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Trailer Boner

December 26, 2006

So I’m in the movie theater waiting for Children of Men to begin & there’s a trailer for a generic looking Mark Wahlberg action movie when suddenly one of the characters mentions Wahlberg’s character by name: Bob Lee Swagger.  It turns out that Stephen Hunter’s Point of Impact (the first of three books he wrote about Swagger) is being made into a movie, (renamed “Shooter,” cause apparently “Point of Impact” wasn’t clear enough) and I got a total movie trailer boner for the rest of the trailer. You can see it here, but on re-watching, it’s really nothing all that special unless you’re a massive nerd for the Swagger books like I am.

Even though I am a total pansy liberal & don’t own a gun & all that crap, there’s something intensely satisfying about Hunter’s books.  Three about Bob Lee, and three about his Dad Earl which are all set 30 years earlier when Earl was a soldier returning from WWII.  All six books are essentially the same book, with a dramatic narrative that follows the traditional three act story arc:

  1. Trouble arises
  2. Swagger gets a gun
  3. Trouble is shot repeatedly.

In the Earl Swagger stories, sometimes trouble gets punched, cause Earl was more of a physical badass.  Also, in the Bob Lee stories, trouble usually gets shot from very far away, cause Bob Lee is the WORLD’S GREATEST SNIPER. 

And there’s the appeal of the books, really.  Bob Lee’s the Michael Jordan of shooting people from very far away.  Now, any time you’re the best in the world at what you do, it’s a pretty special thing, but there’s the best & then there’s THE BEST.  For example, my dad’s like the Michael Jordan of knowing about France in the 1100s – 1300s.  Very few people know the European book trade of the middle ages the way he does.  But in my heart I think I know no one’s making a movie about him, and if they did, Mark Wahlberg probably wouldn’t play him.

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12 comments

  1. I just LOVE the Swaggers. And you’ve described the books most succinctly and with exquisite precision.

    And its O.K. for you to be proud of your Dad. Its so much easier to be the Michael Jordan of your field when you’re fictional. My Dad’s the Michael Jordan of knowing what time (and precisely where) each Civil War General took a crap and other important info.


  2. Riverside seriously sucks. I’ve wanted to see Children of Men for soooo long, but no go. And then people in LA have to brag about their being able to go see Children of Men when it’s released. Grr.


  3. I’ve always thought that EVERYONE is better at something than most people, even if it’s something silly or mundane. Your Dad’s field of knowledge actually sounds fascinating! What are you the best at?


  4. Bob Gunton would play Dad.


  5. Nathan: I knew you were cool, but being a fan of the Swagger novels makes you automatically 32% even cooler.

    Cheri: The warden of Shawshank Prison would play dad??? Brutal. Brutally accurate. Hey, speaking of Shawkshank – the “redemption” (see what I did there?) of Jeff Garcia as the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles this season has reminded me just how much he looks like the head of the creepy prison rape gang from Shawshank.

    Geewits: honestly, I’m not sure I’m in the top 10 in the world in anything – and I’m not exaggerating, my Dad, who retired last year from UCLA after 35 years there, really was one of the world’s most knowledgeable people in his field (Western European Medieval History). A more interesting question, if I COULD be top 10 in anything, what would it be? I wish, maybe, that I could play 12 string guitar like Leo Kottke or one of those unbelieveable jaw dropping talents. I’d totally just cruise from town to town like Bruce Banner did on the 1970’s Incredible Hulk, only instead of solving people’s problems & turning into the Hulk, I’d wander into open mike nights at the local pool halls and totally blow everyone’s minds. Then I’d just wander on to the next town before they could even get my name…

    Finally: Kristie, you’ve GOT to get out of Riverside. You’re a big city woman stuck in a small town world.


  6. 32% for Swagger fandom? WOOT!


  7. “…and I got a total movie trailer boner for the rest of the trailer. You can see it here,…”

    Needless to say, I did NOT open the link. Nice try, Captain Syntax!


  8. I wasn’t thinking of the warden character, per se. 😉 Seriously, Bob Gunton is a fabulous character actor. Imagine him with white hair, wire-rimmed glasses, and a tweed jacket with suede elbow patches. D-A-D. By the way, John Cusack would play you.


  9. My dad is the Michael Jordan of having Ex-Wives.

    So now I too have trailer boner; which is akward at work. My question is should I read the book? It usually ruins the movie.

    I have always been a big fan of sniper games, movies, etc.

    Rouse what do you do with these books you read? Send them to me! especially cool shooter books.


  10. JK – I’ll send you my copy of Point of Impact, you’ll be the third guy I’ve loaned it to (Sager & my Brother). I don’t think it’ll ruin the movie, the guy who writes these is a real “made for the movies” kind of writer.


  11. Wow I appreciate that. I couldn’t wait so I ordered the trilogy off amazon, along with a potty training in a day book. I fgure it’s high time I learn.


  12. […] Jonsonblog readers will remember the frenzy of excitement & trailer boners that occured the last time I found out that one of the great works in the history of western literature was being adapted for the screen, […]



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