I hope I have this genesis right: Max Allan Collins' short story "A Matter of Principal," about his hit man character, Quarry, was the basis for a short film directed by Jeffrey Goodman with a screenplay by Collins. Collins' novel The Last Quarry is also based on the short story. And Goodman based his longer film The Last Lullaby on the novel and the story with Collins contributing to the screenplay. Okay, that's about as close as I can come. If you want to read more, check out Collins' afterword to The Last Quarry.
Now about the movie. I loved it. Tom Sizemore may have his off-screen problems, and it's a little ironic, I suppose to see him rescuing a young woman from an abuser, but he's perfect as the retired hit man (named Price in this movie version). In fact, if somebody wants to make a Mike Hammer movie, Sizemore would be the man to cast. I think he'd be the best Hammer ever.
Price rescues a young woman from her kidnappers, then demands a ransom from her father for himself. The father decides to hire Price for a little job, and Price finds himself becoming interested in the intended victim. After that, even more complications ensue. I won't spell them out. If you've read the novel, you won't be too surprised. If you haven't, you might be. This movie's hardboiled to the core, and the violence, when it comes, is sharp and effective. The opening shoot-out is one of the best I've seen in a while.
Great photography, excellent score. If this is a low-budget film, you'd never know it from the look. Or from the acting. The whole cast is fine, and Sasha Alexander is super. She and Sizemore should get a lot of acclaim, though maybe not because apparently the movie went direct to DVD. Believe me, it's a lot better than nine-tenths or what's showing in your local mall shoeboxes. Rent it and see if you agree.