I saw this is based on a series of books written by Donald Westlake. Anyone here familiar with them? Anyone have a sense of how good/bad the movie is?

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I hadn't heard about this.  Thanks for the tip-off.

I'm not familiar with that series, but really like Westlake.  And I like Jason Stratham and Jennifer Lopez, too.

Stratham is interesting to me because, how many other Brit thugs from Guy Ritchie films have migrated to being big US box office stars?    First time I saw him in an American film, I thought, "That's who they're tried to make Bruce Willis into."  

I'd go out with him in a hot second.  I don't watch all his films, because many are pretty obviously stupid right up top, but in a good story.... I'll check it out.

Ooo, it's got Nick Nolte, too.  Nice.

I got interested in this and found out a lot of cool stuff.  I'd heard that Westlake books suffer when filmed, and I'd certainly agree about What's The Worst Than Could Happen, which I read after I saw it.  One of the few DeVito films I thought stunk.  

Then I found out he wrote the Grifters, which surprised me because I thought that was some film from the thirties originally.  Great story,,, but John Cusack noir???

But I guess having Robert Redford play Dortmunder is worse.  I mean, easy on the eyes, but come ON...

Then I see that he wrote Payback, with Mel Gibson.  I liked that.. but wait, it's a remake of an old Lee Marvin film?   Gotta see that.  

Then I notice "The Stepfather" has Sela Ward in it, and Amber Heard.  I was on a set with Amber once and really like her and her work.

So, thanks so much for this post... it opened up some doors for me.

I've read Donald Westlake and like it.  Especially, The Hunter written under the name Richard Stark.  I think it was the first Parker novels.  Haven't seen the movie, Parker.  Probably will.

By the way, The Grifters wasn't written by Westlake, the screenplay was.  The book was written by Jim Thompson when he was somewhat sober.  I highly recommend Jim Thompson.

Westlake wrote the Parker novels under the name Richard Stark. I've read a few of them, and liked them a lot. The new movie is based on one of those titles. I forget which one. Several others were adapted for film, but Westlake wouldn't let the studios use the name Parker, so in each one the character has a different name.

Now that's interesting.

I was just reading a review of "Bank Shot" on Netflix saying the movie changed the plot... and the character names.  I thought that was kind of nuts since there are a lot of Dortmunder fans.  But now I'm guessing Westlake didn't let them use the name.

Interesting info. I had no idea Westlake worked on scripts. Trailers for it look good. Thought I might be able to see this this weekend, but that didn't work out. Will have try this week or weekend.

Thanks for the background info guys.

Big fan of the Parker books but I plan to stay away from this movie. The only actor who should be playing him is Jack Palance and he's dead so what's the sense of making a movie. Pllus they are starting in the middle of the seris. WTF?

Speaking of Westlake, he also wrote the movie The Stepfather, the original with Terry O'Quinn and Jill Schoellin, which was based on a real guy from NJ.

 

Also a little know fact, author Rita Mai Brown wrote the movie Slumber Party Massacre,

Jack Palance,  Hmm.

Know who popped into my mind?  Marshall Bell  (I had to look the name up) He was the bad guy in Twins (speaking of fun DeVito movies) and a creepshow in Nightmare On Elm Street.

But, hey...  http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_iBuNz7Kv1jk/S9NR7oaPv4I/AAAAAAAAArI/o6WKv...

So, since I started this thread, figured I needed to go see the movie. And I did, yesterday.

I have to say, I really enjoyed it. Prior to seeing the trailers for this movie, I wasn't familiar with the Parker character, so, I can't say whether the story or characterizations as portrayed by Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez are faithful to Richard Stark's (Donald Westlake's) vision but I can say I thought both did an admirable job of delivering a fun, exciting, movie. (even if some of the action sequences were way over the top, but what else would you expect Statham, right)

Statham does still manage to come across as real, in spite of the unrealistic damage his body sustains, and Lopez delivers a low-key, wry and real performance as a struggling divorcee, desperate for something to change in her life. Kudos to her. Well done. And the movie is made only that much stronger by the ever engaging presence of Michael Chiklis, a powerful, and underrated actor in my opinion.

If you enjoy a movie that's part-heist, part-payback. I recommend Parker. You could do way worse.

Finally got around to seeing this (and as a quick aside my imagined visual template of what Parker actually looked like usually falls on a Michael Madsen or Gerard Butler minus make up and two days of sleep type) and have to say that this movie was a fun ride. Sort of like Parker red bull drinking, adrenaline junkies with jumpy attention spans (I'm sometimes the definition of that last one).  

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