The Punisher We Need

For some reason Marvel Comics’ Punisher has been a difficult nut to crack–despite the fact that the character is essentially Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) from 1974’s Death Wish, a movie that went on to do pretty well at the box office.

His first appearance was in New World Pictures 1984 movie The Punisher, and despite the criticism that surrounds that movie, wasn’t terrible–which isn’t to imply that it was great, though it was enjoyable in its own way–and Dolph Lindgren (and his ever-present Swedish accent) interpreted the material pretty well.

Unfortunately, not even the Punisher couldn’t get people into theaters, and the movie flopped.

The character was revisited again in LionsGate’s 2004 movie The Punisher, this time starring Thomas Jane.

Jane does pretty well in the role, despite not being as physically similar to the character as Lundgren.

And it once again underperforms–despite that if you move forward ten years to 2014 Denzel Washington starred in the successful movie interpretation of The Equalizer (based on a 1985 CBS television series) who essentially IS the Punisher.

Lionsgate tried again in 2008 with Punisher: War Zone which was similar in tone to the 1984 movie (with its violence intact and intensified, if nothing else).

And it too didn’t do that well, and since you’d be lucky to get one chance at success, never mind three, you’d be safe in assuming that the Punisher had killed his last opponent. Continue reading

Marvel’s Daredevil – Official Season Two Trailer

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The first season of Marvel’s Daredevil had a huge hurdle to overcome.

When Fox released the 2003 movie based on the character, he was treated pretty much as a red-suited Spider-Man, which anyone familiar to the character could tell you isn’t the way to go.

In any case, the movie didn’t do badly from a financial standpoint, so Fox intended to proceed with a sequel (though likely without Ben Affleck) and were gearing up to do just that when they lost their director (David Slade, who went on to direct Hannibal on NBC).

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The Ridiculous 6 – Review

“Not Nearly As Bad As It Could’ve–Or Even Should’ve–Been.  Satire!”

Harvey Keitel, Luke Wilson, Sam Buscemi, Nick Nolte, John Turturro…I don’t know how Adam Sandler did it, but his Netflix movie, The Ridiculous 6, has an insane amount of cameos by some really good actors (at this point I wouldn’t be shocked if Sam Jackson or Quentin Tarantino–who’s a mediocre actor but a renown director–showed up).

And speaking of The Ridiculous 6, it’s got some pretty funny moments.  It’s no Blazing Saddles–it’s greatest problem in that department is that it doesn’t know when to rein it in–but it’s not terrible either.  In fact, there are more laugh-out loud moments that I anticipated finding in an Adam Sander movie.

And as far as being offensive to Native Americans, they’re pretty broad caricatures–a trait shared with everyone else in the movie–Native American or not, but they’re also treated more dignity than just about any other group in the movie (which is admittedly not saying a lot).

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Iron Fist Is A Go!

I have to admit act for a while I was a bit nervous.  From rumors that Marvel Television was ditching Iron Fist and replacing him with Moon Knight (Moon Knight is pretty awesome, by the way, though he lacks a prior relationship with Luke Cage which would be essential to the narrative) to they were going to abandon the idea of a 13-episode series and instead feature Iron Fist in a television movie, it seemed that his fate was a bit up in the air.

Though today The Wrap tweeted that Marvel had chosen a showrunner for a new 13-episode series based on the character, which is awesome!

What makes Luke Cage and Danny Rand (the alter ego of Iron Fist) such an engaging pair are their contrasts.  Cage has always lived by his wits in the streets of New York (and got his powers while experimented on in prison) while Rand inherited the Rand-Meachum industrial conglomerate from his father, and was a child of affluence (though Iron Fist’s origin almost reads like Batman’s–though to be fair the idea of a character leaving their home for whatever reason and returning somehow changed isn’t exactly unusual for comics).

I don’t recall what brought Cage and Rand together, though I hope that what makes each character unique is expanded upon in their individual series.

Iron Fist was created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane.

 

Jessica Jones-A-Thon: AKA Ladies Night

Welcome, True Believers to the commentary on the first episode of Marvel’s Jessica Jones.

The first thing I noticed was that Jessica Jones is a co-production between Marvel Television and Netflix, which I don’t recall during Daredevil’s credits.

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The second is the music, by Sean Callery, gives the series a very noir feel and is vaguely reminiscent of the soundtrack of Anatomy Of A Murder by Duke Ellington (in terms of feel).

Which is a HUGE complement.

Supposedly Kristen Ritter was in Breaking Bad, though I don’t recall her, though here she’s unforgettable.

Ritter brings a vulnerability, a brokenness to the role that she hides behind a facade of arrogance and cockiness.

Though she’s afraid–and with good reason– because she’s faced Kilgrave before, and knows what he can do.  Sight unseen, he haunts her, which she drinks to deal with.

It’s worth mentioning that Marvel Studios features are often criticized on the strength of their villains.  While some of it is justified, a lot of it is just hyperbole.

That being said, there are few villains that approach the creepiness and subtlety of Kilgrave (David Tennant).

He hasn’t even been properly introduced, but the menace and ruthlessness he exudes through the lives he’s touched is devastating.

 

Hemlock Grove: The Final Chapter – Official Trailer

On the whole, I enjoyed the first two seasons of Netflix’s Hemlock Grove, but with caveats: the biggest being that it was at times hard to identity the creatures that were involved–and when your series is about monsters, human and otherwise, this is not a minor thing.

For instance, what the hell was Olivia Godfrey (Famke Janssen)?  Her son was apparently a vampire, though she was something other.  And now that I am speculating, what was it with Dr. Johann Price (Joel de la Fuente)?  I recall he had some sort of disorder that increased his strength (or he couldn’t feel pain, something like that) but he seemed creepy-strong and way too in-tune with all the weirdness that was going on around him.

And that lizard-thing at the end of the second season?  It was cool in the sense that it was totally unexpected, though I couldn’t make heads or tales why it was.

That's gotta hurt!

That’s gotta hurt!

Though the werewolves?  And The Company Of Wolves-style transformation?  That I liked.

Jessica Jones Teaser Trailer – “All In A Day’s Work”

Despite being an avid comic reader, prior to Netflix’s Jessica Jones I barely knew anything about the character.  I still don’t but I like the way–if the teasers are any indication–where it’s going.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a political thriller, Guardians Of The Galaxy was Marvel’s interpretation of a space opera. Daredevil (Netflix’s version) was Mean Streets or Serpico, with superheroes.

Jessica Jones?  I have no idea what Marvel is going for, but I get the feeling that they’re going for a Fatal Attraction-sort of vibe, but who knows?

Thought I really want to find out.