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| Main | Open Thread
March 14, 2014

Is This Something? / Lurkers Delurk Thread

A combination thread: A blow-off thread for chatter, and an opportunity for lurking readers to delurk as commenters in a thread about nothing much at all.

Jason Sudeikis is being eyed to play one Irwin M. Fletcher (he has a byline called "Jane Doe," you know) in a Fletch reboot to be called Fletch Won.

Okay, Jason Sudeikis as done great work as a supporting actor. Can he lead? I don't know. Apparently We're the Millers made $270 million but I didn't see it. I guess people think he can lead.

As far as Fletch, I could see him in the role.

I'm a big fan of the Fletch film. Have you ever read the books?

Fletch Won is an origin story, described as a gritty action comedy with heart and more tonally in line with McDonald's novels than the Chase movies.

Um... I'm not sure that's a good idea. I have to admit I saw the movie before I read the books (and I only read a few). The first thing you see or read is generally the thing you like more, because that formed your first impressions; the second thing you see or read (even if it was the first thing in actual publication) seems "off," seems to be doing it all wrong.

I understand that bias and it's unfair to judge the Fletch books based on my first impressions of the Fletch character from the movie.* That said: The books seemed "off" and seemed to be doing it all wrong.

They weren't comedies. The book did include the famous "Will you kill me?"/"Sure" exchange (in fact, I think it was printed on the cover of the book), but otherwise, it was a fairly straight detective story.

The Wackiness Quotient was negligible. There was no Underhill Account to charge a steak sandwich to (and also a steak sandwich). Fletch did in fact give hard-to-remember pseudonyms, but I think they were hard-to-remember because they were so bland, rather than so strange (stuff like "John Forrest," not "John Cock-Toast-Uln.")

Fletch was not a double-talking hustler of the Rogue Slacker Who Skates By On Moxie and Charm sort, but instead a fairly standard ex-military tough-guy detective type. He served in Vietnam, actually.

It's hard to imagine the Fletch we know from the movies serving in Vietnam.

I've got nothing against the ex-military tough-guy detective type. I like that type a lot. I like Jack Reacher. I love Phillip Marlowe (not ex-military, but certainly tough).

But most of what made Fletch different from the regular shamus really comes from the movie (and Chase's rewrites/suggestions, probably), not from the novel itself. (Note: I think it's possible, or even likely, that after the Fletch film came out, the later Fletch novels emphasized the comedic side of the character, just like the comics' version of Tony Stark became a lot more like RDJr.'s film portrayal. But the first book, Fletch, wasn't a comedy.)

So, I assume when they claim that the movies will be more in the spirit of the books, they are doing what they do an awful lot in Hollywood, which is Lying About Everything for No Reason. And being Hollywood, they have that eternal chip on their shoulders that they're working in a second-rate medium, so whenever they want to claim they're doing serious, important work, they claim they're going back to the books for inspiration, because, you know, paperback detective novels are so elevated a form.

If they were doing the movie like the books, they wouldn't hire Jason Sudeikis.

They'd hire Jason Statham.

Seriously: Fletch is going to be gritty? How do you do a gritty urban crime drama in a world in which "Doctor Rosenpenis" is accepted as a plausible name?

Get out of town.

* Oh, and this is a silly thing, but the Fletch of the novels is blond.

See? It's completely unfair to the books for me to judge them by such absurd criteria -- Fletch is NOT blond!!!! -- but I did and I do.

digg this
posted by Ace at 05:49 PM

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