Universal Studios Home Entertainment

I’ve seen movies base on Lawrence Block books before, and while Eight Million Ways To Die was an OK movie, the only thing they got right was Matthew Scudder and his drinking problem. Don’t even get me started on Whoopie Goldberg as Bernie Rhodnebar in Burglar.

I was however optimistic about Tombstones, Mr. Block seemed happy with what they were doing and Liam Neeson in the right role can be great. Well we finally watched the movie as it just came out on DVD and I was very happy. They paid close attention to not only the book, but also the characters of Scudder and TJ. It was nice to see a movie that seemed to actually love the book it was based on.

Here’s a rundown for those who have not read the book; Matthew Scudder is an ex-cop who works as an unlicensed Private Detective. He picks and chooses his cases and works them between AA meetings. In Walk Among The Tombstones a fellow AA member comes to him with a case, a drug dealer’s wife was kidnapped and it’s a situation where the cops would best be left out of it. Scudder initially says no, but after a second meeting with the dealer (trafficker as he calls himself) he decides to look into it and discovers a series of deaths that have been unsolved, usually because of who the victims know. While working the case another dealer has a daughter kidnapped and Scudder comes up with a plan to stop the cycle of violence.

What I really enjoyed was how close to the book the characters came off. TJ is just the way I see him while reading the series. A smart young black kid with some skills, Scudder gives him some direction and they become reluctant friends and possible partners, depending who you ask. Scudder seems like a man who has seen a lot of bad in life and is trying to redeem himself which he does in a number of ways. I also think the AA stuff was done well, a lot of time Alcoholism in movies is portrayed wrong, by people who don’t get it. The film makers here do.

If you enjoy the books I think you will enjoy the movie, if you’ve not read the books check out the movie and then get yourself to a bookstore!

Jon Jordan