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Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: Punisher War Zone

Ray Stevenson …  Frank Castle
Dominic West …  Billy Russoti / Jigsaw
Doug Hutchison …  Loony Bin Jim
Colin Salmon …  Special Agent Paul Budiansky
Wayne Knight …  Linus ‘Microchip’ Lieberman
Dash Mihok …  Det. Martin Soap
Julie Benz …  Angela Donatelli
Stephanie Janusauskas …  Grace Donatelli
Mark Camacho …  Pittsy
Romano Orzari …  Nicky Donatelli

Synopsis from IMDb: Infamous vigilante, anti-hero Frank Castle (Ray Stevenson) is six years into his vengeance driven zeal as the Punisher when he brutally assaults a “beat the rap” party for notorious mob boss Gaitano Cesare. During the course of the massacre, he hideously disfigures overeager gangster Billy Russoti (Dominic West) and murders a mafia lackey who turns out to be an undercover FBI agent.

Distraught that he has now become the very evil he swore to battle, Castle is content to hang up his guns and quit the justice business for good. However, plans quickly change once he learns that Jigsaw has not only kidnapped the surviving wife and child of the dead federal agent but now has also freed his commited psychopathic brother, James (Doug Hutchison)…aka…”Loony Bin Jim.”

Reviewers: Vulcan Stev, PIT #1, PIT #2, PIT #3, Mrs. VS sat down to watch the movie with us but backed out after viewing the first scene.

VS – 1.1 pointed ears
Oh, I am so torn.  Kudos to the producers for bringing back Frank Castle’s original backstory and origin.  Kudos for bringing in Microchip.  Kudos for bringing in Jigsaw.  However, major disappointment in the use of language.  The ‘F-bomb’ is used in this movie like punctuation.  To me, that kind of gratuitous use of the word does not mirror society, but rather shows off weak writing skills.

Another problem I had with this flick, the violence was wa-a-ay too graphic.  I understand that the Punisher is a ‘dark’ character.  I understand that he ‘solves’ the problem of crime by killing off the criminals.  But I wasn’t expecting a slasher film, I’ve seen less graphic killings in the Friday 13th series.  The producers, went to great lengths to say how proud they were of the realistic details in the gore.  After seeing the over-the-top violence of the Watchmen and then seeing this movie, I’m beginning to wonder if Hollywood is trying to mainstream violence.

PIT #1 – 1.5 pointed ears
This was a very accurate portrayal of the Punisher.  However, the violence is way overboard.  Dad called this a mainstream slasher flick.  I’ve never seen a “slasher” film and asked Dad what he meant.  When Dad described what I slasher flick was, I had to agree with him.  I would not recommend this film for younger viewers.  It earned it’s R rating.  I was also put off by the language.  I don’t need to hear the “f-word” used as punctuation.

PIT #2 – 1.25 pointed ears
This has all the makings of a great action movie.  However the language and violence were way to excessive for my tastes.  The Thomas Jayne Punisher movie was much better in terms of language and violence.  I’ve never read the Punisher comics but I don’t need to see blood flying across the screen.  I don’t need to hear the “f-word” in every single scene of a movie (don’t want to hear it at all but that’s  pipe dream).

PIT #3 – 1 pointed ear.
The action in this film was great.  There was NO kissing which was also nice.  The gore used in the action scenes was too much.  I don’t need to see blood flying all over the screen.  Daddy apologized to me because he didn’t know that the gore was going to be so graphic.  The language was bad.  I think that the writer needs to have his keyboard’s mouth washed out with soap.

4.85 pointed ears out of 8 with an abstain from Mrs. VS

Overall this is a faithful adaptation of the Punisher character.  This is NOT a family film.  Not recommended for family viewing.  Be forewarned the ‘F-bomb’ is liberally sprinkled throughout the picture.

April 25, 2009 Posted by | Comic Books, Marvel, Movie Reviews | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Vulcan Stev’s LCARS database DVD review… Bangkok Dangerous

Originally posted at the Dire Cafe January 15, 2009OneSheet (Page 1)

Nicolas Cage … Joe
Shahkrit Yamnarm … Kong
Charlie Yeung … Fon (as Charlie Young)
Panward Hemmanee … Aom
Nirattisai Kaljaruek … Surat
Dom Hetrakul … Aran

Synopsis from IMDb: A professional hit man, with four rules goes on his last assignment. In Bangkok, he breaks one of his rules and bonds with the street kid named Kong he hires to help him. He further violates this rule when he meets a local girl who is deaf and spends time with her. The rules fall like dominoes on his very last assignment.

Reviewers VS, Mrs. VS, PIT #1

VS: .75 pointed ears

Dark, moody, very stylistic. I wish I could say that this is cinematic tour-de-force worthy of your hard earned dollars. Unfortunately I can’t. Nicolas Cage plays Joe, a hitman, with only four rules. During the course of the movie he violates all of these, resulting in dire consequences.

The idea of an amoral man living by his own rules has been done before (and better by Jason Statham in “The Transporter”). The plot follows standard Hollywood fare by having the hitman discovery his humanity on his last job. However, we are given absolutely no reason for the protaganist to violate his own code of ethics. He befriends his errand boy and begins to date a deaf pharmacist for no discernable reason.

It’s one thing if “the rules” provide an internal source of conflict. Quite another if there is a good reason for the protaganist to violate the rules. This movie provides neither. Joe successfully completes an assignment while narating his code of ethics. He takes one last mega job in Bangkok and then without any good reason begins to violate his own rules.

The jacket for this DVD advertises an action-packed thriller. Is it a beautifully shot movie set in Bangkok? yes. Action packed? not by any definition of action or packed that I’ve ever read.

Mrs. VS: .5 pointed ears.
This movie had lots of gratuitous violence. The dismemberment of someone’s arm was very disgusting.

PIT #1: .75 pointed ears.
Difficult to follow. I couldn’t understand why Joe would violate his own rules. I kept waiting for the promised action

*note* PITs 2&3 did not bother to finish watching this movie.  PIT#2 was playing on the computer and poked his head in occasionally.  PIT#3 left after 15 minutes of the movie.

2 pointed ears out of 10

Rentable, but don’t waste your money on this one unless you’re a true Nicolas Cage fan.

February 10, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , , | 1 Comment