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PCR # 214  (Vol. 5, No. 18)  This edition is for the week of April 26--May 2, 2004.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"The Punisher"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

One star

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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Floridaís Commuter Airlines from the 1960ís to the 1980ís: Part One
 by William Moriaty
"The Punisher"
 by Mike Smith
"The Punisher"  by Nolan B. Canova
Tambay Film Festival, Neck Aches, Horror Movies, Etc.
 by Andy Lalino
Cable Channels Fighting for an Identity (and Viewers)....Couch Potato Quick Takes
 by Vinnie Blesi
Politics: The World of Two Extremes....Put It In Your Planner....Save The Ship....Who Needs Indy?
 by Brandon Jones
Coming Soon....A Nice Cape....A Salute....What About "The Night Chicago Died"?....Cool Venues....Meet The Beatles, Part 14
 by Mike Smith
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Artisan Films     
Starring: Thomas/Tom Jane, John Travolta, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Roy Scheider
Directed by: Jonathan Hensleigh
Rated: R
Running Time: 2 hours 4 minutes

Let me say at the beginning that whoever came up with the name for this movie should have used the past tense title. The Punishment fits much better. Because I would have much happily sucked on a bar of soap or stood in a corner for the two hours I endured the latest comic to movie experiment. How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways:

1. The movie is full of so many coincidental plot holes that I'm surprised the actors didn't fall into them.

2. The producers obviously feel that today's moviegoer has no sense of geographic knowledge. As the opening shot of a beautiful palm tree lined shore is shown, the audience is greeted with the caption: TAMPA. After a few seconds, the film makers add the word: FLORIDA. Oh My God! I thought it was Tampa, Alaska!

3. Former G-man Frank Castle is a man of mystery who nobody knows, yet alone where to find him. Imagine how surprising when, while eating breakfast at a local diner, or just showing up at the court house, total strangers point and say, "Look, it's Frank Castle."

4. Why is it that every time the best hit man from Memphis is called into town he's an Elvis wannabe, complete with bad theme song? That he sings. To his intended victim. In the same local diner where Castle goes to have breakfast.

5. Both my favorite actor of all time (Scheider) and another favorite (Travolta) have ended up in career hell, though, thankfully, not for long on Scheider's part. As for JT, I would have rather screened "Battlefield Earth II." Honestly.

6. Depending on where you look, the film either stars Thomas Jane or Tom Jane. As if the film company couldn't decide which sounded tougher. I really liked Thomas Jane when he played Mickey Mantle in Billy Crystal's film "61*," so I'll assume that Tom Jane played the Punisher, because I really didn't like him.

The story in a nutshell: on his LAST JOB before retirement, FBI agent Frank Castle (Jane) unwillingly helps kill one of his fellow participants. The dead man is the son of respected businessman Howard Saint (Travolta). Get it.......Saint. While plotting his revenge, Saint asks his wife for advice, and she tells him to kill Castle's whole family. Luckily both sides of Castle's family (his and his wife's) are getting together in Puerto Rico, so they'll be easy to find. Blah blah blah bloodshed. Blah blah blah left for dead. Blah blah blah still alive and inspired by the gruesome undershirt his son bought for him. Many coincidences, including the fact that Saint is the most clueless bad buy in the history of film, follow. The end. OK, I left out a couple decent action scenes and a nice overhead shot of exploding cars, but you can just watch the trailer and be just as impressed. On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "The Punisher"  One star

This week's movie review of "The Punisher" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2004, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.