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February 12, 2013


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On the subject of softening, Gerry Conway wrote a 'Justice League' story in the 80s that was so gory the blood had to be coloured purple to get it past the Comics Code Authority (at least, I've always assumed that was the reason). But I digress...


I'm only on "The Handle", and so haven't reached "Flashfire" yet. I'm really surprised by these not-so-harsh words about the new PARKER film. Sitting through that awful trailer multiple times over the past few weeks has been cringe- and rage-inducing.


Just read Westlake's "361," an early, non-Parker book (from 1962). Available from Hard Case Crime, and a terrific page-turner.

Randy Byers

I haven't read the Westlake books, but I thought this movie was enjoyable enough, despite the fact that the real estate agent seemed to come out of some different story world. I thought Statham was really good and basically carried the thing.

Not David Bordwell

Damn, that Hard Case Crime imprint is a gas. Such fun to find hard boiled pulp with that throwback cover art on a rack at the Dollar General.

Dan Coyle

Jason Clarke is the modern day Grofield that exists in my head. Lemons Never Lie is one of my favorite books.

David Ehrenstein

It may "not really count as a Parker picture" to you, but Made in USA is really something special.


Jon Hastings

"Flashfire" has always struck me as Westlake returning to the general outline of "The Hunter" (Parker takes revenge after being double-crossed), but rewritten as an Elmore Leonard novel (the lawman who tracks him down reminds me of Raylan Givens as he originally came across in "Pronto" and the real estate agent seems like one of Leonard's heroines). The "softest" Parker novel is probably the last one, parts of which come really close to Dortmunder territory (which doesn't make it a bad novel, by any means).

David Ehrenstein

Leave us not forget Westlake as one hell of a scriptwriter. Here's the last scene from the superb Jim Thompson adaptation he penned, and Stephen Frears directed.




"Damn, that Hard Case Crime imprint is such a gas."

I agree. Collect 'em all!


"Leave us not forget Westlake as one hell of a scriptwriter. Here's the last scene from the superb Jim Thompson adaptation he penned, and Stephen Frears directed."

The screenplay for The Stepfather is pretty damn great too.


I've always been confounded that the Dortmunder books haven't found a proper place in the cinema. You'd think someone could create a modern Hollywood template for 'em. They really are so much fun to read.


I love what you wrote about the books, but I honestly can't figure out what movie you saw--this was far and away the weakest adaptation I've seen. It's just a bad movie, period.

Stark's Parker, you see, never wants to explain himself--Statham's just can't wait to start giving out with the justifications. They ripped the plot and characters to shreds. It's not even good as a Jason Statham vehicle.

For all its many flaws, "Payback" was a far better truer adaptation than "Parker", and a far more successful one, it should be noted in passing.

The new movie has definitively bombed, and a sequel is looking less likely by the day. That should come as a relief, not a disappointment. We don't absolutely need movies, as long as we have the books. A cable series would probably come closer, but you're probably right that Hollywood just doesn't get Parker.

He's not autistic, though. He's just a wolf that happened to get born into a man's body. That's his secret. And he's not interested in talking about it.

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