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The Punisher (2004)
Mad Max 2004?
Is it just me, or is this film really a thinly disguised carbon copy of
Mad Max in Punisher leather? Let's examine the facts:
Hero cop retires after one job too many. Check.
Hero cop goes on vacation with his wife and kids. Check.
Bad Guy vows revenge on Cop after death of leader/son. Check.
Bad Guys hunt down Cop at location where he is vacationing with
his family. Check.
Cop's family (wife and son) are killed after running away from bad
guys and being hit by a truck/bike. Check.
Cop runs after family, wearing white T-Shirt, carrying a shotgun,
only to find them dead. Check.
Cop gets hot looking GTO car to track down bad guys. Check.
Cop has sawed off shotgun. Check.
Cop hunts down each bad guy individually. Check.
Cop leaves a clever deathtrap to kill a bad guy at the end. Check.
(In Max, it was the handcuffs, saw, lighter and gas, In Punisher, it's
the son holding the bomb rigged with string.)
Strange/Freaky side characters that Hero never really joins or
warms up to. Check.
New love interest for Hero Cop, in which he does not return
(OK, more Mad Max 2/Road Warrior here, but you get the idea)
Ends with Hero and his car. Check.
Now sure, there are many more layers and characters and
scenes that are different in "The Punisher", and this check list fits
most any revenge flick. But the whole movie felt like deja-vu to
me. At first I though it was just an homage, here and there, but it
just kept on going. Watch 'em both back to back and you'll see.
Mainly Etc. (2001)
Honest and Original
I saw this film at a small screening. Even though it had a low budget, the creative direction and intelligence of the cast helped make this a small gem of a movie. It's April 8, 1994, each of the characters are in their "mid 20's" and pursuing some kind of artistic ambition (acting, music, film, writing) when they learn of Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain's suicide. They quickly get inspiration to travel from San Francisco to Seattle and attend the Cobain vigil. It's here where the film really picks up and serves up a series of funny and emotional scenes. Highlights include: a visit to Jimi Hendirx's grave, Kurt Cobain's original childhood home and a campfire sing along. An honest an original piece of work.