Ray Stevenson Community

Ray in TV & Film => The Punisher => Topic started by: Nomad on October 13, 2008, 07:48:18 PM



Title: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on October 13, 2008, 07:48:18 PM
Woo hoo!  With 53 days and counting, the publicity is beginning.   It might be easiest and most fun if we can post all the articles to come on one thread, so we can keep track of them.  I'm SUCH a haus frau, keeping things neat and organised!   :girlpower:

Here's the first article from a BIG-TIME NEWS SOURCE on PWZ, from the web edition of the Los Angeles Times.  Woohoo!  Oh.  I already said that, neh?  It's getting so exciting!   :drule:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2008/10/the-punisher-re.html

:cheers:
:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on October 14, 2008, 08:28:19 PM
'nuther article (Lexi Interview)

First of all, would you like to tell us how did you get in touch with this project and how did you get involved? How was your confidence with the character?

My agents sent me the script. Luckily, it was the original Nick Santora script not the newer revision, the one Thomas Jane passed on.
I read the Punisher comic books before I made the decision to do this, because that is the only way you can learn about an existing comic book character's essence. I fell in love with Frank Castle. He is a proper vigilante, without any weird PG rules he made for himself, like: "I'm only going to kill people who kill others or who are bad in this moment". No. Frank Castle knows only two sides: Good and Evil. There is no grey zone for him. If you are evil now, or have been in the past, or planning to be in the future, you are going to die. Period.  He is a great character. I loved telling his story.


It’s now clear that “Punisher: War Zone” has not the aim to compare itself with the 2004 movie. But is there something that the producers absolutely didn’t want to be made? And as a director, what is it like to work on a reboot instead of a “normal” movie?

On one occasion the folks at Marvel made me aware that something I was about to do was too close to the 2004 version. I think it was a specific line from the comic book I wanted to use. I'm glad they kept an eye on that, but essentially we had very little in common with the 2004 version from the get go.  The great thing about a reboot is, you can learn from the past if you care enough. I obviously watched the previous version, but I didn't critique it and just crossed my fingers that I can do it better. I spent weeks on the computer, reading reviews and fan reactions about it. It was pretty damn clear what the fans liked and didn't like about it. I basically had a road map for this reboot written by proper Punisher fans and the headline was: “Don’t go to Tampa!” [Tampa was the location for the 2004 "Punisher"].

Was the choice to base the film on the MAX comic series by Garth Ennis and on the aesthetics by Tim Brastreet yours? If so, what did inspire you in these sources?

I responded most to the MAX series and again, based on what I had read about, this was the Frank Castle whom people wanted to see on screen. We liked Tim's stuff, but he obviously works mostly covers and we wanted to make our film look like a MAX book. So my Director of Photography spoke to a few other artists who contributed to the actual series.

How does your competence in martial arts influence your work as a director? In particular, what influence did it have on a violent and aggressive movie as “Punisher: War Zone” seems to be ?

Because I grew up fighting,  I don't like losing on the mat or off the mat. In Hollywood there is always someone coming at you and unlike in a competition, they don't go by the "above the belt" and "never from the back" rules. It's quite fun actually, I just sometimes have to remember that.  As for how it affected “Punisher: War Zone”, I'm not sure it did.  There is a lot of brutal fighting, but it's rather ugly and less acrobatic. I guess the best advantage “Punisher: War Zone” had from my Martial Arts career was having two former World Champions, Pat Johnson and Jean Frenette in charge of the action and although I am sure they are always professional, I know they went more than the extra mile for me on “Punisher: War Zone” because I'm a fellow Martial Artist.

What about the levels of violence? Will there be only physical violence, or are we going to see also some psychological and social brutality, a pessimism and darkness of soul, like in the comic book?

The biggest blessing for our film was the actor portraying Frank Castle: Ray Stevenson. He is a real actor and you will experience this character with all his pain, the brutality of what happened in his past and certainly a soul that is struggling to see the light through his own darkness. Ray can portray all of that without ever saying a word and those are my favorite scenes to watch, even now after I've seen this film a few thousand times.  Furthermore, Jigsaw is not a simple antagonist. You think he has no empathy and no conscience but then he has this intense love for his brother which makes him a very complex character.

How do you see Frank Castle? While directing, what was your firm idea about what the Punisher should be? And how did Ray Stevenson respond to your expectations?

I wanted to stay true to the established Frank Castle mythology as much as possible, but I didn't have to tell Ray much. He read as many if not more comic books as I did and he truly channeled him.

And the rivals? As we know, in movies like this the rivals mean very much. How did they work in your film? How did you choose and then stage them?

As I mentioned before, Jigsaw is very three dimensional. Dominic West did a wonderful job portraying this out of the world character and unlike with Castle, we find a lot of humor in Jigsaw's and Looney Bin Jim's storyline, without ever losing touch of the danger they represent. Looney Bin Jim is portrayed by Doug Hutchinson who's career I've been following for a long time and whom I wanted to work with forever. It was fun to let both of these actors lose on set. They added so much to this film.

Obviously, speaking about a sequel is quite premature. But on a hypothetical level, do you have any idea in order to tell another Punisher story?

There is one specific Punisher book that I think should be adapted and I have a feeling the fans would totally dig it on screen.
I very much doubt there is a Punisher sequel in my future, but if the time ever comes I will share my two cents with Ray who I'm sure will be back for more.


Would you like to tell us something about your future projects or about what you would like to do?

Using a Martial Arts metaphor, when you have success as a competitive fighter, you should switch to a higher weight class or a different discipline because how else are you going to grow? I would like to try something else. As a matter of fact, I'd love to make a kid movie. If M. Night [Shyamalan] wouldn't already have the job, I'd probably sit outside Paramount Studio begging them to let me direct “Avatar: The Last Airbender”. I would have a sign that reads: "Will work for food."  Who knows what the future holds, but I'm excited to find out.


[by Valerio Coppola] [14-10-08]


http://www.comicus.it/view.php?section=interviste&id=223


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Labiaofthejulii on October 16, 2008, 02:04:28 PM
'nuther article (Lexi Interview)

First of all, would you like to tell us how did you get in touch with this project and how did you get involved? How was your confidence with the character?

My agents sent me the script. Luckily, it was the original Nick Santora script not the newer revision, the one Thomas Jane passed on.
I read the Punisher comic books before I made the decision to do this, because that is the only way you can learn about an existing comic book character's essence. I fell in love with Frank Castle. He is a proper vigilante, without any weird PG rules he made for himself, like: "I'm only going to kill people who kill others or who are bad in this moment". No. Frank Castle knows only two sides: Good and Evil. There is no grey zone for him. If you are evil now, or have been in the past, or planning to be in the future, you are going to die. Period.  He is a great character. I loved telling his story.


It’s now clear that “Punisher: War Zone” has not the aim to compare itself with the 2004 movie. But is there something that the producers absolutely didn’t want to be made? And as a director, what is it like to work on a reboot instead of a “normal” movie?

On one occasion the folks at Marvel made me aware that something I was about to do was too close to the 2004 version. I think it was a specific line from the comic book I wanted to use. I'm glad they kept an eye on that, but essentially we had very little in common with the 2004 version from the get go.  The great thing about a reboot is, you can learn from the past if you care enough. I obviously watched the previous version, but I didn't critique it and just crossed my fingers that I can do it better. I spent weeks on the computer, reading reviews and fan reactions about it. It was pretty damn clear what the fans liked and didn't like about it. I basically had a road map for this reboot written by proper Punisher fans and the headline was: “Don’t go to Tampa!” [Tampa was the location for the 2004 "Punisher"].

Was the choice to base the film on the MAX comic series by Garth Ennis and on the aesthetics by Tim Brastreet yours? If so, what did inspire you in these sources?

I responded most to the MAX series and again, based on what I had read about, this was the Frank Castle whom people wanted to see on screen. We liked Tim's stuff, but he obviously works mostly covers and we wanted to make our film look like a MAX book. So my Director of Photography spoke to a few other artists who contributed to the actual series.

How does your competence in martial arts influence your work as a director? In particular, what influence did it have on a violent and aggressive movie as “Punisher: War Zone” seems to be ?

Because I grew up fighting,  I don't like losing on the mat or off the mat. In Hollywood there is always someone coming at you and unlike in a competition, they don't go by the "above the belt" and "never from the back" rules. It's quite fun actually, I just sometimes have to remember that.  As for how it affected “Punisher: War Zone”, I'm not sure it did.  There is a lot of brutal fighting, but it's rather ugly and less acrobatic. I guess the best advantage “Punisher: War Zone” had from my Martial Arts career was having two former World Champions, Pat Johnson and Jean Frenette in charge of the action and although I am sure they are always professional, I know they went more than the extra mile for me on “Punisher: War Zone” because I'm a fellow Martial Artist.

What about the levels of violence? Will there be only physical violence, or are we going to see also some psychological and social brutality, a pessimism and darkness of soul, like in the comic book?

The biggest blessing for our film was the actor portraying Frank Castle: Ray Stevenson. He is a real actor and you will experience this character with all his pain, the brutality of what happened in his past and certainly a soul that is struggling to see the light through his own darkness. Ray can portray all of that without ever saying a word and those are my favorite scenes to watch, even now after I've seen this film a few thousand times.  Furthermore, Jigsaw is not a simple antagonist. You think he has no empathy and no conscience but then he has this intense love for his brother which makes him a very complex character.

How do you see Frank Castle? While directing, what was your firm idea about what the Punisher should be? And how did Ray Stevenson respond to your expectations?

I wanted to stay true to the established Frank Castle mythology as much as possible, but I didn't have to tell Ray much. He read as many if not more comic books as I did and he truly channeled him.

And the rivals? As we know, in movies like this the rivals mean very much. How did they work in your film? How did you choose and then stage them?

As I mentioned before, Jigsaw is very three dimensional. Dominic West did a wonderful job portraying this out of the world character and unlike with Castle, we find a lot of humor in Jigsaw's and Looney Bin Jim's storyline, without ever losing touch of the danger they represent. Looney Bin Jim is portrayed by Doug Hutchinson who's career I've been following for a long time and whom I wanted to work with forever. It was fun to let both of these actors lose on set. They added so much to this film.

Obviously, speaking about a sequel is quite premature. But on a hypothetical level, do you have any idea in order to tell another Punisher story?

There is one specific Punisher book that I think should be adapted and I have a feeling the fans would totally dig it on screen.
I very much doubt there is a Punisher sequel in my future, but if the time ever comes I will share my two cents with Ray who I'm sure will be back for more.


Would you like to tell us something about your future projects or about what you would like to do?

Using a Martial Arts metaphor, when you have success as a competitive fighter, you should switch to a higher weight class or a different discipline because how else are you going to grow? I would like to try something else. As a matter of fact, I'd love to make a kid movie. If M. Night [Shyamalan] wouldn't already have the job, I'd probably sit outside Paramount Studio begging them to let me direct “Avatar: The Last Airbender”. I would have a sign that reads: "Will work for food."  Who knows what the future holds, but I'm excited to find out.


[by Valerio Coppola] [14-10-08]


http://www.comicus.it/view.php?section=interviste&id=223

Thanks, Nomad!

I really enjoyed reading this and got little excited pangs in deep places from reading about Ray  :clap:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on October 23, 2008, 07:26:43 PM
New Lexi blog and her interview with her fave Devil Dog!

DEVIL DOGS 10/23/08

Someone asked me the other day if Frank Castle has a Military history in PWZ. I can’t even believe I haven’t made that clear in any of my blogs or interviews.

Hell yeah he has a f!@#ing Military history!

I have been fond of the Marine Corps for a very long time, way before I ever laid eyes on my first Punisher book. As a matter of fact, one of my first jobs in the US was teaching a Martial Arts seminar at Camp Pendleton. So when I read Castle’s bio and found out that he was a Marine Captain and Force Recon bad ass, I was already sold.

My own Marine buddies keep bitching at me about the inaccuracy of anything to do with Military in Hollywood movies, so I made sure that wasn’t going to happen on PWZ.
I already spoke about GUNMETAL on my blog, the company who was in charge of training Ray and consulting us during production, but I’d like to introduce them over the next few weeks more in detail and one by one. After all, the US Military is were we find our true nonfiction heroes.

I’d like to start with real-life bad ass number one...(m)y buddy Sergeant Jonathan Barton or “JB.”

JB was our man on set and trust me when I tell you, there was no shooting going on unless JB was around. I could tell you all the great things he choreographed for us and all the great weapons he suggested we use during production, but JB has an unprecedented knowledge of that stuff and kind of his own language. I usually lose him at “hello”. I thought I’ll ask him a few questions he can answer here, so all you gun experts and fellow Military folk can actually get some real inside.

Click here to read the interview.

http://lexialexander.com/JBarton.html

Peace out
Lexi


Have fun with this one!
:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: wingit4me on October 24, 2008, 03:33:55 PM
YAY So happy Lexi is sharing with us on her blog again.


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 03, 2008, 11:20:48 AM
Here's another JBarton interview:

http://www.comicus.it/view.php?section=rubriche&id=1258

Could you tell us something about your career and how did you get to collaborating with movies productions like this one?

Your work on this film seems to be wide, from training to military consulting service. What was the level of this collaboration? Did you work behind the scenes or were you an active part on the set?

Was your advice requested since the beginning of the definitive version of the script or did you get onboard later to give a proper shape to the action?

We can imagine that the character you worked on most was Frank Castle: his military skills required a realistic performance in the film. What was your job on The Punisher? How did you try to portray him, according to your scopes?

Basically, my job was Military Advisor and Combat trainer. After my first week I realized that I had to get my fingers into the other departments on the show and take more of an assertive role in making sure the Punisher character fit Lexi’s vision. This meant stepping on some toes from time to time and taking control of certain elements in other departments, but Lexi had told me what she wanted and by damn, it was gonna get done!
After the first week I was designing costumes, designing weapons, inventing props, training not only Ray but his stunt double and all the other actors and stuntmen, and writing and rehearsing weapon choreography! I felt like I was back in the Corps!


Did you offer your services even to characterize the villains? If yes, how did you differentiate them by the Punisher or police forces, talking about tactics?

For this particular project none of the main bad guys had military or Law enforcement back-story so I just worked on weapons safety and helped them work different types of guns into their characters. For each actor on their first day of weapons training, I had them go to a table filled with rifles, handguns, grenade launchers, and shotguns, and told them to pick one. Every actor picked different sets of weapons that complemented their back story. We then worked on how each of them, in character, would try to shoot the Punisher if he were coming after them. So basically we invented different shooting styles!

What kind of weapons have been used? Conventional or even unconventional, as sometimes seen in the comic book?

We used weapons based on need and back-story and nothing made up. All of the Punisher’s weapons currently exist and are being used in modern combat! The Punisher originated out of Vietnam, so his primary weapon in the film is an M-4 which he would feel the most comfortable with. To that I mounted a mini grenade launcher using thermo baric grenades for point detonations. I followed that up with the most powerful revolver on the planet, a Knight’s Armament/Smith&Wesson custom Model 500 .50 cal, in a breakaway leg holster as his back-up!

We created two fully automatic Beretta 92f handguns for close quarter combat.
In the opening of the film he uses ultra reliable H&K custom MP5’s in fully automatic that he carries in the small of his back, and for speed draws a H&K USP compact .45.
I also had a custom mini 13” Bolo machete combat knife created that he carries on a leg holster for hand to hand.

The result was modern weapons used in the modern time, but in full Punisher style!


Has ever occurred that you had to note that some element originally planned was unrealistic or not believable? From your point of view, what is the realism level of this movie?

This is by far the most realist Punisher ever made. Every scene, every plot point, every scenario was discussed and brought to real world scenarios. Having said that, we were still making a comic book adaptation, and Lexi was able to have freedom to make some of the action larger than life because that’s how the comic was written. As a Marine I am extremely excited about how well this movie portrays this character. I think audiences will really connect to this Punisher like never before!

Did you enjoy working on such an extreme fighter as Castle? How does this kind of character seem to a serviceman?

The Punisher will always be a symbol to the Marine Corps infantryman, as well as other branches of service, of the ultimate warrior. A guy that takes the fight to the enemy’s doorstep, then kicks his door in. As a Marine being on the front lines you have to feel no fear and have the courage to fight even when you are scared out of your mind in order to bring yourself and your buddies home. I think the Punisher embodies the true fighting spirit of what all combat troops feel when the enter a room full of people that want to do them harm. It’s important that symbols like Punisher exist for us in the military and he will always have a home with the US Marines! “Semper fi” Frank!

:nomad:



Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on November 03, 2008, 03:10:12 PM
Hewre's another JBarton interview:

http://www.comicus.it/view.php?section=rubriche&id=1258

Could you tell us something about your career and how did you get to collaborating with movies productions like this one?

Your work on this film seems to be wide, from training to military consulting service. What was the level of this collaboration? Did you work behind the scenes or were you an active part on the set?

Was your advice requested since the beginning of the definitive version of the script or did you get onboard later to give a proper shape to the action?

We can imagine that the character you worked on most was Frank Castle: his military skills required a realistic performance in the film. What was your job on The Punisher? How did you try to portray him, according to your scopes?

Basically, my job was Military Advisor and Combat trainer. After my first week I realized that I had to get my fingers into the other departments on the show and take more of an assertive role in making sure the Punisher character fit Lexi’s vision. This meant stepping on some toes from time to time and taking control of certain elements in other departments, but Lexi had told me what she wanted and by damn, it was gonna get done!
After the first week I was designing costumes, designing weapons, inventing props, training not only Ray but his stunt double and all the other actors and stuntmen, and writing and rehearsing weapon choreography! I felt like I was back in the Corps!


Did you offer your services even to characterize the villains? If yes, how did you differentiate them by the Punisher or police forces, talking about tactics?

For this particular project none of the main bad guys had military or Law enforcement back-story so I just worked on weapons safety and helped them work different types of guns into their characters. For each actor on their first day of weapons training, I had them go to a table filled with rifles, handguns, grenade launchers, and shotguns, and told them to pick one. Every actor picked different sets of weapons that complemented their back story. We then worked on how each of them, in character, would try to shoot the Punisher if he were coming after them. So basically we invented different shooting styles!

What kind of weapons have been used? Conventional or even unconventional, as sometimes seen in the comic book?

We used weapons based on need and back-story and nothing made up. All of the Punisher’s weapons currently exist and are being used in modern combat! The Punisher originated out of Vietnam, so his primary weapon in the film is an M-4 which he would feel the most comfortable with. To that I mounted a mini grenade launcher using thermo baric grenades for point detonations. I followed that up with the most powerful revolver on the planet, a Knight’s Armament/Smith&Wesson custom Model 500 .50 cal, in a breakaway leg holster as his back-up!

We created two fully automatic Beretta 92f handguns for close quarter combat.
In the opening of the film he uses ultra reliable H&K custom MP5’s in fully automatic that he carries in the small of his back, and for speed draws a H&K USP compact .45.
I also had a custom mini 13” Bolo machete combat knife created that he carries on a leg holster for hand to hand.

The result was modern weapons used in the modern time, but in full Punisher style!


Has ever occurred that you had to note that some element originally planned was unrealistic or not believable? From your point of view, what is the realism level of this movie?

This is by far the most realist Punisher ever made. Every scene, every plot point, every scenario was discussed and brought to real world scenarios. Having said that, we were still making a comic book adaptation, and Lexi was able to have freedom to make some of the action larger than life because that’s how the comic was written. As a Marine I am extremely excited about how well this movie portrays this character. I think audiences will really connect to this Punisher like never before!

Did you enjoy working on such an extreme fighter as Castle? How does this kind of character seem to a serviceman?

The Punisher will always be a symbol to the Marine Corps infantryman, as well as other branches of service, of the ultimate warrior. A guy that takes the fight to the enemy’s doorstep, then kicks his door in. As a Marine being on the front lines you have to feel no fear and have the courage to fight even when you are scared out of your mind in order to bring yourself and your buddies home. I think the Punisher embodies the true fighting spirit of what all combat troops feel when the enter a room full of people that want to do them harm. It’s important that symbols like Punisher exist for us in the military and he will always have a home with the US Marines! “Semper fi” Frank!

:nomad:



Thanks, Nomad.

woohooo! 32 days until punishment is handed out!

I finally made my way through both parts of the film 'Grindhouse'. Seeing or reading about that kind of violence & gore makes my guts hurt a bit....but I do confess I cheered the grrrrrls on when they would hand out punishment. :lexi: :guns2: :flex: :guns3: :karate: :lexi2:

:bead:


Title: Re: TV ad! Woo hoo!
Post by: Nomad on November 06, 2008, 04:16:43 PM
Mania Exclusive: PUNISHER WAR ZONE TV Spot
By: Rob M. Worley
Date: Thursday, November 06, 2008

Lionsgate has provided Mania readers with an exclusive first look at the new TV ad for 'Punisher War Zone'.

Watch closely for a couple of good frames of Dominc West's Jigsaw. One other point of interest we noticed is the use of the "Marvel Knights" brand name in place of the traditional Marvel flip-comic graphic that fans have seen before all Marvel films since 'Spider-Man'.


http://www.mania.com/mania-exclusive-punisher-war-zone-tv-spot_article_110984.html

:cheers:
:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: mob1 on November 06, 2008, 11:29:36 PM
oh la la, Nomad, me likey that ad...*gets shivers down my body*  :silly:  :devilish:



Title: Re: TV ad! Woo hoo!
Post by: Camamar on November 07, 2008, 06:09:06 AM
Mania Exclusive: PUNISHER WAR ZONE TV Spot
By: Rob M. Worley
Date: Thursday, November 06, 2008

Lionsgate has provided Mania readers with an exclusive first look at the new TV ad for 'Punisher War Zone'.

Watch closely for a couple of good frames of Dominc West's Jigsaw. One other point of interest we noticed is the use of the "Marvel Knights" brand name in place of the traditional Marvel flip-comic graphic that fans have seen before all Marvel films since 'Spider-Man'.


http://www.mania.com/mania-exclusive-punisher-war-zone-tv-spot_article_110984.html

:cheers:
:nomad:


Thanks!!! At least I got to see a little more of Ray there..or more illuminated shots, or closer-up shots...or whatever. *blathering*


Title: Re: New PWZ article??? On Michael Wandmacher and the film score
Post by: Nomad on November 07, 2008, 11:06:45 AM
This is a relief to read there will be an actual score for PWZ.  I like heavy metal in SMALL doses so it's a relief to know the entire film won't be screaming at me.  This score should have some Blade Runner elements to it.  It sounds like that may be the case.

November 7, 2008
MICHAEL WANDMACHER SCORES 'PUNISHER: WAR ZONE'
(Hollywood, CA) – Composer Michael Wandmacher brings a new note to the battle between good and evil with his score for Punisher: War Zone, based on the Marvel comic book character. Along with Wandmacher, Academy Award nominated director Lexi Alexander (“Johnny Flynton”) and writers Nick Santora (“Prison Break,” “Law & Order”), Art Marcum (“Iron Man”) and Matt Holloway (“Iron Man”) round out the impressive team. Lionsgate Films releases Punisher: War Zone in theaters on December 5, 2008.

For Punisher: War Zone, Michael Wandmacher’s score both reflects the ominous tone of the film and skillfully brings a necessary lightness to the heavy plot. Percussion beats, reminiscent of war drums, echo throughout, as the characters struggle against each other. At other moments, Wandmacher relies on string and woodwind instruments, resulting in a melancholy sound. Although the score is mostly symphonic, Wandmacher does include some of his signature electronic sounds, all along creating seamless transitions between the varying elements.

Michael Wandmacher began his musical career as a commercial composer in Minneapolis. Since his move to Los Angeles in 1998, Wandmacher has lent his talent to a diverse range of projects, including feature films, TV series and videogames. His film credits include Never Back Down, The Killing Floor and Cry Wolf. In addition, he scored the videogames Over the Hedge and Madagascar. Wandmacher also records, produces and remixes electronic music under the name Khursor and wrote and mixed music for Kelly Clarkson for the film From Justin to Kelly. In January, his score to My Bloody Valentine 3-D hits theaters.


http://scoretracknet.blogspot.com/2008/11/michael-wandmacher-scores-punisher-war.html

Nomad



Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: wingit4me on November 09, 2008, 03:43:57 PM
http://www.comicbookmovie.com/punisher/punisher_war_zone/news/?a=5183

Ok Nomad go buy a copy of this when it comes out on Nov. 12 and report back.


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 09, 2008, 05:37:34 PM
http://www.comicbookmovie.com/punisher/punisher_war_zone/news/?a=5183

Ok Nomad go buy a copy of this when it comes out on Nov. 12 and report back.

Ummm...I pre-ordered it day before yesterday. *blush*

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: wingit4me on November 09, 2008, 07:05:30 PM
 :cheer: :cheer: YAY Nomad.  Knew we could count on you  :cheer2: :cheer2:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 12, 2008, 07:34:19 PM
The Global Punisher Army has made a new video with a message from Lexi Alexander.  Here it is:

http://www.globalpunisherarmy.com/gpaboards/index.php?topic=2645.0

You guys/gals know the GPA recently banned me for a week, neh?  It was for posting a sexually explicit picture.  It certainly was NOT.  It was a centaur...a female centaur that I wanted to use as my avatar. 

Were you all aware that females of all sorts have breasts?  Apparently the boys at the GPA were not and they found it shocking.   :dance:

:cheers:
:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 13, 2008, 01:34:33 PM
Woo hoo!  Things are heating up as we come into the stretch!  This billboard is on Lincoln Boulevard in Marina del Rey...I mean, Marina del RAY.

(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Punisher%20War%20Zone/CU20LincolnBlvd20Marina20del20Rey.jpg)

OOF! 

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 13, 2008, 01:38:27 PM
And FINALLY some of those internet typing-heads are getting the message!  This from JoBlo.com:

To be honest, at first I could care less about PUNISHER: WAR ZONE and I thought it was going to be a straight to DVD release. Now the flick's poster is in theaters across the country, it's got a mess of drama behind it's production, and it's actually looking pretty damn good. Go figure.

Needless to say I'm actually set to give WAR ZONE a chance. And this is coming from a guy who's been against this movie from the beginning solely for the lack of Tom Jane. But it's sold me on the trailers and early buzz; I'm game. Today we've got a couple new stills from the flick as well as a new TV spot over in our videos section. Just click through on the stills for bigger shots or click through on the vid below to check it out. The stills obviously center on WAR ZONE baddy Jigsaw.

Dare I say Ray Stevenson might actually surpass Tom Jane as a pretty badass Frank Castle? Man... Jane's going to show up at my door and punch me in the face now, but it had to be said. The movie picks up long after Castle has picked up the title of The Punisher and now faces his most deadly foe yet in Jigsaw. Stevenson steps up as Castle while Dominic West will play Jigsaw. The film also stars Cas Anvar, Julie Benz, Tony Calabretta, Doug Hutchison, Larry Day, and Wayne 'Newman' Knight. Just a few more weeks until we all finally find out if WAR ZONE is actually as good as it's looking; December 5 everywhere.


http://www.joblo.com/arrow/index.php?id=14505

Woo hoo!!!!   :rock: :dance2: :yahoo:

:nomad:



Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on November 13, 2008, 07:03:43 PM
ooh, nice! Thanks, Nomad!

hehee. Is that a pigeon sitting on the billboard, over on the left? *imagines Ray's image turning the gun upward to shoot if the bird appears ready to sh**.

Nice enough pic, I guess. I think they could have found a hotter pic of Ray.

*ducks* *legs it* Just sayin'.


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 13, 2008, 08:04:03 PM
ooh, nice! Thanks, Nomad!

hehee. Is that a pigeon sitting on the billboard, over on the left? *imagines Ray's image turning the gun upward to shoot if the bird appears ready to sh**.

Nice enough pic, I guess. I think they could have found a hotter pic of Ray.

*ducks* *legs it* Just sayin'.

Well, ummm...I don't think the studio is marketing to US, Cam, so the pic they chose is the one most likely to appeal to, erm...THEM.  :cool2:

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on November 14, 2008, 04:25:41 AM
ooh, nice! Thanks, Nomad!

hehee. Is that a pigeon sitting on the billboard, over on the left? *imagines Ray's image turning the gun upward to shoot if the bird appears ready to sh**.

Nice enough pic, I guess. I think they could have found a hotter pic of Ray.

*ducks* *legs it* Just sayin'.

Well, ummm...I don't think the studio is marketing to US, Cam, so the pic they chose is the one most likely to appeal to, erm...THEM.  :cool2:

:nomad:

hahaha. Good point, Nomad. That pic looks rather like the depiction of Frank Castle I saw from the Marvel Spotlight thing (whatever that is) I saw in that recent news item.

3 weeks from today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :o :drule:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 14, 2008, 09:13:35 AM
Another enlightened Comic site weighs in.  Let's show him there are enough true Punisher fans out there to make this film a success!  And enough Ray Stevenson fans!   :dance: :rock:

Am I the only one excited for this movie? I saw another trailer last night during Smallville (OMG, what an episode by the way!), and to me it looks like the movie they should have made in the first place. Or the first two times.

This is the movie that the true Punisher fans have been waiting for. It has Jigsaw, it has Microchip, and best of all, it it full of gratuitous violence. Seems like with all the bad-vibes-rumors surrounding the post-production of the movie, most people have already written it off. Okay, admittedly Jigsaw is no Dark Knight Joker, and he may look a little cheesy, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it?

Too bad the movie will most likely flop. Sure, they seem to have finally made a movie for the life-long Punisher fans, but are there enough “real” Punisher fans out there to justify a box office success?


http://flippedcomics.com/?p=178

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 14, 2008, 12:28:15 PM
Here are a couple of new things...clips to the heavy metal songs so many of us are going to LOVE!  :lol:  Well, you MIGHT love them!  :dance: :rock:

Warning:  lots of violence here, but that's The Punisher for you!

http://hardrockhideout.wordpress.com/2008/11/14/new-punisher-war-zone- video-clips/

The clips took a long time to load...at least on my computer they did, and that's unusual!

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 14, 2008, 01:53:45 PM
Oooh!  Oooh!  Oooh!  Lookee here!  TV ad with message from RAY :crush: that he recorded at Comic-Con!

When I tried to post the Youtube video here, I got the "no longer available" message.  I dunno why, but it's there!  No matter.  Here's a better link:

http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=2247268001

Budiansky:  "You're nothing but a killer, Castle."

Frank: "I'm okay with that." 

Indeed!   :dance:

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 15, 2008, 09:29:59 AM
PodCast with Lexi Alexander!  I'm just about to listen to this.  I hear it's 40 minutes long.  Woo Hoo!

http://www.keramcast.com/keramcast-episode-nine/

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Labiaofthejulii on November 15, 2008, 09:39:21 AM
Woo hoo!  Things are heating up as we come into the stretch!   This billboard is on Lincoln Boulevard in Marina del Rey...I mean, Marina del RAY.

(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Punisher%20War%20Zone/CU20LincolnBlvd20Marina20del20Rey.jpg)

OOF! 

:nomad:


Heating up?! Stretch?! Have you been looking at my undies Nomad?!? Oof espesh after looking at this photo!

I so LOVE seeing this billboard. Although Ray's face seems to have been toyed with a wee bit [and wouldn't I just lurve the opportunity to do that meself!]... his beard looks... too uniform and his eyes look... can't articulate it... almost dehumanised. That annoys me as his eyes are amazingly expressive and a huge part of his character portrayal. They are the main redeeming feature of Frank Castle's violent persona as The Punisher. You can almost touch the pain behind his eyes and look beyond his vengeful stare to reach into his despairing soul. This man needs a bloody big hug once he's blown away the baddies!

Wow - just struck me what a wonderful buzz Ray must get seeing this billboard. I am so looking forward to seeing the film and I firmly believe PWZ will be a turning point in Ray's career and bring him wider success and lead to even bigger and even better things. Ooof! And of course the more we see of him the even better too. And I ain't just talking about his hot bod!


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 15, 2008, 10:01:27 AM
A VERY highly placed insider has directed me to the corner of Barham and Cahuenga Boulevards (about half a mile from Universal Studios) where I may view the LARGEST PWZ billboard in the city.  I shall do that today and report back.  :dance:  With pics!

:cheers:
:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: wingit4me on November 15, 2008, 10:18:30 AM
 :cheer2: WOO HOO Nomad you go girl!!! 


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 15, 2008, 01:29:23 PM
I believe these are new.  At least I hadn't seen them until today. 
(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Punisher%20War%20Zone/789L.jpg)
(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Punisher%20War%20Zone/791L.jpg)
(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Punisher%20War%20Zone/792L.jpg)
(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Punisher%20War%20Zone/794L.jpg)(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Punisher%20War%20Zone/798L.jpg)

Enjoy!
:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on November 15, 2008, 09:57:47 PM
PodCast with Lexi Alexander!  I'm just about to listen to this.  I hear it's 40 minutes long.  Woo Hoo!

http://www.keramcast.com/keramcast-episode-nine/

:nomad:

40 minutes? hmm...later, maybe. Thanks for all the head's-ups, Nomad!!!


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: britmys on November 16, 2008, 11:08:13 AM
Here's a blog entry by someone who has not been in the loop about all the drama surrounding the casting of Ray as The Punisher.  I like what he has to say about our Ray.

Dubious Maxims - http://dubious-maxims.blogspot.com/

:brit:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 16, 2008, 11:33:02 AM
Dubious Maxims!  AHAHA!  Good find, Brit!  That guy GETS it!

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Toduo on November 16, 2008, 12:21:02 PM
Thanks for the photos Nomad. I had seen them before, just a day or so ago. Lotis actually gave a link to them. :cheers:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: wingit4me on November 17, 2008, 02:58:29 PM
http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/article/punisher-war-zone-baddie-looks-like-an-evil-muppet

If you can ignore what this guy has to say about Jigsaw's make-up job, this says there is a screening Seattle on Dec 2.  That must be a good thing.


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 17, 2008, 04:16:46 PM
Isn't that exciting??? 

I saw your post on IMDb about the San Francisco event.  DeAnte can be a bit hard.  Don't mind him!  He's a REAL Punisher fan!

I won't be making the San Francisco event, unfortunately.  But maybe we can get MP3 from the HBO Rome board to go in our stead and take pics.  I'll ask her if she will.

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: wingit4me on November 17, 2008, 04:34:46 PM
   DeAnte can be a bit hard.  Don't mind him!  He's a REAL Punisher fan!

Poor guy, reminds me more of somebody's mom nagging at the kids to keep their socks picked up.  I tried to report his note as abuse on the grounds that he is "spamming the board by posting the same message repeatedly" (or however that reason is worded) and got a reply that there were already sufficient complaints against his posts for the admins to investigate.  Little does he know I was writing mark-up language when he was in diapers.


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 17, 2008, 04:49:46 PM
Oh, just ignore it, Wing.  Lots worse stuff than THAT can happen on that board! :lol:  And the fanboys are getting REALLY excited!

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 18, 2008, 02:00:32 AM
GREAT new video!  Ray, Lexi, Dominic, more!

http://movies.yahoo.com/holiday-movies/Punisher-War-Zone/1809961146/trailers/161

:cheers:
:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on November 18, 2008, 05:38:57 AM
GREAT new video!  Ray, Lexi, Dominic, more!

http://movies.yahoo.com/holiday-movies/Punisher-War-Zone/1809961146/trailers/161

:cheers:
:nomad:

ooof! Like a tank!  :dance:

Thanks, Nomad.


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 18, 2008, 11:10:32 AM
There's an audio interview with Michael Wandmacher, musical composer for PWZ. 

http://scorenotes.com/

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 18, 2008, 02:10:13 PM
British Rating Just Announced---18!  Running time 102:53!

BBFC reference AFF255000

PUNISHER - WAR ZONE Feature Film 
Classified 18 November, 2008 . Run Time 102m 53s

Consumer Advice: Contains strong bloody violence and gore

This work was passed with no cuts made. 

The BBFC has placed this work in the ACTION genre(s). The main spoken language in this work is English.
 
Directed by Lexi Alexander 
The cast for this work includes: Ray Stevenson, Dominic West, Doug Hutchison, Wayne West.

When submitted to the BBFC the work had a running time of 102m 53s.
The running time of this film was calculated from the measured length of 9259+9 ( feet + frames ).
 
This work was submitted to the BBFC by Columbia Pictures Corporation Ltd. .

A film or video, together with associated trailers may exist in several versions and all versions known to the BBFC are listed below.

Category Type Date Company Run Time Cut Title
Film 18/11/2008 Columbia Pictures Corporation Ltd. 102m 53s  PUNISHER - WAR ZONE
 
Details are likely to be more complete and accurate for the version submitted most recently.
When a film is transferred to video the running time will be shorter by approximately 4% due to the differing number of frames per second. This does not mean that the video version has been cut or re-edited.
This entry was last updated 18/11/2008


:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: mob1 on November 18, 2008, 02:17:15 PM
Thanks Nomad....I really like the trailer with Lexi, Dominic, etc...best one I have seen so far!!!   :clap:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 19, 2008, 01:44:03 AM
Billboard on the corner of Barham and Cahuenga, Hollywood:

(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Punisher%20War%20Zone/Cahuenga-Barham1b2.jpg)

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: wingit4me on November 19, 2008, 06:06:29 AM
Am having a premonition that Nomad will end up owning at least one of these billboards when they are  taken down.


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: wingit4me on November 19, 2008, 03:13:40 PM


http://www.playboy.com/style/fashion/ray-stevenson/ray-stevenson.html

Nomad, Will leave it to you to post the pics here... you will like them


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: britmys on November 19, 2008, 05:50:17 PM


http://www.playboy.com/style/fashion/ray-stevenson/ray-stevenson.html

Nomad, Will leave it to you to post the pics here... you will like them

Woo hoo and oof, oof, oof  :ray:.  I made copies of the pics, but I'm sure someone else will be able to enlarge them.   Please?  :drule:

:brit:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: wingit4me on November 19, 2008, 05:51:56 PM
oH OK..... GIVE ME A FEW MINUTES


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on November 19, 2008, 08:06:33 PM


http://www.playboy.com/style/fashion/ray-stevenson/ray-stevenson.html

Nomad, Will leave it to you to post the pics here... you will like them

Oh, have mercy. :dance: hehee. How cute. Thanks, wing!

(I was not allowed to get on that site from the office. And only on my office PC can I really save and print the pics, currently.)


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on November 19, 2008, 08:09:42 PM
Am having a premonition that Nomad will end up owning at least one of these billboards when they are  taken down.

:funny: Right, wingit4me.

Thanks, Nomad!


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 19, 2008, 09:23:40 PM
Wing, this was the find of the century!  OOF!

(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/playboy_1.jpg)
(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/Playboy_2.jpg)
(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/Playboy_3.jpg)
(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/Playboy_4.jpg)
(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/Playboy_5.jpg)

:faint:
:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Labiaofthejulii on November 20, 2008, 04:06:34 PM
Wing, this was the find of the century!  OOF!

(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/playboy_1.jpg)
(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/Playboy_2.jpg)
(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/Playboy_3.jpg)
(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/Playboy_4.jpg)
(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/Playboy_5.jpg)

:faint:
:nomad:

OOOOOF and a merry ooooof again!

Ray looks wonderful in this Playboy photo shoot! He makes me smile and schluurp at these fun yet natural, relaxed and veery sexy poses  :drule:

Oh for a bit of added fun and a giggle lets play Labia's 'Match Wot Ray's [possibly] Thinking Caption to the Picture' game:

1) "Labia! No! For the third time it's Y then M then C then A"

2) "Oi! Labia! Catch this ring! Marry me goddess?!"

3) "Crikey! Labia was right about ice helping the morning after the hot curry the night before!"

4) *Snorks smugly to self* "Labia will NEVER guess I've had to wear the extra-large one under this suit!"

5) "Grrrrr! When I get hold of Labia... she definitely told me these furry underpants wouldn't tickle!"

Sorry Ray  ::)

Couldn't resist it!

Can't resist you!  :snog:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on November 20, 2008, 08:54:04 PM
That pic where Ray has his lip curled up sternly (both fists up near his clavicle) looks a bit too much like something I've seen in my mind's eye. ::)

*wonders if these pics will show up in 'Playboy' magazines which will be available on news stands, or only online*

*wishes pics of Ray would show up in 'Playgirl' magazine, too*

(errr.....Does 'Playgirl' magazine still exist?)


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 21, 2008, 12:34:38 AM
I dunno, Cam, does it?  It would REALLY creep me out to be looking at nekkid pictures of guys younger than my sons.   :sick:  Fortunately for me, Ray makes that cut, though not by much!   :shocking:

What I REALLY want to happen is for Annie Leibowitz to get hold of Ray for a photo session.  This Playboy shoot was lovely, but a mere hint of what could be were the artist and the flesh to meet.  Metaphorically, I mean.  OOFness would be putting it mildly.

I think we should start a campaign of writing to Annie Leibovitz to suggest it to her.  I know this is NOT the way work usually comes to her, but maybe she would consider this...just coz!

:cheers:
:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 21, 2008, 04:27:13 PM
Yummmmmmm. :faint:

http://www.blackfilm.com/20081113/features/punisherspecial_interviewray.shtml

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 21, 2008, 10:34:56 PM
Slurp!

http://www.blackfilm.com/20081113/features/punisherspecial_filmclip1.shtml

http://www.blackfilm.com/20081113/features/punisherspecial_filmclip2.shtml

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on November 22, 2008, 05:56:34 AM
I dunno, Cam, does it?  It would REALLY creep me out to be looking at nekkid pictures of guys younger than my sons.   :sick:  Fortunately for me, Ray makes that cut, though not by much!   :shocking:

What I REALLY want to happen is for Annie Leibowitz to get hold of Ray for a photo session.  This Playboy shoot was lovely, but a mere hint of what could be were the artist and the flesh to meet.  Metaphorically, I mean.  OOFness would be putting it mildly.

I think we should start a campaign of writing to Annie Leibovitz to suggest it to her.  I know this is NOT the way work usually comes to her, but maybe she would consider this...just coz!

:cheers:
:nomad:


Actually, I was kidding about wanting to see Ray in Playgirl. (I have no idea if it is still being published.) I never bought an issue of that magazine and don't care about seeing random men in coy nude poses, as women do in nude magazines. If it were a man I already admired, I would enjoy seeing him do a coy nude pose parodying a nudie shot. :D

Ray's skin looked delicious in those photos, as befits a Playboy photo subject  ;D , but I agree that Annie Leibovitz's photo subjects not only look lusciously ripe but crisp in their clarity as well. They seem to jump off the page. Oof! If she only did a shoot with Ray!!! :o She has a new book of photos which was recently released...... maybe a nice cross-promotion for her book & for P:WZ?  ::) :pray:

:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on November 22, 2008, 06:03:08 AM
Yummmmmmm. :faint:

http://www.blackfilm.com/20081113/features/punisherspecial_interviewray.shtml

:nomad:

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooh. Thanks, Nomad. I was alternately mesmerized by his beautiful face and his beautiful BIG hands. :dance:

I clicked & didn't see anything and thought 'argh', but then heard his voice *eargasm* and realized I had to quickly find the window where the link opened.

:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on November 22, 2008, 06:12:03 AM
Slurp!

http://www.blackfilm.com/20081113/features/punisherspecial_filmclip1.shtml

http://www.blackfilm.com/20081113/features/punisherspecial_filmclip2.shtml

:nomad:

Thanks Nomad!!

Too bad I could not get th volume up very high on those clips. *whine*

:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: wingit4me on November 22, 2008, 06:53:02 AM
(errr.....Does 'Playgirl' magazine still exist?)
Source Wikipedia.org:

In August 2008, the magazine announced that they will cease publication of its print edition as of the January 2009 issue. After that point, the magazine plans to continue with an online-only edition


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on November 22, 2008, 10:08:49 PM
(errr.....Does 'Playgirl' magazine still exist?)
Source Wikipedia.org:

In August 2008, the magazine announced that they will cease publication of its print edition as of the January 2009 issue. After that point, the magazine plans to continue with an online-only edition

Thanks, Wing. The main thing I'm wondering about though ------ is whether or not Ray's photos will appear in the news stand edition of Playboy....and if so, in which issue? It is hard enough to find a copy of Playboy, let alone a copy I can leaf through to see if it's worth my while to buy the magazine.


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: patientia on November 23, 2008, 07:27:54 AM
Ooof ! Ray looks wonderful in these pictures !  :crush:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on November 23, 2008, 08:15:18 AM
Ooof ! Ray looks wonderful in these pictures !  :crush:

Oof! I think I've said it before, Patientia....but....I LOVE your avatar. :dance:

Nice to see you again.

:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on November 23, 2008, 04:02:00 PM
OMG!  An embarrassment of riches!  New cast interviews here:

http://www.blackfilm.com/20081113/features/punisherspecial.shtml

Lexi Alexander, Doug Hutcherinson (hear what he says about Ray...if you aware of the acting classes Doug teashes on The Art of Stillness, this is especially complimentary of Ray), Julie Benz (Angela Donatelli), Colin Salmon (Det. Budiansky), Dash Mikok (Det. Soap), Wayne Knight (Micro), Lexi Alexander (Director), Nick Santora (writer) and Gale Anne Hurd.

They ALL love Ray! :crush:

Nomad


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: TitusPullo on November 25, 2008, 12:19:36 AM
Wing, this was the find of the century!  OOF!

(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/playboy_1.jpg)
(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/Playboy_2.jpg)
(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/Playboy_3.jpg)
(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/Playboy_4.jpg)
(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/Playboy_5.jpg)

:faint:
:nomad:

OOOOOF and a merry ooooof again!

Ray looks wonderful in this Playboy photo shoot! He makes me smile and schluurp at these fun yet natural, relaxed and veery sexy poses  :drule:

Oh for a bit of added fun and a giggle lets play Labia's 'Match Wot Ray's [possibly] Thinking Caption to the Picture' game:

1) "Labia! No! For the third time it's Y then M then C then A"

2) "Oi! Labia! Catch this ring! Marry me goddess?!"

3) "Crikey! Labia was right about ice helping the morning after the hot curry the night before!"

4) *Snorks smugly to self* "Labia will NEVER guess I've had to wear the extra-large one under this suit!"

5) "Grrrrr! When I get hold of Labia... she definitely told me these furry underpants wouldn't tickle!"

Sorry Ray  ::)

Couldn't resist it!

Can't resist you!  :snog:

 :lol: :lol: :lol: Brill as alway, Labia. I can't beat these but perhaps I'll attempt some captions later.


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on November 25, 2008, 07:53:13 AM
Oh, yes, Labia!  :clap: :lol: I was remiss in not saying that, before.

I especially liked the one about the ice helping after the hot curry. :funny: 2nd pic= Number 3 ? ;D


:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: TitusPullo on November 26, 2008, 05:16:46 AM
Right. I'm not in top form but here goes. In honour of Labia.


(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/playboy_1.jpg)
"Get the shot, please... I froze like this a half hour ago..."


(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/Playboy_2.jpg)
"No, I cannot look 'less pissed off'.  I've not moved in a half hour, my jeans* have spot-welded to the ledge, and you've still not gotten the shot. When I peel myself off, you are getting a beatdown."

*-$695.00!


(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/Playboy_3.jpg)
"The seat of my jeans* is still frozen to the ledge and my bumcheeks are now bluer than a choking smurf, but I'm on my feet. Prepare to be beaten so hard that your ancestors feel it."

*-SALE! $395.00!!


(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/Playboy_4.jpg)
"OOOWWWWWW I've just dislocated my shoulder again! Where's stunt double Jeff Wolfe when you need him?!"


(http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u235/NomadsPics/Just%20Ray/Playboy_5.jpg)
"Hold still while I fling my useless limb at you, dammit."

---------------

I know, I know.... (http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/tpdaddy/Emoticons/tomatos.gif) Getting me coat...


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on November 26, 2008, 09:00:24 AM
:funny: I was laughing out loud, Titus. But I may be an easy audience, between the subject and the author. :D

:giggly: I hadn't looked at the prices in the article, before.

I would find the jeans even more valuable (better) now --- on him that is --- now that the seat is torn out. ::) Hey! I would pay for the patch that was torn out.

 ;D If you hadn't had him tear the seat out, I was going to offer to try to pry him loose by getting something warm and wet onto the jeans. :idea:

:bead:


Title: Re: Listen to the score!
Post by: Nomad on November 30, 2008, 07:05:17 AM
The Punisher finally has a proper theme!

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewProfile&friendID=433867960

:nomad:


Title: Re: Listen to the score!
Post by: britmys on November 30, 2008, 12:06:29 PM
The Punisher finally has a proper theme!

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewProfile&friendID=433867960

:nomad:

Woohoo!  That's what I call pulse-pounding music!  I can hardly wait to hear it in the theater.  :yahoo:  Thanks, Nomad.

:brit:


Title: Re: Listen to the score!
Post by: Camamar on November 30, 2008, 12:31:39 PM
The Punisher finally has a proper theme!

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewProfile&friendID=433867960

:nomad:

Woohoo!  That's what I call pulse-pounding music!  I can hardly wait to hear it in the theater.  :yahoo:  Thanks, Nomad.

:brit:

hmm! *humming theme in my head*

Is "Blacktop Combat" part of the soundtrack, too? *clueless*

Thanks, nomad!


Title: Re: Listen to the score!
Post by: Nomad on November 30, 2008, 01:06:15 PM
The Punisher finally has a proper theme!

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewProfile&friendID=433867960

:nomad:

Woohoo!  That's what I call pulse-pounding music!  I can hardly wait to hear it in the theater.  :yahoo:  Thanks, Nomad.

:brit:

hmm! *humming theme in my head*

Is "Blacktop Combat" part of the soundtrack, too? *clueless*

Thanks, nomad!
No, that's from another of his films.

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 01, 2008, 11:42:29 AM
He carried a sword as Titus Pullo in HBO's Rome. Now Ray Stevenson is tooling up as Frank Castle in Marvel's third attempt at a Punisher film. He talks about the man behind the gun in AMCtv.com's interview.

Q: How did Punisher: War Zone come about for you?

A: I was in Marvel's offices to meet with Louis Leterrier for the Hulk movie -- not for Banner but for his nemesis... Obviously they went with Tim Roth, but they were also in talks with Lionsgate for The Punisher and they told the director she should look at me. It's the Garth Ennis writing that just got me hooked. From that moment, I realized if we were able to show a character where there's no redemption, no light at the end of his tunnel, then this thing's got a chance. I just really didn't want people coming out of the cinema thinking about tooling up.

Q: Was it difficult for you to follow in the steps of Thomas Jane and Dolph Lundgren?

A: No, I didn't even watch them until we were finished filming, because ours was a fresh, grassroots restart. I think it's a minefield if you go in and try and right the wrongs of past films. You're going to make your own mistakes. You try and minimize them and just and tell the best story you have. Because what didn't work for you may have worked for somebody else, so you can really run through a lot of hoops and fall flat on your face.

Q: Do you worry the level of gore will turn people away?

A: Not really. The violence is there in the books and we need to see it in the film. But at least we were able to see the flip side of that and show there's a price to pay for it as well. It's wanton in the fact that it's a comic book and it has that violence in it, but it's not trying to justify it. You just have to open the newspapers in most Western news to see real violence.

Q: What was your favorite gun?

A: I don't have a favorite -- it's the one that did the job. It's not about who's got the biggest gun, it's about what's the right weapon for the right situation. So the one that's loaded and pointed at the enemy -- that's my favorite gun.

Q: Would you ever want to play another superhero?

A: Absolutely! I've got a young boy: I want as many toy figures as possible. The only reason I'm doing this is for action figures so my boy can rip them apart.

Q: Tell me about your next film, Cirque du Freak.

A: I had a lot of fun on that. In Rome you had the commitment to the whole Roman set, two thousand years ago and all that. Now there's this real traveling freak show, a dark, obscure, Tim Burton-esque skewed world.

Q: Your character, Murlough, is a Vampaneze. What's the difference between that and a Vampire?

A: Well, the vampires are your modern, New Age thinkers who believe that you don't actually have to kill human beings to take a sip of blood. I came up with a whole philosophy for the Vampaneze: Human beings need to be killed. They are such a fearful and mistrusting creation that if we remove the bogeyman, they'll look inwards, fear nobody but themselves and go the path of self-annihilation. We are the common enemy that unifies these people in their petty fears to actually look after each other.

Q: It's a family film. Was it refreshing to be in something a bit tamer?

RS: Oh my word it's not tame. It's blood-curdling, full of action, full of demons... I even dance! That's gotta be scary.


http://blogs.amctv.com/scifi-scanner/2008/12/ray-stevenson-punisher-interview.php

:nomad:




Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on December 01, 2008, 11:49:56 AM
>>>I've got a young boy: I want as many toy figures as possible. The only reason I'm doing this is for action figures so my boy can rip them apart.<<<

 :D How cute! And I'm sure his son is adorable, too!  ;D

>>>Q: Tell me about your next film, Cirque du Freak.......

......Q: It's a family film. Was it refreshing to be in something a bit tamer?

RS: Oh my word it's not tame. It's blood-curdling, full of action, full of demons... I even dance! That's gotta be scary. <<<

*looking forward to seeing Ray dance* :squirm: :dance2: :yahoo: :cheer2: :cool2: :crush:

Thanks, Nomad!


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Toduo on December 01, 2008, 12:26:02 PM
Thanks Nomad! Enjoyable Q & As :cheers:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: AemiliaCamilla on December 02, 2008, 06:28:02 AM
Thanks Nomad! Great to read some new q&a´s. And Ray gets to air his great sense of humour too... Terrific! :clap:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 02, 2008, 02:42:38 PM
It's not often that I get to trot out this little critical bon mot, but here goes: Punisher: War Zone kicks ass. A lean, mean mayhem machine, this movie gives you almost everything you could want in a movie that is essentially Death Wish on steroids. It took three tries, but they finally got The Punisher right.

Director Lexi Alexander leans heavily on Garth Ennis' Max run on The Punisher. She just about nails that tone perfectly - a black humor based on carnage that edges on cartoonish and simpering, idiotic mawkishness masquerading as character development. I could never tell if Ennis was serious about 'serious' bits in his Punisher run or if that was all part of his tongue in cheek contempt for pretty much everything, and I felt the same way here. Is The Punisher waving at a little girl supposed to be funny or touching? Hard to say. But I do know how I feel about The Punisher holding a little girl in his arms while he shoots a handcuffed guy in the face with a shotgun at close range. I feel good about that.

Alexander's film is drenched in neons and pastels (and blood). While other comic book movies race for realism or gritty noir posturing, Punisher: War Zone takes its own route. Surprisingly the film is often lovely to look at; Frank Castle sits in a neon church, hashing out his moral issues with a priest while in the background multi-colored candles flicker just out of focus. And then, in case this scene was getting too introspective or looking too arty, Castle says 'Sometimes I'd like to get my hands on God...' and everybody laughs. Mazel Tov!

The look of the film actually makes it stand out in that it looks like a comic book. In fact, walking out of the theater the best comparison I could draw was if Lorenzo Semple Jr created the 60s Batman TV show today while binging on some really aggressive meth. Lexi Alexander said that Lionsgate was worried that the film would look like Dick Tracy, and it sort of does, but that's in no way a bad thing. This Punisher lives in a heightened reality where a guy comes at you with a chair and you put one of its legs through his eye. This is - thank the lord - not realism, but something much, much more fun. And wetter.

Ray Stevenson's Punisher is certainly closest to what I would like a big screen version of that character to be. His look doesn't quite work for me - he just looks like a grown up soccer hooligan - but everything else is perfect. Stevenson plays Frank Castle as a shark, a guy who just keeps going. He's invulnerable in the best, most fun way. You're not watching a Punisher movie to see The Punisher struggling with bad guys, you're watching it to see him annihilate them with ridiculous ease, and in inventive ways. Stevenson gets a couple of actorly moments - pain about Frank Castle's slain family, self-doubt when he kills an undercover Fed - but he's mostly business here, and his business is blowing motherfuckers away. What's especially nice is that The Punisher doesn't get a lot of catchphrases or cute lines, so Stevenson just plays the ironic little moments silently. It works amazingly well.

The key performance in Punisher: War Zone, though, is Dominic West as Jigsaw. This performance is the one that will either key you in to what kind of movie you're watching or will completely alienate you. West is a great actor, and his accent work is amazing - check out The Wire and you'll see why I didn't guess he was British until I saw him in 300. Armed with that knowledge, his work as Jigsaw is all the more delightful. His accent is so over the top as to be in the stratosphere. You can see him savoring each distended, overblown vowel as it comes out of his mouth. The level of his performance is legendary - bigger than life doesn't even begin to cover it. Ham is just not enough. Throw in every other pork product and you'll maybe begin to grasp it. And it's wonderful. West is playing in the same sandbox as Cesar Romero and Frank Gorshin and he's making them proud. It's a fun performance, filled with maniacal life and glee. I loved every second of it.

All of this is not to say that Punisher: War Zone is a perfect film. There's a perfunctory second act where the gunfire dies down some, and much of that is dull. To her credit, Lexi Alexander seems to understand that characterization and dialogue are for chumps, and she keeps things steaming ahead at full speed for most of the film's 80 minute runtime. For those fretting about Frank's relationship with a widow and her young daughter, don't worry too much - they exist mainly as bait for the final, epic shoot out. There's too much stuff with cops in the film, but again Lexi doesn't let the movie get too bogged down. These scenes feel more like breathcatchers than filler.

Lionsgate has bookended 2008 with two amazing films, both surprising in their quality and shocking in their violence and both starring Julie Benz. Rambo is a much more serious film than Punisher: War Zone, and probably 'better' on some subjective scale of movie quality, but I had a lot more fun with Punisher. It's possible that Rambo is even more violent, but Punisher: War Zone spreads its violence out like jam on an English muffin, hitting almost every nook and cranny with bloodshed and pain. I leave it to a more ambitious person to catalogue every bit of brutality visited upon the human form in this film, but if you're the person who laughs and applauds at the sight of an old lady's head being turned into a smoking, meaty crater, you're going to fucking love Punisher: War Zone.


8.5 out of 10


http://chud.com/articles/articles/17245/1/REVIEW-PUNISHER---WAR-ZONE/Page1.html

:nomad:



Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 02, 2008, 03:10:04 PM
El Guapo weighs in:

http://latinoreview.com/theatrical-reviews/586

Reviewed by: George 'El Guapo' Roush - 12.01.08
Holy shit. He just shot that dude in the face!!!


****DISCLAIMER**** This review is for entertainment purposes only. As long as I'm being punished in a good way, then you can continue. If not, then please untie me, because these ropes hurt.

I'm not sure why The Punisher has been such a hard character for studios to bring to life. While I've already admitted to having a soft spot for the Dolph version of the character, it's still a pretty weak movie. The Thomas Jane Punisher, though not his fault at all, was just a bad script and really not what The Punisher is supposed to be. It looks like the third time is finally the charm with Ray Stevenson taking on the role of the vigilante to end all vigilantes.

Straying from the clichéd formula of making audiences suffer through 30 minutes of origin bullshit, War Zone starts with The Punisher character already established as a New York crime family killer the cops have been trying to catch for years. Frank is now after another crime family led by Billy Russoti, who later becomes Jigsaw. But how? It's actually a scene reminiscent of Jack Nicolson's transformation into The Joker. During a one man raid in a warehouse, (really, where else would a bunch of bad guys be?) Frank shoves Billy inside of giant bottle breaking machine that looks like an enormous meat grinder. Instead of just shooting him like he did everyone else, he turns the machine on with Billy inside of it screaming in pain. The machine leaves Billy close to death and transforms him from a clean cut gangster into the psychopath known as Jigsaw. Frank now has to deal with Jigsaw and his crazy brother Looney Bin Jim (Doug Hutchinson). He also must deal with is own guilt, when he realizes he shot and killed an undercover agent during the raid.

What this Punisher movie does right that the others did wrong is this is a brutal Punisher. This is not a nice person and not someone who bargains with criminals or makes deals with them to further his agenda. If they're in his way, he will kill them. That's it. This Punisher is so hardcore, that I lost count of the people he killed by the third act. Heads getting blown off, bodies exploding, (one scene with a bad guy jumping from a roof and meeting an unexpected demise is awesome) and faces getting punched in so hard they explode, this is the most grotesque Punisher I have ever seen. And you know what? It's about fucking time. If you have doubts, there is one scene where Frank and two police officers rush into the house of the now widowed (Frank's accidental shooting of her husband) Angela Donatelli (Julie Benz) and her daughter. Jigsaw and his men went there to kill her, but Frank and the others managed to stop them. One of Jigsaw's main guys is handcuffed to a chair in the kitchen when one of the cops tells him he's under arrest. I guess Frank wasn't waiting around for the courts, because he delivers his own brand of justice while holding the daughter in his arms. It's one of the best scenes I think I've ever seen in superhero cinema.

I know there have been a lot of rumors swirling around the net about director Lexi Alexander's supposed firing from the project, (something she herself has denied over and over again.) but I think this has more to do with Lexi wanting to preserve her violent cut of the film. If this movie had been toned down at all, it wouldn't have worked. This is an extremely violent movie. So much so, that I can see why a studio would get a bit scared. But it's this level of violence that works in the movie's favor. You end up wondering just how far this guy will go to punish the corrupt, and he doesn't disappoint. The 3rd act alone is reason enough to see the movie. It's a body count Rambo would be proud of. And the fight scene between Jigsaw and Punisher? Let's just say even the the toughest good guy would try and show some form of mercy. This Punisher isn't that guy.

Another thing that stood out was the lighting. Each scene seemed to have its own color scheme to it, and it kept the movie from having a dull look. I don't mind when a director does something different and since this is based off of a comic book, I actually enjoyed that she took a different approach in regards to the movie's overall appearance. She's also not a stranger to directing action, having done the fantastic Green Street Hooligans. The fight scenes were well put together and easy to follow. Shootouts were fast paced but I could see the action. Something today's film school graduate virgin action directors fail to do. And you know what else I liked? When his guns were empty, he kept them instead of throwing them away. Finally, a guy who uses guns and realizes he may need them again in the future.

There are some things I had problems with. I didn't like the relationship Frank had with the cops. I thought most of the police stuff should have been cut out. I didn't want a side story about the cops wanting to take him in, only to realize they actually need someone like him to get the job done. For me, it wasn't necessary. I also thought the relationship between Frank and the widow and her daughter could have been fleshed out a bit more. I also didn't like some of Jigsaw's scenes that came across as too campy, especially when he's giving a recruiting speech for more soldiers in front of the American flag. Stuff like that takes away from the serious tone of the movie, and I need my villain to be as hardcore and as tough as my protagonist. This isn't to say Jigsaw was done wrong. He wasn't. He's actually a pretty violent guy who also kills in the blink of an eye. I just wanted to see a more serious tone between him and his maniacal brother in most of their scenes together. We also see more Italians portrayed as poor man Soprano knockoffs, but Hollywood hasn't been able to portray us dago's right anyway, so who cares. We're all a bunch of pasta eatin' goofy asses to begin with, so why not make us look like goofy asses on screen? Doesn't bother me.

Look, this isn't the best movie ever made, but it is the best Punisher movie ever made. And that's what's important here. The violence may turn off some people, but they shouldn't be seeing this if they're afraid of a little blood and guts. Comic book fans worried about another Punisher fiasco can rest easy. This Punisher does what he should be doing. And that's shooting first and asking questions later. Much, much later.

Make sure there's a bullet in the chamber when you e-mail: george@latinoreview.com or punish yourself when you follow his updates at Twitter.


:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: LadyAugustine on December 02, 2008, 05:09:04 PM
WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

RAY DID IT!  *ray knocks it into left field and levels buildings* 

 :cheer2:  :cheer2:  :yahoo:  :yahoo: :snoopy: :snoopy: :snoopy: :snoopy:

hot damn, i hope this turns into a series for him.  and even better the news about the next film he's doing.  I am just so CHUFFED (right word? ) that he's finally got recognition. 

nomad thanks so much for posting these.

oh.  and this part cracked me UP in that first review nomad posted today.

Quote
I leave it to a more ambitious person to catalogue every bit of brutality visited upon the human form in this film, but if you're the person who laughs and applauds at the sight of an old lady's head being turned into a smoking, meaty crater, you're going to fucking love Punisher: War Zone. 

no, i don't like seeing that but the way the writer phrased it cracked me up.  sounds like this movie will really please the fans of the comic book series.


YAY!!!!!   

(and i'm starting to get ticked off along with nomad with that journalist that made that nasty little question/crack about ray's age.  he looks damn good,  is getting better looking all the time and is a phenomenal actor.   but you know what?  she's small potatoes, and a petty little snip like that if that's all she could come up with in those circumstances then she's not worth my time.  *haughty look*)


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on December 02, 2008, 07:22:15 PM
WooHOOOOooo!

ummm.....If it's wrong to be hyped up to see Ray owning one and all... so be it!


:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: LadyAugustine on December 02, 2008, 07:40:37 PM
Hey cam!  I'm off to bed in a few,  why would it be wrong to be hyped up to see Ray OWNING this franchise and many more to come?  :drule:

we're ALL pumped about this film i think

cam said:
Quote
ummm.....If it's wrong to be hyped up to see Ray owning one and all... so be it!


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on December 02, 2008, 07:44:04 PM
Hey cam!  I'm off to bed in a few,  why would it be wrong to be hyped up to see Ray OWNING this franchise and many more to come?  :drule:

we're ALL pumped about this film i think

cam said:
Quote
ummm.....If it's wrong to be hyped up to see Ray owning one and all... so be it!

[/quote]
Ohhhhhhh, I was just talking about the violence. Not a violence-lover. But I guess I'm as much of an animal as anyone else.

*smells blood* *ears perk up* *blood rises in me* *breathing comes in pants*


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: LadyAugustine on December 02, 2008, 07:48:01 PM
I don't usually like extremely violent films either cam,  but I will see THIS movie probably with eyes clamped shut during the bloodiest parts  :P  (too pooped to find the right emoticon btw this place has GREAT emoticons)



Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on December 02, 2008, 07:50:59 PM
Hey cam!  I'm off to bed in a few,  why would it be wrong to be hyped up to see Ray OWNING this franchise and many more to come?  :drule:

we're ALL pumped about this film i think


cam said:
Quote
ummm.....If it's wrong to be hyped up to see Ray owning one and all... so be it!

Ohhhhhhh, I was just talking about the violence. Not a violence-lover. But I guess I'm as much of an animal as anyone else.

*smells blood* *ears perk up* *blood rises in me* *breathing comes in pants*
[/quote]

ahahaha! Oh dear. Not touching that one any more than I am right now.

argh. Things going slowly because it's so busy in here? Or is it my computer? :P Ah well.

edited to add: OK... I lied. I just touched it again to try to fix up the quoting stuff. ack. Whatever.

:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on December 02, 2008, 07:56:30 PM
I don't usually like extremely violent films either cam,  but I will see THIS movie probably with eyes clamped shut during the bloodiest parts  :P  (too pooped to find the right emoticon btw this place has GREAT emoticons)



Yes it does!  :clap:

:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: mob1 on December 02, 2008, 08:55:41 PM
I have been trying to post for a while and my puter goes belly-up...aarrrgghhh...

From the sounds of it Ray is the hit of this movie so far...go Ray....YAY, RAY..(I am so poetic  ;D) 

I hope this weekend is a big money maker!!!! They all deserve it..

 :clap: :dance: :dance2: :yahoo: :cheer2: :2drunks:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 02, 2008, 11:24:31 PM
Another Latino Review review.  Very influential in the comic world, they are.

Reviewed by: Ron Henriques - 12.02.08
I enjoy a good drama, an entertaining comedy, or a thought provoking film, with a decent story. But every once in a while that primal side of my brain is in the mood for a visceral experience.  Something that may not make a lick of sense, but is hard hitting and brutal.  Sometimes the ridiculous nature of such material can be hilarious, because we know "it's only a movie".  'Punisher: War Zone' doesn't rank up there with great action films and in fact isn't even a good one.  Yet watching Ray Stevenson literally blow guys heads off in systematic fashion just may be one of the highlights of my year at the movies.

British born Stevenson may be best known as Titus Pullo from the now defunct HBO hit series 'Rome'.  His interpretation of former lawman Frank Castle turned vigilante The Punisher makes Thomas Jane's previous portrayal look like a failed screen test.  Stevenson doesn't even have to speak much because he conducts himself like a man literally carrying an army of demons on his back.  Where Jane tried to portray The Punisher as a former James Bond type Fed who worked undercover and employed various disguises, Stevenson is a straightforward former law man who gets pissed his family were gun downed after witnessing a mob execution and decides to take it out on the world.  What this film lacks in plot and fully dimensional antagonists it makes up for in bloody thrills.

Gale Anne Hurd and her producing team seem well aware that they screwed up creating the previous film and the fact that she's married to its director Jonathan Hensleigh probably blinded her from that truth for quite some time.  It's not like they set out to make a worse film than the original Dolph Lundgren offering, but let's face it, Jane as well as the villainous John Travolta turned that film into a terrible SNL skit.  Much like she did with this summer's 'The Incredible Hulk', this new Punisher is a reboot and like the last film it is very funny, but not in the way you imagine.  Casting Stevenson was the key, because sometimes all an audience wants to see is a tough guy terminate, I mean kill people.  Within the first ten minutes, he wipes out a mob family by snapping necks, pulverizing faces and even stabbing the top of heads with his knife like they were pumpkins.  Even women aren't safe as he breaks the neck of a mob guy's moll when she tries to protect him and its safe to say this bunch won't live to see dessert.  Stevenson is so tough that he even resets his broken nose by shoving a pencil up his nostril and snapping it into place.

The NYPD (though this film looks like it was shot in Canada) are full aware of who the Punisher is and frankly don't care.  They're too busy building cases to take down mob families and if a vigilante can help them do it faster then why not.  That doesn't sit well with a federal agent played by Colin Salmon of James Bond fame.  Early in the picture Stevenson shoots a mob enforcer while storming a factory and doesn't realize until its too late that he was Salmon's partner, an undercover operative.  Now that he's taken the man away from his wife (Julie Benz) and daughter, Stevenson is actually feeling guilty about shooting first and asking questions later and tries to act as a guardian for the pair from a safe distance.

Having The Punisher show his emotional side sounds like a downer for this type of film because we want to see him kill and blow sh*t up.  On top of that we want to see some good bad guys.  The villains in this picture aren't much better than the last one and instead of intelligent and intense performances in the style of say a James Bond villain, we get a low rate Hannibal Lector with Leatherface as his brother.  Dominic West, the brilliant star of that other HBO series 'The Wire' disappears behind heavy make-up as a vain playboy type mobster who gets his face disfigured after The Punisher drops him in a glass bottle crushing machine.  Now known as Jigsaw (not that Jigsaw who always wants "to play a game"), the man is understandably upset over the loss of his looks and seeks revenge by taking out his frustrations on the widow Benz and her daughter.  To up the stakes (or make the antagonists look even goofier), West busts his insane cannibalistic older brother Doug Hutchinson out of an asylum who goes by the name "Looney Bin Jim".  Hutchinson may be familiar for his other cannibalistic role as the monstrous  Eugene Tooms on the 'X-Files' and though he has put in solid work in films like 'The Green Mile', he's nothing more than a Little Italy's version of Hannibal Lector.

Though the brothers attempt to complete an arms deal and rally and army to defeat The Punisher, they are one of the least interesting things about the film.  Just about all of the bad guys are cartoon characters in the worst way possible.  They may be insane, but its a little tough to believe that West and Hutchinson aren't even the least bit scared by a 6'5" vigilante who will destroy half the city to get to them.

It would have been nice if Hurd and director Lexi Alexander avoided some of the James Bond elements that plague the story--in this case, the addition of Wayne Knight as The Punisher's "Q" type weapons dealer "Micro".  Knight actually looks like he's a successful product of the Slim Fast diet and isn't the fat pig we remember that brought down 'Jurassic Park'.  But he's really an unnecessary element and if you're looking for Newman from 'Seinfeld' look somewhere else, because he fails to be funny.

What is funny is the cartoon violence that Stevenson engages in to kill people.  Seems like he has a weapon for every situation and is gonna be pretty pissed if he hasn't used every single one by film's end.  Though he tries to emotionally connect with Benz and her daughter while protecting them, it doesn't work since he looks like he'd be happier just killing people. 

CGI can be a wonderful tool in cinema.  It can be used to create vast and mythical landscapes like in 'The Lord of the Rings', make us fall in love with intelligent robots like 'Wall-E' or realistically showcase just what a shotgun blast can do to a guy's face like this film.  You can't deny the realism of prosthetic make-up, but there's something jolting and insanely pleasurable about seeing bad guys go from looking normal to losing half their heads in the split second it takes for the hero to pull the trigger.  'Punisher: War Zone' opens strongly with such violence and they starts to peter out when we get into the character's emotional guilt over killing an undercover agent.  Just when I started to hate the film for becoming bland or looking like a Sprite commercial with a sequence involving a group of acrobatic thieves, my reverie was interrupted by the familiar streaking sound of a rocket propelled grenade.  Many of the Punisher's victims that are dispatched by rocket or shotgun blast should consider themselves lucky, because if you end up merely maimed or cut in half after one of his attacks he has far more gruesome plans in store for you.

If you're looking for a compelling comic book story involving a battle of wit and intelligence between the hero and the villain, I think it's safe to see 'The Dark Knight' (again).  If you want just a badass hero blowing sh*t up left and right with a nonsensical story to boot, look no further.  This ain't no masterpiece, but at least its got more thrills and (unintentional) humor than similar genre pics like 'Max Payne' or 'Transporter 3'.  Will there be a 'Punisher 3' (or 4?)?  Probably not.  But the fun here is great while it lasts.


http://www.latinoreview.com/theatrical-reviews/587

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Lotis on December 03, 2008, 01:26:11 AM
An interview with Jeff Wolfe.  :drool2:

Clint chats to the real Punisher
Moviehole.com (http://www.moviehole.net/200816817-clint-chats-to-the-real-punisher)
12/03/08

Ray Stevenson may be the star of the new ''Punisher'' movie, ''Punisher : War Zone'' (The ''Rome'' star replaces Thomas Jane who opted not to return as vigilante Frank Castle a second time) but there’s another star of the show, albeit unseen – Jeff Wolfe, the veteran stuntman who doubles for the bulky Stevenson. CLINT MORRIS caught up with the expert daredevil to talk about his involvement in this year’s most brutal comic-book movie!

How did you get involved in The Punisher War Zone?

I received a call from Lionsgate that the Director, Lexi Alexander, saw my stuff from her long-time Stunt Coordinator friend Pat Johnson. I had no Idea what the show was, so when they told me it was a new take on The Punisher, I did my best not to completely geek out! I’d been a fan of the comic since I was a kid, and from what Lexi told me of her vision of Frank Castle, I immediately wanted in!

Is a requirement for stuntmen/women to look a little like the actor they’re doubling for?

Yes, height and build have to be pretty similar. The face isn’t so important, that would be asking a lot. I got lucky with Ray because we are the same size head to toe. We’ve done two films together now and most people who meet us think we’re related, although that could be more about our interaction as friends…I’m the little brother he never wanted! [Laughs]

What kind of relationship did you and Ray have- close, or was he a little jealous that he wasn’t the one getting to do the ‘fun’ stuff?

Our relationship was unlike any I’ve seen in fourteen years of film work. Ray and I met in Montreal six weeks before starting the film. We were there to train together, choreograph fights, and learn Franks’ military style from Jon Barton of Gunmetal. A few nights into the training we met on the rooftop patio of our hotel and Ray proceeded to tell me that I was going to be sharing the role of The Punisher with him! Most stunt doubles, especially in action roles understand that although this may be the truth, it’s never recognized, let alone verbalised by the lead of the film! He went on to say how important it was going to be, to be seamless on screen and therefore I would be privy to his character and the choices he’d made to portray, that way whoever is in front of the camera for a scene, Frank Castle was always the same. It’s brilliant, really, but too few actors have the self-confidence to see that stunt people only add to their characters’ world. We have an understanding… I don’t speak for him, and he doesn’t jump off buildings for me!

Tell me about some of the ‘fun’ stuff you got to do in the new film?

Well, I showed up to a table full of almost every kind of automatic weapon imaginable. J.B. ( Barton from Gunmetal) put me through the ringer with all kinds of tactical combat stuff ( sorry, not the technical term!). I’m sure you’ve seen the Chandelier hang with the twin guns… that was awesome to do! And the jump across the alleyway from the fourth floor scaffolding to the second floor balcony, that was great also. Of course, being that it was about 20 degrees outside, I was just happy to finally crash through the boards and window and get inside!! The thing that was most fun though, was the first time I put the vest on. When you know a character that well, and you look in the mirror and you’re him, It’s like every kids dream of being the super-hero… nothing tops that!

You’re also a martial-artist. Were you required to use it for this film?


Well, Frank is a bear. Fluid and smooth he ‘aint, so I needed to reign in on some of my martial arts flash and incorporate more of a heavy-weight boxer mentality to his moves. Ray was great with this because he knew him so well from the start, it made it easy to come up with what Frank would do in any given situation. There’s no butterfly kicks coming from Castle… it just doesn’t work!

Have you seen the film yet? How’s it look –action packed?

I’ve seen some cuts a couple of months ago. That was before it was locked and had the soundtrack and it was fantastic then! I can’t wait to see the final! Ray and I had a running joke that we were keeping a body count of the bad guys… let’s just say halfway through, we had to give that up! It’s what a Punisher film should be, let me just say that.

How did you get into the stunt-game?

I played the role of Billy the kid in Once Upon a Time in China and America opposite Jet Li. Sammo Hung directed it and took me to Hong Kong after. We did a horrible Van Damme movie called Knock Off, then it was back to the states to do Martial Law the T.V. show. I was a starving actor, paying the bills by teaching martial arts when a few stunt guys I was beating up told me I should think about doing stunts… the rest as they say…;-)

And what kind of martial-arts do you do? Also, which film showcases your martial-arts the best?


I started with Ju-Jitsu for seven years when I was fourteen, then moved to Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido and finally Wushu for weapons and all the flash that film requires. Any time you see a fall or roll that looks like it would have hurt, I have the Ju-Jitsu to thank for being able to get back up again! I guess the weapon work has been showcased best in all the Pirates of the Caribbean films I’ve been blessed to do, as well as The Scorpion King with the Rock. I doubled the bad guy and did all the double sword work.

Ever had any serious injuries?

Cracked ribs, broken fingers, pinched nerves, bone bruises, torn ACL, sprained ankles, etc… nothing serious.

Who is the best actor you’ve worked with?

I’ve worked with some greats in the business. Johnny Depp, Pierce Brosnan, Sam Jackson, Viggo Mortensen, Jackie chan and so on… All great guys who are fantastic at what they do. I would have to say that Ray stands out to me though, because not only is he amazing at what he does ( have you seen ROME?? Pullo Kills! ) but he’s a man’s man. Not an ounce of prima donna there. He’s lived a real life and I think that’s what gives him so much to draw on in his characters. Sorry if it sounds like I’m biased, with the film and all, but any way I cut it, it’s the truth!

What’s next for you, Jeff?


There are some things on the table right now, but my hope is Punisher hits big and we can do more! I’m selfish… I just want to put the skull back on!


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: AemiliaCamilla on December 03, 2008, 04:25:42 AM
Another review, from dvdfuture.com:

http://www.dvdfuture.com/review.php?id=1204

Lionsgate needs to stop making "Punisher" films. He’s a great character, full of angst and fury, and his film series could be wrought with heaping loads of gratuitous action, and searing moments of poignant emotionality. But, Lionsgate just isn’t the studio to handle such a violent, but pliable franchise. They’ve had three tries now and they’ve failed on each attempt. It’s time to hand over the character.


Their first outing was back in the late 80s, with Dolph Lundgren as the title character. The film was never released to theaters in the U.S., but developed quite a reputation on video over the years. To be honest, it’s still probably the best of the three pictures, but that’s not saying much.


The second attempt was probably the studio’s biggest effort. Tom Jane took over the role, along with a cast and crew of A and B-list performers and craftsman. Paired with a cheesy melodramatic-western template and an equally squandering script that hardly matched the tone and spirit of the series, the film fell flat on its face, only providing brief moments of entertainment, and occasionally unintentional humor.


So that brings us current. Tom Jane passed on the project and so did most of Hollywood’s more respectable directors, but Lionsgate lucked out. Filling in this time for the Punisher is Ray Stevenson ("Rome"). Behind the lens is up-and-coming director Lexi Alexander ("Green Street Hooligans"). They’re a respectable pair who hoped to bring style and class back to the dying franchise. Armed with lavishly designed sets, a decent budget and a fairly strong set of supporting character actors, Stevenson and Alexander went to work on their adaptation. But, nothing could save them from the straight-to-video tackiness of the film’s wayward, misguided and genuinely terrible screenplay, from Nick Santora ("The Longshots"), Art Marcum and Matt Halloway (screenwriters of "Iron Man").


This time around, the Punisher is living in New York City. He’s been making the rounds, killing and destroying the criminal underworld for nearly six years and he’s made considerable head-way. Tracking him is Detective Soap (Dash Mihok, putting on his worst "gee golly" face) and F.B.I. agent Paul Budiansky (Colin Salmon). Also on his tail is Jigsaw (Dominic West, trying his best to channel Heath Ledger’s The Joker), a seedy criminal whose face is mangled towards the beginning of the film by the Punisher.


The film spends far too much time setting up Jigsaw, only to have him completely overshadowed by his brother, Looney Bin Jim (Doug Hutchison, "The Green Mile"), who plays a mentally insane nutbag with enough energy and over-the-top gust to last two pictures. Make no mistake, neither performer does a great job in their respective roles. Both are given annoying New Jersey accents, likely done to convey that this story does, in fact, take place in or around New York, but Hutchison revels in his lavish role far more than West, who seems stiff, nervous and inconsistent.


Perhaps in a world pre-"Dark Knight," "Punisher: War Zone" would have played better. But, with Ledger’s performance causing such a stir, a character like Jigsaw just seems tiresome--a carbon copy of the infamous DC villain. It’s probably not intentional, either. It’s just a consequence of such an earth-shattering performance.


Thankfully, Lexi Alexander spends most of her time focusing on the Punisher, aka Frank Castle. Stevenson gives Castle a nice emotional weight, balancing angst, anger and deep emotion. Sadly, he’s simply not given enough balanced dialogue to round out his physical performance. It certainly doesn’t help that most of his dialogue comes during his wobbled exchanges with Julie Benz, who plays a widowed wife of an F.B. I. agent. Benz is always a bit over-the-top with her characters and her character here is so useless in the narrative (she’s the damsel in distress), her performance stands out even more.


It’s certainly not her fault entirely. The screenwriters could have helped her out a little. Instead, they spend way too much time milling around with the confused, and disturbingly illogical script, never once redesigning dialogue to sound natural, logical or coherent. Almost every single scene was crushed by patches of stupid dialogue exchanges and cheap one-liners. Why Lionsgate didn’t bring on real "Punisher" writers, like Garth Ennis, is wholly confusing.


At least the film’s set design is inventive, if somewhat annoying. There must have been a discount on neon lights as the film is completely covered with bright hues of red, blue, purple, green, yellow and orange. In reality, this was probably done to hide some of the film’s obvious budget limitations, but there isn’t a single scene not shrouded with ubiquitous color. It proves inventive in some cases, like the color denominations of each gang, but a bit too comical in others, like the church that Castle visits which features not one, but two neon crucifixes. I understand the stylistic choice of flushing color into a scene. It worked incredibly well in "The Dark Knight," but here it lacks focus--popping up in every single scene without reason or coherency. Even though it doesn’t always work, it still works well with the over-the-top hyper-New York setting, matching Marvel’s current "Punisher Max" series.


Also consistent with that series is the film’s disturbingly bloody violence. While not quite as gruesome as Stallone’s recent actioner, "Rambo," the film is loaded with the red stuff, never once opting for grimy subtlety. Limbs are chopped off. Heads explode. Blood spurts ounces with every gunshot. Skin is torn off. Knifes slash with bloody glee. Knuckles bash and bruise on sight. It’s not going to be for everyone’s tastes, but those who’s grown a fondness for Marvel’s "MAX" series, this film doesn’t disappoint.


It’s a shame the film didn’t go a little subtler, though. In the film, Castle’s violent actions were most effective when he killed someone off-screen. Moments of cut-away violence leave the gore up the viewer’s imagination, which is probably more graphic than anything seen on-screen. Here, there’s very little of that. Everything is on display, from the throat slashes to the grenade blasts.


I hope that one day Marvel will gain control of this series and churn out a decent adaptation. The third time wasn’t a charm for Lionsgate and I’m sure the fourth time won’t be either. Nor will the inevitable straight-to-video sequels.


The Punisher is my favorite comic character. He has no honor like Batman or Daredevil. He has no superpowers like Superman or Spider-man. He’s just a shell, instinctively offing anyone with evil intentions. It’s a compelling dimension that’s cinematic by definition. May he find a decent screenwriter and a creative filmmaker willing to craft a tale more in line with the spirit of the character’s internal angst. Until that time, may he rest in peace.


Film Report Card:

Entertainment Value: B-

Film Value: D+


Final Grade:

C-




Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on December 03, 2008, 06:20:19 AM
>>>Who is the best actor you’ve worked with?

I’ve worked with some greats in the business. Johnny Depp, Pierce Brosnan, Sam Jackson, Viggo Mortensen, Jackie chan and so on… All great guys who are fantastic at what they do. I would have to say that Ray stands out to me though, because not only is he amazing at what he does ( have you seen ROME?? Pullo Kills! ) but he’s a man’s man. Not an ounce of prima donna there. He’s lived a real life and I think that’s what gives him so much to draw on in his characters. Sorry if it sounds like I’m biased, with the film and all, but any way I cut it, it’s the truth!
[/b]

 :clap: Thank you, Jeff!

>>>What’s next for you, Jeff?

There are some things on the table right now, but my hope is Punisher hits big and we can do more! I’m selfish… I just want to put the skull back on!<<<


May we see more of Jeff!  :cool2:  :rock:

I would love to be able to get one of those skull pins, like the one I spotted on Ray's lapel. Wonder if those were only available to those who worked on the film.

:bead:



Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 03, 2008, 01:23:22 PM
Ray had those made as gifts for people who worked with him, just as he had the XIII rings made for the peeps working on Rome.  Isn't he sweet?

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Lotis on December 03, 2008, 01:43:50 PM
A new interview with Lexi ...


DIRECTOR LEXI ALEXANDER ENTERS THE 'WAR ZONE' FOR 'PUNISHER'

The former world karate and kickboxing champion also talks about wanting to JONAH HEX as her next film
By A.C. FERRANTE, Editor in Chief
iFMagazine.com (http://www.ifmagazine.com)

It figures it would take a former world karate and kickboxing champion like Lexi Alexander to be able to finally make a PUNISHER movie fans were thirsting for.

But that’s what the indie director of GREEN STREET HOOLIGANS has been able to do, bringing the Marvel comic book character to life on the big screen by staying true to the gritty style of the Max incarnation that fans love so much.

More of a reboot like THE INCREDIBLE HULK, than a direct sequel to the 2004 reboot that starred Thomas Jane, PUNISHER: WAR ZONE stars Ray Stevenson (ROME) as Frank Castle, a one-man avenging force out to take down all organized crime in retribution for the death of his family many years ago.

The Punisher is a very mythic character – flesh and blood, but kick-ass nonetheless. And he’s met a formidable foe in former pretty boy gangster whose face is destroyed in a Punisher-executed hit, but survives, only to be stitched together to become the super-villain Jigsaw (no relation to the SAW franchise).

Alexander spoke with iF this week in this exclusive interview about her new film (which opens Friday), what the future might hold for another PUNISHER film and JONAH HEX, which she would love to do as her follow-up .

iF MAGAZINE:  How is going from the indie film world, where the struggles and problems are on a much smaller scale to jumping aboard a big comic book movie adaptation like PUNISHER: WAR ZONE where everyone is watching every step you make?

LEXI ALEXANDER: It’s an interesting experience I have to say. It’s really annoying some times and it’s really liberating other times when something is so well known. I could potentially have millions of people see this movie this weekend. On my previous film, I had to win awards and build up to it and still people didn’t come. The marketing machine is very important. So that to me is really awesome that I actually have people in the seat. They may hate it, they may love it, but they’re actually ending up in the seat and knowing about it.

iF: There’s been two previous PUNISHER movies, what do you have to say to fans about what makes this different than the previous two movies?

ALEXANDER: I don’t think there was a franchise yet. Each time they did a PUNISHER, they hoped for a franchise, but it didn’t quite work. The die-hard comic book fans and the die-hard PUNISHER fans buy it. I think this studio realized this is a property that could have a franchise and could be really cool. They just gave it another try. So what I did was focus on what the last films didn’t do well. What did the fans criticize? The kids that actually spent their pocket money spent on these expensive comic books, I want to know what they want on the screen. That was important to me. I think I’ve achieved that and that’s what they wanted and hopefully we’ll get a few mainstream people to like it as well.

iF: Is there a director’s cut that’s even more graphic?


ALEXANDER: I think they let me put all the violence I had on the screen.

iF: Were there any scenes left on the cutting room floor?


ALEXANDER: There’s more quiet scenes leftover. More acting scenes.

iF: Have they talked to you about doing a “director’s cut” down the road?

ALEXANDER: I have not heard from Lionsgate if they want to do that. I’m pretty sure if this film does well, and if there is a request for a director’s cut, they will do that. There’s probably about ten minutes cut.

iF: How different was the cut?

ALEXANDER: I think the studio wisely wanted to have a very fast-paced film. They have many more reasons for that than I could ever imagine and it has to do with so many things that I could not put my head around. They wanted it to be a certain [running] time. And I had ten minutes more of longer scenes with Ray and the girl. More calm and quiet stuff. I think people would like it, but I think it was right to not have it in this film. This is the right theatrical release.

iF: How does being a martial artist yourself help being an action director?

ALEXANDER: I don’t think executives ever go, "she was a world kickboxing champion, let’s hire her." I think they mainly look at my previous films. I think the actors are more interested. To tell a guy like Ray to throw a punch -- not any girl can come to tell them how to do it. They know I have a history and this was my professional life, so they do take it from me. I don’t think they would take it from too many guys.

iF: Could you take Ray down?

ALEXANDER: I’m not only a kickboxing champion, but my first job in the U.S., I trained Marines at Camp Pendleton to do hand-to-hand combat. I am an actual hand-to-hand combat instructor, so I don’t believe a lot of people could take me down unless they’re equally trained in hand-to-hand combat. They’re always physically strong.

iF: So you could pretty much take him down …

ALEXANDER: Yes, I can pretty much take every actor down. [laughs]

iF: Does that make you a pretty intimidating force on set?

ALEXANDER: In a way that helps. They’re all like little kids on set, it’s good to have someone cracking the whip every once and awhile.

iF: You were saying you’ve been offered other comic book movies.

ALEXANDER: I’ve been sent scripts where I’m competing with other directors. I’ve had offers, but nothing I would ever consider doing at this point. The goal after doing a PUNISHER movie is to go up to a higher budget. I’m not going backwards to do a $10 million or $15 million film unless the script is outrageously good. So I’m going to choose very carefully and right now it’s a very slow time. I’m competing with directors who have been in the business for a long time. It’s really quite crazy who goes in and out of these offices when I’m there. This is good competition. I am a competitor. I’ll go up against anybody.

iF: You were mentioning JONAH HEX. Is that something you would like to do?

ALEXANDER: Yes, I’m definitely going up for it. especially since it’s in the vein of the PUNISHER, I’m definitely fighting for it.

iF: What appeals to you about that property?


ALEXANDER: I think mainly because Josh Brolin is attached to it. I think he’s the perfect actor for the part. He’s a great actor, I would love to work with him. I think it’s another dark character that’s very controversial, very three-dimensional. I don’t think the script is all there, but it could be and the comic book is great.

iF: Have you dug deep into the comics yet?

ALEXANDER: Not yet. I did ask my PUNISHER fan boys, and they think it’s great. They say, “please Lexi, say 'yes.'” So I’m going to try to listen to what they say.

iF: What is the studio's take on JONAH HEX?

ALEXANDER: It’s not as dark as THE PUNISHER, I think there could be an interesting story there.

iF: Are you signed for another PUNISHER movie?


ALEXANDER: Not yet. I’m deciding pretty soon.

iF: If they asked you to come back to do another PUNISHER, would you seriously consider it?

ALEXANDER: No, but they should ask Ray Stevenson. He’d be a great director. I’m serious. He’s so immersed, he could direct it himself. He really knows the PUNISHER inside out. If this film succeeds, to do a sequel with another director, would be difficult. I’m all rooting for Ray to direct this. They would get a surprisingly good film if they got him to direct the sequel.


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Lotis on December 03, 2008, 07:22:35 PM
An interview with Ray and Lexi and Gale Anne Hurd ...


We Talk Newer, Bloodier 'Punisher' with Ray Stevenson and director Lexi Alexander!

Fearnet.com (http://www.fearnet.com)

The latest incarnation of The Punisher is easily the goriest and most violent yet.  In fact, I think it’s the goriest movie of the year.  Step aside, Saw V!  We’re talking necks slit to the point of decapitation, chair legs through eye sockets, necks broken at every imaginable angle, and more impalings than I can count.  Punisher: War Zone is a kind-of, kind-of-not sequel to the 2004 Thomas Jane film.  This one stars Ray Stevenson as Marvel Comics’ bloodthirsty angel of death Frank Castle, and 300’s Dominic West as his crazed archenemy Jigsaw.  It’s directed by Lexi Alexander, a feisty German filmmaker who proves that blood-fueled action movies are no longer a guy’s genre. Read our conversation with Stevenson, Alexander and action producer extraordinaire Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator, The Incredible Hulk) after the jump.

Lexi, can you talk about your familiarity with The Punisher and what made you want to direct this movie?

Alexander:  I was not familiar with the comic book at all when I got the script.  I have to say, getting a script called Punisher 2 – which it still was by the time I got it – I wasn’t jumping out of my chair [with excitement].  When I read it, it was the Nick Santora draft – I think I got that version by accident.  I thought, “Wow, this is really interesting.  I’d like to look at the comic books.”  By the time I got the job, Marvel sent me two boxes of comic books.  I read them over a weekend and thought, “Why didn’t I read comic books before?”  I studied it really hard.  I also studied what the fans didn’t like about the previous versions, what they were expecting.  I got in touch with a lot of fan boys.  I think the only person who was more obsessive about researching The Punisher was Ray Stevenson.  By the end, he was telling me, “Oh no, this was in issue 77!”

Garth Ennis’s name is all over the production notes, but it is nowhere on the film.  Did he not want his name on it?

Hurd: Garth has a very full slate in the comic book world.  I think the way the credits go is that it was based on characters from the Marvel comic-book world, as opposed to any particular writer.

Ray, can you talk about your preparation for this role?

Stevenson: We had an extensive pre-film period.  Worked out about three or four months.  Thankfully, we did a lot of endurance training.  That has paid the biggest dividend.   We did do very concise work with the weapons.  It wasn’t about having the biggest gun, it was about having the right gun, knowing how to use it.  We had some great guys from the Marines and Special Forces.  The thing about Frank is that he doesn’t have super powers.  He has his training and his discipline.  He doesn’t have magic magazines that never run out of ammo.  We really worked at that.  Also, he is a very popular character with the military.  Basically, Frank Castle is the weapon and the guns are just an extension of himself.

Someone asked if I had a favorite gun.  I said, “Yeah, the one that was loaded and pointed at the enemy.”

Frank is a really complicated character.  Was there anything that really resonated with you personally?

Stevenson: I think one of the special motivators for me was that he chose a path with no redemption for him.  There is no light at the end of the tunnel he has chosen.  There is something kind of mythical and tragic about that.  He’s not looking for redemption, he’s not trying to say he is there to save the innocent.  He’s made his choices, and there is a price to pay for that.  I like that his commitment had an honesty to it.  They say that when being an actor, “you hit the mark, look the other guy right in the eye, and tell the truth.”  Yes it is a pretend world, but you have to step up and be honest with it.

Lexi, can you talk about the look of the film, especially the different color palettes you used?

Alexander:  All credit goes to our wonderful DP Steve Gainer.  When I researched what people didn’t like about the previous Punisher, a lot said they didn’t like that it was set in Florida, they didn’t like the light.  I just took what the fans said, because if they liked it, it would be a success for us.  I looked at the Max comic books, and was struck by the great color work.  I thought it was probably because they don’t have the budget to print too many colors, so they have three in each frame.  But whatever.  I wanted to put the Max comic book on screen exactly.  It was a risk, but I’m glad they said, “Go do it.”  The other day, one of my agents came to me and said, “I was surprised.  I thought this would look like shit.  But it looks really good!”  I fought very hard for this DP.

Three days before shooting, I kept thinking, “Something is wrong.”  I realized it was the wardrobe.  We can’t have the wardrobe in eight different colors!  The colors had to be the same [to fit with the lighting].  I don’t know why I didn’t think about this before.  The wardrobe would have fucked everything up – would have made a circus out of things.  I think it has paid off.

Was there any so-called male chauvinism when you came onto this picture, being an action film and all?

Alexander: I will answer this politically correct.  I wasn’t the first choice for this film.  I think some of the more conservative money guys didn’t want me, they wanted the other guy.  Then they ended up with me.  I like that on this project, no one I worked with directly ever said, “She’s a female filmmaker.”  They just said, “She’s the right filmmaker.”

When I wanted to pass on this film, my friend said, “If you pass on this I’m going to kick your ass.  You might be the only girl who breaks through the action-movie glass ceiling.  You have to do it.”  It should be like that.

Do you think that there is something that a female prospective brings to the action movie genre?


Hurd:  From my perspective, we are trying to get to the point where we are gender-neutral.  It’s more about the right filmmaker, and what they bring to it.  The minute you say a female director didn’t screw it up or did screw it up, then everybody suffers.  Lexi has taken a huge step towards showing you can have a completely violent movie, and you don’t have to be a guy.

Lexi, how much trouble did you have with the MPAA?

Alexander: I have to be honest.  I think it is funny that we can get away with so much violence and so little sex [in the United States].  Because of the films I do, I love America for that.  It’s completely opposite in Europe.  I didn’t have any trouble with them about the violence.

When you approached your character, did you look at the Thomas Jane version first?

Stevenson: No.  I was aware of it, and the Dolph Lundgren one.  I watched the Thomas Jane version afterwards.  It was clear to me that we were doing a different movie.  It wasn’t a follow-up movie, it was in no way connected.  So there was no need for me to go in and see those.  If I was playing a role on stage, I wouldn’t necessarily go and see another actor playing that role.

Growing up, did you ever see yourself playing a comic book character?

Stevenson:  No, I didn’t.  We used to go off to the Saturday morning picture show, my brothers and I.  I was enchanted at an early age.  I immersed myself in that world.  I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be an actor, but it just didn’t seem possible.  I finally admitted to myself that I wanted to act.  It’s been an interesting journey.

Ray, this is such an unusual role for you to play.  Were you surprised when it came to you?

Stevenson: I wasn’t aware of the character beforehand.  I got a phone call out of the blue saying, “Do you want to do this Punisher movie?”  “Is there a script?”  “No, no, you can’t read the script.  We’re not sure about it.”  How can you commit to something like that?  Then I was in England, and Lexi called me up and said, “Ray, you are Frank Castle.  You are going to be Frank Castle.  If you have any doubts about this movie, I will put your doubts to rest.”  Who is gonna argue with that?

Alexander: There is previous story.  His agent passed twice to me.  He said, “No, I don’t want him to be in something like that.”  To this day, I believe that if we weren’t at the same agency, this never would have happened.  I threatened them I would leave if I didn’t get on the phone with him. I think I did more “car selling” on this movie than any other.  I talked everybody into it.

When we sat down for the casting meeting, I said, “I want a real guy’s guy.  I don’t want a Ken doll, I don’t want a pretty boy.”  When they suggested Ray Stevenson, I had never seen Rome.   I couldn’t afford HBO at the time.  I stopped at Blockbuster on the way home, put in the first episode.  I stopped in the middle, sent out an email, and said, “If you don’t get him as The Punisher, I’m not doing the film.”

Hurd:  The first time I met Ray it was for The Incredible Hulk.

Stevenson:  Yeah.  They hadn’t cast Ed Norton yet, so I was up for the nemesis part.  It was a great meeting.  But then they got Ed Norton [to be the Hulk] so it was going to be Tim Roth [as the Abomination].  Unbeknownst to me, out of that meeting came this film.

When you get a project like this, how does budget come into play?

Alexander: When I did Green Street Hooligans, it had a lot of violence, a lot of fights, and everyone knew I made it for $5 million in London.  It was nothing.  For them to come to me, and many of the other directors who do [low-budget] movies, it’s a really good move.  To me, $35 million is like ka-ching!  I don’t need the $200 million Iron Man has.  People said it looked more expensive than it really was, and that is what we wanted.  There was no more than $35 million spent on this movie, and I have the budget to prove it!  I think I conned a lot of people for working for half their fee.

Lexi, with this being your first studio film, do you see yourself doing more, or going back to independent films?

Alexander: Suddenly there are a lot of comic book scripts coming my way – just found out today.  Not sure if I can talk about them. Last week, I said I would never do it again, [but] now I have a different opinion.  I’d like to go back to the independent world, I think there are different problems there.  I’ll just make good movies.

Was it difficult to cast and get the look for Jigsaw?

Alexander: Yeah, I think we all had trouble with that.  I didn’t like him in the comic book, especially with that cartoony eye.  We had an Academy Award-winning special FX makeup guy on the team.  We did the screen tests, sent them to Marvel, they gave us their feedback… this is the kind of thing you really have to be collaborative on.  I literally would have gone with the first look we had, but Marvel said it looked too “crocodile-ish” or something.  What we ended up with, I really love.  From what I have read today, some people really, really like Jigsaw.  Others don’t like him at all.  Dominic West is one of the greatest actors, and he went with my direction.  It wasn’t him going over-the-top, I directed him to be over-the-top.  He did exactly what I asked him to.

Ray, what was the hardest stunt for you to do?

Stevenson: Thankfully, I had a wonderful stunt double, so I could just watch him dangle from wires.

Alexander: May I just say, this is what I love about Ray.  I grew up as a stunt woman in this business, and all those fucking actors always pretend they have done their own stunts.  This guy goes out everywhere, and says “I don’t need to be in that good of shape; my stunt double does it all for me.”  He praises his stunt double everywhere.

Stevenson: I was very lucky.  His name is Jeff Wolf.  He gets it.  He’s not a fall guy, he’s an acting stunter.  I told him “We are going to be Frank Castle.”  I trained with him so it would be seamless.


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on December 03, 2008, 09:27:31 PM
Ray had those made as gifts for people who worked with him, just as he had the XIII rings made for the peeps working on Rome.  Isn't he sweet?

:nomad:

Ray is not only tasty ------ he has good taste. :P  :anyone: :spank:

:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on December 03, 2008, 09:29:44 PM
Ooooh! Thanks for the articles, RayVers! :clap:

:bead:


Title: Re: Video interview!
Post by: Nomad on December 03, 2008, 11:58:51 PM
They're asking Ray :crush: five questions, but we only get to see one a day!

Here's the first one:

http://comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=19021

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Lotis on December 04, 2008, 01:44:31 AM
Mania Exclusive: Ray Stevenson in the WAR ZONE
mania.com (http://www.mania.com)

Ray Stevenson has worked for many years in Great Britain, and while he'd done a few Hollywood films, he was not very well known in the States. He first made a big splash in the HBO series Rome, in which he played Legionnaire Titus Pullo. The part caught the eye of director Lexi Alexander, who cast him as Frank Castle in Marvel Productions' Punisher reboot. A newcomer to the comics world, Ray learned his character's nuances quickly. He recently set down to talk about the film, the work he did for it, and the challenge of measuring up to fans' expectations.


Question: What was your first exposure to the comics and what role did they play in helping you shape the character?

Ray Stevenson: It was Garth Ennis's writing that really pulled me in. I wasn't really a comic book reader, so this world sort of came crashing in when I got the part. The writing in these books is phenomenal, the artwork is amazing, and yet it took so long for Hollywood to really notice. The fans knew, of course. They've invested years in buying these books and they really do have ownership on the characters. I learned that when I went to the Comic Con for the first time. Tim Allen made that movie, Galaxy Quest, and I thought all those convention scenes in there were total exaggeration until I went to San Diego. The fans are committed, they're invested, and they know their stuff. I've started to get it since then. I would never presume to call myself an expert--I'm a child in that world--but I've become a much bigger fan. That world has opened up with movies like these, and it deserves to be.


Q: Did you have any expectations going in about the role?

RS: I wasn't aware of the character beforehand, and I got this call about it without having read the script. They were still working on the script and I couldn't read it. I thought, "Well how do they know I'm right for the part?" Then Lexi [Alexander] called me up, and she was so certain. She said, "You are Frank Castle. You're going to be Frank Castle. You're going to do this movie and if you have any doubts about doing this movie, I'm going to put those doubts to rest." Who's going to argue with that?

I actually think the seeds got planted early, during the casting of The Incredible Hulk. I had met with Louis Leterrier at the Marvel offices. They hadn't cast Edward Norton yet and I was up for the nemesis part, the part that went to Tim Roth. It was a great meeting and I had a great time, but Tim got the part and that's the way it goes sometimes. So I went back to England and moved on to the next thing. Unbeknownst to me, I had made enough of an impression that they were apparently thinking of me as they were gearing up for the Punisher.


Q: What kind of physical preparation did you do for the role?

RS: We had an extensive pre-film period where I worked out for about three or four months. Thankfully, there was an awful lot of endurance training, which paid the biggest dividends in what turned out to be a very punishing schedule (excuse the pun). It was two-and-a-half months of night shoots and the endurance really paid off. We did do some very concise work with the weapons as well. There were some great military guys from the Marines, and also some from Special Forces to help us out.

With the Punisher, it's not about having the biggest gun: it's about having the right gun and knowing how to use it. He's not a superhero. He hasn't got superpowers or anything, and he doesn't have magic guns with magic magazines that never run out. He's got his training and his discipline and his weapon-handling skills. That's it. So we wanted to show things like quick magazine changes, and we really worked at that. We also knew that he's a very popular character with the military, and they're going to watch it. We all hoped that some GI or trainee somewhere would watch it and say, "That's why they train us for 16 hours a day." You just use the weapons like it's second nature. You didn't want it to feel stylized or gung ho. Frank Castle is the weapon and the guns are just tools, just extensions of him. That needed to come through. Someone asked me if Frank had a favorite gun. I said, "Yeah, the one that was loaded and pointed at the enemy."


Q: Was that Lexi Alexander's view of the character too?

RS: Absolutely. One thing I really like about Lexi--with her history with kickboxing and karate--is that she knows what it's like to step into a ring and face somebody who is going to hit you as hard as they possibly can. You're going to hit them back as hard as you possibly can, and only one of you is going to walk away. You've just got your training and your resolve. That's it. And Lexi grasped that mindset. It's easy to talk about it, but unless you've been in that situation--and I'm not talking about schoolyard scraps or bar fights, but real, serious fights with trained professionals--you're not going to really grasp it. There's an inner working there that Lexi completely understands.

And she's not scared to show Frank's vulnerability as well. She understands that it's part of his strength, not his weakness. Anyone who says they are absolutely fearless is either stupid or a liar. In fact, it's the fear that focuses the mind and keeps you sharp, and Lexi was onto that from the beginning.


Q: There's a rather striking early moment where you jam a pencil up your nostril to correct a broken nose. Dare I ask how that was done?

RS: Lexi had seen something similar at a kickboxing championship where a guy had a broken nose--it was literally diagonal across his face--and he stuck a pencil up there and fixed it right there in the ring. So we wanted to have a gag like that in there. We had a very careful piece of prosthetic that made the nose look broken. If you look closely at the film, there's actually two shots: one to show the broken nose, and then a closer shot where his hands are at his face. That's where we made the switch.

We thought it was a great bit, but it was also an important way to show that bullets don't bounce off Frank. He gets hurt. I was fascinated by the aspect of the character, and also how clear he is about what he has to do. There's something about Frank that's fundamentally honest. He's chosen this path with his eyes open. There's no redemption for him. There's no light at the end of the tunnel. It's tragic and yet there's also something mythic about it. He's not there to protect the innocent or save the weak. He's there to punish the corrupt, and there's a price to pay for that. I liked the fact that his commitment had an honesty to it and that he knew all that going in.


Q: Does he have a death wish?

RS: I don't think so, I think he's just made up his mind. He's going to kill the enemy, and yet he knows that the enemy will never stop coming. There's that scene with the widow in the film where she points a gun at him and says, "Who punishes you?" And I think he feels at the moment that--if it's going to happen--it should happen now. It's not nihilistic or fatalistic, it's just that she, perhaps, has a right that other figures don't have.


Q: Did you look at any of the earlier movies before taking on this one?

RS: No. I was aware of the Thomas Jane version, and I was aware of the Dolph Lundgren version, which I still haven't seen. I looked at the Jane version afterwards, but the producers made it clear that we were starting from the grassroots. We weren't building up from anything and it was no way connected to the earlier films. We were committed to the MAX series, to the Garth Ennis writing, to the Tim Bradstreet style of illustration. That was the character we were doing. So there wasn't any need to go back to the earlier films. As an actor, if I'm going to play a role onstage, I wouldn't necessarily go and watch another actor play that role, which is being directed by someone else and featuring other cast members. You take yourself to it and give it your shot.


Q: What other kinds of material did you study?

RS: I remember seeing a documentary about the Normandy invasions where they interview this old guy who was a young solider on the beaches there. He talked about the first time he ever killed a man. He was there on the beach with his fellow soldiers around and this German popped up right in front of him. The soldier just brought his gun up and killed him. He saw the German's face clear as day, it couldn't have been more than ten or fifteen feet away. And for the rest of the campaign, that particular German just kept popping up again and again and again. The "enemy" was the same guy to him, no matter who he killed: I presume he saw the face in his nightmares afterwards. And for Frank, it must be the same way. The enemy's just going to keep popping up.


Q: I assume you're signed up for more films. Are there any specific storylines from the comic that you'd to do?

RS: Oh I'm signed up. We'll have to see if this works, but we'd all love to see the franchise continue, and there's certainly stories to tell. There's a storyline about white slavers and prostitution that I loved. There was also a series where he gets out of the States and goes to Afghanistan. The Man of Stone sequence in connection with the SAS guy. There's a great character who's a law enforcement agent, the wife of a double agent. She's a fantastic character--very in your face--and I'd love to do something with her. We'll see what happens with this one.



Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on December 04, 2008, 06:24:02 AM
Thanks, all! Hope PWZ does well enough that I see more of him in the more "mainstream" media.


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: AemiliaCamilla on December 04, 2008, 07:11:57 AM
Quote
There's a storyline about white slavers and prostitution that I loved. There was also a series where he gets out of the States and goes to Afghanistan. The Man of Stone sequence in connection with the SAS guy. There's a great character who's a law enforcement agent, the wife of a double agent. She's a fantastic character--very in your face--and I'd love to do something with her.

Oh yes, my favourites! Slavers and Man of Stone (especially Man of Stone)...and of course Frank´s "girlfriend"...that would be really interesting!


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 04, 2008, 04:10:06 PM
This is pretty funny...an interview in Spanish and its English translation courtesy of Google Translate:

RAY STEVENSON EN ´PUNISHER´ NO ES NINGUN SUPERHEROE PARA SU PUBLICACIóN EL LUNES, 24 DE NOVIEMBRE, Y DíAS SUBSECUENTES.
RAY STEVENSON EN ´PUNISHER´ NO ES NINGUN SUPERHEROE PARA SU PUBLICACIóN EL LUNES, 24 DE NOVIEMBRE, Y DíAS SUBSECUENTES.Distribuido por The New York Times Syndicate. "No le he pegado a nadie en mucho tiempo," dice Ray Stevenson, "pero si alguien le levantara la mano a mi hijo, se quedaría con el puro muñón." Estas son palabras creíbles viniendo del actor que interpreta al personaje titular de "Punisher: War Zone," que se estrena en todo Estados Unidos el 3 de diciembre.

Distribuido por The New York Times Syndicate.

"No le he pegado a nadie en mucho tiempo," dice Ray Stevenson, "pero si alguien le levantara la mano a mi hijo, se quedaría con el puro muñón."

Estas son palabras creíbles viniendo del actor que interpreta al personaje titular de "Punisher: War Zone," que se estrena en todo Estados Unidos el 3 de diciembre. Frank Castle, alias El Castigador, es un vigilante que apareció por primera vez en un número del "Hombre Araña" en 1974. Aunque después llegó a estelarizar su propia historieta, él no tiene nada de superhéroe.

"Frank es un hombre violento, que le hace cosas violentas a otros hombres violentos," explica Stevenson. "No protege a los inocentes. El existe para castigar a los corruptos."

Stevenson, que se disparó a la fama como el empecinado y sensual Titus Pullo en la serie "Rome" (2005-2007) de BBC/HBO, asegura que, pese a su impresionante estatura de 1.92 metros, evita la violencia. Cuando era adolescente en el norte de Inglaterra, él aprendió a canalizar su agresividad jugando rugby. Y ahora la aprovecha en acrobacias cinematográficas.

Entrevistado por teléfono cuando se dirigía a Ibiza, la isla española donde vive con su novia, la antropóloga italiana Elisabetta Caraccia, y Sebastiano, su hijo de once meses de edad, Stevenson afirma estar comprometido con la no violencia.

"Nadie quiere meterse en peleas," asegura, "pues son desagradables. Yo nunca saldría a buscarlas y, en caso de que se me presentara una, me dedicaría a evitarla. No importa el tamaño ni lo brillante que uno sea, un botellazo en la cara es un botellazo en la cara."

Antes de aceptar su papel como el Castigador, por tanto, el actor de 44 años de edad insistió en que no se glorificara al personaje.

"Dejé muy claro que no quería que la gente saliera del cine queriendo ser Frank Castle," dijo. "Creo que Estados Unidos ha sufrido más de lo necesario por los chicos sociópatas que les disparan a sus compañeros de escuela. No quería fomentar esa actitud. No hay forma de justificar que en la sociedad moderna alguien haga justicia por su propia mano.

"Lo que realmente me propuse hacer fue exponer el funcionamiento interno de Frank Castle," agrega el actor. "La película se llama ´War Zone´ y es tanto sobre su zona de guerra interna como sobre la externa. Nadie quiere ser Frank Castle. Nos da gusto que exista y esperamos con ansias ver lo que les hatrá a los malos, pero no queremos ser él, pues él vive en un lugar muy oscuro."

En "Punisher: War Zone," el objetivo de Castle es el jefe mafioso Billy Russoti (Dominic West), a quien desfigura terriblemente. En busca de venganza, Russoti se hace llamar Jigsaw (rompecabezas), debido a su nuevo aspecto, y organiza a un ejército de seguidores para matar a Castle. Y ahí es cuando se arma el caos.

"Es un mundo de historieta oscuro y violento," dice Stevenson. "Todo lo de la película es de historieta, hasta las placas de color que usamos como montura. No pretendemos que esto sea la vida real."

Los cinéfilos han seguido las aventuras de Castle desde 1989, cuando Dolph Lundgren lo interpretó en "The Punisher." Thomas Jane asumió el papel en la película de 2004, también llamada "The Punisher." Pero Stevenson asegura que ninguna de esas cintas tiene nada que ver con ésta.

"´War Zone´ no es una segunda parte," explica el actor. "Empezamos desde cero, con una pizarra totalmente en blanco, y volvimos a imaginar la historia. Esperamos que haya una franquicia."

En cierto modo, Stevenson está llevando la vida de fantasía que llevó de niño, viendo películas de acción y aventuras con sus dos hermanos los sábados en la tarde.

"Me encantaban las películas de piratas, de vaqueros y de guerra," recuerda. "´A Bridge Too Far´ (1977), ´Where Eagles Dare´ (1968), ´The Longest Day´ (1962), ´The Dam Busters´ (1955). Estas son obras de género, muy bien escritas y muestran que las vidas estaban en juego.

"Mi regla principal es que hay que encantar a la gente," agrega Stevenson. "De niño, yo me encantaba tanto con las grandes historias de aventuras como con las historias de mi familia."

Hijo de un piloto de la Real Fuerza Aérea, Stevenson pensó en emprender una carrera de actuación pero no sabía cómo empezar.

"Yo era como un pollo sin cabeza," dice, "corriendo por ahí, sabiendo que buscaba algo pero sin saber qué era. Probablemente todavía me quede algo de pollo sin cabeza."

Con el tiempo entró a un colegio de arte para estudiar diseño de interiores.

"Yo encantaba a la gente con el espacio," explica. "Lo disfrutaba mucho. Me sentaba frente a una hoja de papel en blanco y literalmente me imaginaba caminando en un mundo que aún no había sido creado. Eso no es muy diferente del cine."

En esos días, Stevenson tenía un estudio en Londres y también exhibía y vendía sus pinturas. Pero nunca desapareció el anhelo de ser actor.

El momento decisivo llegó, cosa rara, en una noche de copas.

"Ya me había tomado dos o tres botellas de vino tinto con un actor australiano," recuerda, "y le confesé que yo también quería ser actor. Ese fue el primer contacto que tuve con un actor genuino y real. Sentí mucha soltura para hablar y él me escuchó.

"Si no hubiera sido él," continúa Stevenson, "se lo habría dicho a alguien más. La actuación estaba haciendo su aparición en mí. Yo iba al teatro y al cine por mi cuenta. Era innegable que algo estaba sucediendo. Fue una circunstancia afortunada que ese actor estuviera ahí."

El compañero de copas de Stevenson le aconsejó que tomara clases de actuación. Así lo hizo y al año siguiente, a la edad de 27 años, se inscribió en la Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Dos años después obtuvo su primer trabajo, interpretando a un reportero en una película para la televisión británica, "A Woman´s Guide to Adultery" (1993).

El público extranjero lo conoció primero en "King Arthur" (2004) y después en "Rome."

"Definitivamente, ´Rome´ fue lo que me abrió las puertas," asegura Stevenson. "Antes de eso yo había actuado en el West End, había estado en el National Theatre y realizado programas importantes en la televisión inglesa. Pero ´Rome´ me consiguió un agente en Estados Unidos y amplió mis perspectivas de trabajo."

La serie terminó después de dos temporadas, pero Stevenson señala que quizá eso no sea el final.

"Sigo oyendo rumores de una posible versión para el cine," explica. "Me encantaría hacerla. Me la pasé en grande interpretando a Pullo. El nunca se acercó al lado oscuro. Tuvo tragedias en su vida, pero pensaba que eso era lo que le mandaban los dioses. No tenía la noción de la venganza.

"Le gustaba manejar las cosas en el aquí y el ahora, mientras que Frank Castle decidió meterse en un túnel en cuyo final no se ve ninguna luz."

Después de terminar "Punisher: War Zone," Stevenson rodó "Cirque du Freak," del director Paul Weitz, "interpretando a un malvado vampiro viejo," indica.

La película, basada en la serie de libros de Darren Shan, se estrenará en 2009. Y mientras espera su próxima oferta de trabajo, el actor piensa relajarse en Ibiza con su familia.

"Yo soy el guía y el lavaplatos," afirma Stevenson. "Cargo las bolsas y salgo a caminar en la playa. Los actores son aburridos. Por eso es que interpretamos a gente interesante."

(Nancy Mills es un escritora independiente y reside en Manhattan Beach, California.)


And in English, sort of:

RAY STEVENSON IN 'Punisher' IS NOT NO superhero FOR PUBLICATION ON MONDAY, 24 NOVEMBER, AND DAYS subsequently.
RAY STEVENSON IN 'Punisher' IS NOT NO superhero FOR PUBLICATION ON MONDAY, 24 NOVEMBER, AND DAYS SUBSECUENTES.Distribuido by The New York Times Syndicate. "We do not have anyone stuck in a long time," says Ray Stevenson, "but if you lift a hand to my son, would keep the cigar stump." These are words coming from credible actor who plays the character holder "Punisher: War Zone," which debuts across the United States on Dec. 3.

Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate.

"We do not have anyone stuck in a long time," says Ray Stevenson, "but if someone lifted her hand to my son, would keep the cigar stump."

These are words coming from credible actor who plays the character holder "Punisher: War Zone," which debuts across the United States on Dec. 3. Frank Castle, aka The Punisher is a vigilante who first appeared in a number of "Spiderman" in 1974. Although Stars then came to his own comic, he has nothing to superhero.

"Frank is a violent man who does things for other violent violent men," says Stevenson. "Does not protect the innocent. The there to punish the corrupt."

Stevenson, who shot to fame as the stubborn and sensual Titus Pull in the series "Rome" (2005-2007) of BBC / HBO, says that despite its impressive height of 1.92 meters, avoids violence. When I was a teenager in northern England, he learned to channel his aggressive playing rugby. And now at acrobatics takes pictures.

Interviewed by phone while on his way to Ibiza, the Spanish island where he lives with his girlfriend, the Italian anthropologist Elisabetta Caracci, and Sebastiano, his son eleven months old, Stevenson says it is committed to nonviolence.

"Nobody wants to get into fights," he says, "because they are unpleasant. I never go out to look, and if I was present one, I would devote to prevent it. No matter the size or what that one is brilliant, in a botellazo the face is a face-botellazo on. "

Before accepting his role as the Punisher, therefore, the actor 44-year-old insisted that did not glorify the character.

"I made it very clear that he did not want that people leave the theater wanting to be Frank Castle," he said. "I think the U.S. has suffered more than necessary for the boys sociopaths they shoot their fellow schoolmates. I did not want to encourage that attitude. There is no way to justify that in modern society someone do justice by his own hand.

"What I proposed that I really do was to expose the inner workings of Frank Castle," adds the actor. "The film is called 'War Zone' is all about and its internal war zone on the outside. Nobody wants to be Frank Castle. We are happy that there is hope and forward them see what ill at Hatra, but we do not want be him because he lives in a very dark place. "

In "Punisher: War Zone," the goal of Castle is the mafia boss Billy Russoti (Dominic West) who disfigures terribly. Seeking revenge, makes Russoti called Jigsaw (puzzles), due to its new look, and organizes an army of followers to kill Castle. And that's when the gun chaos.

"It's a dark world of comic and violent," said Stevenson. "Everything in the movie is comic, even the color plates we use as a saddle. We do not pretend this is real life."

The film buffs have followed the adventures of Castle since 1989, when Dolph Lundgren as interpreted in "The Punisher." Thomas Jane assumed the role in the 2004 film, also called "The Punisher." But Stevenson says that none of those tapes has nothing to do with it.

" 'War Zone' is not a second part," says the actor. "Empezamos desde cero, con una pizarra totalmente en blanco, y volvimos a imaginar la historia. Esperamos que haya una franquicia."

In a way, Stevenson is leading the life of fantasy that took as a child, watching movies and action adventures with his two brothers on Saturday afternoon.

"I loved the movie pirate, cowboy and war," he recalls. " 'A Bridge Too Far' (1977), 'Where Eagles Dare' (1968), 'The Longest Day' (1962), 'The Dam Busters' (1955). These are works of genre, very well written and show that lives were at stake.

"My main rule is that we must love the people," said Stevenson. "As a child, I loved it so much with the great adventure stories with the stories of my family."

Son of a pilot in the Royal Air Force, Stevenson thought of launching a career in acting but did not know how to begin.

"I was like a headless chicken," he says, "running around, knowing that it was looking for something but not knowing what it was. I probably still be some chicken without a head."

As time went to an art school to study interior design.

"I loved the people with space," he explains. "I enjoyed very much. I sat in front of a blank piece of paper and I thought literally walking in a world that had not yet been created. That is not very different from the cinema."

In those days, Stevenson had a studio in London and also exhibited and sold his paintings. But he never disappeared from the desire to be an actor.

The decisive moment came, something rare in a night at a bar.

"It took me two or three bottles of red wine with an Australian actor," he recalls, "and he confessed that I too wanted to be an actor. That was the first contact I had with a genuine and real actor. I felt a lot to talk fluently and he heard me.

"Had it not been him," Stevenson continues, "he allegedly said to someone else. The performance was making his appearance in me. I was going to the theater and cinema on my own. It was undeniable that something was happening. It was a circumstance fortunate that the actor was there. "

The companion of glasses of Stevenson advised him to take acting classes. It did so and the following year, at the age of 27 years, was entered in the Bristol Old Vic Theater School. Two years later he obtained his first job, playing a reporter in a film for British television, "A Woman's Guide to Adultery" (1993).

The public knew him the first foreigner in "King Arthur" (2004) and then on "Rome."

"Definitely, 'Rome' was what I opened the door," says Stevenson. "Before that I had acted in the West End, had been in the National Theater and made important programs in English television. But 'Rome' got me an agent in the United States and expanded my job prospects."

The series ended after two seasons, but Stevenson said that perhaps this is not the end.

"I keep hearing rumors of a possible release for the film," he explains. "I would love to do it. I was spent playing in big pull. He never approached the dark side. It had tragedies in his life, but I thought that that was what you sent the gods. I had no notion of revenge.

"He liked to handle things in the here and now, while Frank Castle decided to get into a tunnel at whose end is not any light."

After finishing "Punisher: War Zone," Stevenson shot "Cirque du Freak," from director Paul Weitz, "playing an evil vampire old," says.

The film, based on the book series by Darren Shan, will premiere in 2009. And while awaiting his next job offer, the actor thinks relax in Ibiza with his family.

"I am the guide and the dishwasher," says Stevenson. "Cargo bags and leave to walk on the beach. The players are boring. That's why we interpret to interesting people."

(Nancy Mills is a freelance writer based in Manhattan Beach, California.)

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: wingit4me on December 04, 2008, 04:55:26 PM
 :spank:  <<==  what trying to read that translation did to my head


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 04, 2008, 08:50:00 PM
New Collider interview
 
Written by Cal Kemp

"Punisher: War Zone" hits theaters this Friday and brings along a fantastic level of violence, straight out of Marvel's unrated MAX line.  While I have to admit that I had my doubts when Lionsgate announced (the then-unknown to me) Ray Stevenson would be wearing the big white skull, the guy knocks Frank Castle out of the park, creating an on-screen persona every bit as faithful to the comic as fans could hope.

I have a feeling that Stevenson is about to go through a pretty rapid rise in starpower with rumors swirling about a big-screen continuation of his HBO series "Rome" and his just-announced casting in the Hughes Brothers' sci-fi epic "Book of Eli".

Ray -- who obviously got pretty into Garth Ennis' run on the title -- was pretty excited at the prospect of future "Punisher" outings and has more than a fair share of ideas to shape out a decent sized franchise. Check them out below and check out his work on-screen this weekend in theaters everywhere.

Were you, going in, a fan of the comic?

Ray Stevenson: I wasn't aware of it to be real honest with you. I came to it when it was first broached to me. In all fairness, when I first read it, I thought, "This is just extremely violent. What the hell is this?" But very quickly Garth Ennis' writing sucked me right in. I thought, "My god, he doesn't shy away!" It does raise moral issues and psychological issues and he doesn't pull away from it. He will throw it in there and commit to it. It was his writing that then brought me in. In fact, the extreme violence -- if you water it down and try and make it a bit less -- you wouldn't get the same stakes as far as the moral issues and the price that's paid. You need that extreme violence as the foil to Frank's dark, bleak existence. There's a price to be paid. You don't want to be Frank. It's strange to have the sort of lead or hero of a film that you don't  actually want to be. That's what intrigued me. And I said to them, "I don't want people walking out of the theater wanting to be Frank Castle." I said, "We've gotta get it in the script. The price that's paid." He's in such a dark place. He may have made his peace with that, but there's no light at the end of the tunnel. There's no redemption for Frank. That's deeply intriguing.

Did you look specifically at Garth Ennis' writing or did you go back further?

Ray: I concentrated on the whole MAX series, but I went right back. Because even from the early days -- the blue spandex -- there are threads.  He went through a lot of morphs and changes. The war diaries and the Vietnam and all that. Again, there are threads that are leading up to it. Almost like the DNA. We knew we were trying to put out there the MAX series. That was the look we committed to. Not to dilute it with other things, but, as I say, his DNA was ever-present. So yeah, I did all the research for that. I read about as much material as I could get my hands on.

Did you find yourself watching the two previous attempts at bringing Frank to the screen?

Ray: I only watched one of them afterwards because there was a bit of hoo-hah and I thought, "I better watch it in case I'm asked about it." Because I didn't want to be the guy who says, "No, I never watched it." I did! And, having finished the film, I asked myself, "Well, what is going on here?" It was set in Florida. It's a different version. We made the commitment to have Frank as a nighttime predator; a vigilante in the streets of New York. He doesn't have a souped-up car. That's a choice we made. Also, I don't think that script served the cast or the fans that well. I left the movie knowing more and caring more about John Travolta's character and his relationship with his wife and his sons and his best friends. How his life had been sort of decimated. But I didn't really leave knowing that much about Frank or caring that much about Frank. That comes down to script. Tom Jane is a great actor but you can't play it if it's not there. But it had its outing. It wasn't a bad film. It was a good film but they committed to something other than what we committed to. It's as simple as that. And who's to say what's right or wrong? This one might work now but further down the road you might say, "Enough of this." We want him a bit more superhero-ey. You know what I mean? Who knows? There are a lot of stories -- a lot of threads -- on which we can draw and there's some fantastic stuff. I love the Slavers. The uncompromising attitude there. There's also getting Frank out of the states. When he goes to Afghanistan. "Man of Stone" and what have you. His relationship with the SES guy. More importantly, the girl. The ex-wife of the double agent. What a female character that is! Again, it's just uncompromising. It's just so in-your-face. And it's not like she's not feminine. She's all-woman. There are great characters that could be played out. Widowmaker as well. The wives of all the men that Frank has put down. There are ways to go. A lot of stories we can draw on.

In the comics, the Punisher exists in the Marvel Universe; That's a place that is beginning to develop on the big screen. Would you want to have a part in that larger, filmic version?

Ray: Well, people have said, "What about the possibility of characters crossing over or doubling up?" But, in all fairness, Frank's in a rare place. He is R-rated. Do you drop the Punisher from R-rated to PG or do you up Iron Man to R? It's kind of a lose/lose situation.

Have you read "The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe"?

Ray: No, I haven't.

It's actually by Garth Ennis. It's a parallel universe where the Punisher hunts down and kills all of Marvel's superheroes.

Ray: No way! I was actually asked a question where they said "Iron Man. The Hulk. Batman. You. Locked in a room. Only one of you is coming out. Who's going to win?" and I said, "Well, I'll have to write to their mothers and apologize for killing them. They said, "Aw, come on," and I said, "Well, look at the characters." They don't kill people. If Frank's in that room and they're on Frank's list -- which is another important point. Otherwise he just wouldn't be bothered with it -- But if they've transgressed and they've become criminals, he'll kill 'em. That's what Frank does. These other guys, they don't kill people. People may die by accident, but they don't kill people. Who do you think is going to walk out of the room?

There's two big bits of news outside of Punisher for you this week. The first, what's going on with the "Rome" movie?

Well, Kevin McKidd was at the screening last night as was Bruno Heller. We've always been in touch with each other. There's always been a sort of smoke-and-mirrors rumor around for a while because everyone was committed to the project and loved it and always knew that there was more there that could come out. Now it's becoming a little bit more than a rumor. I think there's something going towards developing maybe a script. We'll see. We'll take it step by step.

Would you want to see it go to theaters or be an HBO telemovie?

I don't know. I don't know. That's a question for them. I'm just a little excited by the prospect. Because it would be great to go and revisit those characters. All those open-toed sandals (laughs). Oh, my word. I've got such an affectionate spot for Pullo. He's an old cur. You've just got to love him.

Well, the other bit of news; You've just been cast in "Book of Eli". What can you say about that?

Ray: I'm very excited. It's starting in February. Shooting down in New Mexico opposite Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis and Gary Oldman. Alan and Albert Hughes directing. It's a big sort of post-apocalyptic world. Outside of that -- which has just been confirmed -- it's just going to get more exciting. Now we've got to go to work. I can't tell you anything more about it because, literally, I think the script's evolving and changing. So we'll see. It'll be great fun.

What's a dream project for you?

Ray: In a weird way -- even though they never make good movies -- there's a Shakespeare play I've always been intrigued by: "Coriolanus". It's potentially one of the most potent and revealing scripts. I love the play. I'd love to do that as a movie one day. But who knows? Dream projects will be to just keep working with great people? It's as simple as that. It sounds flip, but it's not. I am living the dream. May I never wake up.

When you say, "working with great people" is that always acting or would you like to be on the other side of the camera?

Ray: Well, absolutely. The best piece of advice I've ever been given was, "Be in the business you're in." Don't just be a satellite around it and expect it to come to you. Be in the business you're in. If that means you can position yourself to a point where you can garner enough support financially or otherwise, you can actually enable a story to be made. A script you believe in. If you can actually have it created because of your involvement, that's a wonderful position to be in. You can enable certain stories to come out that may otherwise never see the light of day. I thought, who knows? I'm open to it.

Getting back to Punisher; The film has nonstop violence. Was that ever an issue that something could be too much or do you think it's up to viewer to avoid a film if that displeases them?

Ray: No, I never thought there was too much. I even thought there were places we could go that were even more. Where Frank actually tortures people. He's worse than the bad guys. He will actually burn somebody to get information and then kill them. There's a point in one of the books where he says that he shot the guy in the mouth and he says, "I would have liked to have stood there for the 20 minutes it would have taken for him to bleed out, but I had people coming and I finished him off." There's a side to Frank where he's just dishing out death. But that's the foil for the counterbalance which is the dark side. He's in a place with no redemption. No way out. No light at the end of his tunnel. He's made his peace with that and I think that if you watered the violence down, it wouldn't be the same foil for the moral issues that are raised or the psychological effects. The price that's paid. It wouldn't be the same if the violence was watered down. The fact that he's extremely violent does raise these extreme questions. If you watered the violence down, you might say, "Hey, we can justify vigilantes." We don't see the blood and they just kill the bad guy. Come on. It's a comic book as well. Go with it.

You mentioned that it's important that the audience not want to be him. In playing the character, what did you do -- outside of the storyline -- to emphasize that?

Ray: It was about revealing the truth of where Frank is. He's neither looking for will receive redemption. He's never going to be the hero of the piece. He doesn't set himself up to be. He doesn't set himself up to be the protector of the weak or defender of the innocent. He's the punisher of the corrupt and he'll just keep killing the enemy until he can't do it anymore.


http://www.collider.com/entertainment/interviews/article.asp/aid/10042 /tcid/1 (http://www.collider.com/entertainment/interviews/article.asp/aid/10042 /tcid/1)

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 05, 2008, 11:33:16 AM
I'm not sure if this has been posted.  I have so little time these days to comb the threads for duplicates.  Sorry if you've already seen this.

Exclusive Interview: ACTOR RAY STEVENSON TEARS THROUGH 'PUNISHER: WAR ZONE' AND WISHES FOR 'ROME' (...THE MOVIE) THAT IS)

The latest actor to take on the mantle of Frank Castle, hopes that the third time's a charm

By CARL CORTEZ, Contributing Editor
Published 12/5/2008

Ray Stevenson may be best known to American audiences for his stint as Titus Pullo on HBO’s short-lived epic ROME, but the acclaim he received from that series has put him on the fast track to become the next big action star.

Cementing that status is his turn as rogue vigilante Frank Castle in the new Marvel comic book adaptation PUNISHER: WAR ZONE (which opens today) directed by Lexi Alexander.

Bringing the grittiness of the comic books to the big screen for the first time (something both the ‘80s Dolph Lundgren version and 2004’s Thomas Jane starrer were lacking), Stevenson was thrilled to bring his own take on the character who battles the disfigured mobster Jigsaw (Dominic West) this time around.

iF spoke with Stevenson this week in this exclusive interview and also got the scoop on the proposed ROME feature film and his next film CIRQUE DU FREAK.

iF MAGAZINE: This is the third time this character has been attempted on screen -- as an actor, was there an initial hesitation about jumping aboard the movie?

RAY STEVENSON: Rather than the negative thing, what it does tell you is the powers that be really believe there’s something here. They’ve put a lot of money in this, because the do believe in it. Because comic books are growing into movies, it’s giving back to the fan base and everything, and their commitment is amazing especially the fact that they’re not pounding something through and soft soaping it up for a bigger audience. They didn’t make PUNISHER [a] PG [rated movie], they committed to it [the R-rating]. It’s great to see.

iF: And what do you say to fans about the differences? You said you didn’t watch the Thomas Jane PUNISHER movie until after you shot this one.

STEVENSON: We went out and made our movie and ours is generally grass roots from the Max series and he’s a nighttime predator/prowler on the streets of New York. He’s in this bad ass mood. When I finally saw the Thomas Jane movie., it was set in Florida and the feel of it wasn’t served well by the script. I came away from the movie knowing and caring in a sense more about John Travolta’s character, about his relationship with his wife and sons, his second-in-command and his friends and the way that was manipulated, and his spiral to his demise was more revealing and more telling than anything that Thomas Jane had been given to actually pull out. You can’t play it if it’s not there in the script. You can’t put it in. It was good and it worked as a film, but by that time, if you go into the books themselves, there’s so much there and you have to commit fully the violence and the cost of that violence. You have the commit to the psychological impact of that -- otherwise you end with a halfway house.

iF: Did you see the Dolph Lundgren version?

STEVENSON: I haven't seen it yet, I don’t know anyone who has a copy.

iF: [Director] Lexi [Alexander] said you were very knowledgeable about the character and dug deep into the comics.

STEVENSON: I immersed myself and became very aware and very quickly about the fan base and how committed they are. It does belong to them. Their ownership has kept the comic books going, so honestly, that was where I felt my responsibility was. So I read everything. However, there are threads of that will still remain true no matter how many changes and metamorphosis [of The Punisher] that brought him to the Max series. They were still there, the war journals and the Vietnam things, all these threads were coming through. Then we started to hit to the things that led directly to the Max series. It is a responsibility, and it’s the way I approach my work anyway, I’ll take my research and information from anywhere I can get it.

iF: And after seeing the Thomas Jane incarnation, what choice do you feel you made that made the character different?

STEVENSON: I think the most important thing and it’s not a choice I made or a Thomas Jane didn’t make, that’s playing one actor off another. But I think the commitment that Lexi Alexander and myself, was that we both were of accord in order to get the extreme violence in there. I wanted to have in the script and in the character, the fact that he in such a dark place and in a world of pain. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel and he’s not looking for redemption. Basically you have this anti-hero in this movie, and I didn’t want people to walk out of the cinemas wanting to be the Punisher. So how do you get that? How do you carry off an engaging, gripping, lead character who is killing the bad guys that you don’t want people to be. So it’s, “this is the price you pay for this extreme violence.” He’s made his peace with that, hopefully at the end of the movie you think, “I don’t want to be him, I’m glad he’s there and I can’t wait to see what he does next.” I think that takes a commitment right from the initiation for the whole thing.

iF: Are you signed for more PUNISHER movies?

STEVENSON: Absolutely. It’s standard, I think it’s two or three. I feel a kind of ownership and responsibility as well, and I do like Frank and I like getting in there and there's so much more to tell. And if the movie is successful enough, I really hope we’ll get it out there.

iF: Since you know the material so well, as a fan and being so immersed in the comic books, if you were to do a second movie, which story or villain would interest you the most?

STEVENSON: I really liked THE SLAVERS. I thought it brought in some real issues there. There’s also other bits and pieces that come through and other vignette stories. Also, the Afghanistan story in MAN OF STONE intrigued me, where you had the ex-Russian commando. He’s very cruel and the involvement of the double agent Rawlins and his ex-wife. That part for an actress, is going to be one of the most potent and powerful, yet she’s still very much a woman. There’s definitely a line to go there. I’d also like to see the military background, and his connection with the ex-SAS. guy. This is rich and also took Frank off American soil and it didn't stop him from being Frank. Again, you have to commit to the world they're in. There are so many things can be revealed through that.

iF: And there was even the supernatural version of the character too.

STEVENSON: As I said, he’s always been an evolving character and there is no one thing. When you get Frank Castle up there, there’s predictability in the sense if you’re on his list, you’ll die. The unpredictability in that, is he’s a living, human being.

iF: What is CIRQUE DU FREAK?

STEVENSON: It’s a movie based on a series of children’s books by Darren Shan, an Irish writer. There’s a vampire [played by John C. Reilly] who is running a freak show with real freaks like wolf boy, snake boy and the bearded lady. John C, Reilly’s arch nemesis is Murlough, who represents the dark side of the vampires and that’s who I play. It’s tremendous, we shot it in New Orleans and it has that dark sort of thing to it.

iF: There’s been talk about a ROME movie. Has anyone spoken with you about it?

STEVENSON: There’s been rumors and stuff like that and I think it’s become a little more than rumors now, they are actually developing a script, but with all these things, we’ll see. If it works out, I’d be delighted.

iF: Were you disappointed ROME didn’t come back for a third season?

STEVENSON: Of course I was disappointed, it was tremendous work for me and a tremendous period in my life. I felt disappointed for my fellow actors and the people involved including the producers involved who put so much in. At the end of the day, what’s happened in a weird sort of way, it’s got this light and it’s growing and growing. We’re two or three years out and it’s becoming a bit of a phenomenon. At the time, a lot of my friends didn’t watch TV. They don’t know where they’re going to be on Friday to the next, and a year after we finished filming, I got a call from my friend saying, “I finally got the box set and watched two episodes, and we spent the whole weekend watching the whole thing  through. What do you mean there’s no more?” It’s a lovely response, but the [movie] script is in Bruno Heller’s hands. If he’s at the helm of it, I can’t wait to read it. I hope it comes up.

iF: Where would you like to see the character go?

STEVENSON: To the pub. [laughs]


:nomad:



Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 05, 2008, 12:01:20 PM
Oh! I found the translation to that Nancy Mills article!

'Punisher' star says Frank Castle is no superhero
By Nancy Mills
The New York Times Syndicate


"I haven't had to hit anybody in a long time," Ray Stevenson said, "but, if anyone raises a hand to my child, he'll draw back a stump."

These are believable words, coming from the man who plays the title character in "Punisher: War Zone," playing locally at Cinema Center Fairgrounds, R/C Reading Movies 11 and Wyomissing Cinemas 8. Frank Castle, aka the Punisher, is a vigilante who first appeared in a 1974 issue of the "Amazing Spider-Man" comic book. Though he's gone on to star in several comics of his own, he's anything but a superhero.

"Frank is a violent man who does violent things to violent men," Stevenson said. "He's not a protector of the innocent. He's there to punish the corrupt."

Stevenson, who shot to fame as the headstrong, sexy Titus Pullo in the BBC/HBO series "Rome" (2005-2007), said that, despite being an imposing 6 feet 4 inches tall, he avoids violence. As an adolescent in northern England, he learned to channel his aggression by playing rugby. Now he uses it for film stunts.

Calling en route to Ibiza, the Spanish island where he lives with his girlfriend, Italian anthropologist Elisabetta Caraccia, and their 11-month-old son Sebastiano, Stevenson said that he's committed to nonviolence.

"Nobody wants to get into a fight, because they're messy," he said. "I would never go looking for one and, if one presented itself, I would spend time trying to avoid it. It doesn't matter how big you are or how clever you think you are, a glass in the face is a glass in the face."

Before accepting his role as the Punisher, therefore, the 44-year-old Stevenson insisted that the character not be glorified.

"I made it very clear that people shouldn't walk out of the cinema wanting to be Frank Castle," he said. "I think America has suffered more than enough with anti-social kids shooting their schoolmates. I didn't want to encourage any of that attitude. There is no way to justify vigilantism in modern society.

"What I've really gone out to do is expose the inner workings of Frank Castle. The film is called 'War Zone,' and it's as much about his inner war zone as it is about the outer war zone. You don't want to be Frank Castle. You're glad he's there, you can't wait to see what he does next to the bad guys, but you don't want to be him because he's in such a dark place."

In "Punisher: War Zone" Castle's target is mob boss Billy Russoti (Dominic West), whom he horribly disfigures. Seeking revenge, Russoti renames himself Jigsaw, to honor his new look, and organizes an army of followers to kill Castle. Much mayhem ensues.

"It's a dark, violent, comic-book world," Stevenson said. "Everything about the film is comic book, even down to the color plates we use for framing. We're not trying to pretend that this is real life."

Film audiences have followed Castle's adventures since 1989, when Dolph Lundgren played him in "The Punisher." Thomas Jane took over the role in a 2004 film, also called "The Punisher," but Stevenson said that neither film has anything to do with his.

" 'War Zone' is not a sequel," the actor said. "We started from ground zero, with an absolute clean slate, and completely re-envisioned the story. We're hoping for a franchise."

In some ways Stevenson is living the fantasy life he had as a child, watching action/adventure movies with his two brothers on Saturday afternoons.

"I loved pirate movies, westerns and war movies," he said. " 'A Bridge Too Far' (1977), 'Where Eagles Dare' (1968), 'The Longest Day' (1962), 'The Dam Busters' (1955). These are generic pieces, very well written, and they showed how lives were at stake.

"My rule of thumb is that you have to enchant people. As a child I was enchanted as much by great adventure stories as by family stories."

Growing up as the son of a Royal Air Force pilot, Stevenson thought about pursuing an acting career but didn't know how to begin.

"I was like a headless chicken," he said, "running around, knowing I was looking for something but not knowing what it was. There's probably still a bit of the headless chicken in me."

Eventually he went to art college and trained to be an interior designer.

"I was enchanting people with the space," he said. "I enjoyed it very much. I would sit in front of a blank piece of paper and literally imagine myself walking around in a world that hadn't been created yet. It's not that much different from filming."

In those days Stevenson maintained a London studio and also exhibited and sold his paintings. But the yearning to act never disappeared.

The turning point came, oddly enough, during a night of drinking.

"I had two or three bottles of red wine with an Australian actor," he said, "and confessed that I wanted to act too. It was the first contact I had with an actual, bona-fide actor. I felt at ease to speak, and he listened.

"If it hadn't been him, I would have told someone else. Acting was rearing its head. I was going to theaters and cinema on my own. There was something undeniable happening. It was a happy circumstance that he was there."

Stevenson's drinking partner advised him to take some acting classes. He did, and the following year, at 27, he enrolled at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Two years later he got his first job, playing a reporter in a British television movie, "A Woman's Guide to Adultery" (1993).

International audiences first noticed him in "King Arthur" (2004) and then in "Rome."

" 'Rome' was definitely a big door-opener for me," Stevenson said. "Before that I was playing West End and doing National Theater and major TV shows in England, but 'Rome' got me an American agent. It broadened my prospect for work."

The series ended after two years, but Stevenson said that it may not be done with.

"I keep hearing rumors of a possible film version," he said. "I'd love to do it. I had such fun playing Pullo. He never went anywhere near the dark side. He had tragedies in his life, but he thought, 'This is where the gods put me.' He had no notion of revenge or vendetta.

"He liked to deal with matters in the here and now, whereas Frank Castle decided to go down a tunnel with no light at the end of it."


http://www.readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=116368

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Lotis on December 05, 2008, 12:14:09 PM
Ray answers questions about PWZ, CdF and BoE ...

Ray Stevenson is the Punisher
Crave Online (http://www.craveonline.com/articles/filmtv/04652426/ray_stevenson_is_the_punisher.html)
12/5/08

HBO may be losing to Showtime in the ratings but they're still making movie stars. Rome's Ray Stevenson landed the title role in the latest Punisher reboot, Punisher: War Zone. In this incarnation, Frank Castle has been on his crusade of punishment for four years since his family's murder, and this one is as brutal as the Max comic books with exploding head shots and all.
Crave Online: Did you have to react to some invisible kills so they could add exploding head shots in CGI?

Ray Stevenson:   No, they weren't CGI. They were mockups. We actually had some great special effects people who were actually making the full head casts and what have you like that. So when we shot a head, we shot a head.

Crave Online: Did you do your own hanging from the chandelier stunt?

Ray Stevenson:   It was very important to get involved in that. That was a great piece and one of the practical things was we wanted this spinning turret effect. How do you get that? How do you make that happen? They were saying, "Perhaps he reaches down and uses his arm to spin off the table." And I said, "You know what? I've got two MP5s in my hand. You shoot them both in one direction and then open your arms out and you're spinning."

Crave Online: Did you follow Lexi Alexander's fan comments?

Ray Stevenson:   I don't get into the blogs and stuff like this because there's a fatality about it. It's not really going to change what we were doing. Once you're committed to a path, you're going to put your best piece of work out there. There it is. Whatever has been said, whatever will be said, at the end of the day, you can hold your head up high and say, "That's it. You don't have to like it." You do the best work possible. Getting into that whole world, also they rightfully comment on this. The fans of this have invested over many years. They've invested in these characters, invested in this world and it matters to them. They will have their debates and their arguments. I would not be well placed to join in on that. I'm doing my best to make a movie.
 
Crave Online: How did you get in Frank Castle shape?

Ray Stevenson:    Oh, we did an extensive sort of pre-film period, worked out about three or four months, and thankfully we did an awful lot of endurance training, because that's actually paid the biggest dividend. We got through a very punishing schedule, excuse the pun, but it was two and a half months of night shoots and the endurance really had paid off.

Crave Online: How did you get comfortable with guns?

Ray Stevenson:   We did do very concise work with the weapons. It wasn't about having the biggest gun, it was about having the right gun, and about knowing how to use it. We had some great military guys from the Marines, and also special forces. The thing about Frank is that he's not a superhero. He hasn't got super powers or anything. He's got his training, his discipline and his weapon handling and he doesn't have magic guns with magic magazines that never run out. So we wanted to show those quick magazine changes. We really worked at that, and we also know that he's a very popular character with the military. They're going to watch it and I hope, we all felt that maybe some young G.I. in the Gulf is going to watch it and say, "Look, that's why they beached us 16 hours a day with the training," because you just use it like a second nature. It didn't want to feel like it was Gung Ho. In essence, Frank Castle is the weapon, and these are the tools, that was an extension of him. I was asked a question like did I have a favorite gun? And I said, "Yeah, the one that was loaded and pointed at the enemy." That was it. But we had to do an awful lot of work like that and luckily we had some great people working with us.

Crave Online: What resonated with you about Frank Castle, either from comic books, or the script?

Ray Stevenson:   I suppose you just feel on an instinctive level if something is honest. There's something about Frank that I think, one of the initial motivators for me was the fact that he chose a path with no redemption for him. There's no light at the end of the tunnel but he's chosen a path. There's something kind of tragic and mythical in a mythical, tragic sort of warrior about him. He's not looking for any redemption. He doesn't try to. He's honest enough to say he's not there to protect the innocent or save the weak. He's made his choices and also there was a price to pay for that. I like the fact that his commitment had an honesty to it. I suppose the thing about being an actor is that you basically, what was it they said, you hit your mark, look the other guy in the eye and tell the truth. Yes, it's a pretend world, but you've got to step up and be honest with it. So I suppose, there was a lot there and the more you can dig, the more you can get out, I think.

Crave Online: When you approached your character, did you look at the Thomas Jane version?

Ray Stevenson:    No, I was aware of it, and I was aware of the Dolph Lundgren one, which I haven't seen. I watched the Thomas Jane one afterwards actually, because I made clear that we were starting grass roots and it wasn't like a follow up. It wasn't to build up from, they were in no way connected to whatsoever. It was like saying, "Okay, this is going to be a commitment to the Max series, to the Garth Ennis writing, to the Tim Bradstreet style of illustration. It's going to be that, this is the character we're doing, start there." There wasn't any need actually to go in there and see those films because from my point of view, if I was going to play a role on stage, I wouldn't necessarily watch another actor go play that role that's been directed by somebody else and acting with other cast members. So you take yourself to it, and give it your shot.

Crave Online: Ray, when you grew up in Ireland, did you ever think you'd be carrying a comic book movie?

Ray Stevenson:   No, we actually left Northern Ireland when I was about five or six because the IRA kicked off, the whole troubles, and then I grew up in the North East of England. We used to go off to the Saturday morning picture show, myself and my brothers, and there was always like an A-film and a B-movie and I don't know, Casey Jones and Champion The Wonder Horse and it was all these great big epics and cowboys and ships. So I was enchanted at an early age, and really, I immerse myself in that, for that passage of the thing and something sparked off and I didn't tell anybody I wanted to be an actor. I knew from a very early age, but it just didn't seem possible. It was just like, yeah okay, that's a bit of a dream really, you know, just ignore it and get on with your life. But I kept it for a long time until I finally admitted to myself that you got to do something about this. Yeah, it's been an interesting journey. It took awhile before it came out.

Crave Online: Were you surprised they came to you with this role?

Ray Stevenson:   Well, it's weird, I mean, unexpected, I don't know. It's like, I suppose, I wasn't aware of the character beforehand, and I got this phone call out of the blue, saying are you interested in this Punisher thing and I said, "Well is there a script?" No, no, no, you're not allowed to read the script. Right, well, how can you committ to something like that? Then, I had this phone call from, I was in England at the time, I got this phone call from Lexi, called me up, and she went, "Now Ray, you are Frank Castle, you are going to be Frank Castle, you're going to do this movie and if you have any doubt about doing this movie I will put your doubts at rest. If you still think that you're not going to do this movie I won't let you because then you're still not understanding what this movie is and I will explain it to you." And it's just like, oh right. Who's going to argue with that?

Crave Online: Then what was your experience with the comic books?

Ray Stevenson:   I wasn't aware of this comic book and I wasn't really a comic book reader, so the whole world of it sort of came crashing in. I mean, first it was sort of bleeding in through Frank Castle and then reading it, and it was Garth Ennis' writing that pulled me right in. The writing in these comic books is phenomenal and such a previously kind of untapped source, and the fans got it, they knew. That's why they've invested years and years, buying the books, keep going back. That's an investment over a period of time. They really do have ownership on it. Then of course Comi-Con, I'd seen Galaxy Quest, that was like, "This is crazy. Who on earth" I thought, and then I went there, and it was just, wow! All right, and they're committed, they're invested, they're involved, and as a source material for actors, you not only got the written words, you've also got some of the most incredible drawings and illustrations, not just in this one, but other comic books, now, so I start to get it. I wouldn't ever presume to say that I am a comic book fan. I'm a child in that world, but it really has opened up and it deserved to be. It deserved to be, because there's some very committed minds and artists involved in it. It's a great thrill to be part of the lexicon of this culture. I think it's got a global appeal, and I think it always will have. It's been great to do.

Crave Online: What character are you playing in The Book of Eli?

Ray Stevenson:   Well, I'm not going to say the name because the names slightly change. I could say a name and people go, "What? He's not even in it." But it's basically, oh God, how can you put it? I'm a sort of sidekick or partner to Gary Oldman's character and opposite Denzel Washington.

Crave Online: Is he a bad guy?

Ray Stevenson:   Who is? As I say, it's much more interesting when they're all shades of gray. Nobody wakes up in the morning thinking, "I'm a bad guy." They think they're the right guy.

Crave Online: Since it's post-apocalyptic, will you have a wild costume?

Ray Stevenson:   I don't know as yet. I really don't. I know having read one version, one draft of the script, it's quite a harrowing and quite a surreal world.
 
Crave Online: Is Cirque du Freak coming out?

Ray Stevenson:   I hope it is because we had great fun doing it. In fact, Paul Weitz was at the screening last night and he seems very happy with it. I don't know when. I think sort of spring/summer, I don't know. That was a thrill. That was great fun.

Crave Online: but it's done.

Ray Stevenson:   Yeah, it's all done, it's all in the can, it's all in the hands of others and there you go.
 
Crave Online: What character do you play in that?

Ray Stevenson:   Murlough and he's a vampinese so he's again on the dark side of the vampires. John C. Reilly's character is a vampire who's sort of on the nice side of vampires. It's great.

Crave Online: All the new vampire stories are doing it differently, so is this a different sort of vampire?

Ray Stevenson:
  We decided, Paul said earlier on, "I don't want any Transylvania, I don't want any references to others. This is a completely new take." Staying as true as much to Darren Shan's books. So we have a lot of fun with it.


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 05, 2008, 12:15:54 PM
Suicide Girls Interview with Lexi:

Lexi Alexander on Punisher’s Behind The Scenes War Zone
By Ryan Stewart
Dec 5, 2008
There are two kinds of people - those who want to watch The Punisher hang upside down from a chandelier as he blows people away and those who don't. If you're the first kind, continue reading. Punisher: War Zone is the latest attempt at rebooting the popular comic and (so far) unsuccessful film franchise about a vigilante who prowls the city, annihilating every criminal he encounters.

Unlike the self-consciously serious 2004 reboot, the new film is a gleeful orgy of blood, brain matter and insider movie jokes as shotgun blasts turn heads into smoking stumps, grenades blow bodies apart like spaghetti and The Punisher kills someone doing parkour, the annoying French acrobatics popularized in movies like Casino Royale. In other words, this is a film designed to give studio executives nightmares. German-born director Lexi Alexander, a former karate and kickboxing champion, famously battled with Lionsgate over how far she could take her mad vision - and judging by the pale-faced people clutching the walls as they exited Monday's screening, she won! Lexi recently dialed up SuicideGirls to give us the story.

Ryan Stewart: Without knowing, I bet Lionsgate fought you over that little moment when the uniformed policewoman gets impaled with a sword.

Lexi Alexander: You're correct. How did you know that?

RS:Just American sensibilities, I know that had to irk them. How did you get brought onto this project?

LA:There was an executive named John Sacchi at Lionsgate who was a fan of mine, my previous work and actually a script that he had read. He came to me with this and then there was a little bit of development and we went from there.

RS:Everyone knows about the rift you had with them, of course -- which scene would you say caused the biggest disagreement?

LA:Oh my God, there were so many. Look, it's like on every movie -- different people with different opinions. Sometimes, believe it or not, it wasn't me disagreeing with them, sometimes it was Lionsgate disagreeing with Marvel -- they had their very own take. I would say the biggest that comes to mind -- and I'm so happy I was right because what's really shitty is when a filmmaker is really loud and pushy and then falls on his ass or her ass -- so, the parkour scene. I pushed so hard for it. And it was so questioned and the fact that it's working out, I could just do somersaults right now. That was one of those things where it could have been really bad if that didn't work.

RS:Is that your favorite kill in the movie?

LA:It's something that I wrote and fought really hard for and nobody wanted it, the grenade and the parkour guy.

RS:It got a huge reaction in my screening, for sure. Great comic timing on that one.LA:That's very vindicating.

RS:Why would they choose to fight that battle? That's one of the movie's best moments, in my opinion.

LA:People didn't want the parkour guys in because at that time they were really kind of over-exposed. They were in every film. And I fought for it, because I said, "Yeah, they are in every film, but we are the only ones blowing them up!" And even that they are in every film is really funny. That didn't quite go by really easy, but in the end they said yes to it, so it was all good.

RS:Your squabbles with the studio ended up getting pretty serious, didn't they? A lot of people were speculating on how that was all resolved.

LA:Well, I think that when Harry Knowles put that on his website - I don't know if you read his site, but he is a wonderful, good guy and he is never on the side of the filmmaker or the studio, always on the side of the film. When he was writing that we were going through some disagreements. I don't think it was worse or better than any other movie. Every filmmaker I know has the same arguments. It's unfortunate that ours gets kind of thrown out there on the Internet and then every site tries to top it, you know? Harry Knowles was so kind to say his opinion: "Leave this director alone and let her do her thing, she already did a good job." He writes: "Don't push her aside!" Then the next website writes: "Lexi Alexander got fired!" Then the next one writes: "Lexi Alexander takes her name off the film!" So it's a little bit of sensationalism. I'm here.

RS:Did you ever want your name off the film?

LA:My name was never off, nor would I want it taken off, nor did I ever get a pink slip. The truth is that we had probably the same discussions that any other film has, and since you saw it last night, you could also see that this was a very distinctive take on the film. Obviously, there are not twenty executives there to say, "Yes, Lexi, [we'll] do everything you tell us, we'll go ahead with everything." Obviously, once in a while they were saying, "What? That's crazy." You know, I just had to convince them.

RS:Let me ask you this -- did you enjoy working with [producer] Gale Anne Hurd? Was she a good collaborator?

LA:[long pause] Next question.

RS:Fair enough. I'm actually a big fan of her work, which is why I was curious about the interaction.

LA:[uneasy laugh] I enjoyed working with her.

RS:I hear protest in your voice, but I want to switch gears and talk about the comedy. People seem to be responding to it -- at my screening they were laughing and clapping throughout.

LA:Oh, good! Yeah, that's exactly what I was aiming for. It's funny, I read a couple of reviews today and some of them - only a few - but some of them said, "Oh, I wish that Jigsaw wouldn't have been humorous!" But that was my favorite part of the whole fucking thing. It's over the top. It's funny. It's a comic book movie. It's great that Ray [Stevenson] is such an incredible actor that he can give weight to the internal turmoil of The Punisher, but my God, you've got a guy with horse hide on his face - how serious can we get? I was in a screening yesterday with a lot of people and I was so touched when they were laughing out loud that I was almost crying.

RS:I'm not a reader of the comics - are they as violent and over the top as the movie?

LA:The comic books are. I tried to put as much of the comic in there as I could, but it's a violent comic book. It's a little bit over the top, the violence, and some of the scenes like the exploding heads and the guy [getting impaled] on the fence, they are taken directly out of the comic book.

RS:What's your preferred technique for blowing up a head, by the way? A little practical, a little CGI mixed together?

LA:It was a bit of both. There was practical - we had a head made and blown up on the set and when I looked at it, when I saw the cut, I said, "It looks a little bit like styrofoam here and there, it looks fake." And then the visual effects people came in and corrected it. I think when you mix the practical with the visual effects, that's when you really get magic.

RS:Were you ever wary of getting involved with Punisher in the first place? This is the second attempt at rebooting this franchise in less than twenty years - a lot of baggage.

LA:Quite honestly, that's what I was thinking. When I got the script it was called Punisher 2 and I actually passed - a couple of times - and then my agent said, "Look, you know they have a thirty-five million dollar budget. It's a comic book film. They don't want it to be a sequel. You can make this your own film. You can reboot it, you can put something new on it." So I said, "Alright, then send me the comic books." Now, I was still convinced I would pass at this point, and then I read the comic books - I read the MAX [Marvel's adult audience] series - and I was like, shit, this is great. Why didn't anybody do this? So once I had confirmation from them that they really would let me do this with a new actor and a new look and a new feel to it, I was totally up for it.

RS:You decided to do away with most of the Frank Castle/The Punisher origin story - just a few quick flashbacks. I guess we've seen it twice already, so why bother, right?

LA:Yes, I think there's that, and plus you only have ninety minutes, a hundred minutes tops, you know? I can't spend the first act on his backstory, especially when that's exactly what people criticized about the previous one, the Thomas Jane one, you know? I wanted to do it a little bit more like Tim Burton's Batman, where you see kind of see it quick. What's really interesting is his life now, as The Punisher.

RS: Punisher is sometimes referred to as Marvel's Batman - they have sort of a similar MO. Have you thought about the similarities between the characters and their movies?

LA:I don't think you can compare the two at all, in terms of Chris Nolan's series. It's hard as a thirty-five million dollar film to get compared to a 'three hundred million dollars on top of a stage for a hundred million dollars that was already there' film, you know? Sometimes I read these things and I go, "That is really a tough one to compete with, you know?" He also chose a different tone. If anything, I would compare my film much more to Tim Burton's Batman. I think that, color-wise and in terms of the tone, we went much more in that direction, a very surreal world.

RS:What about The Punisher as a character? Does he have a code? Would he kill women and children?

LA:He killed a woman in the opening scene! Didn't you see it?

RS:Yeah, last night. I must have been rubbing my eyes at the wrong moment or something. Which woman did he kill?

LA:Remember the mafia wife? The Don's wife? There were actually discussions about that. We went back and forth on it and we compromised on the fact that if she would go for a gun, he would kill her. Personally, I would have had him kill her just because she's sitting there. But yeah, and I do think he would kill a kid if the kid's out there pushing weapons or drugs. If he would see a twelve year-old at the school ground pushing heroin, he'd kill the kid. That's what I think. That's The Punisher. That's why people who love The Punisher, and know his mythology, and are so obsessed with him. He's not a hero, he's really kind of an anti-hero.

RS:You watched the 1989 film with Dolph Lundgren, I assume?

LA:I did.

RS:Your film struck me as being much more like that one than the recent Thomas Jane one. Do you agree?

LA:If you would say, "Which resembles it more?" then yes. I don't think it resembles it a lot, but of the two? I would say, probably yes.

RS:I can tell you're happy with the way it turned out.

LA:I'm extremely happy. It came at a price, I would say, but I made the film I wanted on the screen. I think personally, in my opinion, it would have been very dangerous to put a compromise on the screen for my own career and for the promises I made to these actors who I talked into joining the film. I don't really care that it was an uphill battle; I'm glad with what's on the screen. I think people have really enjoyed it, like they did at your screening, and I'm extremely happy.

RS:And whatever anger issues you had, you could work out through The Punisher anyway, right?

LA:Of course. That's where all my anger comes out. I had The Punisher take care of it. It's my therapy. It's a lot cheaper than therapy and as a matter of fact, I get paid for it instead of my expensive shrink.

RS:Is there going to be some stuff left over for the DVD?

LA:Yeah, but not a lot of action stuff. I would say more quiet scenes, a little bit more between Castle and Soap, a little bit more between Castle and the girl - they actually took more of the calmer stuff out and left the action, and I feel really good about keeping all the action in.

RS:I think you did a good job - I had a blast watching it.

LA:Well, thank you. Lionsgate doesn't tend to show their films to critics, to any of you guys, five days before [release], so that was a leap of faith, I think, and it's worked out for us.

RS:If things go well at the box-office, would you come back for a sequel?

LA:[laughs] No. But Ray Stevenson should direct one. That's what I'm campaigning for. I think he'd be a great Punisher director.

RS:You took enough punishment?

LA:I did indeed.

http://suicidegirls.com/interviews/Lexi+Alexander+on+Punisher%92s+Behind+The+Scenes+War+Zone/

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 05, 2008, 12:31:51 PM
'Punisher: War Zone' brings comic to life
Delfin Vigil

Friday, December 5, 2008

When in "Rome," actor Ray Stevenson quickly won over HBO fans as the big lug of a henchman Titus Pullo. As the unapologetic pillager, he was simply too lovable to hate.

Now, the Northern Ireland-born actor is taking on a role of a character who may be too hateful to love. That's precisely why Stevenson took on the challenge of the lead role of Marvel Comics' Frank Castle in "Punisher: War Zone," a dark vigilante anti-hero who kills lots and lots of people on behalf of utter revenge.

Impressing HBO fans is one thing; gaining the respect of comic-book fans is quite another, as the hulking hombre, who smells as if he sweats cologne, tells us he found out. While recently in San Francisco, the very friendly actor took time to talk about his very unfriendly character.

Q: What made you want to become Frank Castle?

A: I had been seen at Marvel's office for a nemesis role in "The Incredible Hulk." They hadn't cast Ed Norton and Tim Roth (in that movie) yet. When they did go that route, it was like ... fine, fine, fine. I didn't know this at the time, but one of the producers said to ("Punisher" director) Lexi Alexander, "You should look at this guy." She then said, "Well, who's this guy? I don't watch television." The producer gave her a copy of "Rome." She watched one episode and said, "That's my Frank Castle."

Q: That must have felt like quite a compliment.

A: I was blissfully unaware of all this. It was the weirdest casting I've ever been involved with, a sort of fait accompli.

Q: What was your first impression of the Punisher's "War Zone" story?

A: When I asked to read the script. I was told, "No. We have one, but you can't read it yet." I got on the phone with Lexi and she said, "You don't understand. You are doing this film. You are Frank Castle."

Q: Were you ever wary of playing such a dark and violent character?

A: I realized that it is an uber-violent film. But the story doesn't pull any punches or shy away from the real cost of the violence and the real pain of the character.

Q: Since the script changed quite a bit in preproduction, were you able to contribute your ideas?

A: When I was flown in to meet with the Lionsgate people, I told them that, before I did the film, I wanted to make one thing clear: "I don't want people walking out of the cinema wanting to be the Punisher. I'm sure you'll agree with me on that."

Q: Did they?

A: There was a real tumbleweed moment. I said, "We don't want any ostracized or bullied mates to go home, tool up and come take out their bad guys like the Punisher."

Q: But did the film executives agree with you on that?

A: Absolutely. We emphasized showing the other side of Frank Castle. He's a man on a mission, but there's no light at the end of his tunnel. He's in a very dark place. He's in a whole world of pain. And there's a cost inflicted on his self for each of his actions. You're glad he's there, and you can't wait to see what he does next. But you don't want to be Frank. With that in mind, we stick to our guns in portraying his character.

Q: Quite literally, too, as the promotional posters suggest.

A: Indeed. But in the end, it was not about "I've got a bigger gun than your gun." It's about choices. It's about training, finding the right weapon for the right job and showing state-of-the-art military training. The Punisher is popular with the military. Hopefully, GIs watching this movie over in the gulf will see how their training comes to bear. They'll see it and go, "Look. That's why they train us 16 hours a day." All that subtle stuff is not labored upon, but it's all in there. I hope that helps ground the character.

Q: Considering your moral concerns, was it uncomfortable to be so closely associated with so many guns?

A: Well, I didn't grow up with swords or horses either. But that was my job in "Rome." You've got to commit and accept the world you're in. If the character doesn't have a problem with it, why should I have one if I'm playing him?

Q: When did it occur to you that the director was right and that you were meant to be Frank Castle?

A: I suppose it was an organic process. I'd read something in the script and thought about how Frank would interpret it. ... And then it just starts gelling. Eventually, you become one and the same. You get to the point where you should be able to take any scene and run with it. You can't say, "Well, in this scene, I wasn't feeling it."

Q: Is it possible to do too much homework in preparing for such an established character, especially when it was interpreted as recently as 2004?

A: I didn't even see the last one ("The Punisher," starring Thomas Jane) until after we finished filming. Ours was completely fresh out of the box. There's already a big mythology held up by the Punisher's fan base. I was aware of all that and his backstory. If there were ever any doubts, I'd just go back to the original source material.

Q: What do you like most about the story of the Punisher?

A: I like the fact that, as the subtitle suggests, it's a war zone - both externally and internally. I like that there's no guarantee that he'll survive. Bullets don't bounce off of him. He is no superhero.

Q: What went through your mind the first time you saw the final version?

A: Frank Castle raises a lot of moral questions. Is there justification for vigilantism? Should there be? How many times have we wanted to take the law into our own hands? Who draws that line? Do we wait until we're completely failed by the justice system? Or does that just mean that it's then Dodge City and I'm protecting me and mine? Frank's long past those moral decisions. He's made his choice.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/12/05/PKM314CTDE.DTL

:nomad:




Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 05, 2008, 12:45:10 PM
Punisher: War Zone: The AMG Review
December 5th, 2008 | 6:02 am est | Jeremy Wheeler


Third time seems to be the charm for the skull-emblazoned Marvel Comics’ vigilante, who punishes his way across the screen in a gory gas of squishy violence with Punisher: War Zone. Rarely have moviegoers seen such a two-fisted wrecking ball of vengeance such as the one realized here by Ray Stevenson. Built like a ‘fridge, with fists that go through faces and an arsenal to blow off any crook’s head that comes near, this Punisher couldn’t be more different than the Tom Jane or Dolph Lundgren incarnations that came before. Much of the same can be said of the movie, which takes ultra violence to a new level, injecting a bit of the black humor of the Garth Ennis Max series and mixing it with the visceral abandon of Stallone’s fourth Rambo film. Of course, not everything is rosy underneath the blood-red veil of this violent escapade. For any missteps the film does make, War Zone more than makes up for it by taking no prisoners and being what it is: an excessive blast of action where brawn wins over brains and sober morality messages are left for other, weightier comic book properties.

Just as in the Incredible Hulk reboot, this kick-start wastes no time in laying out origins. The story begins with a gangster meeting gone horribly wrong, as the vigilante known as The Punisher single-handedly takes out a Mafioso boss along with his corrupt dinner guests. Fleeing the scene is Billy Russoti (300’s Dominic West), a recent ex-con and connected mobster who’s cooking up a deal to bring biological weapons into the country. Inevitably, The Punisher tracks him to his hideout and opens a can of hurt on him and his men, fatally wounding an undercover FBI agent in the process. As Frank Castle, the Kevlar-suited protector of the innocent, flees the scene, Russoti is left forever scarred, paving the way for him to become the ultra-villain Jigsaw. Now, burdened with remorse, The Punisher vows to protect the family of the slain agent, even if it means teaming up with the local law enforcement’s “Punisher Task Force” to do so. With the help of his weapons man Microchip (Wayne Knight), Castle takes on Jigsaw and his psychotic brother Loony Bin Jim (Doug Hutchison) in a fight to the death, where only the guilty will be punished.

Loaded with double-barreled mayhem, War Zone is a coup de grâce of cartoonish violence and knowingly over-the-top performances. In particular, West excels as the nightmarish goomba Jigsaw, injecting each scene with a gleeful swagger that’s deliciously campy for those looking for a throwback to dastardly villains of old. In fact, much of the film walks the fine line of deliberate, straight-faced preposterousness. What helps is the style of the picture; director Lexi Alexander has given the Big Apple a heightened reality not only with the movie’s exaggerated traumas, but with the color palette as well. Playing like an aesthetic toss-up between Blade II and a bit of Dick Tracy, Alexander and cinematographer Steve Gainer transform the dark crevices of a subway stop into a green-hued hideout, with another stellar sequence occurring in a church filled with a sea of multicolored candles. The mix of garish violence and artistic ambition makes for a fascinating combination, one that’s altogether unexpected in an adaptation of such a straight-ahead action hero.

Furthermore, the choice of director is inherently interesting given the film’s theatrical cut. One would think that Julie Benz would have been given a meatier role under the watchful eye of a female at the helm. By the time her character is kidnapped at the end, astute viewers might wonder if her original role had been nabbed as well. Also on the minus side, War Zone is hobbled by the questionable amount of jarring metal tunes, in addition to a needless comic relief in the case of the Det. Soup character. Played with a confusingly imbecilic nature by Dash Mihok, the performance and character are entirely out of place, even in such a ludicrous film as this. Still, this slight misstep is nothing compared to the embarrassing opera-singing fat guy funnyman sidekick from Jonathan Hensleigh’s 2004 outing, so maybe audiences should feel lucky this time around. In the end, War Zone will delight those who have been yearning for The Punisher to deliver in such a gory gas as this. Sure, it’s not a stripped-down Death Wish for the serious-minded adult crowd, but that’s not what every comic book movie needs to be in the post-Dark Knight, pre-Watchmen movie world. For once, fans are not severely punished by a Punisher flick; that in and of itself says a whole lot about this future guilty pleasure.


http://blog.allmovie.com/2008/12/05/punisher-war-zone-the-amg-review/

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 05, 2008, 01:04:18 PM
Great video!

http://www.movieweb.com/video/V08LadeklvDEJQ

Will it paste here?  I dunno, but I'll try!

<object width="425" height="339"><param name="movie" value="http://www.movieweb.com/v/V08LadeklvDEJQ"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.movieweb.com/v/V08LadeklvDEJQ" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="339"></embed></object>

Dang!  I don't know how to do that!

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 05, 2008, 01:21:52 PM
Great Lexi video!

http://www.movieweb.com/video/V08L06bhmxCDIQ

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Lotis on December 05, 2008, 01:48:20 PM
Punisher: War Zone' Star Ray Stevenson Says Batman, Iron Man
Wouldn't Stand A Chance Against Frank Castle

'If you are on his list, you die,' Irish actor warns.
By Larry Carroll
MTV.COM (http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1600836/story.jhtml)


As far as jobs go, you'd think being the Punisher would be a fairly straightforward one. You're not searching for a cure for cancer, you're not running a corporation — you put on some black clothes, sneer and shoot people in the face.

Yet Hollywood has found it nearly impossible to find a suitable Frank Castle. First, Dolph Lundgren gave it a shot in 1989. Then, Thomas Jane bulked up and burned out in 2004.

Now meet "Rome" star Ray Stevenson, a veteran actor from Northern Ireland who offers a grin, a handshake and a hearty laugh in real life to counter each gun, hand grenade and heart-targeted rifle shot in "The Punisher: War Zone."

The burly Stevenson visited the MTV offices and mercifully let us live so that we could pass along to you the following discussion. We touched on topics ranging from the most violent film of 2008, Stevenson's quiet link to Daniel Day-Lewis, and why Iron Man, Batman and the other superheroes need to be punished.

MTV: This is quite possibly the most violent movie of the year. Would that title make you proud?

Ray Stevenson: Yeah. The ["Punisher"] comics are extremely violent, and this is an R-rated film. We stuck to it. It's a violent film about a violent man doing violent things to violent men — you can't get away from that.

MTV: One poor schlub dies when a chair leg is stuck through his eye socket. You hit another dude so hard that you crush his skull. Is there a particular kill you enjoyed the most?

Stevenson: I don't know. You try to dispatch people as quickly as possible. There were some nice moves, there were a few quick draws. They sort of escalate. We tried to do a body count, and I think we got to about 82 and had to stop. We were just driving ourselves insane.

MTV: So more than 82 people die in this movie?

Stevenson: [Laughs.] Yeah, we were losing count. It was like, "Did we kill him in that last scene?" Because it was all shot back to front. We were going to try and use those little decals you put on [fighter] airplanes, listing how many kills they have. We were going to try to do that on my trailer.

MTV: This might be the first and last time the Punisher is compared to Daniel Day-Lewis, but I couldn't help but notice that in the first 15 minutes of the movie or so, you never speak. I haven't seen that since "There Will Be Blood." Why was that choice made?

Stevenson: [To show] he's a sole agent — he's a nighttime predator, and he's a vigilante. He works on his own. He's not a procrastinator at all. It's not going to be like the "Bourne" series. There is an anticipation to when the Punisher is going to appear, and of course, when he appears, he is full-on.

MTV: Frank Castle is often lumped in with his Marvel brethren, but do you consider him a superhero?

Stevenson: No, no. He's got no superpowers — he's got skills that he brings to bear. He's an antihero. He's not a defender of the weak or a protector of the innocent. He's a punisher of the corrupt. If you are on his list, you die.

MTV: You've been inhabiting his skin for quite some time now. Knowing Frank like you do, what tricks would you use to escape if you found yourself on the Punisher's list?

Stevenson: If I was on his list? [Laughs.] It would just be like, "Give it up, it's going to happen. Just try to have as much fun as you can until he gets you." He's pretty indomitable. There are lines in the book that give you the truth of where he's actually coming from, when he says, "You work for the Devil. You'd better be prepared to die for him." That's it! He's not there to weigh up the odds or hear your case — you're on his list, you're out.

MTV: We all know that while Iron Man, the Hulk and Captain America have begun showing up in each other's movies, the Punisher cannot, because he is owned by a separate studio, Lionsgate. But let's pretend for a minute that Ray Stevenson ran Hollywood — would you want to team Punisher with Spider-Man and all the rest?

Stevenson: That's interesting. There is obviously the possibility of crossovers and all this sort of thing, but when you think about it, would you then drop the "Punisher" rating down from an R to a PG? Or would you try and raise "Iron Man" or "Hulk" up to an R rating? So you lose on both.

MTV: When 2004's "Punisher" came out, they made such a big deal about Thomas Jane's car. Now the Punisher just seems to pop up in places. Where'd your vehicle go?

Stevenson: I know, right? People keep saying, "Are you going to have the car? Are you going to have the motorbike?" But there is still something about a guy on his feet. It adds a heightened sense of threat. He'll come at you on the ground level. He'll come straight at you.

MTV: Some people might be surprised to learn that the director of this super-violent film is a woman, Lexi Alexander. What did that bring to the table?

Stevenson: I think she brought a lot to it, actually. She's a world-champion kickboxer, and she's not to be messed with. Frank's a warrior. He's a trained, disciplined weapon, basically. And she knows what it's like to actually step in a ring facing someone who is going to try and hit you as hard as they possibly can, and you're going to hit them as hard as you can, and only one of you is going to walk away. She wasn't frightened about exploring the vulnerability of him as well, and I think it showed an extra confidence, to allow a vulnerability.

MTV: This has been a huge year for superhero movies. Imagine we locked your Punisher in a room with Robert Downey's Iron Man, Christian Bale's Batman and Edward Norton's Hulk. Four men enter, one man leaves. Who lives?

Stevenson: [Laughs.] I really like those guys, and I feel really sorry for them. I'll write their mothers a nice letter ... maybe. I would kill them, because the others are not necessarily inclined to kill. If they're on [the Punisher's] list, he will kill them. Batman would want to put me in jail, let's be honest. The Hulk would just want to bat me away, so I wasn't annoying anybody anymore. Iron Man, as well, would just want me removed or incarcerated somewhere. But if the Punisher is in the room, and they are on his list? No questions asked. He's not there to talk.


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Lotis on December 05, 2008, 01:56:24 PM
Ray Stevenson Wants ‘Punisher: War Zone’ Sequels, Selects His Villains
Published by Larry Carroll on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 3:31 pm.
MTV.com (http://ttp://splashpage.mtv.com/2008/12/05/ray-stevenson-wants-punisher-war-zone-sequels-selects-his-villains/)


I’d never dream of spoiling any moments in “Punisher: War Zone” for you, but I feel I can safely reveal this: People die in the film. Like, a lot of people. And, at one point, star Ray Stevenson looks at one of these poor, dying schlubs and remarks: “This is just the beginning.”

Despite the fact that 3 “Punisher” movies have now been made with 3 different stars, Stevenson revealed to us that he put the line in there as a wink to the fans, hoping to say two things: He’s the only Frank Castle from now on, and he’ll be back.

“I snuck that in,” the actor laughed, talking about a moment you can see for yourself in “War Zone” now that it’s in theaters. “It kind of worked [during that killing], like ‘This is just the beginning of your hell,’ but at the time something in me was just feeling ‘Let’s be bold enough to make a statement.’”

During our just-published interview with Stevenson, the “Rome” star told us that he is eager to continue portraying the 34-year-history of Marvel’s grim enforcer on the big screen, and already has some sequel ideas.

“[I wanted to] be bold enough to say ‘We’ve gone right down to the grassroots to show the Punisher,’ and [the fans] are all aware that if this works, if it’s successful, there will be sequels to this…This is just the beginning, and to the people who respond to it, there will be more if they want more.”

In the film, Frank does battle not only with somewhere north of 100 dead henchmen, but he also takes on straight-out-of-the-comics baddy Jigsaw and created-for-the-movie villain Loony Bin Jim. And Stevenson is already throwing out a few more names he’d like to see punished.

“We dispatched a few, but there are some other great ones,” he laughed. “Some of the great stories that are in [the Punisher comics], there is one about the Slavers — the prostitution rings, and bringing women over from Europe. There is also Barracuda, who is almost as mean and ornery as Frank. Some are more real, or more tangible than others, while some of them are larger-than-life like Jigsaw, but there are plenty [of stories to tell]. What I love is the depth that [writer] Garth Ennis gets to; he doesn’t do broad brush strokes, he really gets in there. These villains have a real motivation, a real determination that must be stopped, and you get to play off of it. That should be fun.”



Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 05, 2008, 03:17:30 PM
Comic Book Resources article:


"Punisher: War Zone" now playing

“Punisher: War Zone” director Lexi Alexander, along with stars Ray Stevenson and Wayne Knight and producer Gale Ann Hurd appeared before the press Tuesday afternoon to talk about the new Punisher film. They discussed their familiarity with the character, what makes Frank Castle compelling, and the interesting cinematic choices made for the film.

Alexander was not familiar with the Marvel comic books prior to seeing an earlier draft of the script, still called “Punisher 2” at the time. “I thought, ‘Well, this is very interesting, I’d like to look into the comic books,’” she recalled. Eventually, when Alexander accepted the job, she was sent two boxes filled with Punisher comics and found in the work of Garth Ennis an approach and tone that appealed to her. “I read them over the weekend and I thought, ‘Why didn’t I read comic books before?’” Alexander also read fan reaction to the previous film adaptations. “I think the only person who learned more about the Punisher was Ray Stevenson.”

For Stevenson, the character “chose a path of no redemption.” Finding the soul of The Punisher in the work of Ennis, which he called “phenomenal,” Stevenson said those comics made him want to play the part. “There’s something tragic and mythical [about it],” he said, adding that he liked the character’s commitment, which has an honesty to it. “He’s honest enough to say he’s not there to protect the innocent.” Stevenson said an actor likes to find “pure” characters like Frank Castle.

Stevenson was aware of the previous Punisher films, but did not watch them before filming “War Zone.” Because the new film is a fresh take disconnected from 2004’s “The Punisher,” Stevenson felt it was important to keep the part his own. “If I was going to play a role onstage, I wouldn’t necessarily go and watch another actor playing that role, directed by somebody else and acting with other cast members,” he remarked.

In addition to reading everything he could get his hands on, Stevenson went through months of physical training. He said he endurance training “paid the biggest dividend.” That particular component of pre-film training helped the actor get through the two-and-a-half months of night shoots.

Stevenson is also quick to credit his stunt double, Jeff Wolfe, for his performance in “War Zone.” “I brought him on early in the process and said, ‘We are going to be Frank Castle.’” They trained together and enjoyed a true collaboration. “Here’s where you go through the window and here’s where I roll out and pick up the gun,” he joked.

 
"Punisher: War Zone" now playing
Stevenson also had a “concise” training on the weapons The Punisher uses in the film. With the help of former U.S. Marines and Special Forces personnel, Stevenson became comfortable with the type of weaponry someone like Frank Castle might use. “He’s not a superhero; he doesn’t have superpowers. He has his training and his discipline,” Stevenson explained, adding that Castle is popular in the Armed Forces and he wanted to be true to how each weapon is used. “We wanted to show those quick magazine changes,” he offered.

Stevenson recalled a phone call from Alexander when he was offered the role. “Ray, you are Frank Castle. You are going to be Frank Castle. You are going to do this movie. If you have any doubts about this movie, I will put your doubts at rest,” she said.

Indeed, Alexander feels Stevenson is a natural fit. Asking for a “guy’s guy,” executive producer Kevin Feige brought Stevenson to her attention by way of HBO’s “Rome.” A storyline about his character, Titus Pullo, rescuing a slave girl convinced the director that Stevenson was right for the job. Alexander then sent an email around to the production: “If I’m not getting him as the Punisher, I’m not doing the movie.”

While Garth Ennis’s work proved to be an invaluable source of inspiration “Punisher: War Zone,” the popular comics writer was not involved in the film. Hurd said Ennis had “a very full slate” and could not participate in any direct way. The film is not based on any specific Ennis story, and therefore he could not receive any sort of story credit.

The color palette of Marvel’s MAX Comics Punisher series was striking to Alexander. “We wanted to put the MAX comic book on screen,” she said. After convincing the studio that emulating the three-color scheme would work, she realized the costumes would be too garish and had to order them all to be remade. “We have the wardrobe in eight different colors,” she remembered. Combining so many colors under the lighting scheme would have produced terrible looking footage. “The wardrobe would’ve fucked everything up and made a circus out of it.”

Jigsaw proved to be difficult character for Alexander and the production to realize. “We tried several things. We did a screen test. We sent them back to Marvel and got great feedback,” she explained. While Alexander was ready to go with an initial make-up idea, Marvel said Jigsaw resembled an “alligator.” They eventually settled on the version applied to actor Dominic West, best known for his starring role in HBO’s “The Wire.” “Dominic West is one of the greatest actors,” Alexander said, explaining that his performance in the film is exactly what she wanted. “I directed him to be over-the-top. That’s what I saw for [Jigsaw] and I think it’s great.”

 
"Punisher: War Zone" now playing
For Wayne Knight, his character research led him to discover multiple versions of Microchip. “Which Microchip are we talking about?” he remarked. In the end, Knight created an amalgam character that worked best for him. “I saw him as being the supply sergeant for Frank’s one-man army; somebody who keeps it moving and tries to keep Frank sane and connected somehow to the Earth.” Asked if that also means comic relief, Knight replied, “I think that pretty much comes with me whether I want it to or not.”

Though “Punisher: War Zone” is violent, it did not have to fight for its R rating with the Motion Picture Association of America. Alexander said the United States is more welcoming of screen violence. “It’s completely opposite in Europe.” There, she said, the sort of violence she likes to portray on film is much harder to get classified for general release. Alexander also mentioned that Frank Miller had to appear before the MPAA to get a PG-13 rating for the upcoming “The Spirit” adaptation.

Alexander admitted she was not the first choice to direct “War Zone,” but she never felt that being a woman created a lack of confidence in her skills. “Nobody ever said, ‘she’s a female filmmaker.’ Not the executives. Not Gale. Nobody else said that. They just said, ‘she’s the right filmmaker,’” Alexander revealed. Day to day, gender was never an issue. However, Alexander said she was going to pass on the project, but a friend convinced her to take it, saying, “If you pass, I’ll kick your ass. You might be the only girl who’s going to break through the glass ceiling.”

Gale Ann Hurd, a veteran producer of action films reaching back to the “The Terminator” hopes one day it will not matter if an action movie director is a man or a woman. “We’re trying to get to the point where we’re gender-neutral,” she said. “It’s all about the filmmaker and what they bring to [a project.]” However, Hurd does credit Alexander with illustrating “you can have an extremely violent movie and you don’t have to be a guy.”


http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=19057

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on December 05, 2008, 03:33:53 PM
Gory gas? The thought of what that might be is what has me most disturbed.  :shrug: :fart: :yucky: :sick: :huh2: 


:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on December 05, 2008, 04:04:21 PM
Punisher: War Zone' Star Ray Stevenson Says Batman, Iron Man
Wouldn't Stand A Chance Against Frank Castle

'If you are on his list, you die,' Irish actor warns.
By Larry Carroll
MTV.COM (http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1600836/story.jhtml)


As far as jobs go, you'd think being the Punisher would be a fairly straightforward one. You're not searching for a cure for cancer, you're not running a corporation — you put on some black clothes, sneer and shoot people in the face.
..................................

MTV: One poor schlub dies when a chair leg is stuck through his eye socket. You hit another dude so hard that you crush his skull. Is there a particular kill you enjoyed the most?

Stevenson: I don't know. You try to dispatch people as quickly as possible. There were some nice moves, there were a few quick draws. They sort of escalate. We tried to do a body count, and I think we got to about 82 and had to stop. We were just driving ourselves insane.

MTV: So more than 82 people die in this movie?

Stevenson: [Laughs.] Yeah, we were losing count. It was like, "Did we kill him in that last scene?" Because it was all shot back to front. We were going to try and use those little decals you put on [fighter] airplanes, listing how many kills they have. We were going to try to do that on my trailer.
....................................

AHAHAHAha! I must be one of the sick f*cks.


....................................

MTV: You've been inhabiting his skin for quite some time now. Knowing Frank like you do, what tricks would you use to escape if you found yourself on the Punisher's list?

Stevenson: If I was on his list? [Laughs.] It would just be like, "Give it up, it's going to happen. Just try to have as much fun as you can until he gets you." He's pretty indomitable. There are lines in the book that give you the truth of where he's actually coming from, when he says, "You work for the Devil. You'd better be prepared to die for him." That's it! He's not there to weigh up the odds or hear your case — you're on his list, you're out.

....................................

MTV: This has been a huge year for superhero movies. Imagine we locked your Punisher in a room with Robert Downey's Iron Man, Christian Bale's Batman and Edward Norton 's Hulk. Four men enter, one man leaves. Who lives?

Stevenson: [Laughs.] I really like those guys, and I feel really sorry for them. I'll write their mothers a nice letter ... maybe. I would kill them, because the others are not necessarily inclined to kill. If they're on [the Punisher's] list, he will kill them. Batman would want to put me in jail, let's be honest. The Hulk would just want to bat me away, so I wasn't annoying anybody anymore. Iron Man, as well, would just want me removed or incarcerated somewhere. But if the Punisher is in the room, and they are on his list? No questions asked. He's not there to talk.

 :D Ray is one bad mammajamma.  :rock: :dance: :crush:

And I know because I saw the movie this afternoon! WooHOOOO! I enjoyed!!!  :dance2: :yahoo:

:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on December 05, 2008, 05:22:56 PM
Oh! I found the translation to that Nancy Mills article!

'Punisher' star says Frank Castle is no superhero
By Nancy Mills
The New York Times Syndicate

...................................
Stevenson, who shot to fame as the headstrong, sexy Titus Pullo in the BBC/HBO series "Rome"


OOF! Yes he did!

...................................

Growing up as the son of a Royal Air Force pilot, Stevenson thought about pursuing an acting career but didn't know how to begin.

"I was like a headless chicken," he said, "running around, knowing I was looking for something but not knowing what it was. There's probably still a bit of the headless chicken in me."


Tête-less Poulet? Testa-less Pollo? Sorry. :shutup:


Eventually he went to art college and trained to be an interior designer.

"I was enchanting people with the space," he said. "I enjoyed it very much. I would sit in front of a blank piece of paper and literally imagine myself walking around in a world that hadn't been created yet. It's not that much different from filming."


Yes, he is enchanting.

Oh, I am enjoying this shower of Ray news and interviews, not to mention the film!

:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on December 05, 2008, 05:35:03 PM
Great Lexi video!

http://www.movieweb.com/video/V08L06bhmxCDIQ

:nomad:

Thanks, Nomad!

Great interview! Lexi's 'Suicide Girls' interview was great, too. She doesn't....pull her punches. Sorry. ;) :P

And when I looked at that video interview of Lexi, I saw that niiiice long 11-minute interview with Ray, too, on the same site!

:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 06, 2008, 01:15:16 AM
Ray Stevenson Interview
Punisher: War Zone Contributing Writer Ray Stevenson is a stage-trained British actor who burst into international acclaim with his nuanced portrayal of Roman soldier Titus Pullo in HBO’s series Rome.  Ray now tackles the formidable role of Frank Castle, the violent ‘Punisher’ character of film and comic book fame. Buzzine sits down with Ray Stevenson and gets the inside story on his newest film, Punisher: War Zone.

Interview by Izumi Hasegawa

Izumi Hasegawa: You played a really complicated character; he has a lot of facets as a father, as a soldier, and then as a vigilante. Was there anything that really resonated with you about playing Frank, either from comic books, or the script?

Ray Stevenson: I suppose you just feel on an instinctive level if something is honest. I think one of the initial motivators for me was the fact that he chose a path with no redemption for him; there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. But he’s chosen a path. There’s a mythical, tragic sort of warrior about him, and he’s not looking for any redemption. He’s honest enough to say he’s not there to protect the innocent or save the weak; he’s made his choices. And also there was a price to pay for that. I like the fact that his commitment had an honesty to it, and I suppose the thing about being an actor is that you basically hit your mark, look the other guy in the eye, and tell the truth. And yes, it’s a pretend world, but you’ve got to step up and be honest with it. And the more you can dig, the more you can get out, I think.

IH: Your role was extremely physical.  What preparation did that require?

RS: Oh sure, we did an extensive sort of pre-film period, worked out about three or four months, and thankfully we did an awful lot of endurance training ’cause that has actually paid the biggest dividend.  We got through a very punishing schedule, excuse the pun, but it was two and a half months of night-shoots, and the endurance really had paid off. But we did do very concise work with the weapons. It wasn’t about having the biggest gun; it was about having the right gun and knowing how to use it, and we had some great military guys from the Marines and also special forces. The thing about Frank is that he’s not a superhero. He hasn’t got super powers or anything. He’s got his training, his discipline, and his weapon-handling, and he doesn’t have magic guns with magic magazines that never run out. So we wanted to show those quick magazine changes, so yeah, we really worked at that, and we also know that he’s a very popular character with the military. They’re going to watch it and we all felt that maybe some young G.I. in the Gulf is going to watch it and say, “Look, that’s why they beached us 16 hours a day with the training,” because you just use it like a second nature. It didn’t want to feel like it was Gung Ho. In essence, Frank Castle is the weapon, and these are the tools — that was an extension of him. I was asked a question like Did I have a favorite gun? And I said, “Yeah, the one that was loaded and pointed at the enemy.” [Laughs] But we had to do an awful lot of work like that, and luckily we had some great people working with us.

IH: When you approached your character, did you look at the previous Thomas Jane Punisher?

RS: No. I was aware of it, and I was aware of the Dolph Lundgren one, which I haven’t seen. I watched the Thomas Jane one afterwards, actually, because I made it clear that we were starting grass-roots and we it wasn’t like a follow one. It wasn’t to build up from. There was no way they were connected to each other whatsoever. It was like saying, okay, this is going to be a commitment to the Max series, to the Garth Ennis writing, to the Tim Bradstreet style of illustration. It’s going to be that, this is the character we’re doing, start there. There wasn’t any need, actually, to go in there and see those films. ‘Cause from my point of view, if I was going to play a role on stage, I wouldn’t necessarily watch another actor go play that role that’s been directed by somebody else and acting with other cast members. So you take yourself to it and give it your shot.

IH: When you grew up in Ireland, did you ever think you’d be playing a comic book character?

RS: No, we actually left Northern Ireland when I was about five or six ’cause the IRA kicked off — the whole troubles — and then I grew up in the North East of England. We used to go off to the Saturday morning picture show, myself and my brothers, and there was always like an A-film and a B-movie – Casey Jones and Champion The Wonder Horse — and it was all these great big epics and cowboys and ships, and so I was enchanted at an early age. I immerse myself in that, and something sparked off and I didn’t tell anybody I wanted to be an actor. I knew from a very early age, but it just didn’t seem possible. It was just like, yeah, okay, that’s a bit of a dream really, you know, just ignore it and get on with your life. But I kept it for a long time until I finally admitted to myself that you got to do something about this. But yeah, it’s been an interesting journey. It took a while before it came out.

IH: This role is so unusual. Were you surprised when it came to you?

RS: Well, it’s weird. I mean, unexpected, I don’t know. It’s like, I suppose I wasn’t aware of the character beforehand, and I got this phone call out of the blue saying “Are you interested in this Punisher thing?” and I said, “Well, is there a script?” “No, you’re not allowed to read the script.” Well, how can you commit to something like that? [Laughs] And then, I was in England at the time, I got this phone call from Lexi [Alexander] and she went, “Now Ray, you are Frank Castle. You are going to be Frank Castle. You’re going to do this movie, and if you have any doubt about doing this movie, I will put your doubts at rest. If you still think that you’re not going to do this movie, I won’t let you. Because then you’re still not understanding what this movie is and I will explain it to you.” [Laughs] And it’s just like, “Oh, right.” [Laughs] Who’s going to argue with that?

IH: Could you talk about your comic book experience, as you grew up in England, and this is an American comic book.

RS: Yeah, and I wasn’t aware of this particular comic book and I wasn’t really a comic reader, so the whole world of it sort of came crashing in. I mean, first it was sort of bleeding in through Frank Castle and then reading it, and it was Garth Ennis’s writing that pulled me right in. You can see straight away so far in the thing, but then you think he doesn’t hide — the writing in these comic books is phenomenal. And such a previously untapped source, and the fans got it — they knew. That’s why they’ve invested years and years buying the books. They keep going back. And that’s an investment over a period of time. They really do have ownership on it. And then, of course [laughs], Comic-Con — I’d seen Galaxy Quest, that was like this is crazy…Who on earth, I thought…and then I went there, and it was just, wow! All right, and they’re committed, they’re invested, they’re involved, and as a source material for actors, you not only got the written words, you’ve also got some of the most incredible drawings and illustrations, not just in this one, but other comic books now, so I start to get it. I wouldn’t ever presume to say that now I’m a comic book fan. You know, I’m a child in that world, but it really has opened up. And it deserved to be, ’cause there are some very committed minds and artists involved in it. It’s a great thrill to be part of the lexicon of this culture, and I think it’s got a global appeal and I think it always will have. It’s been great to do.


:nomad:




Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 06, 2008, 01:16:38 AM
'Nuther video interview on Hollywood 411:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/47542/celebrity-interviews-punisher-war-zone-ray-stevenson

:nomad:


Title: Re: Video interview!
Post by: Camamar on December 06, 2008, 08:01:35 AM
They're asking Ray :crush: five questions, but we only get to see one a day!

Here's the first one:

http://comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=19021

:nomad:

I just gave a shout-out (in the RayVe! column on the left) asking where is the 5th question! I saw that Lotis posted 3 of the CBR videos on this site's home page with four questions. I want the last one! :pray: :shrug:

Nice Hollywood 411 video interview there, too, Lotis! Thanks! (I see you also posted one here on the Community page, Nomad. Thanks!) That's a better version than I could see on the TV Guide Channel. And I might have already missed my chance to see it on the TVG Channel.

:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: mob1 on December 06, 2008, 02:53:59 PM
I saw him last night on E TV with Debbie Matanopoulas. They were at a shooting range and she was flirting big time!!! haha. I dvr'd it cause I got a heads up from Jeff Wolfe, Ray's stuntman, that it would be on..they seem to be becoming close friends now.  :clap: :dance:

Might be on You Tube now..he was very natural and relaxed in it..shooting a BIG gun.. :punisher: :


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on December 06, 2008, 03:31:08 PM
I saw him last night on E TV with Debbie Matanopoulas. They were at a shooting range and she was flirting big time!!! haha. I dvr'd it cause I got a heads up from Jeff Wolfe, Ray's stuntman, that it would be on..they seem to be becoming close friends now.  :clap: :dance:

Might be on You Tube now..he was very natural and relaxed in it..shooting a BIG gun.. :punisher: :

Ooh! Nice! Yay, Jeff! :snog: Thanks, mob!!!

I hope it was the hour-long weekend news edition, because I set my DVR to record it. I hope there's room for it; I must be sure to ensure that.

Debbie Matenopoulos is the one who was at that party with Ray weeks ago...the one where that picture was of him text messaging (or whatever he was doing, sitting at that party) was taken.

:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: LadyAugustine on December 07, 2008, 07:10:00 AM
Wow great videos & articles everyone!  thanks for all the hard work posting them.

I found this on google alerts this morning.  It's not (or doesn't seem to be I could be wrong) a professional journalist but seems someone who's purely a comic book fan, and a huge fan of the punisher.  I loved his review.  I *ESPECIALLY* loved the part I bolded.  YAY!

Quote
ComicBookMovie.com: Your source for comic book movie news, reviews, and previews!

Punisher War Zone
Exactly what it needed to be.
While I thought the previews showed promise, it did more. The movie itself was great. It doesn't try to be Iron Man or the Dark Knight, but it gives enough for any of us who are real comic book fans.

First of all, Ray Stevenson is the Punisher. He looks exactly like we picture the character to be. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the Thomas Jane version, mostly because of Jane, but, he is no Stevenson.
[/size]
The Punisher is violent, but that is what we expect. We do not expect to be shown mercy, and we are not. Yes, the violence is extreme, but it fits the profile.

From beginning to end, I was very pleased. In a year of great comic book films, the year was brought to a pleasant close


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 08, 2008, 12:48:03 PM
Red Carpet video!

http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=0&id=62557

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on December 08, 2008, 07:57:41 PM
'PUNISHER: WAR ZONE' Q&A WITH RAY STEVENSON
The New Punisher actor takes aim and fires back about the flick that hit theaters this weekend 
 
By Rachel Molino
Posted 12/8/2008
 
Sure, there were the explosions, fight scenes and shoot-outs, but what really knocked out actor Ray Stevenson was Garth Ennis.

"Marvel made everything available to me, which was great," says the man playing Frank Castle in Dec. 5's "Punisher: War Zone." "I took as much from the visuals—from the work of Tim Bradstreet, the cover illustrator—as much as I did from the writing of Garth Ennis, who just knocked me out as a writer."
 
Four years after Tom Jane played the Marvel antihero, Lionsgate and director Lexi Alexander ("Green Street Hooligans") have rebooted the franchise in the fashion of this summer's "Incredible Hulk," injecting a fresh plot with a hard R-rating and stylized violence. We chatted with new Punisher Stevenson to get the scoop on filling Frank's combat boots, Alexander's superpowers and where the first film went wrong. (Florida!)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
WIZARD: I watched the trailer for "Punisher: War Zone," and it scared me. I think I saw you punch your fist through a guy's face, run a chair leg through a dude's eye and then explode a whole room of assassins.
STEVENSON: I think it's true to the MAX series. The way in which the violence is dealt with is definitely keeping within the comic book genre. We're not selling out to make something that is 100 percent realistic. It's from a comic book, and you get the sense that you are watching the pages come to life. The books themselves don't pull their punches and neither do we, but I don't think it's as abrasive as one might think because it's not done in a hyper-real state. But yeah it's scary. It's about violent men doing violent things to other violent men. But the "War Zone" is as much internal for Frank Castle as it is external, and we get to show that there's a price to pay for this.

It sounds like you went through some Punisher source material.
STEVENSON: All of it. [Marvel] builds a brand loyalty with their characters and the details beneath them, and [fans] would be the first to hold Marvel to task if they veered off, because the audience is dipping their hands in their pockets every month and deserves respect. They set the bar very high.

Having been exposed to this material, have you been inspired to pick up more comics, perhaps other things Ennis has written?
STEVENSON: Yeah, I certainly am more aware now, that if I see something, I will pick it up and have a look. Garth Ennis' writing was fascinating and a lot more in-depth than screenwriters often get into it. And I have worked on projects before where I've had directors, producers and even writers turn around and say, "Yeah, yeah, don't look too deep," because they haven't answered the questions, and any question you may bring up, they haven't got the answers to. They do it in these comic books, and it's very inspiring.

You're a tough guy actor. Who are some of the toughest guys in Hollywood to you?
STEVENSON: People I look back to would be Lee Marvin, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood. We haven't really seen "the tough guy" portrayed in a long time. The "tough" guys have been sort of bullets-bounce-off guys. I think what's happening now is the tough guys are allowed to be human. There are some things that Harrison Ford did, some choices he made which made him one of the tough guys. He didn't always get it right. He did get battered and bruised. Viewers watching him could think, "Given the right circumstances, I could see that kind of thing through."

Have you seen either the Dolph Lundgren or Tom Jane "Punisher" movies?
STEVENSON: I saw the Tom Jane, and it was an interesting film. I think the script didn't serve them very well. After I had read the whole MAX series, I was let down a bit by the script and the placement of the film, in Florida. In our movie, he doesn't drive around in a GTO. He's a nighttime predator, and he's almost clinical in his military precision, but he's definitely a predator at night on the streets of New York, and I think all that helps the direction of the piece, so I think the setting down there was wrong. Also, the script didn't serve them that well; you never really got inside Frank. You left being more informed about John Travolta's character than you were about Frank's character. They had an uphill task, but the film held together. It was fine but I can see why the fans—it wasn't really giving them what they deserved.

What did Lexi Alexander bring to the film that could have been missed by another director?
STEVENSON: Are you familiar with Lexi's history? She's an ex-world champion kickboxer. What she brings to the film is that mindset—when you really think about it, when you step into a ring with somebody else and you know that person is gonna hit you as hard as they can, and you're gonna try and hit that person as hard as you can, there's a mindset that goes on that there's no way out. This is it. This is combat. When you train and you're determined to progress a course of action, there's a mindset and a heart that goes into the fight, and that's what she brought: a realism, that she was able to expose the inner workings, the warrior spirit, as well as the outside action.

Have you ever had any weird interactions with fans?
STEVENSON: Yes. I've had one in particular. It happened at my very first Comic-Con, at San Diego. I'm on the Marvel stand, I'm sitting next to Tim Bradstreet, we're signing posters. There's a great line and I've got security, which is new to me but it's America and whatever. The security is standing off and people are coming through like, "Can you sign this to John?" and this one guy walks up with a plastic bag all excited and says, "Would you sign my gun?" and he pulls out a sawed-off shotgun! Thankfully it was a plastic one with an orange cap on the end, but that's the only way you'd know. So I go, "Yeah sure, f--k it, I'll sign whatever the hell you want!" So that was pretty intense. Not a flinch from security. I signed his gun and he went away happy.


http://www.wizarduniverse.com/120808stevensonpunisher.html

:nomad:



Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Labiaofthejulii on December 09, 2008, 03:14:25 PM
Thanks to all who have worked tirelessly to bring all the PWZ publicity to RayVer's attention here!

I'm reading all the articles slowly but surely. With a great big smile on my face. Not bad considering I won't see the film for weeks yet *weeps*

One veery noticeable thing.... isn't Ray doing the most fantastic job to promote the film and his role?!  :clap:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on December 09, 2008, 08:44:47 PM
Yes, he is articulate and engaging and charming in his interviews.  :clap: :crush:

:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: frank on December 09, 2008, 09:58:27 PM
This is more of an editorial, but it illustrates how much the fans enjoyed this movie.  Both the author and her readers (that commented) want to see Ray Stevenson back as The Punisher.

http://www.cinematical.com/2008/12/09/the-geek-beat-sometimes-id-like-to-get-my-hands-on-a-sequel


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: mob1 on December 09, 2008, 10:01:58 PM
Yes, he is articulate and engaging and charming in his interviews.  :clap: :crush:

:bead:


And, his personal appearances with his fans  :cheers: :loveys: :clap:   charming chap indeed!!


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Lotis on December 10, 2008, 03:19:31 PM
another Ray interview, this time with a movie critic named "Chuck the movie guy".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RXOdH9g4Z4


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: frank on December 11, 2008, 07:08:03 PM
Another good review from someone who clearly understood the movie's agenda.

http://www.411mania.com/movies/film_reviews/92181

The Punisher: War Zone is a hard movie to sell. It is the story of a man who kills every bad guy he finds. However, Alexander found a way to create a movie that allows the character to operate in the way fans of the comic book expect him to act, while at the same time entertaining people who may have never heard of the character before stepping into the theater. This is not a masterpiece, but is a tremendously fun movie and one that I can’t imagine you would leave without a giant smile on your face.


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: frank on December 11, 2008, 10:37:10 PM
http://thereeladdict.com/reel-review-punisher-war-zone/

For all the genuine artistic legitimacy brought to the comic book film genre with the dramatic THE DARK KNIGHT and the entertaining IRON MAN, there’s something refreshing about PUNISHER: WAR ZONE being a case of good old fashioned, silly, campy, comic book fun. Don’t get me wrong, THE DARK KNIGHT and IRON MAN are definite milestones, and worthy of every credit they get. But with most comic books now taking a turn for the serious and accomplished, I can’t help but welcome a silly, stupid, ridiculously over-the-top movie like PUNISHER that with its very existence asks the Joker’s same question and responds to it: why so serious?

PUNISHER: WAR ZONE isn’t about heavy meditations over the nature of heroes, power and responsibility, vigilantes, crime, order, or whatever. It’s about a dude who can completely punch through a guy’s face squaring off against a deranged, manic gangster who renames himself Jigsaw when his kisser becomes horribly mutilated.

The filmmakers seem to recognize the nature of their beast, and as such provide a gleefully campy comic book opus of excess that never looks away from what it is. We get The Punisher doing exactly what we expect him to do: punishing people in the most over-the-top, unrealistic, gooey and hyper-violent ways possible. We get ridiculous villains straight out of the pulps, who chew up the scenery (and sometimes others), and cackle with manic and wide-eyes insanity. There’s horribly bad Italian gangster stereotypes (bad accents included), and drugged out couriers who parkour up the stairs instead of walking on them. Most fun of all, we get several gloriously improbably, but nevertheless fantastically entertaining kills compliments of Frank Castle.

Funnily enough, numerous critics have cited any of these (or all) things as to why the film sucks. It has me wondering if they just didn’t get the joke, or if maybe the joke’ is just on me. It’s possible that the film’s ridiculousness is completely unintended. Occasionally the film does venture into attempts at drama that fail, though not as much as they should thanks to Ray Stevenson. The thing is, the film is so assured and dedicated to its excess, I have a hard time believing it’s an accident. If it is, well, at least it’s one with entertaining results and so it doesn’t really matter. If you go into the right frame of mind, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to have a good time.

Even if see with all this in mind, there will be some – especially long-time comic book fans – who will see PUNISHER: WAR ZONE as a step back for comic books films, a return to the stigmatized silly campiness associated with the films before IRON MAN and THE DARK KNIGHT finally removed all doubts that comic book heroes are not just kid’s stuff.

Why so serious? To me, PUNISHER: WAR ZONE proves there’s still room for the escapist camp.


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Labiaofthejulii on December 12, 2008, 12:00:02 AM
http://thereeladdict.com/reel-review-punisher-war-zone/

For all the genuine artistic legitimacy brought to the comic book film genre with the dramatic THE DARK KNIGHT and the entertaining IRON MAN, there’s something refreshing about PUNISHER: WAR ZONE being a case of good old fashioned, silly, campy, comic book fun. Don’t get me wrong, THE DARK KNIGHT and IRON MAN are definite milestones, and worthy of every credit they get. But with most comic books now taking a turn for the serious and accomplished, I can’t help but welcome a silly, stupid, ridiculously over-the-top movie like PUNISHER that with its very existence asks the Joker’s same question and responds to it: why so serious?

PUNISHER: WAR ZONE isn’t about heavy meditations over the nature of heroes, power and responsibility, vigilantes, crime, order, or whatever. It’s about a dude who can completely punch through a guy’s face squaring off against a deranged, manic gangster who renames himself Jigsaw when his kisser becomes horribly mutilated.

The filmmakers seem to recognize the nature of their beast, and as such provide a gleefully campy comic book opus of excess that never looks away from what it is. We get The Punisher doing exactly what we expect him to do: punishing people in the most over-the-top, unrealistic, gooey and hyper-violent ways possible. We get ridiculous villains straight out of the pulps, who chew up the scenery (and sometimes others), and cackle with manic and wide-eyes insanity. There’s horribly bad Italian gangster stereotypes (bad accents included), and drugged out couriers who parkour up the stairs instead of walking on them. Most fun of all, we get several gloriously improbably, but nevertheless fantastically entertaining kills compliments of Frank Castle.

Funnily enough, numerous critics have cited any of these (or all) things as to why the film sucks. It has me wondering if they just didn’t get the joke, or if maybe the joke’ is just on me. It’s possible that the film’s ridiculousness is completely unintended. Occasionally the film does venture into attempts at drama that fail, though not as much as they should thanks to Ray Stevenson. The thing is, the film is so assured and dedicated to its excess, I have a hard time believing it’s an accident. If it is, well, at least it’s one with entertaining results and so it doesn’t really matter. If you go into the right frame of mind, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to have a good time.

Even if see with all this in mind, there will be some – especially long-time comic book fans – who will see PUNISHER: WAR ZONE as a step back for comic books films, a return to the stigmatized silly campiness associated with the films before IRON MAN and THE DARK KNIGHT finally removed all doubts that comic book heroes are not just kid’s stuff.

Why so serious? To me, PUNISHER: WAR ZONE proves there’s still room for the escapist camp.

Hello Frank! Thanks for the articles mate! This one makes for GOOD reading!

 :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: iblauralee on December 14, 2008, 02:41:43 AM
http://www.hollywood.com/photo_gallery/Flip_Book_Ray_Stevenson_FLIPBOOK/5332232


Here are some pics from the premiere.  Has pics of his girlfriend too!


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on December 14, 2008, 04:53:36 PM
ooh Yeah. I saw them when you posted them on IMDb. Thanks again, iblauralee! :wave:


:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: frank on December 17, 2008, 11:49:02 PM
Here's a mildly amusing blog entry that I stumbled upon.  It's from the myspace page of Patton Oswalt- an actor that usually comes across like an annoying fanboy more than anything else.  But instead of tearing P:WZ apart for not trying to make the source material seem "realistic", he has nothing but praise for the film's over-the-top approach.

http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=67077201&blogID=456847981

PUNISHER: WAR ZONE is THE BEST time I've had at the movies this year. I've seen better films. MUCH better films. SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, THE DARK KNIGHT, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN and RACHEL GETTING MARRIED I'm sure, someday, will influence my work and make me think twice before I let slide something hack-y and un-original.

But I didn't ever feel like standing up on my chair and cheering. None of them made me cackle like a railyard hobo who's found half a cigar and a can of beans. And none of them had a scene where Dominic West, in Frankenstein makeup, convinces black, Chinese and Irish gangs to put aside their differences and act as cannon-fodder in his hissy fit vengeance scheme against Frank Castle, aka The Punisher.


(Full review at above link.)


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: wingit4me on December 18, 2008, 03:26:39 PM
Here's a mildly amusing blog entry that I stumbled upon.  It's from the myspace page of Patton Oswalt-
...oh yeah gotta trust anything that comes from a person named Patton :)


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: wingit4me on January 03, 2009, 12:35:31 PM
Looks like Punisher is going to be shown in Ireland soon:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/theticket/2009/0102/1230581526819.html (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/theticket/2009/0102/1230581526819.html)


Title: Re: DVD release date?
Post by: Nomad on January 06, 2009, 05:56:29 PM
March 17, according to this:

http://www.themovieinsider.com/dvd-releases/march/2009/ (http://www.themovieinsider.com/dvd-releases/march/2009/)

St Patty's Day!  (as if I needed another reason to drink too much whisky!)  :cheers:

:nomad:


Title: Re: DVD release date?
Post by: Camamar on January 07, 2009, 09:46:48 PM
March 17, according to this:

http://www.themovieinsider.com/dvd-releases/march/2009/ (http://www.themovieinsider.com/dvd-releases/march/2009/)

St Patty's Day!  (as if I needed another reason to drink too much whisky!)  :cheers:

:nomad:

Thanks, Nomad.

Hmmmm....they always release on a Tuesday.... :dget: :huh: :think: :P

:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: wingit4me on July 28, 2009, 08:36:21 PM
looks like Ray is the voice of animated Punisher:

http://www.comicscontinuum.com/stories/0907/28/index.htm
http://www.comicscontinuum.com/stories/0907/28/voices.htm


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Nomad on July 29, 2009, 10:22:53 AM
Woo hoo!  His Lordship gets a regular gig!  I guess this will keep Bast in Pampers for a while. 

Thanks, Wing!

:nomad:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: bonny on February 13, 2014, 05:14:51 PM
Here's a Blast From the Past!  I recently watched PWZ OnDemand (yes, I paid for it!) and I liked it a lot better in retrospect.  So, apparently, did Den of Geeks as they posted this today.

http://www.denofgeek.us/movies/underappreciated-movies/232994/the-top-25-underappreciated-films-of-2008

Attempt three to successfully bring The Punisher to the big screen got some things right, and some things wrong. This time, Ray Stevenson took the lead role, and whilst we're hardly taking a bullet for the movie and suggesting it's a flat-out overlooked classic, there are some merits to Punisher: War Zone, not least for not compromising on the violence that's been inherent to many Punisher stories. Plus, we quite liked Ray Stevenson in the role.

The script lets the film down, but there's a sense that in other areas of the production, they really put their back in to try and get the film right. As such, whilst it's not our favourite Punisher movie, it's a bit better than it's generally given credit for.


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: Camamar on February 13, 2014, 06:48:49 PM
Here's a Blast From the Past!  I recently watched PWZ OnDemand (yes, I paid for it!) and I liked it a lot better in retrospect.  So, apparently, did Den of Geeks as they posted this today.

http://www.denofgeek.us/movies/underappreciated-movies/232994/the-top-25-underappreciated-films-of-2008

Attempt three to successfully bring The Punisher to the big screen got some things right, and some things wrong. This time, Ray Stevenson took the lead role, and whilst we're hardly taking a bullet for the movie and suggesting it's a flat-out overlooked classic, there are some merits to Punisher: War Zone, not least for not compromising on the violence that's been inherent to many Punisher stories. Plus, we quite liked Ray Stevenson in the role.

The script lets the film down, but there's a sense that in other areas of the production, they really put their back in to try and get the film right. As such, whilst it's not our favourite Punisher movie, it's a bit better than it's generally given credit for.

Yay for Ray and Lexi and Jeff and whomever else. :cheers:

Mr. C (my husband) told me the other day that he watched a film Video On Demand with "my boy" (Ray). Turns out it was Jayne Mansfield's car. I made comments  ::)  about it (going by the opinions of other which I had read on this site).

I was glad to hear that Mr. C had a better opinion of the film than I would have expected (he can be QUITE critical), and thought Ray did a fine job!  :crush:  I look forward to seeing the film ... soon ............

:bead:


Title: Re: New PWZ article? Post it HERE!
Post by: bonny on October 14, 2015, 02:09:18 PM
I'm not the only one who just can't let this movie go, apparently. Ray was the best Punisher ever.

http://editorial.rottentomatoes.com/article/why-punisher-war-zone-deserves-cult-status/ (http://editorial.rottentomatoes.com/article/why-punisher-war-zone-deserves-cult-status/)

As its title suggests, Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas and June Diane Raphael’s wildly popular bad movie podcast How Did This Get Made? exists to provide a comedic post-mortem and dissection of flops so terrible, their very existence defies comprehension. It is a podcast about bad movies that, at its best, enthusiastically celebrates the dregs of cinema as much it humorously condemns them.

But every once in a while the podcast turns into something much different. That was the case in October of 2011, when national treasure Patton Oswalt and Punisher: War Zone director Lexi Alexander came on the podcast not to derive schadenfreude over a terrible movie’s failure but rather to herald the oft-overlooked virtues of the third attempt to bring Marvel’s bloodthirsty vigilante to the big screen.

Alexander told riveting behind-the-scenes stories of how the filmmaker behind the well-respected English soccer drama Green Street Hooligans became the latest caretaker of one of Marvel’s trickiest anti-heroes, providing fascinating insight into the complicated and fraught manner by which filmmakers balance their personal visions with the commercial demands of making a contemporary superhero movie. Oswalt was on the podcast in his capacity as a widely beloved stand-up comedian and podcast fixture, but more than that, he was there in his unofficial but essential role as a pop culture evangelist, a man of deep and deeply informed passions who has devoted much of his life and career to convincing other people to love the art and trash and entertainment that sings to him as much as it does. Oswalt was able to re-contextualize what had been roundly dismissed as another grim mistake as a movie that came closer than the two previous Punisher movies in bringing the Punisher of the comic books to the big screen with his brutal, uncompromising intensity intact.

As Oswalt articulated on the podcast, Frank Castle/The Punisher, as played by Ray Stevenson, doesn’t just cut an unmistakably bleak and tortured figure; on a physical level, he looks deeply unwell, like the soul-sickness afflicting his spirit seeped into his body as well and contaminated him on a biological level. But it isn’t just Frank Castle’s body that is rotting and unclean. The city he protects has also clearly seen better days, and has devolved into a grim, nightmare dystopia of rust, filth and grime. It’s as if the sun went away the moment Castle’s wife and children were brutally murdered by hoods and never came back, and the haunted expression on Stevenson’s face and his thousand-yard stare convey that grief artfully and effectively.


For Castle, action is character, and the Punisher is nothing if not a man of action. Punisher: War Zone doesn’t waste a lot of time on exposition — no mean feat for a movie tasked with re-introducing an iconic comic book character a lot of the audience will not be familiar with — and what little exposition War Zone does possess feels wholly unnecessary. Stevenson does not talk much; he prefers to let his impressive, oft-employed arsenal communicate for him, and its primary message seems to be that there are far too many bad people still alive in this sick, sad world, and that Castle will do everything in his power to change that. In the film’s impressive first set-piece, he furtively infiltrates a massive mob gathering and, lit only by a flare that gives him a demonic, unholy glow, proceeds to slaughter an entire mob family in a gorgeously choreographed symphony of bloodshed. It’s gun-fu at its finest, and highlights Lexi Alexander’s gift for staging action sequences that are visceral and exciting but also clean and comprehensible.

As an icon, the Punisher is defined by his eagerness to go too far, to routinely transgress the perpetually blurry boundaries separating good and evil for the sake of both vengeance and justice. So in order for a film adaptation to be true to the character, it similarly needs to make a virtue of going too far. For Punisher: War Zone, that means allowing the Punisher to rack up a body count that approaches the population of a small island nation and to amass that body count in the bloodiest, most graphic manner imaginable. Frank Castle is an artist who paints in gushing spurts of blood and exploding skulls, a mad scientist — complete with a shadowy, nightmarish lair — whose science, as it were, is mass bloodshed.

As a result, this is a Marvel movie unlike any other, if only because it isn’t just a distinctly unfamily-friendly R — it’s a hard R, the kind that could easily veer into NC-17 territory with a few more exploding skulls or a little more messy viscera flying in every direction. That R rating goes a long way towards explaining why Punisher: War Zone is, if not the single least commercially successful Marvel film of all time, then at least one of them.

Much of the appeal of the Marvel universe lies in the inter-connected nature of everything, in the sense that Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy for that matter, all share the same universe and could stop by and visit each other if the fancy struck them. That’s true of comic books as well. Hell, the Punisher debuted in an issue of Spider-Man and shares some super-villains with Daredevil (whose Netflix show he is currently a character on) and your friendly neighborhood webslinger.

But it’s difficult, if not impossible, to imagine the Punisher of Punisher: War Zone sharing a screen with Thor or the Incredible Hulk or Iron Man. If Hulk were to pop up for a cameo in Punisher: War Zone the way Falcon pops up briefly in Ant-Man, it would be so jarring and surreal that it would completely destroy the brutal realities of the film, a reality rooted in grief and misery but also one that could not, and will not, support appearances from radioactive spider-people or gamma ray-damaged green rage monsters. Castle lives his entire life in the agonizing, endlessly painful shadow of the brutal massacre of the people he loved most in the world, so it would seem pretty damn bizarre if he were to, say, take a break from his endless mourning to joke around with Captain America.

Still, Punisher: War Zone benefits from a deep vein of gallows humor that complements the almost cartoonishly over-the-top violence rather than undercuts it. In the film’s most inspired running gag, an insufferable group of parkour enthusiast bad guys leap and sashay their way around a grim urban hellscape, hooting and hollering with glee at their robust athleticism. It’s a loving parody of action movies’ weird momentary fixation on parkour (a fixation that has led to actual parkour-based action movies) exaggerated to comic extremes that has an awesome payoff when the freerunning showoffs are leaping about and Castle kills one with bullets, one with a rocket, and the last one by hurling him off a building and onto a spike. It’s a funny gag, but it’s also a statement of purpose: other action movies can waste their time with trendy nonsense that already looked silly and dated by the time Punisher: War Zone hit theaters in 2008; Alexander’s film understands the power and deadly force of a scowling, stationary man with an arsenal and deadly aim.

Since Castle doesn’t do much talking, Dominic West is free to ham it up as Jigsaw in a performance that owes a great deal to Jack Nicholson’s Joker in Batman and is never more compelling than when Jigsaw is buddying around with Loony Bin Jim, the brother he springs from the mental hospital to assist him in his crime spree. And as Loony Bin Jim, a lunatic with an intense interest in human anatomy more homicidal than medical, veteran character actor Doug Hutchinson is incredibly creepy and disturbing, albeit not as creepy or disturbing as in the other role Hutchinson is known for: the “veteran character actor in desperate erotic thrall to nightmare teenage exhibitionist Courteney Stodden” in the tacky, vulgar reality show known as real life, and alternatively, in Couples Therapy.

Loony Bin Jim and Jigsaw clearly love each other. In a sweet — if wholly deranged — display of affection, “LBJ” tries to make Jigsaw feel better about the horrifying prospect of being reminded of his grotesque disfigurement every time he looks at his reflection by flamboyantly smashing every mirror he encounters. That familial bond of brotherly love is an endearing quality, even in sociopaths.

Thanks in no small part to Hutchinson’s scummily compelling turn, Punisher: War Zone is so unrelentingly nasty, dour and disturbing in its grim take on society and human nature that audiences might want to take a shower after it’s over. Then again, that’s true of any ten-minute stretch of Couples Therapy as well.

When projects are rejected by the public the way Punisher: War Zone was, there is an understandable tendency to romanticize and mourn the film fans wanted it to be. While I think Punisher: War Zone is an entertaining, unique and bleakly funny take on well-worn superhero fare, I think there is an element of that at play here as well. Punisher: War Zone is no overlooked masterpiece, but it is a nifty little sleeper that’s better than its reputation suggests.

The Marvel cinematic universe is vast, and it seems to grow larger by the day. But the appeal of Punisher: War Zone lies in how small and bleak and claustrophobic it is, too small and bleak and claustrophobic to support guest appearances from other, sunnier heroes. Unfortunately, other things were small when it came to Punisher: War Zone as well, like its budget and a box-office gross that was record-setting for all the wrong reasons. When it comes to racking up a body count, however, Punisher: War Zone wasn’t just huge: it was epic.