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Garth Ennis’ Run on Punisher MAX – Hardcover, Vol. II (Review)

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, this month we’re going to take a look at Northern Irish writer Garth Ennis’ run on that iconic Marvel anti-hero, The Punisher. Check back every Friday and Wednesday for a review of a particular section.

There’s a dream I have from time to time. And in the dream I don’t stop. I kill the soldiers and the hitmen, the extortioners and racketeers, the dark old &%^@s who send them out to fight– I hold the trigger down until they’re all gone–

But I don’t stop.

The innocents are just watching, like always. The slack jawed thousands, gazing at the beast. My family lie red and shredded in the grass. I face the crowd and bring the weapon to my shoulder. If my world ends, I tell them, so does yours.

The recoil starts and I wake up.

It’s  just a dream, I always tell myself. It’s just a dream.

It’s just a dream.

– Frank Castle, Up is Down and Black is White

You know, I’m not entirely sold on the format of Garth Ennis’ Punisher MAX. It seems a strange thing to say, given how I’m slowly starting to appreciate what the writer is doing with the character, but I’m not convinced that the rigid six-issue structure that Ennis is adopting fits the character particularly well. Don’t worry, I know it’s a very strange and irrational complaint to have – partially because there’s so much else going on that merits discussion, and also because six-issue arcs have become the industry norm (because they fit the size of a trade paperback). That said, I think may have figured out why it bothers me so.

Gun play...

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Non-Review Review: Ronin

Ronin is the perfect example of a movie that knows exactly what it is. It’s a high-octane thriller which bends and curves and uncertainties and all manner of similar complications. There’s no tangential elements to the plot, like an awkwardly-inserted love-story or an attempt to humanise any of the people involved. It’s just a well-made thriller with fantastic locations and wonderfully-staged action. At one stage, the grizzled French mercenary Vincent remarks, “No questions, no answers. That’s the business we’re in.” It’s refreshing and honest, and frank.

DeNiro's the big gun here...

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Non-Review Review: Agnosia

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

There were a lot of reasons to get excited about Agnosia, one of the anticipated highlights of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. The movie was written by Antonis Trashorras, the writer of The Devil’s Backbone, perhaps the film that put director Guillermo del Toro on the map. In fact, this film comes with an endorsement from del Toro himself, which has quite a large amount of weight among the film community. However, Agnosia lacks the magic or elegance of del Toro’s work, with director Eugenio Mira (whose last work was in 2004) able to craft a stylish visual design for the film – but never quite able to create a sense of magic or engagement.

99 Schwarz ballons...

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Non-Review Review: For Your Eyes Only

This post is part of James Bond January, being organised by the wonderful Paragraph Films. I will have reviews of all twenty-two official Bond films going on-line over the next month, and a treat or two every once in a while.

The Bond film also known as “the one that even people who dislike Roger Moore Bond films enjoy.”

Bond plays “Eye, Spy”…

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