Punisher: War Zone  (2009)Dir. Lexi Alexander

Alexander managed to asemble a really cracking cast for this flick. Ray Stevenson is a perfect Frank Castle giving The Punisher a great ‘relentles-killing-machine / nice-guy-who’s-lost everything’ ratio.I’ve heard mixed opinions on Stevenson, but I think the guy pulls it off brilliantly, far better than Thomas Jane did (don’t get me wrong, I like Jane, just not as Frank Castle). Colin Salmon and Domic West too, are great as always. Even though they’re characters are about as two-dimensional as you can get, the actors are the kind I’d be interested in regardless of the material.

This SO easily could have been the Punisher flick us fans have been waiting for. They get the violence spot on, with insanely over-the-top gore and action set-pieces that are extremely entertaining, and the overal tone of the film is good too. It’s just let-down by the shoddy script. The basic elements are there, but nothing is exploited to its full potential. The character’s aren’t developed at all, and a few plot revelations just sort of appear from nowhere, it doesn’t FEEL like the writers really knew how to make a solid action flick. In the hands of someone who knew what they were doing, this could have been amazing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a fun, pretty decent movie at the end of the day. It’s almost like a cross between Iron Man (a cast full of cool, sensible actors, tonally very cool and just very well done in general) and Universal Soldier 2 (made on the cheap, straight to dvd, with a script cobbled together half an hour before shooting). I really, really hope Stevenson gets another shot, the guy definitely deserves it, as he’s the best Punisher I think we’ll ever see.

Civic Duty (2006)Dir. Jeff Renfroe

A pretty decent study into one man’s paranoia and eventual breakdown. The issues are still relevant and it’s good to see it handled without patriotism and American flags being shoved down our throats. Peter Krause does a good job in the lead, and overall ‘Civic Duty’ is a solid and entertaining flick.

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) Dir. Hayao Miyazaki

With a pretty complex story, I can see alot of kids not digging this as much as other Ghibli flicks, but as an adult I loved every minute. Absolutely stunning visuals, loveable characters and strikingly bleak at times, ‘Moving Castle’ is yet another awesome flick by the genius that is Hayao Miyazaki

Iron Man 2 (2010)Dir. Jon Favreau

One of the most eagerly anticipated sequels of recent memory, Iron Man 2 delivers on pretty much every level. While not quite as geek-nirvana as it could have been, it’s sleek style and charisma keeps the awesome flowing throughout, and it’s just too much fun not to love every frame.

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (2008)Dir. Alex Gibney

A decent, solid documentary that paints an interesting portrait of the legendary author. Some of the footage of Thompson is downright fascinating, and the interviews remember the man in a reverent and honest way. If you’re into Thompson’s work at all, check this one out.

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