U of C Parker bookmark, and some movie thoughts

Promo bookmark from the University of Chicago press. The line is from Firebreak, the last reprint to date. There’s not much to say about a bookmark beyond “Hey! Pretty cool bookmark!” (which it is), so I’ll use it as an excuse to ramble on about other things.

I relearned a lesson in the past couple of weeks. Don’t believe the press. Now, I don’t mean that in some Alex Jones conspiracy sort of way, but what I mean is be highly skeptical, especially when stories are just breaking.

This goes double for the entertainment press, which seems to employ the laziest bastards on the planet (any entertainment rag that wants to hire a non-lazy bastard can contact me with a job offer any ol’ time). When the news of the Parker flick broke, Variety reported this:

Pic, based on the book series by Donald Westlake, revolves around a thief who, though at times is forced to be a killer, still lives by a code of honor that includes never stealing money from people who need it.

Of course, that’s not true at all. But Variety has a variety of reporters who copy and paste this bit into every single piece about this movie. And there are a hundred other outlets who do nothing but copy Variety‘s lazy reporting, so this description pops up over and over again. Trust me–I get the Google and Yahoo alerts.

So I felt like a sucker at a certain point after I sent this from the Twitter account I use as a news feed:

Parker film release set for 10/12. Nick Nolte as Parker’s mentor? Could still be a good movie, but so much for faithful.

Why did I believe that? I should have learned by now. I felt devastatingly dumb when I got this from someone in the know:

Nick Nolte is HURLEY. He introduces PARKER to MELANDER (Michael Chiklis). The script is faithful yet works on its own.

Dumb dumb dumb. Why did I believe the entertainment press?

* * *

I try hard not to be Comic Book Guy from “The Simpsons” on Parker matters. I understand that liberties are going to be taken when a movie is made out of a book. I aspire to the James Bond fan approach where fans of the books are generally OK with the fact that the character is somewhat different in the movies, but close some of the time. They’ve separated the two media in their heads and take each for what they’re worth.

So I’ve praised the film version of The Outfit, even though Parker has a brother (killed before the movie starts), when I don’t think of Parker as having a family of any sort. I even liked the theatrical cut of Payback more than anyone likely reading these words. A lot of you reading this are way more Comic Book Guy than I am, surprisingly. That’s not an insult, and I’m first to admit that I was thrilled, thrilled, THRILLED, when we did get a Parker comic book and it was faithful to the spirit of the character.

Commenter ella, who I can safely guess has an inside track on the film project, tells us that Jason Statham won’t be speaking American in this adaptation. I can live with that. I can’t live with Parker being somewhat like what the lazy entertainment media told me Robin Hood was (no, he didn’t rob from the rich and give to the poor). Possible other changes? Well, Parker had a brother in The Outfit and that was a pretty good movie. I’ll try to take it in stride and hope that this one’s good, too, even if it isn’t to-the-letter faithful.

So they’re making a movie, with hearts in the right place from everything I’ve heard, and I wish them the best. And I apologize for believing the lazy bastards in the entertainment media. If I get more stuff like “Nolte is Parker’s mentor!” or “This is another version of The Hunter!”, I’ll still send it across the transom because that’s my job, but I won’t assume it’s accurate. Nor should you.