American novelist and screenwriter Elmore John Leonard, Jr.
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His talky, screenplay-friendly books have already produced some 20 movies (including "Out of Sight," "Jackie Brown," "Get Shorty" and "3:10 to Yuma") and several TV shows (like the pulpy "Justified").Now, a year after his death, comes the film "Life of Crime," a largely faithful and appropriately admiring adaptation of Leonard's 1978 novel "The Switch". Director Daniel Schechter (in his biggest production to date) gives the film a thick '70s atmosphere, cribbing a bit from an adaptation of another crime fiction classic, "The Friends of Eddie Coyle".Though it has a capable cast (it's a particular pleasure to hear how Bey's Ordell reasons his association with a racist Nazi) and it hues closely to Leonard's dialogue, "Life of Crime" is missing the colorful snappiness of the novelist's prose."Life of Crime" had Leonard's blessing (he's an executive producer) but it doesn't summon the right pulse, the needed note of wryness until the very end.
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