Category: Z-View

Z-View: “In Cold Blood”

In Cold Blood (1967)

Director: Richard Brooks

Screenplay: Richard Brooks (based on Truman Capote’s book of the same name)

Stars: Robert Blake, Scott Wilson and John Forsythe

The Pitch: “Let’s make a movie based on the best-selling book In Cold Blood!”

The Tagline: “Written for the screen and directed by Richard Brooks.”

 

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Dick Hickcock [Scott Wilsion] and Perry Smith [Robert Blake Perry] have a plan to steal $10,000 cash from a rich farmer’s safe and then high-tail it to Mexico where they will live out their days safe from extradition.  The two ex-cons violate their parole and drive through the night to Holcomb, Kansas where according to one of Hickcock’s past cellmates, a fortune sits in the Cutter safe.

 The only thing Hickcock and Smith find at the Cutter house are Mr. Cutter, Mrs. Cutter and their two teenage children.  Hickcock and Smith place the family members in separate rooms, tie them up and search for the safe.  There is no safe, no fortune and just a little over forty dollars in cash in the house. Hickcock and Smith brutally kill the Cutter family and then head back towards Kansas City.

The discovery that the Cutter family was brutally murdered makes national news and as the investigation grows, Hickcock and Smith decide to head to Mexico.  They pass bad checks, pawn the items they buy and use the money to get across the border.  It isn’t long before they’re low on cash and decide to go to Vegas to raise more. In Vegas  Hickcock and Smith are picked up on a parole violation.

The cops interrogate them separately.  Neither admits to knowing anything about the Cutter family murders.  As the evidence begins to pile up, Hickcock suddenly tries to pin the murders on SmithSmith then turns on Hickcock and the case is made.  A trial, a death sentence and the gallows are all that Hickcock and Smith have left to look forward to.  Sadly, one is left with the feeling that either man alone would not have committed the murders.

Wilson (probably best known to folks as Hershel from The Walking Dead) and Blake (probably best known as the crazy old celebrity acquitted of killing his second wife in 2005) are excellent as the leads.  Robert Brooks deserves kudos for his screenplay and direction.

Watch for cameos by: Will Geer [Grandpa from The Waltons] and music by Quincy Jones!

Award Nominations:

Academy Awards –

  • Best Director
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Original Music Score
  • Best Adapted Screenplay

Rating:

Z-View: “Anatomy of a Murder”

Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

Director: Otto Preminger

Screenplay: Wendell Mayes, John D. Voelker (based on his novel written as Robert Traver)

Stars: James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazarra, Arthur O’Connell and George C. Scott

The Pitch: “Let’s make a movie based on the best-selling novel Anatomy of a Murder!”

The Tagline: “Last year’s No.1 best-seller … This year’s No.1 motion picture.”

 

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Stewart plays small town attorney Paul Biegler who’d rather be fishing than practicing law.  Biegler’s mentor is Parnell McCarthy (Arthur O’Connell) who’d rather be boozing it up than just about anything.  When Biegler is offered the chance to defend Fredrick Manion (Ben Gazara), against a murder charge, he sees it as a way to get McCarthy off the booze.  Manion is a soldier accused of murdering the man who raped his wife (Lee Remick).

We spend the first part of the movie learning about the case.

Biegler meets Manion, a quick-tempered, hard-to-like soldier who admits to killing the man who raped his wife about an hour after finding out about it.  This wasn’t a heat of the moment murder.  After meeting Manion’s wife who is sporting a beat-up face and a casual attitude, Biegler finds himself in a case where nothing is clear cut.

Manion is a jealous, thuggish man who likes his wife to dress provocatively and then gets jealous when men give her attention.  Laura Manion likes men, booze and fun.  Being married doesn’t stop her from having a good time where she can find it.  She married Manion three days after divorcing her first husband and admits that Manion was the reason for the divorce.

Was Laura raped?  She was beat-up, but did that happen during the rape or when he husband found out she had been with another man.  The clinical evidence is inconclusive.  Something happened but under what circumstances?

The second part of the movie takes us into the courtroom for one of the best courtroom dramas ever filmed.

The acting across the board is excellent.  Stewart (Best Actor), O’Connell (Best Supporting Actor) and Scott (Best Supporting Actor) were all nominated for Academy Awards.  I’m surprised Lee Remick wasn’t as well, because she is that good.  The film went on to be nominated for seven Oscars as well as other honors.

To the movie’s credit, the jury comes back with a verdict, but knowing the evidence of the case and the things that we see that the jury doesn’t, the audience may come away with a different verdict.  At the very least, there is room for discussion.

The last scene is a treat and adds another layer to the puzzle.

Watch for cameos by: Howard McNear [Floyd the Barber from The Andy Griffith Show] and Duke Ellington!

Awards Won:

New York Film Critics Circle Awards –

  • Best Actor, James Stewart
  • Best Screenplay, Wendell Mayes; 1959.

Venice International Film Festival –  

  • Volpi Cup
  • Best Actor, James Stewart; 1959.

Grammy Awards –

  • Best Performance by a Dance Band
  • Best Musical Composition First Recorded and Released in 1959
  • Best Sound Track Album.

Producers Guild of America Awards –  

  • Top Drama
  • Top Male Dramatic Performance, James Stewart
  • Top Male Supporting Performance, Arthur O’Connell; 1960.

 

Award Nominations:

Academy Awards –

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role: James Stewart
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Arthur O’Connell
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role: George C. Scott
  • Best Cinematography, Black-and-White: Sam Leavitt
  • Best Film Editing: Louis R. Loeffler
  • Best Picture: Otto Preminger
  • Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium: Wendell Mayes; 1960

British Academy Film Awards –

  • Best Film from any Source Otto Preminger, USA
  • Best Foreign Actor James Stewart, USA
  • Most Promising Newcomer Joseph N. Welch, USA; 1960.

Directors Guild of America Awards –

  • DGA Award Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, Otto Preminger; 1960.

Golden Globe Awards –

  • Best Motion Picture – Drama
  • Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture – Drama: Lee Remick
  • Best Director – Motion Picture: Otto Preminger
  • Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture: Joseph N. Welch; 1960.

Rating:

Z-View The Twilight Zone: “Where is Everybody?” [Season 1, Episode 1]

Twilight Zone: “Where is Everybody?” [Season 1, Episode 1]
Original Air Date: October 2, 1959

Director: Robert Stevens

Writer: Rod Serling

Starring: Earl Holliman and James Gregory.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Mike Ferris [Holliman] suddenly finds himself in a deserted small town.  He doesn’t know who he is or how he got there.  As he moves through the town looking for others, he can’t shake the feeling that he’s being watched… and he is!

Final Thoughts:  Nice twist ending provides a solid start to the series.

Rating:

Z-View: “The First Deadly Sin”

The First Deadly Sin (1980)

Director: Brian G. Hutton

Screenplay: Mann Rubin from the Lawrence Sanders’ novel

Stars: Frank Sinatra; Faye Dunaway; and David Dukes.

The Pitch: “Let’s make a movie based on the best-selling novel by Lawrence Sanders and get Frank Sinatra to star in it!”

The Tagline: “He’s searching for a killer. She’s searching for a miracle …. And time is running out.”

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Sinatra plays Edward X. Delaney a NY City Detective who is weeks from retirement with two big problems – 1.  His wife has a mysterious disease that is killing her.  2.  The city has a mysterious serial killer that has taken the lyrics to the Beatles’ Maxwell’s Silver Hammer to heart.  Sinatra has to deal with both.

Since the killer is using what turns out to be a mountain climbing hammer claw, Sinatra gets an old museum curator to follow leads.  This frees up Sinatra so he can yell at and rough up his wife’s doctor when he isn’t sitting at her bedside looking somber or reading to her.  Dunaway plays his wife who spends the entire film in a hospital bed.  Had she been in a better movie, I think her will to live could have carried the day.

As Sinatra’s wife gets progressively worse, he discovers who the killer is.  Hoping to catch the killer before he kills again, Sinatra instead spooks the maniac who returns to his high-rise apartment.  Sinatra meets him there and finds the maniac hiding and crying.  They have a conversation and the killer tells Sinatra he’ll escape justice.  The killer turns the tables and goes to the phone to call the police.  Sinatra pulls a Dirty Harry and then goes to the hospital to read to his wife.

At that point I was looking for the claw hammer.

Rating:

Z-View: “House of Frankenstein”

House of Frankenstein (1944)

Director: Erle C. Kenton

Writers: Edward T. Lowe Jr. from a story by Curt Siodmak

Starring: Boris Karloff;  Lon Chaney, Jr.; J. Carroll Naish; and John Carradine.

The Pitch: “Let’s make a movie with all three of our biggest stars: Frankenstein, Dracula and the Wolf Man!”

The Tagline: “All the Screen’s Titans of Terror – Together in the Greatest of All SCREEN SENSATIONS!”

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Although House of Frankenstein promises Frankenstein, Dracula and the Wolf Man together; the promise is kept but not to the fullest extent.  While Frankenstein and Karloff are in the film, Karloff doesn’t play the monster.  Dracula also stars, but isn’t played by Bela Lugosi [who isn’t even in the film], but instead by John Carradine.  Happily, Lon Chaney, Jr. does return as the Wolf Man, but sadly never shares any scenes with Dracula.  Neither does Frankenstein for that matter.

Still, we do get one movie with the three biggest classic Universal monsters and that goes a long way in satisfying monster fans of all ages.

Karloff plays the mad scientist Dr. Niemann who with the help of his hunchbacked assistant [Naish] escapes prison and heads toward Frankenstein’s old stomping grounds to continue his work.  Along the way they encounter a traveling horror show that claims to have the skeletal remains of Dracula.  Seizing the opportunity [and the road show owner’s neck], Karloff has his assistant kill the road show’s owner so that Karloff can assume his identity and they can travel freely through the countryside.

Before too long they’ve revived Dracula and after a near capture by angry villagers, Karloff and Naish make their escape into the rising sun.  I’ll leave it to you to figure out Dracula’s fate.

Soon enough they find the frozen remains of Frankenstein and the Wolf Man.  Once the two monsters are thawed out we’re left with a battle royal of sorts.  The hunchback wants his brain put in Chaney’s body (so he can woo a gypsy girl).  Karloff isn’t too keen on that idea, not because he doesn’t want a little hunchbacked werewolf running around, but because he has other plans for both the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolf Man.  Of course the village townsfolk come up with their own ideas on what to do with the whole monstrous crew and things really, uh, heat up.

Rating:

Z-View: “In a Lonely Place”

In a Lonely Place [1950]

Director: Nicholas Ray

Screenplay:  Andrew Solt and Edmund H. North

Starring: Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame

The Pitch: “Let’s get Bogie and Gloria Grahame and make a really noir film.”

The Tagline: “The Bogart Suspense Picture with the Surprise Finish!”

 

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Dixon Steele (Bogart) is an ex-military screenwriter who hasn’t had a hit since before the war.  Since his return home, Steele’s quick temper and willingness to fight at even the smallest slight has left him with a bad reputation with the studios and run-ins with the law.  So when Steele gets the chance to write the screenplay adaptation for a popular novel he knows he’s going to have to even if he can’t bring himself to read it.

As fortune would have it, the hatcheck girl at one of Steele’s favorite restaurants has read and loves the book.  Steele invites her to his apartment late one evening after she gets off work with the idea that she can tell him the story.  Steele’s neighbor (Grahame) sees him taking the young lady into his apartment.  Later, as the girl tells Steele the story, he sees Grahame on her balcony.  It’s late and Steele gives the girl money for her time and cab fare home.

The next morning a Detective informs Steele that the girl was murdered and her dead body was found at the side of a deserted road.  Steele’s only alibi is Grahame who is called to the police station.  Although they had never met before, there is an immediate spark between Bogart and Graham.  Although she saw the girl enter with Bogart, Grahame didn’t see the girl leave, but that’s not what she tells the cops.  Instead Grahame offers that she did see the girl leave on her own… which is just the alibi that Bogart needs.

Over the next few weeks, Bogart and Graham fall in love and she begins to question if she alibied a killer.

Final Thoughts: The tagline touts a surprise finish and that is what you get.  This is a dark film and one of Bogart’s best roles.  I’m a fan of Gloria Grahame and this is one of her most famous movies.  Robert Warwick is also excellent in a small supporting role.

Rating:

Z-View: “Cat Ballou”

Cat Ballou  [1965]
Director: Elliott Silversteen
Screenplay:  Walter Newman  and Frank Pierson from a novel by Roy Chanslor
Starring: Jane Fonda and Lee Marvin.

The Pitch: “Let’s make a funny western!”

The Tagline: “It’s That Way-Out Whopper Of A Funny Western…A She-Bang To End All She-Bangs!!”

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

If you’re going to make a funny western it needs to be two things: 1] A western and 2] funny.  Cat Ballou manages to get one out of two right.  It’s a western, but it’s not funny.  Of course humor is all relative.  If you’re a fan of the tv series F-Troup  which premiered the same year and was set in the old west, you’ll definitely enjoy Cat Ballou more than I did.

Jane Fonda plays the daughter of a rancher who was killed by a hired gunfighter [played by Lee Marvin] for his land.  Fonda sends for a gunfighter of her own and ends up with a drunk [also played by Lee Marvin] who shoots best when half lit.

The story is pretty much by-the-numbers except for the fact that every ten minutes or so there is the appearance of two minstrels [played by Nat “King” Cole and Stubby Kaye] who show up to sing us the next chorus of “The Ballad of Cat Ballou.”

Most folks enjoy this film more than me so remember your mileage could vary.

Rating:

Z-View: “Snowpiercer”

Snowpiecer  [2013]
Director:  Bong Joon-ho
Screenplay: Bong Joon-ho and Kelly Masterson
Starring: Chris Evans, Kang-ho Song, Ed Harris, John Hurt and Tilda Swinton.

The Pitch: ”Hey, let’s let Bong Joon-ho make a movie of the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige – he’s hot off of directing The Host and movies based on comic books are killing at the box office!”

The Tagline:  “Fight Your Way to the Front.”

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Snowpiecer is set in an apocalyptic future when the only surviving humans live on a huge train that continually speeds along a track that takes a year to circumnavigate.  All plant and animal life outside the train has died due to a climate change that has left the world a frozen wasteland [Winter World, anyone?]

Those in the front cars are living the life — plenty of food, nice furnishing and clothes – the party rages on.  For those in the rear, life is a struggle – they survive on a gelatinous protein rationed to them, their living quarters are cramped, and they are at the mercy of Minister Mason [Tilda Swinton] and her armed guards who sometimes come to collect an adult or some children that are never seen again. [I know, I was thinking Soylent Green, myself.]

Chris Evans leads a group who are determined to fight their way to the front of the train and change the social order.  There are surprises [and not just who will live or die] as the group fights their way to the front.  The action scenes are well done and the movie moves at good pace.

If you buy the premise, you’ll probably enjoy the movie.  I had a hard time taking things at face value because the movie took itself so seriously.  The ending was supposed to be upbeat but left me hanging.  I think that polar bear is in for some train treats.

Rating:

Z-View: “The Cat and the Canary”

The Cat and the Canary  [1939]
Director: Elliott Nugent
Screenplay: Walter DeLeon and Lynn Starling based on the stage play by John Willard
Starring: Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard.

The Pitch: ”Hey, let’s team Bob Hope in a film with Paulette Goddard.  We could do a remake of the 1927 silent film The Cat and the Canary which is based on the 1922 stage play of the same name.”

The Tagline: “A Chill-and-Chuckle Chase!… A Fortune at Stake and a Monster at Large!”

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Ten years after the death of an eccentric millionaire, Cyrus Norman, his remaining family members are brought to his spooky-looking mansion deep in the bayou.  Before the will is read, his former caretaker informs the group that the spirits have said one of them will die that night. Sadly there is no way to leave the mansion until the next day.

Norman left two wills: The first leaves everything to Paulette Goddard [much to the disappointment of all except Bob Hope]; the second will is to be opened only if Goddard dies or goes insane before the month is out.  The second will leaves everything to one of the others [although who is unknown until Goddard dies] which of course puts Goddard’s life in danger.  To make matters worse, the group learns that a homicidal maniac known as the Cat has escaped from a nearby insane asylum and is in the area.

As the night wears on things get progressively worse – lights go on and off, people disappear, real eyes in paintings are watching, secret passages are found and what? Someone has been murdered!

Rating:

Z-View: “Creed”

Creed  [2015]
Director:  Ryan Coogler
Screenplay: Ryan Coogler and Aaron Covington
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone and Tessa Thompson.

The Pitch: ”Hey Sly, my name is Ryan Coogler and I have an idea to continue the Rocky legacy…”

The Tagline:  “Your legacy is more than a name.”

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Sylvester Stallone was content that after six feature-length films Rocky’s story had been told.  Ryan Coogler had a different outlook and movie fans are better for it.

Creed  isn’t a sequel as much as an expansion of the Rocky Balboa universe.  In the past films, Rocky was the center of attention and Rocky’s struggle was the reason for the movie.  Now the focus shifts to Adonis Creed, Apollo’s illegitimate son.

In less adept hands Creed could have been a straight-to-video attempt to squeeze out the last few dollars from a series that many (including Stallone) thought was over.  Instead we’re treated to one of the most satisfying, emotional and uplifting movies that I can remember ever seeing.

Michael B. Jordan is an amazing actor.  He is required to go through a gauntlet of emotions throughout the film but they are never overstated or hammy.  He and Stallone share a couple of scenes where the actor talking isn’t the most important part of the scene.  The range of emotions that they go through is subtle and all the more powerful because they pull us into the scenes.

Sly has never been better.  Never.  An Oscar nomination should be in the bag.  Don’t believe me? Rewatch the scene with the doctor when she tells Rocky his diagnosis.  Or when Rocky returns to the gym.  Or when Rocky talks to Adonis about Adrian, what she went through and what he would go through for one more day with her.  Heck, think about the scene with Rocky and Adonis in the holding cell.

Ryan Coogler deserves special mention for making Creed happen.  Not only can Coogler write, but his direction is spot-on.  Coogler creates a world where all of the characters are believable.

There are so many cool touches Coogler puts in the film – Adonis watching the second fight between Rocky and Apollo with Adonis mimicking Rocky’s punches – Rocky talking about how everything he cared for has moved on [Adrian and Paulie have died, his son lives in Vancouver, even his turtle tank now only contains one turtle] – the fact that Rocky is still recognized as a celebrity “When were you going to tell me your uncle was Rocky Balboa” is just one example] but that time has moved on as well..

Coogler made what could have been a simple boxing movie into a drama about so much more than boxing… yeah, I guess you could call Creed a modern day Rocky.  And you know for me, there is no higher compliment.

Rating:

Z-View: The Expendables #4 by Dixon and Polls

The Expendables #4 is part of a four-issue mini-series published by Dynamite Comics.

Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artist: Esteve Polls
Colorist: Marc Rueda
Cover Artist: Lucio Parrillo

The action-packed comic book prequel to the action-packed movie even of Summer, 2010 concludes! Read the story BEFORE the story and find out more about the characters BEFORE they hit the big screen this summer! In this final issue, the crap has hit the fan. Plus: explosions!

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

The Good

  • The Expendables in a comic prequel.
  • “Our evac strategy?”  “Fluid”  “Like usual then.”

The Bad:

  • It is still bugs me that the comic characters don’t look more like the movie characters.
  • A lot of headshots this issue.

The Ugly:

  • “Sorry, baby, I didn’t make you any breakfast.”  “Then why do I smell bacon?”

 

The Expendables #4 would get a two star rating if I wasn’t such a Stallone/Expendables fan, but since I am…

 

Rating:

Z-View: The Expendables #3 by Dixon and Polls

The Expendables #3 is part of a four-issue mini-series published by Dynamite Comics.

Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artist: Esteve Polls
Colorist: Marc Rueda
Cover Artist: Lucio Parrillo

After years of corruption, murder of American hostages, and betrayal of foreign policies, the US – with the help of other Nations who secretly put together a squad of their most highly trained military personal – will finally attempt to overthrow the dictator who has caused devastation in South America for over 20 years.
This is the story before the movie…

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

The Good

  • The Expendables in a comic prequel.
  • Tool giving a car thief directions off of his property with buckshot.
  • The art for the series hasn’t been a bright spot but I really like the first panel on page 22.
  • Tool with a shotgun and flamethrower going to meet those breaking into his house.

The Bad:

  • It is still bugs me that the comic characters don’t look more like the movie characters.

The Ugly:

  • “Attacking a battleship with three men…”

 

The Expendables #3 would get a two star rating if I wasn’t such a Stallone/Expendables fan, but since I am…


Rating:

Z-View: The Expendables #2 by Dixon and Polls

The Expendables #2 is part of a four-issue mini-series published by Dynamite Comics.

Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artist: Esteve Polls
Colorist: Marc Rueda
Cover Artist: Lucio Parrillo

After years of corruption, murder of American hostages, and betrayal of foreign policies, the US – with the help of other Nations who secretly put together a squad of their most highly trained military personal – will finally attempt to overthrow the dictator who has caused devastation in South America for over 20 years.
This is the story before the movie…

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

The Good

  • The Expendables in a comic prequel.
  • A one million dollar payday for a snatch and grab.
  • “Embracing the gloom again, huh?”

The Bad:

  • It is starting to bug me that the comic characters don’t look more like the movie characters.  Toll Road has long hair, a mustache and no cauliflower ears.  Hale Caesar doesn’t look much bigger than everyone else… and so on.
  • Being a kid in the store when your dad won’t give a drug dealer requested information.
  • Repeatedly calling Gunar “Tweaker” and everyone complaining about how terrible he screws things up and yet they keep bringing him back.

The Ugly:

  • When a drug dealer warms up your bath.

 

The Expendables #2  would get a two star rating if I wasn’t such a Stallone/Expendables fan, but since I am…

Rating:

Z-View: The Expendables #1 by Dixon and Polls

The Expendables #1 is part of a four-issue mini-series published by Dynamite Comics.

Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artist: Esteve Polls
Colorist: Marc Rueda
Cover Artist: Lucio Parrillo

After years of corruption, murder of American hostages, and betrayal of foreign policies, the US – with the help of other Nations who secretly put together a squad of their most highly trained military personal – will finally attempt to overthrow the dictator who has caused devastation in South America for over 20 years.
This is the story before the story…
Featuring the skillful scripting of Chuck Dixon, the masterful art of Esteve Pols and an incredible painted cover by Lucio Parrillo, Dynamite’s all-original Expendables comic features a story you won’t see on the big screen, serving as a prequel to the hottest action film of 2010!

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

The Good

  • The Expendables in a comic prequel.
  • Barney: “Now I’m going to show how strong my kung fu is Yin.”   Yin: “Laying semtex is not a martial art.”  Barney: “It is the way I do it…”
  • How Barney deals with the gangbanger with a gun.
  • Cliffhanger on the last page — who wants to hire The Expendables and what is the nature of the secret assignment?

The Bad:

  • Gunar: “Everybody with a piece is out of bed and looking this way…”
  • When someone steals Barney’s 1956 Ford F-100.

The Ugly:

  • Gunar: “…and everybody has a piece.”
  • When Barney catches up to the folks who stole his 1956 Ford F-100.

 

The Expendables #1  would get a two star rating if I wasn’t such a Stallone/Expendables fan, but since I am…

Rating:

Z-View: Punisher Annual (2009) #1 by Remender and Pearson

Punisher Annual (2009) #1  is a one-shot published by Marvel.

Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Jason Pearson
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Jason Pearson

“REMOTE CONTROL”  The Punisher faces his greatest challenge yet: Trapped in the throes of a hypnotic spell, Spider-Man’s gone psycho and he wants to grind Frank Castle’s bones to paste! And since Spidey’s not really to blame for his actions, Castle faces a dilemma: Fight (the only way he knows how) or die. Can the Punisher survive a bloodthirsty Wall-Crawler long enough to disconnect him from the control of the Dirty Dozen’s leaders, Letha and Lascivious? Super-star artist Jason Pearson joins regular series writer Rick Remender. Parental Advisory

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

The Good

  • Remender and Pearson!
  • I like Pearson’s take on Spider-Man.

The Bad:

  • “I told you that goatee was ridiculous.”  Indeed.
  • This is not the Punisher that I prefer.  His motorcycle has a skull face on the front — is it his version of the Batcycle?
  • The Punisher with pumpkin grenades.
  • When Spidey is mind-controlled to kill the Punisher.
  • Spidey throwing the Punisher over a building.

The Ugly:

  • Mind-control mayhem at the wounded vets meeting.
  • The Punisher pushing a pinless pumkin grenade into a villain’s mouth.
  • When Spidey is mind-controlled that he is in love with the Punisher.

 

Punisher Annual (2009) #1

I’m a fan of both Rick Remender’s writing and Jason Pearson’s art but the Punisher Annual wouldn’t be the example I’d use of their best work.  Your mileage my differ.

Rating: