Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

The Punisher: Extended Cut

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
7 out of 10
Extras Rating:
8 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Tom Jane as Frank Castle aka Punisher
John Travolta as Howard Saint
Rebecca Romijn-Stamos as Joan 'The Mouse'
Ben Foster as Spacker Dave
John Pinette as Mr. Bumpo
Will Patton as Quentin Glass
A. Russell Andrews as Jimmy Weeks
James Carpinello as John Saint
Mark Collie as Harry 'Heck' Thornton
Russ Comegys as Tattooed Mike
Laura Harring as Livia Saint
Eddie Jemison as Micky Ducka
Marcus Johns as Will Castle
Terry Loughlin as Spoon
Marc Macaulay as Dante
Samantha Mathis as Maria Castle
Kevin Nash as The Russian
Brett Rice as T.J.
Roy Scheider as Mr. Castle

Special Features:
Animated Kuwait deleted scene
The Punisher comic book gallery
Making-of featurette

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX
6.1 DTS-ES Audio
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 140 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

"The Punisher walks through the world we all know, a world darkened by war, crime, cruelty and injustice. He has no superpowers to battle the evil he sees - only his fierce intelligence, his years of combat experience and, above all, his iron determination to avenge those wronged by society's villains."

"The Punisher: Extended Cut" is not rated, but the theatrical version was rated R for pervasive brutal violence, language and brief nudity.

Mini-Review:
If you want to see my review of "The Punisher" movie, just go here. We'll get straight to the items of interest in this review – the additional footage. The movie is kicked off with the new sequence in Kuwait that's animated in black and white. It features Frank Castle saving a group of his fellow soldiers in a botched raid. After they are ambushed, Castle single handedly shoots all the bad guys…then actually convinces his superior officer to spare the life of one of them. The scene helps to establish Castle's mad skills and contrast him with his merciless character later as the Punisher. Sadly, the biggest problem with this sequence is the animation. It looks like they simply took photos of the actors and moved them like paper dolls around the screen. As much as I love Tim Bradstreet's photo-real art, it doesn't translate well into this animation.

The rest of the movie has around 17 minutes of footage added to it. You already saw a couple of the scenes as deleted scenes on the previous DVD. Most of the rest of the new scenes involve a subplot between Frank Castle and his buddy Russell Andrews as Jimmy Weeks. You see several confrontations between Castle and Weeks and Frank slowly piecing together that his old army buddy and fellow cop was responsible for selling him out. It culminates in a tense final confrontation between the two. Another subplot between Saint and two Cuban gangsters is also restored. You see the inside of their club (with the obligatory nekkid ladies for the 'R' rating) and several confrontations between them and Travolta throughout the film. (It was their money that the Punisher threw out the window.) What's odd about the scenes is that they make Saint seem subservient to them. It undercuts his 'bad boy' image and makes his standing in the city come into question.

This DVD also features a new comic book cover gallery and a new 'making of' documentary.

So is it worth picking up if you already own "The Punisher" on DVD? I think if you're a big Punisher fan, then it is worth picking up. You get more of Jane as Castle and Travolta as Saint. This DVD doesn't replace the previous one, but it supplements it. If you thought the Punisher was only 'OK', then there's not much here that makes it worth buying again.

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