John McLaughlin

Parker Movie Jason Statham

Adapting material from one medium to another is never an easy proposition. Script to screen is perhaps the most dangerous transition of all as the phrase “the book was better” is so often a common sentiment. The waters are especially murky for an established character like Donald E. Westlake‘s Parker, the star of no less than 24 novels and a dozen or so mostly unofficial film appearances. Perhaps the most well-known is Mel Gibson’s Porter from the 1999 film Payback. Using a different novel as the source material, screenwriter John McLaughlin and director Taylor Hackford are bringing the Parker character back to the big screen this weekend in the aptly, if simply, titled Parker. Adapted from “Flashfire,” one of the more recent Parker novels, Parker sees our titular antihero (played by Jason Statham) teaming up with four other guys to rob the Ohio State Fair. Things go south after they make good their escape only to spring the news that they’re using the take as seed money on a bigger score. Parker, of course, just wants to walk away with his share like they agreed on. After a heated disagreement in a Surburban, the four send the weakest guy to shoot Parker. Thinking him dead, they move on to planning their big job in Palm Beach. Injured but not dead, Parker sets out to hunt the four men down and settle the score.

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Johnny Carson

Seven years ago, Chuck Klosterman got it right when he said that there would never be another thing like “Johnny Carson.” The host of The Tonight Show was the last “universally shared icon,” and we’re now seeing even more compartmentalization as the sheer amount of culture we have access to grows. We’re moving further and further from the moment when Carson was universally known, let alone talked about regularly in the cultural conversation. For a bit of context, Selena Gomez was born the year he went off the air. So even if everyone in the 1970s knew about Johnny Carson, are there enough movie-goers left to demand that a movie about him get made? That’s the question that John McLaughlin and Tom Thayer (Hitchcock) are betting they know the answer to. According to Deadline Hollywood, the pair is working with the Carson Estate and will be shopping a biopic script to studios soon. Based on the forthcoming book, “Carson the Magnificent: An Intimate Portrait” from Bill Zehme, the project will showcase the life of the notoriously private entertainer. Obviously, the big question is who (if they get off the ground) the production should cast as Carson. Judging solely from the photo above, Josh Brolin might be an inspired choice. Kevin Spacey too. But even when they figure out Carson, they’ll have to cast Ed MacMahon. Now there’s a real challenge.

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Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as SecretWindowNotSoSecret and iDuddits in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the question of who exactly made the movie gets front and center treatment. Why do we treat directors with authorial authority when it comes to assigning ownership to a film? Why not the writers? Why not the gaffers? Who really is the true author of a movie and has the auteur theory ruined everything?

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Psycho was a major change in the way movies are viewed by filmmakers, audiences and studios. Overstating its role in movie history is incredibly difficult because of how influential it was and how it hit at the exact moment to join a tide of evolutionary ideas in the world of movies. Enter the long-gestating project of filming “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of ‘Psycho.’ An iconic director at a turning point. It’s a great idea, and it needs a great director. I was fortunate enough to get to speak with director Sacha Gervasi during the press boost for Anvil!: The Story of Anvil. When I did, he was flying his way around twisting canyon roads while balancing a phone and effortlessly explaining his raw passion for the band Anvil and for the story he was telling. That’s exactly the man to take a small part of Hitchcock’s career and turn it into gold. Luckily, according to the LA Times, Gervasi is circling the project (probably while balancing a phone and screaming about his passions). The big question: who do you cast as Hitch?

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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