Movie Review: THE PUNISHER (4K Ultra HD Combo Pack)

THE PUNISHER is based on Marvel’s iconic anto-hero. The movie was directed by Jonathan Hensleigh from a screenplay he co-wrote with Michael France and stars Thomas Jane, John Travolta, Will Patton, Roy Scheider, Laura Harring, Ben Foster and Rebecca Romijn.

This dark action film, based on the comic book series, follows FBI agent Frank Castle (Thomas Jane) as he transforms into the vengeful Punisher after criminals murder his family, including his wife and son. Castle is gravely injured in the attack and believed to be dead by Howard Saint (John Travolta), the crime lord who ordered the hit. Following his recovery, Castle becomes a heavily armed vigilante who will stop at nothing to exact revenge on Saint and dismantle his underworld empire.

This 2004 action-thriller follows Frank Castle (Thomas Jane) who is left for dead after his entire family is gunned down by a small group of thugs. The shot caller is Howard Saint (John Travolta), a cold-hearted crime boss who crosses the line when he orders this massacre to happen to the Castle family. Frank ends up living and once he heals up he turns from law enforcement officer to dark vigilante as he sets out to get his revenge. He keeps to himself for the most part but ends up coming across three misfits; Joan (Rebecca Romijn), Spacker Dave (Ben Foster) and Nathaniel Bumpo (John Pinette) who awaken the small amount of humanity that’s left inside him simply by their friendship.

What happens is, Frank Castle’s reputation as a merciless vigilante hits the streets and he’s quickly given the nickname as The Punisheras he makes his rounds in the big city.  He begins his violent trail of vengeance by taking on Saint’s army of goons one by one. He even goes up against a massive Russian (played by pro wrestler Kevin Nash) who takes him to the limit but Frank finds a way to eliminate his giant opponent along with all the others that ends up crossing his path. The dead bodies pile up and this ultimately leads him directly to Howard Saint and in the end The Punisher gets the revenge he set out for.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. These Ultra HD movies all come in black keep cases which helps them easily standout from the popular blue cases that have been around since day one. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The UHD disc is black and Blu-ray disc is blue and both feature the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this 4K Blu-ray release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio for this release. Fans will be able to experience this movie like never before with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital HD) release. Experience four times the resolution of full HD with 4K along with Dolby Vision HDR, which brings entertainment to life through ultravivid picture quality.  When compared to a standard picture, Dolby Vision can deliver spectacular colors never before seen on a screen, highlights that are up to 40 times brighter, and blacks that are 10 times darker. The release also features Dolby Atmos audio mixed specifically for the home to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead.

Bottom line is, I enjoyed revisiting The Punisher, which is actually the second big screen adaptation of the Marvel Knights character and a little better than the first one that came along nearly thirty years ago. This 2004 action-thriller came along four years before executive producer Kevin Feige really kicked the Marvel Universe in gear so this one sort of serves up as a precursor of what was to come. The story was okay but the casting was fantastic. Thomas Jane delivered a powerful performance as the vigilante anti-hero and John Travolta did the same as the cold-blooded antagonist. The movie is action-packed and does feature some graphic violence but nothing compared to the sequel that would come along in 2008. Sure, the movie could have been a lot better and if it were to be made today you can bet it would be because the bar has been raised so high by Feige and the talented team at Marvel Studios. The Punisher is a tragic story about a man who loses everything and ends up becoming a heroic vigilante who ultimately gets his revenge. The Punisher is now available on a 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital HD) and is worth adding to your 4K collection.

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Run Time: 125 Minutes

Rated: R

4K Format: Dolby Vision 2160P Ultra High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.35:1)

4K Audio Status: English Dolby Atmos /French Dolby Audio 5.1

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.35:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 / Spanish Dolby Audio 5.1 / English Dolby Audio 2.0 Optimized for Late-Night Listening / EDA

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: The imported extras include some audio commentary, two deleted scenes, four behind-the-scenes featurettes, a music video and digital copy of the movie.

  • Audio Commentary with director Jonathan Hensleigh
  • Deleted Scene with optional director Commentary (03:12)
  1. “Introduction of Saints and Sinners Club”
  2. “Livia Saint Insults Mickey Duka”
  • “Keepin’ It Real: The Punisher Stunts” Featurette (27:45)
  • “Army of One: The Punisher Origins” Featurette (12:55)
  • “War Journal: On the Set of The Punisher” Featurette (29:59)
  • Music Video “Step Up” Performed by Drowning Pool (03:24)
  • “Drawing Blood: Bradstreet Style” Featurette (06:22)
  • Digital HD Copy


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