Monday, July 16, 2012

The Punisher and the Age of Internet Cinema

Something very interesting just happened at Comic-Con over the weekend.  Before we get to that, let me give a little background.

Back in 2004, Marvel made a movie version of their psychopathic avenger known as the Punisher.

The character's popularity wanes and waxes because, as a reviewer at iFanboy once said, he scratches an itch but then becomes uncomfortable.  Sometimes we feel like someone should kill Dr. Doom and the Joker, so the Punisher fulfills that desire.  But after a while, his complete lack of compassion and justice horrifies and we lose our taste for him.

Anyway, the movie was made staring Thomas Jane.

 I thought he did admirably in the role, but the movie was awful from start to finish.  Even if you liked the Punisher, this film missed the target by a wide margin.

Jane was an up and comer in Hollywood at the time.  If the film was a hit his star may have risen even higher.  But as I said in my article on Talyor Kitsch, bombs can sidetrack an actor's Q-rating.

So what does Jane do?  He calls in the help of the great Ronald Perlman and makes a short Punisher movie the way he thinks it should have been done and he premieres it at Comic Con.

This short feels something much closer to Death Wish than anything else in the Marvel cannon.  Now the film has hit the internet and I'm sure comic book geeks from all over are going to indulge.

I'm not going to link to the video because it is SUPER violent and kind of rapey.

Whether or not this film is any good is not the point of this post.  But reflect on this:

1. Marvel makes a terrible multi-million dollar budget film
2.  The film flops.
3.  The star makes his own (arguably better) short film
4.  The short film is garnering more fans than the original.

This is a Tosh.0-less web redemption for Thomas Jane.  He made a movie on his own terms and distributed it to anyone who wanted to see it for free online.

More and more people are beginning to realize that they don't need hollywood to make a good movie seen by millions.  The internet age has a lot of problems.  But this is not one of them.

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