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maryann johanson | #BlackLivesMatter

The Punisher (review)

Take a Memo

Most people think movies are all about glamorous fun and games, but people never think of the paperwork involved. And I’m not even talking about the reams of paper created by a production company about the actual production of the film. That’s nothing to the enormous variety of paperwork that comes after, in response to a film, from PR agencies and corporate sponsors and concerned citizens groups and enthusiastic fans and so on. Here’s the briefest of samplings of what The Punisher alone has prompted in the mere week since its release:
International Brotherhood of Henchmen, Thugs, Minions, and Heavies
Local 183


Yes, it’s that time again, time for the annual summer-movie memo — it seems to come earlier every year, doesn’t it? We keep hoping that a year will come that we won’t have to trot out this memo yet again, but it seems — after Mario Cantucci’s little escapade on Wednesday — that some guys need reminding year after year.

We all know the routine. You’re waiting for a drop when you get a call: everything’s been pushed back four hours. It’s not long enough to let the kid out of the trunk and untie him, but it’s way too long to drink more coffee and read the paper again. So what do you do? You go to a movie. It’s a great way to pass the time, and we should all do it more often.


Remember, gentlemen, that movies are fantasy. However cool the characters in the movie might seem, we must encourage — yet again — our members NOT to emulate behavior they see onscreen. When your boss tells you to take out a guy, don’t get fancy. Put a bullet in his brain and toss the body in the river. This is not the time to use your imagination and try to impress your boss — as fun as it looks like it might be to, say, shoot a guy in the kneecaps and douse him in gasoline and walk away trailing a line of accelerant and light the fire from a thousand feet away — which is, by the way, far enough away for you NOT to see that the explosion blows your intended victim free of the fire — DON’T DO IT!!


When your boss puts a hit out, do not leave the scene until you have convinced yourself that the guy is dead. If this means you have to shoot him in both eyes, stab him in the heart a hundred times, and remove his kidneys to be sure, THEN DO IT!!

We’ve written a letter of protest to Lions Gate Films, the company that made The Punisher, which apparently inspired Mario Cantucci this week, but we do not expect a response or any change in how henchmen, thugs, minions, or heavies are depicted onscreen. And it certainly doesn’t help when some of you are acting as paid consultants to Hollywood producers. Those of you guilty of this know who you are.

Just keep in mind this excellent rule of thumb:


The wake for Mario Cantucci will be held at Garelli’s Funeral Home on Monday from 7pm to 9pm. Casket will be closed.

Also, whoever keeps burning the popcorn in the office microwave, quit it, or there will be consequences.

for immediate release

To: All media
From: People for the Taking Seriously of Body Building, Weight Training, and Muscle Increasing

There’s seems to be some misconception in the media, led by the Lions Gate Film The Punisher, that consuming mass quantities of Wild Turkey, as the Thomas Jane character does in the film, is conducive to both acquiring and maintaining washboard abs, rock solid pecs, and biceps that could burst your T-shirt.

This is not the case.

People for the Taking Seriously of Body Building, Weight Training, and Muscle Increasing recommends that those athletes looking to bulk up limit their consumption of hard liquor to no more than 2 oz. per week. By contrast, the character of “Frank Castle” in The Punisher appears to consume in the vicinity of four gallons of Wild Turkey per day, and little to no other food or drink.

We’ve written a letter of protest to Lions Gate Films, but we do not expect a response or any change in how hard liquor is depicted as a healthy part of a weight-training diet, or indeed as the entirety of a weight-training diet.

People for the Taking Seriously of Body Building, Weight Training, and Muscle Increasing would like to commend actor Thomas Jane, however, for his sensitive and knowing portrayal of a man with large muscles and a defined abdomen.

People for the Taking Seriously of Body Building, Weight Training, and Muscle Increasing was founded in 1987 to promote the needs and perspectives of people who take body building, weight training, and muscle increasing seriously.

Wild Turkey Bourbon
Austin, Nichols Distilling Co., Lawrenceburg, Kentucky


You must be 21 years of age to read this press release.

There’s seems to be some misconception in the media, prompted by the press release from People for the Taking Seriously of Body Building, Weight Training, and Muscle Increasing, that Wild Turkey Bourbon(TM) is not part of a balanced diet for athletes.

This is not the case. In fact, the medical advocacy group Doctors for Booze (a subsidiary of Austin, Nichols Distilling Co.) recommends that those concerned for their physical and mental well being consume at least 12 oz. hard liquor daily at a minimum.

Wild Turkey Bourbon(TM) has been supplying drinkers and athletes with necessary nutrition since 1940.

[handwritten note slipped under the door of Lions Gate Films]

yu guz are dead yu runned punnishur the most awsome comik ever i wil sent frak cassel aftr yu to puniss yu for wut yu did!!!!!!

[printout of email found on the desk of a Hollywood agent who has apparently fled to Mexico]

From: tomjane@hotmail.com
To: [blacked out]@caa.com
Subject: you’re fired!

You promised me, [blacked out], you miserable fuck, you promised me a decent script and some good action and maybe a little onscreen nookie. And when I got to the set and saw the 15th rewrite of the script — WTF? serenading assassins? torturing bad guys with popsicles? — and met my costar — John fucking Travolta?? — and called you to complain you said Don’t worry, they’ll fix it all in post. And like a stupid fuck I believed you. I forgave you when you saddled me with Dreamcatcher and I even forgave you when you “lobbied” for me for The Sweetest Thing but this was supposed to be my big break, my chance to be a star, and now I’m a laughingstock.

Hey, you know what though? All that pumping up I did for the film, all those big powerful muscles I’ve got now? Before I lose them for the shitty romantic comedies I’m gonna be stuck in for the rest of my life, I’m gonna come over there and beat the crap out of you.


[reader comments on this review]

MPAA: rated R for pervasive brutal violence, language and brief nudity

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