By Matt Daigle

Auburn Middle School

Hugh Jackman returns to the wonderful world of fantasy, this time starring as the Indiana Jones look a like Van Helsing.

As soon as Van Helsing starts, you know you’re in for a action packed filled ride. It starts with the doctor Frankenstein bringing his first monster to life. Count Dracula, the most evil of all vampires, is growing in power and needs this monster that Frankenstein created to give birth to millions of his yet to be born children. He kills Frankenstein and takes the monster for himself.

Skip ahead a year. You find Van Helsing, the world’s most notorious criminal, tracking down Dr. Jeckel. Right from the very minute you meet Van Helsing, he brings a sort of warmth to the film. He is a very likable person who not only brings action to the movie, but little bits of humor.

After Van Helsing catches Dr. Jeckel, you learn that he is actually part of a order that lives in Rome. This group is dedicated to catching all of the evil in the world. Van Helsing is given his next mission. He must travel to Translyvania and destroy Count Dracula and his vampire minions. The only hitch is that no one knows were Dracula’s castle is. So what does Van Helsing do? Well, he goes on a swashbuckling adventure to find the Count’s lair with a lady (Kate Beckinsile) that has dedicated her entire life to finding and killing Count Dracula, of course!!

Stephen Sommers (director of box office hits such as “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns”) sure knows how to write a screenplay. He leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat at times. Other times, he leaves you laughing your head off while sometimes, he can leave you screaming with fear.

In some parts of the film, he makes you feel like you’re back in the 30’s watching a horror movie (the first ten minutes of the film are black and white.)

Hugh Jackman does a spectacular job as Van Helsing. He reminds not only me but other fans of the movie of a young Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Kate Beckinsile delivers a good performance as well and so does Richard Roxbourgh as Count Dracula.

For those of you fantasy lovers, this movie is a must see. It is filled with laughter, screams and loads of action that will leave you talking with you’re friends for weeks to come.

Overall Grade – A

“The Punisher”

By Kenneth Collins

Auburn Middle School

Frank Castle (Thomas Jane) has seen a lot of death in his lifetime. Frank also has many duties in the undercover police force and more important duties at his own home. But when Frank kills Howard Saint’s son, Howard gets really mad and sends his henchmen to kill his whole family at a Puerto Rican family reunion. Who knows what he will do? Who knows what reaction he will have to the tragic events? Who knows?

Frank Castle is one of the most famous people at the undercover police force for his daring jobs but when one of his jobs accidentally kills one of Howard Saint’s sons, Howard freaks out and sends a bunch of his mobsters to his Puerto Rican estate and gun down all of his family at one big family reunion. When all of the henchmen think that all of his family are dead until they hear a sudden noise and see a truck that is speeding down the dirt road kicking rocks and other items into the air. All of the bad guys (who aren’t dead) get in a faded, dusty red truck and start speeding after her, shooting bullets at them to. When Frank sees this event take place, he shoots the guy he was after and goes down the road on a motorcycle, on full speed. The chasing goes on for about ten minutes until he finds the dusty red truck flipped over onto its side. Frank thinks that he is home free when he sees the flipped truck because he thinks they are dead. Frank hears his wife scream and figures out that he is wrong, dead wrong. Frank comes up to a bridge seeing his wife and son get hit by the dusty pick-up truck. With anger in Frank’s eyes, he runs over to his wife and son and swears revenge on the Mafia men who did this inhumane tragedy. Terrible, terrible things are in store for Howard saint and his men but with their power hopefully nothing terrible happens to Frank.

This movie does not seem like the typical Marvel movie. This film is filled with violence and little gore but has a sick and twisted plot. Even though this movie is rated R, it really isn’t that bad. But with all of the violent acts I wouldn’t recommend this movie to little kids who think that this movie has any relation to Spider man or Hulk because this movie is filled with grotesque violent images and also a little nudity. This movie is an exciting thrill ride and filled with action and tense scenes that make you sit on the edge of your seat. This movie has a great sound track including the new Drowning Pool song. Overall this movie is the best Marvel so far.

Overall Grade – B

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