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‘Parker’ Review

Hollywood has been revisiting the late Donald E. Westlake’s Parker character since the 1960s, but Jason Statham breaks away from tradition – by possessing both his original name and a newfound conscience – in the simply titled Parker. The result feels at home with Statham’s moral criminal persona, but the remainder of the film is a departure from his past Euro-thrillers (The Transporter), extreme pop action riffs (Crank) and genre throwbacks (The Expendables, Safe).

Director Taylor Hackford and screenwriter John J. McLaughlin adapt “Flashfire” (the 19th of 24 Parker novels written by Westlake) into a hard-boiled crime-thriller that forgoes Noir-ish fatalism – found in Parker movies like Point Blank and The Split – as well as the dark humor Mel Gibson brought while playing “Porter” in Payback. Statham, per usual, embodies machismo as Parker, but his version of the character is closer to ...

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Notebook Soundtrack Mix #3: "Trespassers Will Be Eaten"

  • MUBI
Above: A rack focus in Bullitt.

Trespassers Will Be Eaten

Perhaps a less eye-grabbing, but still “driving” title for this third Mubi soundtrack mix should be Shifting such, it’s a free-falling, propulsive survey of scores focusing on the thriller in all of its manifestations: detective procedurals, bank heists, neo-noirs, spy films, psychodramas, giallos, chases, races, and sci-fi mind-games. Featured also are a few composers better known for their more famous musical projects. Police drummer Stewart Copeland’s metallic, rhythmic score for Rumble Fish, gamely taunts the self-conscious black and white street theatre of Francis Ford Coppola's film. So-called fifth Beatle, producer George Martin’s funky Shaft-influenced Live and Let Die score ushers in a more leisurely 70s-era James Bond, as incarnated by Roger Moore. Epic crooner visionary Scott Walker’s fatally romantic melodies for Leos Carax’s inventively faithful Melville adaptation Pola X is remarkably subdued and lush.
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70s Rewind: Cops And Robbers

Donald E. Westlake is the creative genius behind the Parker series of novels, a hard-boiled character who has been portrayed on the screen by Lee Marvin, Robert Duvall, and Mel Gibson, among others. Westlake, who wrote the Parker books under the pseudonym Richard Stark, was a prolific writer with a gift for spinning yarns filled with colorful cops 'n' criminals, the type of people who are never as bright as they think they are (except for Parker). His books began to be adapted into movies with Jean-Luc Godard's Made in U.S.A. in 1966, followed by The Busy Body, Point Blank, Pillaged, The Split, The Hot Rock, Cops and Robbers, The Outfit and Bank Shot, all within a period of 8 years. As a young reader,...
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Donald Westlake’s ‘Parker’ To Be Adapted Into Film Starring Jason Statham

Jason Statham (Transporter, Crank) fans will have something to be excited about this week as FilmDistrict is sealing a deal to to distribute a film adaptation of Donald Westlake’s novel series, starring Parker, a criminal who lives by strict moral code and is not afraid to kill for it. Westlake wrote 24 Parker novels in all under the pen name Richard Stark. Taylor Hackford (Ray, The Devil’s Advocate) has been chosen to direct and John J. McLaughlin (Black Swan)will write the screenplay. Production is slated to begin in early August. Deadline broke the news on Monday afternoon.

I’m a little apprehensive about Statham playing the role, but he shouldn’t have to work too hard. He certainly has the physical build, although I would have liked his face to look a little rough around the edges as opposed to the dapper Statham.

This is not the first
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