head honcho Joe Drake.

Multiple sources inside of LGF have claimed that he is dumping a number of movies greenlit by the previous head honcho, in an effort to make the previous guy look like a monger who shouldn’t be in the movie industry, and pushing himself as a saviour who will turn things around with his movies. It would appear that PWZ is among those movies to be dumped, especially if the insanely negtaive IESB article is anything to go by.


One of the movies dumped by Drake is Clive Barker's "Midnight Meat Train".


MMT is a hard R horror movie which is quite original, and very unlike Japanese remakes, Saw and Hostel. The horror community has been looking forward to this for a long time.

The movie has been given the seal of approval By Clive Barker himself (and he is known to be extremely picky), the trailer tested as the highest rated trailer in LGF history, and the movie itself has received reviews ranging from very good to stellar in advance screenings and at festivals. The movie has all the makings of a certified hit.


However, its initial release date in May got pushed to an unspecified date for no real reason. According to LGF insiders, this was done for the sole purpose of removing competition from the Joe Drake produced movie that opened on the same date, "The Strangers". A new release date has been announced for MMT - tomorrow, August 1st. Bet most of you had no idea. No wonder, since what was supposed to be wide release is now being dumped into the contractual minimum 100 theaters with zero promotion - and all the theatres are minor ones, located well outside of the major moneymaking cites.


Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I think the IESB article, which is inconsistent with all the other alleged insider scoops, was fed directly by him or his posse to the most anti-PWZ site on the web simply to create bad press and ease their planned dumping of the movie. I think so because all other articles, even the first one from AICN, have consistently claimed that despite the final edit needing work, the raw footage is sold and there are the makings of a good movie in there. Here are some other tidbits:




In the meantime, the "Punisher" movie that everybody is now down on? Hold your tongue, Del Prete said. It's actually, well, it's actually pretty awesome. Frank Miller and I both saw it, so I know more than most people do, she insisted. And I love it. I think it's going to really please fans.


http://movieblog.ugo.com/index.php/movieblog/more/punisher_war_zone_ne ws1/://http://movieblog.ugo.com/index.php/...ar_zone_ne ws1/


The funny part is, my source tells me, that the raw footage is fantastic. The visuals are great and there are some awesome action sequences, but like any film of this size it needs tweaking. Alexander's previous films have been low budget independents and perhaps she's just not accustomed to the machinations of larger budget filmmaking. There is, indeed, a new post-production team in place (and new composer), folks that have worked closely with the Marvel camp on their recent projects.


Excerpt from a comment of another insider: (no link, sorry)


A bunch of us have seen her cut and are aware of the changes the studio wants to make and trust me, no Punisher fan would agree with those changes. If the suits would have any balls at all, they would find a dozen hardcore Punisher fans on the web, invite them to a screening of the director's cut and a screening of the studio’s cut, to see which they prefer.


There are several more like that.

IESB on the other hand, not only claims (in a very unprofessional manner) that PWZ is beyond all hope, but also explicitly acknowledges Joe Drake and recommends that he fire people. A sign of things to come? Seems very odd for a site like that to seemingly out of the blue comment on the internal politics of Production Company and give their support to Drake.


Call me paranoid or delusional or whatever, but someone pelase confirm to me that this isn't so.

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I was probably 13 when I saw Taxi Driver, and I loved it. But growing up I was watching movies like From Beyond and Night of the Creeps (which is the best Fred Dekker movie, fuck The Monster Squad). It's bullshit Creeps still doesn't have a DVD release.


You DO know that Night Of The Creeps, and (the original) The Fog alumni Tom Atkins has a good part in the My Bloody Valentine 3-D remake.

Written by our very own TODD FARMER and directed by Patrick Lussier, who is class incarnate.


And everyone thought Tom Atkins was dead . . . ;)


Congratulations on the film wrapping guys!

Oh! And I almost forgot. Farmer has a small part in the film.

He reportedly has a scene where he gets all nekkid with a sweet lady.

They chopped off his head in Jason X, I wonder what will be next?

We need to start a thread on MBV 3-D!


- TB

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@ Norse_Sage -

Yeah, there is a lot of craziness going on, no doubt about it.

Midnight Meat Train is sounding like it's getting way fucked. I've been looking forward to that too.

If all that is true . . . And it's opening tomorrow at 100 theaters with no promo?

What the Hell? Sounds like what Fox did with Sunshine.


I can neither confirm or deny the rest.


The new guy replacing the old guy routine and throwing the old projects to the wolves bit sounds true enough though.

I want to say that this type of thing has happened dozens of times before right?

The films and the people who made them are the ones to suffer.

And we get screwed in the process.


I'll have to check and see if MMT is playing here in SD.


- tb



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The verdict for Warzone is simple in the end.


A bunch of suits sit in a screening of an action film primarily composed of 80s cheese and blood by the gallons.


They suddenly decide putting money down for distribution is not gonna be that good of an investment.


They decide to go back to formula - in this case the edting room.


Are they really THAT twisted? Are they really THAT evil?


Nope. Not at all.


I know SO MANY people that dropped out of the Warzone wagon as soon as they saw the "R" Trailer.


Why can't the suits continue to be people too?


That's what they are.











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Guest FADoss

Tim, I haven't hear you arguing against comic book elements in the film. There is nothing wrong with taking a comic book and making it MORE adult as long as you don't go so far in that direction that you lose the concept of the character. I personally think that the MAX stance of removing Frank from the superhero world, while it might tell some cool stories, isn't really about Frank. It would be like writing Wolverine as if he had never been in the X-Men. I just don't want to see a vigilante who happens to be running about with a skull on his chest.


I think the 04 film managed to capture enough comic book to be cool with the Russian, Harry Heck and Frank's GTO.


Every time I see the R footage I see Frank. I see this superhuman motherfucker who is so damned brutal that he could beat the shit out of Spiderman villains. Every time I see Jigsaw I see a villain worthy of the Punisher. I don't want spandex and white boots. I don't need to see Spiderman or Daredevil or Captain America (but it would be nice to know...or at least feel they are out there) but Frank IS and needs to be larger than life.


Sorry if I pissed you off Tim. Mike's comment that my opinion was bullshit set me off a bit and TL pretty much keeps me on the offensive.



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Nice avatar you cut up there Logan. MAJOR CHEESE. MAJOR KICK ASS.


You know I fuckin go to work all day yesterday and then I end up behind 3 fuckin pages. I don't even know where to start.


I'm glad they got a composer though I would have liked to hear was Chris Franke coulda done for the team. So does this mean there's no metal!?!?!?!?! We'll see what's up.




Fred - I don't really think they're taking Castle out of his character. Maybe I'm misunderstanding something. If so correct me. Do you prefer the Castle in the world where other superheroes exist? If Castle is in a larger than life world then the film would end up being PG-13. I think on the big screen that MAX is the best way to go these days. In Jane's film, they went with a lot of the Welcome Back Frank type of stuff which was kick ass I think. They're still human though and the movie was still a good R-rated film none the less. I think the concept of Frank was in Jane's version and after seeing the SDCC footage and an okay trailer, I think the concept of the character is still there in Ray's film. To me, from the miniseries, to War Journal, to War Zone, to Marvel Knights, and up to MAX.... Castle's concept has always been a little different but always the same. He's still a man who lost his family, still a man punishing the guilty, still a man on a mission. He was in Lundgren's Punisher, he was in Jane's Punisher and I think he will be in Stevenson's Punisher. I never blamed the actor's delivery of the character for the flaws of all 3 films. They are all the Punisher to me. I'm not gonna say that Jane is the best one or Dolph is the best one or Ray is the best one. They're playing a character I grew up loving to death and I don't think they go over the top with it and I don't think they fade away on the concept of who they're supposed to be. I'm just glad a Punisher movie is coming out and I'm sure I'll enjoy the next one as much as the previous 2. Bada Boom Bada Bing.


Also I'm not trying to argue with anyone I just wanna say how I feel so if there's any digression that's fine. I'd like to hear what ya'll have to say.




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Arsh dissected it best:


The Punisher: Warzone [comic] = Dolph Lundgren's The Punisher. "B" MOVIE.


The Punisher: Welcome Back Frank/Marvel Knights [comic] = Thomas Jane's The Punisher. Leone/Peckinpah/Siegel MOVIE.


The Punisher: MAX [comic] = Ray Stevenson's The Punisher: Warzone.


Out of all three, Jane's film was the most serious.


Dolph's film was perfect for its time - the good old 80s.


Stevenson's film is a throwback that mocks the seriousness of comic books.


Frederick J. Dukes --- I mean Frederic Doss, wants The Punisher: War Journal.


That Punisher movie would embrace Castle's superhero aspects and in the end would have to be a PG-13 movie for him to interact with Spider Man, Capi and others.


You will get that movie Fred.


In 5 years when MARVEL produces it.




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Well I think it would be cool for Marvel to get the rights back to the character. I don't like that Marvel would only make it PG-13.


Maybe just save Castle for the Avengers: Civil War film. It'd be cool to see Jane play him for the 20-25 minutes on the screen. Probably won't happen though.

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Guest FADoss

Maybe that IS exactly what I want TL. And let's not forget how vicious PG13 can be...Dark Knight anyone.


And really The Punisher IS Batman for Marvel. Not to say that I want the Punisher film to mirror "Dark Knight". I'm just pointing out that you can do violence and not do R.


However, let's not get away from the fact that I like what I've seen from Warzone. It looks fun. It looks like a very basic straightforward vigilante film with a comic book edge. It's not going to be a "serious" film and I don't see anything wrong with that.



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Speaking of Atkins, I gotta get this shirt. Hell, I'm probably gonna end up buying out the whole Fright-Rags store eventually.




Wow! One of the best horror movies ever! That shirt is the coolest! You're my hero Mike V!

...should I use another exclamation point?

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I wonder who MARVEL is gonna get to play Castle in 5 years.


They did a good job casting Downey as Stark and Norton as Banner.


But a TERRIBLE job casting Jackson as Fury.




Why is Jackson terrible as Fury?


Jackson rocks in everything.

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