Punisher War Zone

  • Directors: Lexi Alexander 1
  • Producers: Avi Arad, Gale Anne Hurd
  • Writers: Nick Santora 1, Lexi Alexander, Matt Holloway, Arthur Marcum
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Ray Stevenson, Dominic West, Julie Benz, Wayne Knight, Dash Mihok, Colin Salmon, Doug Hutchison, T J Storm, Mark Camacho

Infamous vigilante and anti-hero Frank Castle (Ray Stevenson) is six years into his vengeance-driven zeal as the Punisher. When he brutally assaults a “beat the rap” party for notorious mob boss Gaitano Cesare, he is alerted to the fact that Billy Russoti (Dominic West) has escaped to his recycling plant hideout by Detective Saffiotti (Tony Calabretta) who along with Detective Martin Soap (Dash Mihok) were staking out the party. Castle infiltrates Russoti’s hideout and murders Nicky Donatelli (Romano Orzari) as he is exiting the bathroom. The ensuing gunshot alerts Russoti, and a brief fire fight between Castle and him ensues, ending in Russoti being thrown into a glass-crushing machine which ends up leaving the gangster hideously disfigured. Castle, who has taken cover behind the body of Donatelli, realizes that the man he killed was an undercover FBI Agent.

Agent Paul Budiansky (Colin Salmon), the ex-partner of the undercover agent, joins the NYPD’s “Punisher Task Force” and partners up with Soap to help bring Castle to justice, once and for all. Meanwhile, a facially mutilated Russoti recovers from his run-in with the Punisher with revenge on his mind and frees his deranged brother, Loony Bin Jim (Doug Hutchison) under his new alias “Jigsaw.”

Outside the building, Castle bids farewell to the Donatelli family. As Castle and Soap are walking past a church, Soap tries to persuade Frank to give up his role as the Punisher. Soap has a change of heart, however, when he is attacked by a mugger, who quickly becomes another victim of the Punisher.

Daredevil

  • Directors: Mark Steven Johnson
  • Producers: Avi Arad, Gary Foster, Arnon Milchan
  • Writers: Screenplay, Mark Steven Johnson, Comic Book, Stan Lee, Bill Everett
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Fantasy, Thriller
  • Actors: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin Farrell

The film begins in medias res with Daredevil clutching a cross at the top of a church, wounded. Daredevil clambers into the church and collapses as a priest who knows his identity approaches him in concern. The events that led to this scene are shown.

As a child, Matt lived in Hell’s Kitchen with his washed-up boxer father, Jack Murdock. Matt’s father constantly reminds Matt to get an education and make something of himself, and not wind up like him. One fateful day, when young Matt takes a shortcut home, he stumbles across his father beating up a man at the behest of local mob boss Fallon. Horrified, Matt runs blindly away from the scene, and runs afoul of a forklift which swerves to avoid him and accidentally pierces a barrel of toxic fluid, drenching Matt’s face in the substance.

An unspecified amount of time later, Matt awakens to find that he is blind. However, despite his loss of sight, his other four senses functioned with super-human accuracy, hearing and touch in particular. While Matt uses his radar-like hearing to train his body, his redeemed father decides to fight again in the ring. One night, Fallon approaches his father and orders him to throw the fight; when he does not, he is brutally murdered by a shadowy figure later revealed to be the Kingpin. Matt is heartbroken by his father’s death.

A final post-credits scene features Bullseye in full body traction on a hospital bed killing a pesky fly despite being largely immobilized.

Ghost Rider

  • Directors: Mark Steven Johnson
  • Producers: Avi Arad, Stan Lee, David S Goyer
  • Writers: Mark Steven Johnson
  • Genres: Action, Fantasy, Thriller
  • Actors: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Wes Bentley, Sam Elliott, Donal Logue, Matt Long, Peter Fonda, Brett Cullen, Raquel Alessi

In the American Old West, Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda) sends his bounty hunter of the damned, the Ghost Rider, to retrieve a contract for a thousand corrupt souls from the town of San Venganza. Because such a large amount of souls would cause Hell on Earth, the Rider refuses to give the contract and escapes Mephistopheles, later to hide the contract and himself.

A century and a half later, Mephistopheles reaches out to seventeen-year-old stunt motorcycle rider Johnny Blaze (Matt Long/Nicolas Cage), offering to cure his father’s lung cancer in exchange for Johnny’s soul. Johnny inadvertently signs the contract when a drop of his blood lands on it. His father’s cancer is cured, but he dies that same day in a horrific bike crash. Johnny accuses Mephistopheles of causing his father’s death, but Mephistopheles considers their contract fulfilled. Years later, Johnny has become a stunt rider famous for surviving disastrous feats.

Before a particularly dangerous new stunt, Johnny meets his childhood sweetheart Roxanne (Raquel Alessi/Eva Mendes), now a journalist, and holds a dinner date with her that evening. During the same time, Blackheart (Wes Bentley), Mephistopheles’ son, comes to Earth to find the lost contract and use its power to overcome his father. To ensure himself allies, he enlists the fallen angels known as the Hidden, a trio of demon spirits who represent three of the four elements — the water-demon Wallow (Daniel Frederiksen), the earth-demon Gressil (Laurence Breuls), and the air-demon Abigor (Mathew Wilkinson). In response, Mephistopheles makes Johnny the new Ghost Rider, offering Johnny his soul in return for defeating Blackheart. Therefore Johnny confronts Blackheart at a train station where the contract was once buried and kills Gressil while the others escape. On his way out of the station he uses his ‘Penance Stare’, an ability to sear the pain felt by all whom a person has harmed into the wrongdoer’s soul, on a mugger, leaving the man catatonic.

Mephistopheles appears and gives Johnny his soul, offering to terminate the burden of Ghost Rider. Johnny refuses, saying that he will use his power against Mephistopheles, and against all harm that comes to the innocent. Infuriated of being robbed of the power, Mephistopheles vows to make Johnny pay, to which Johnny in response recites his favorite saying: “You can’t live in fear”. Mephistopheles then disappears, taking Blackheart’s body with him. Johnny and Roxanne share words and a kiss at a tree marked to symbolize their relationship, whereupon Johnny rides into the sunset. Slade’s voice then acts as narrator to close the film.

4 Rise of the Silver Surfer

  • Directors: Tim Story
  • Producers: Avi Arad, Bernd Eichinger, Ralph Winter
  • Writers: Screenplay, Don Payne, Mark Frost, Story, John Turman, Mark Frost, Characters, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans, Doug Jones, Julian McMahon, Kerry Washington, Laurence Fishburne

Set two years after the first film, Reed Richards and Sue Storm are preparing for their wedding. A silver object enters Earth’s atmosphere, radiating cosmic energy that creates massive molecular fluctuations and causes deep craters at locations across the Earth. The government approaches Reed to build a sensor to track the movements of the object.

As the wedding begins, Reed’s systems detect the phenomenon approaching New York City, causing a massive power blackout. The object destroys the sensors while the Fantastic Four protect the crowd. The Human Torch pursues the object, discovering that it is a humanoid, a “Silver Surfer.” He confronts the Surfer, who drags Johnny into the upper atmosphere where the lack of oxygen and low air pressure snuffs his flame out, then drops him back toward Earth. Johnny manages to reactivate his powers and survives the fall. Later, when Sue tries to comfort Johnny, she touches his shoulders and their powers switch – he becomes invisible, and she is set on fire; when they touch again their powers revert back. Reed’s examination of Johnny reveals that exposure to the Surfer has set Johnny’s molecular structure in flux, allowing him to switch powers with his teammates through physical contact. Tracing the cosmic energy of the Surfer, Reed discovers that a series of planets the alien had visited before Earth have all been destroyed.

The film ends with the marriage of Reed and Sue in Japan, and the team’s creation of their signature “4” in the sky with the Fantasticar. The credits cut back to a shot of the Silver Surfer’s seemingly lifeless body floating through space. Just as he drifts off the edge of the screen his eyes open and his board races towards him.

Hulk

  • Directors: Ang Lee
  • Producers: Avi Arad, Larry J Franco, Gale Anne Hurd, Stan Lee, James Schamus, Kevin Feige
  • Writers: Screenplay, James Schamus, Michael France, John Turman, Story, James Schamus, Comic Book, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Genres: Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott, Nick Nolte, Josh Lucas

David Banner is a genetics researcher who experiments on himself, trying to improve human DNA. Once his wife gives birth to their son Bruce, David realizes his mutant DNA has been passed on and attempts to find a cure for his son’s condition. The government, represented by Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, shuts down his research after learning of his dangerous experiments. David, in a fit of rage, causes a massive explosion of the facilities’ gamma reactor, and accidentally kills his wife. He is then put into a mental hospital, while 4-year-old Bruce is sent into foster care and adopted, taking on the last name of Krenzler, believing his biological parents are deceased. The events surrounding his mother’s death leave Bruce unable to recall details of his early childhood.

Years later, Bruce is a brilliant researcher freshly graduated at the University of California, Berkeley. The military-industrial complex, represented by the unscrupulous Major Talbot, becomes interested in the research to build regenerating soldiers. David reappears and begins infiltrating Bruce’s life, working as a janitor in the lab building. Ross, now an Army general, also begins to investigate. Ross, the estranged father of Bruce’s ex-girlfriend and co-researcher Betty Ross, becomes concerned both for his daughter’s safety around Bruce, but also because Bruce is working in the same field as the father he does not remember.

Talbot, seeing an opportunity to profit from the Hulk’s strength and regenerative capability, attacks and taunts Bruce, but fails. Talbot puts him in a sensory deprivation tank and induces a nightmare that triggers his repressed memories and transforms him into the Hulk, eventually leading to the death of Talbot. David confronts Betty and offers to turn himself in. In exchange, he asks to speak to Bruce “one last time.” The Hulk escapes the base in the process. He battles the army in the desert, defeating four tanks and two Comanche Helicopters, and leaps all the way to San Francisco to find Betty again. Betty contacts her father and convinces him to take her to meet the Hulk, believing that he needs “a chance to calm down.” Bruce’s love for her comes through the Hulk, and he transforms back into his human form. David is allowed to visit the base and talk to Bruce. David, having descended into megalomania, fails to convince Bruce to give him his power. David transforms into a powerful electrical being after biting into a wire and absorbing the energy. Bruce then transforms into the Hulk and battles his father. Both are presumed dead after Ross orders a Gamma Charge Bomb to end the fight, leaving no trace of them. A year later there have still been numerous sightings of the Hulk. Bruce finds exile in the Amazon Rainforest as a doctor in a medical camp.

The Incredible Hulk

  • Directors: Louis Leterrier
  • Producers: Avi Arad, Gale Anne Hurd, Kevin Feige
  • Writers: Screenplay, Edward Norton, Zak Penn, Comic Book, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt

A montage during the opening credit sequence details the film’s backstory and the origin of the Hulk. General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt) meets with Dr. Bruce Banner (Edward Norton), the colleague and lover of his daughter Betty (Liv Tyler). He wants him to revive a World War II-era military bio-force project, but tells Banner the goal of the experiment is to make human beings immune to gamma radiation. The experiment fails, transforming Banner into the monstrous Hulk (voiced by Lou Ferrigno), and injuring Betty. Now a fugitive from the United States Army, Banner has been on the run for five years.

As the film opens, Banner works at a soda bottling factory in Rocinha while searching for a cure for his condition (through analyzing the properties of certain rare, Amazonian plants and herbs) with the help of a colleague on the Internet, known only as “Mr. Blue”. He is also learning meditative breathing techniques from a martial arts expert (Rickson Gracie) to help regulate his pulse rate and keep his anger under control, and has not transformed in 158 days. After Banner cuts his finger, a drop of his blood ends up in one of the bottles, and is eventually ingested by an ill-fated consumer (Stan Lee) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This accident points Ross to Banner’s location and he sends a team, led by Russian-born British special ops expert Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), to capture him. Banner escapes Blonsky by transforming into the Hulk and fighting off his team inside the bottle factory. After Ross explains how Banner first became the Hulk, a vengeful Blonsky agrees to be injected with a new super soldier serum, which gives him enhanced speed, agility, reflexes, endurance and healing.

Banner, realizing that he is the only one who can stop the monster, convinces General Ross to release him. He falls from Ross’ helicopter as it hovers over the city, hoping the fall will trigger a transformation. Banner’s plan succeeds, and after a brutal battle, the Hulk defeats Blonsky by nearly strangling him to death with a huge chain, relenting his grip only after Betty’s plea. The Hulk then flees. Thirty-one days later, Banner is in Bella Coola, British Columbia. Instead of trying to suppress his transformations, he is attempting to initiate them in a controlled manner. As his eyes turn green, a grin appears on his face. Meanwhile, General Ross is drinking in a bar when he is approached by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) who reveals that a “team” is being put together.

Fantastic Four

  • Directors: Tim Story
  • Producers: Avi Arad, Bernd Eichinger, Ralph Winter
  • Writers: Screenplay, Michael France, Mark Frost, Comic Book, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans, Julian McMahon, Laurie Holden, Kerry Washington

Dr. Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd), a brilliant but timid and bankrupt physicist, is convinced that evolution is triggered by clouds of cosmic energy in space, and has calculated that one of these clouds is soon going to pass near Earth. Together with his friend, the gruff yet gentle astronaut Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis), Reed convinces his equally brilliant but conceited MIT classmate Dr. Victor von Doom (Julian McMahon), now CEO of Von Doom Industries, to allow him access to his privately-owned space station.

Von Doom agrees, in exchange for control over the experiment and a majority of the profits from whatever benefits it brings. He brings aboard his chief genetics researcher (and Reed’s ex-girlfriend) Susan Storm (Jessica Alba), and her hot-headed brother Johnny Storm (Chris Evans), his private astronaut, who was Ben’s subordinate at NASA but is his superior on the mission, much to Ben’s disgust. The quintet travels to space to observe the cosmic energy clouds, but Reed has miscalculated and the clouds materialize well ahead of schedule.

Victor refuses Reed’s plea to abort the mission, knowing he must produce results to justify his expenditure, no matter the human cost involved. Knowing Ben is space-walking to set up equipment, Reed, Susan and Johnny leave the shielded inner area of the station to rescue him, and Victor closes the shield behind them. Whilst Victor is seemingly safe, the others are exposed to the cloud. Ben receives full exposure out in space, while the others receive a more limited dose within the station.

Ben informs Reed that he has accepted his condition with the help of Alicia Masters, a blind artist for whom he has developed feelings, and the team decide to embrace their roles as superheroes and unite officially as the Fantastic Four. Reed proposes marriage to Susan, who accepts. Doom’s remains are being transported back to his homeland of Latveria when the ship carrying them experiences unusual electronic interference.

X2

  • Directors: Bryan Singer
  • Producers: Tom DeSanto, Avi Arad, Bryan Singer, Ralph Winter, Lauren Shuler Donner
  • Writers: Screenplay, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, David Hayter, Story, David Hayter, Bryan Singer, Zak Penn, Comic Book, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, Shawn Ashmore, James Marsden

Nightcrawler, a teleporting mutant, attempts to assassinate the President in the White House, but he fails and escapes. Wolverine reappears after discovering nothing at Alkali Lake, while Storm and Jean find Nightcrawler with the help of Professor Xavier and Cerebro. Cyclops and Professor X visit Magneto in his plastic prison to see if he had any part in the attack on the President. Reading Magneto’s mind, Professor X discovers that a covert government operative, William Stryker, has been extracting information from Magneto. A trap is sprung and Cyclops and Professor X are captured by Stryker and his assistant Yuriko Oyama. A military raid of the X-Mansion begins, with the soldiers sedating every student they find; some escape, while Wolverine finds Stryker, but is unable to find anything about his past.

Impersonating Senator Robert Kelly and Yuriko, Mystique gains information about Magneto’s prison and provides a means for him to escape. Wolverine, along with Rogue, Iceman and Pyro, heads to Iceman’s home in Boston. After a 9-1-1 call by Bobby’s brother Ronnie, the police arrive just as the group is about to leave, ensuing into a dispute with Pyro. The X-Jet arrives to pick them all up, and the X-Men team with Magneto and Mystique. Magneto has learned Stryker orchestrated the attack on the President and has been experimenting on mutants, using a drug injected directly into the back of the neck to control them. Jean reads Nightcrawler’s mind and determines that Stryker’s base is located at Alkali Lake, inside the dam. He has also stolen enough equipment from Xavier’s own Cerebro unit to build a second Cerebro, with which he plans to kill all the world’s mutants.

Mystique, disguised as Stryker, uses Jason to convince Professor X to kill all humans. Magneto and Mystique use Stryker’s helicopter to escape Alkali Lake, chaining Stryker to concrete rubble, and are also joined by Pyro. Meanwhile, Nightcrawler teleports Storm inside of Cerebro, where she frees the Professor from his telepathic illusion. A malfunction aboard the X-Jet prevents it from taking off, and the dam finally bursts. The flood gets stronger, drowning Stryker. Jean leaves the jet and creates a telekinetic wall in order to stop the wave, and at the same time raises the jet above the flood waters; all the while surrounded by a corona of fire. Jean activates the X-Jet’s primary engines, before releasing the torrent of water down on herself. The X-Men are able to supply the President with files from Stryker’s private offices, and Professor X warns him that humans and mutants must work together to build peace, or they will destroy each other through war. The film ends with a voiceover by Jean Grey on the process of evolution (a speech originally made by Professor Xavier in the introduction of the first film). The camera floats over Alkali Lake, showing a vague shape of a Phoenix in the lake.

X Men The Last Stand

  • Directors: Brett Ratner
  • Producers: Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter, Avi Arad
  • Writers: Screenplay, Simon Kinberg, Zak Penn, Comic Book, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, Kelsey Grammer, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn, Shawn Ashmore, Aaron Stanford, Vinnie Jones, Ellen Page, Ben Foster

A pharmaceutical company called Worthington Labs announces that it has developed an inoculation to permanently suppress the X-gene that gives mutants their powers, offering the so-called “cure” to any mutant who wants it; the cure is derived from a mutant boy named Jimmy. While some mutants are interested in the cure, including the X-Men’s Rogue, many others are horrified by the announcement. In response to the news, the X-Men’s adversary Magneto begins to raise an army, warning his followers that, like his experiences in the Holocaust, the cure will be forcefully used to exterminate the mutant race.

Cyclops, still heartbroken about the loss of Jean Grey, returns to Alkali Lake, where Jean sacrificed herself to save the X-Men. He hears her voice and begs for it to stop, finally taking off his sunglasses and his eye beam shoots through the water. Jean then appears out of the water to Cyclops, and as the two kiss, Jean changes and appears to kill Cyclops. Sensing trouble, Professor Charles Xavier sends Wolverine and Storm to investigate. When they arrive, the two X-Men encounter telekinetically floating rocks, Cyclops’ glasses, and an unconscious Jean. Meanwhile Magneto ambushes a military transport and frees Juggernaut, Mystique and Multiple Man, during which Mystique blocks a shot of the mutant cure aimed at Magneto, only to be left behind because she is not “one of them” anymore.

Following the closing credits, Dr. Moira MacTaggert checks on a comatose patient who greets her with Xavier’s voice, implying that he has transferred his mind into this new body.

Iron Man

  • Directors: Jon Favreau
  • Producers: Avi Arad, Kevin Feige
  • Writers: Screenplay, John August, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Arthur Marcum, Matthew Hollaway, Comic Book, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck, Jack Kirby
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Crime, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Robert Downey Jr, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leslie Bibb, Shaun Toub

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) gambles at a Las Vegas casino, leaving his deceased father’s friend and business partner, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), to accept a prestigious award for him. As Stark leaves the casino with his entourage, he is approached by reporter Christine Everhart (Leslie Bibb), whom he charms into a one-night stand at his Malibu house. When she awakens the next morning, Stark is gone and she is coldly greeted by Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), his personal assistant.

Stark flies off to war-torn Afghanistan with his friend and company military liaison, Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes (Terrence Howard), for a demonstration of Stark Industries’ new weapon, the “Jericho” cluster missile. On the way back, however, his military convoy is attacked. In the firefight, his escort is wiped out and Stark himself is knocked unconscious by one of his own company’s bombs.

Waking up in an Afghan cave, he discovers an electromagnet embedded in his chest, placed there by fellow captive Dr. Yinsen (Shaun Toub). Powered by a car battery, it keeps shrapnel from working its way to his heart and killing him. Stark has been captured by a terrorist group known as the Ten Rings, whose leader orders him to build a Jericho missile for him.

In a post-credits scene, Stark is visited by S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) who notes that Stark is not “the only superhero in the world” and states he wants to discuss the “Avenger Initiative”.