Posts Tagged ‘1970’s’

My Choices for Movies Based on Television Shows

March 29, 2012

This blog entry was inspired by two things. The first thing is news that 21 Jump Street, a movie based on a television show about police officers who investigate youth crime, did very well opening weekend. How well? How does bringing in $35 million sound? (Sounds good to me.) The second thing is an article on MSN Movies about fantasy dream casts of television shows turned into movies, such as Seth Rogen as Gilligan in the movie update of Gilligan’s Island or Emma Stone and Gael Garcia Bernal as Lucy and Ricky in the movie version of I Love Lucy. Well as you can guess, those things got me thinking. (Yet, again.) So, if I had the wherewithal to bring a television show to the silver screen, here are my choices for movie treatments. (Yes, I know, I rail against television shows that are turned into movies. Still, can’t I use my imagination and have a little fun?)

Hardcastle & McCormick
This television show aired on ABC from 1983 to 1986. This show featured Brian Keith as Los Angeles Superior Court judge Milton C. Hardcastle and Daniel Hugh-Kelly as the smart alecky ex con and ex race car driver Mark (Skids) McCormick. McCormick steals a car and is Judge Hardcastle’s last case. Hardcastle offers a deal to McCormick. Either work for the judge as he seeks out the 200 felons whose cases he presided over and were let go due to legal technicalities or go to jail. McCormick chooses to work for the judge and together they seek out the bad guys. As the series progresses, their relationship grows from employee/employer to almost a father/son relationship.  So, as for the movie version, how about having women in the title roles? Angelina Jolie as the judge Melinda Hardcastle and Lindsay Lohan as the ex con and ex extreme athlete (motorcycle stunt racer) Martha (Marty) McCormick. Together they turn heads and turn in the bad guys.

Six Million Dollar Man
This show aired on ABC from 1974 to 1978. Test pilot, astronaut and Air Force Colonel Steve Austin (Lee Majors) is seriously injured in the crash of an experimental aircraft. Austin’s body is rebuilt with nuclear powered bionic limbs. This gives him superhuman strength. He can run at speeds up to 60 mph, he can snap an iron crowbar like a twig and he has a an artificial eye that allows him to see things more than a mile away. Since the government rebuilt him, he has to pay them back by working as a spy. This was such a popular show that it spawned a spin-off called The Bionic Woman in which Jaime Sommers, (Lindsay Wagner) a professional tennis player is given bionic limbs, as well. Yet, instead of an eye, she gets a bionic ear, which allows her to hear the faintest whisper to the people talking behind soundproof doors. She too has to repay the “debt” by working as a spy.

Now for the movie version of this television show. How’s this for an interesting plot twist? The man would be second to receive the operation and a woman, who just happens to be an Iraq veteran, would be first bionic person. Therefore, that would make her the “senior” agent. Also, they would work together to save the world from a doomsday device, rouge cyborgs or things like that. Lastly switch the names. The woman would be Colonel Stephanie Austin and either Sarah Michele Geller or maybe even Meg Ryan would play the part. (Meg Ryan played a Persian Gulf War helicopter pilot in the 1996 film Courage Under Fire, so she could pull it off.) The man would be James Sommers and he would be played by Ryan Gosling or Ben Affleck.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Yes, the television show that showed the world that Moore could do more than just be housewife Laura Petrie on the Dick Van Dyke Show. This show aired on CBS from 1970 to 1977. In that show Moore, played 30something Mary Richards, a spunky gal who works in a Minneapolis television station and is determined to be a success in life. Still, since this blog entry is about television shows turned into movies, with an added twist, what twist will I come up with for The Mary Tyler Moore Show? How’s this? First of all the movie would be called The New Guy, since there would be a guy in Mary Tyler Moore role. His name would be Mark Richards and he would be played by Justin Timberlake. Instead of working in a broadcast television station, he would work in a cable network, similar to Comcast, just not as big. He also has deal with his boss, the hard nosed Louise (Lou) Grant, who has been working in cable since 1970’s when cable systems were available for purchase as franchises. She would be played by Rhea Perlman. Ted Baxter would still be a guy and he would be played by Alec Baldwin. The downstairs neighbor Ron (Rhoda) Morganstein would be played by Zach Galifianakis. As for the other cast members, I’ll let the powers that be, pick them.

Speaking of which, I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one, if not all of the television shows I mentioned were currently in development. After all, the television to movies trend shows no signs of letting up. Of course, if a powers that be person is reading this and just got an idea for an upcoming movie, please contact me in care of this blog. My fee is negotiable.

Source:
http://www.movieweb.com/news/box-office-beat-down-21-jump-street-takes-in-35-million

http://entertainment.msn.com/beacon/editorial12.aspx?ptid=cf1e691e-8bc2-4ac8-ac8a-a20e7e30a92e&silentchk=1&wa=wsignin1.0&photoidx=1

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085029/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071054/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115956/

http://www.amazon.com/The-Mary-Tyler-Moore-Show/dp/B00005JLIC/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1332707279&sr=1-1

Most Pretty Items Have Little Value

December 1, 2011

Now that the holiday season is upon us and people are looking for gifts to buy for friends and family, I thought I would again write about the worth (or lack thereof) of many collectibles and what makes a collectible actually worth something. As much as I enjoy programs like the Antiques Roadshow and reading about toys that have become collectors’ items, not every toy or figurine will appreciate in value. That message seems to get lost in the glow of someone learning that their dumpster dived item is worth six figures.

Figurines
If you are of a certain age, you will remember seeing Hummel, Precious Moments and other porcelain figurines for sale in gift shops and department stores. Hummels are figurines based on the drawing of German nun, Maria Innocentia Hummel and Precious Moments started as greeting cards drawn by American artist, Sam Butcher and later the line expanded to porcelain figurines. Lots of people bought both Hummels and Precious Moments in their heyday of the 1960’s and 1970’s with the hopes they would appreciate in value. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to Easy Street. Once the original owners of these items died, tastes changed, their children were stuck with these things that no one else wanted. Taking Hummels as an example, Louis Kahn of Bakerstowne Collectibles, an appraisal and consignment service located in West Hempstead, N.Y, states that most of them sell for $50 or less. At those prices, you can’t exactly trade in a Hummel for a mansion and a yacht.

Collector Plates and Thomas Kinkade Paintings
Yes, those items advertised in the Sunday magazines of countless newspapers across the country where for just three payment of $29.99 you can own a collectors’ plate featuring a scene from a Norman Rockwell illustration or an illuminated Thomas Kinkade painting. Again, the trouble with these items is that so many of them were made that the supply is greater than the demand. So, if you come across a collection of collector plates or Thomas Kinkade paintings and decide not buy them, don’t feel bad. You came out ahead of those who bought these things with the expectation of a return on investment.

The Other Side
“Wait a minute.” You must be saying now. “There have to be some collectibles that have appreciated in value or else there wouldn’t be things like Hummels and collectors plates.” Yes, there are collectibles that have appreciated in value, the one thing that they have in common is rarity. For example, when Kenner’s Star Wars action figures first came to market, the Luke Skywalker, Obi-Won and Darth Vader figures had a telescoping light sabers built in. Well the mechanism didn’t work all the time, so Kenner redid the line and took out the mechanism. Since so few of them hit the market, the action figures with the  telescoping light saber are now worth between $6,000 and $7,000. (Why do I have a feeling that there will be a run on Star Wars action figures with the telescoping light saber feature?) Of course, the notion of rarity leading to increased value makes sense. If diamonds were available as a prize in  cereal boxes, would they be worth so much? The same goes for collectibles. As pretty and well made as some of the collectibles mentioned are, that doesn’t mean that they will be worth lots of money 20 or 30 years later.

So, let this be a warning to be careful which doo-dads to buy. Better yet, don’t buy them in the first place. Just stick your money in the bank. Money in the bank will grow via compound interest*. The only thing many collectibles will accrue is dust.

*Compound interest is where interest in earned on the initial amount invested, also known as the principal, and on the interest, as well. For example, if you invest $100 for 3 years at 5 percent compound interest, at the end of 3 years you would have:

$100 (1 + 0.05)3 = $115.76

So, your investment would have earned $15.76 in interest in 3 years time.

Sources:
http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/113722/worthless-collectibles-street;_ylt=ArznWSSbLtYR5SvZ2bklXZE40tIF;_ylu=X3oDMTBzZDJsbjltBHBvcwM0BHNlYwNhcnRpY2xlRmluYWwEc2xrAzE-

http://www.preciousmoments.com/content.cfm/precious_moments_history_timeline

http://games.yahoo.com/photos/most-valuable-action-figures-1319569716-slideshow/most-valuable-action-figures-photo-1319574722.html

http://math.about.com/od/formulas/a/compound.htm

The 1970’s, The Greatest Decade in Film?

June 3, 2010

Over the years, I have read quite a few articles that state the 1970’s were the greatest decade in film. Yes, many directors made their mark in the 1970’s, such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, just to name a few. Also, there are a good number of films that were both commercial and critical successes, such as, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver, Network, again just to name a few.

Still, a lot can happen after a decade passes and films can fall into and out of favor. So, can any one decade be considered the greatest decade in film? Many say that 1939 is the greatest year in film, since that was the year films such as The Wizard of Oz, Gone With The Wind, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Wuthering Heights were released. Of course, just because many people say such a thing, doesn’t make it true. Also, as the years went on, some of those films seem dated and hokey to modern audiences.

For me, the jury is still out as to whether or not the 1970’s were the greatest decade in film. So, I’ll just take this opportunity to highlight what I think sets filmmaking in the  1970’s apart from other decades.

Directors were products of universities, not studios
Martin Scorsese graduated from New York University and he was a film major. Francis Ford Coppola majored in drama at Hofstra University and did graduate work in film at UCLA. George Lucas went to University of Southern California film school.  Steven Spielberg went to California State University Long Beach. This list of directors and where they went to school shows that unlike directors of the past they weren’t “apprenticed” under one director or just fell into directing.  The people mentioned above were exposed to not only the liberal arts tradition, they were also exposed to and examined French films, Italian films, German films, Japanese films, Hollywood films, art films and they were getting their hands dirty by making their own films. This exposure to many different movie making modes and being allowed to try out their ideas, lead to Hollywood movies that had a richness and depth that wasn’t there before.

Hollywood recovered from development of television
My theory is that it took Hollywood 10 years to recover from the shock that television inflicted. Yes, developments like Cinemascope and color film becoming standard helped to bring people back to the movies. Still, once the powers that be were convinced that people still wanted to go the movies on a regular basis, they were more willing to give directors like Scorsese, Coppola, Lucas and others a chance.

Willingness to explore social issues
Somewhat related to the above, by the 1970’s, the old school of studio heads had died out and those that came after were willing to okay movies that weren’t just about “Boy Meets Girl”.  The movies of the decade dealt with the aftermath of the Vietnam war (The Deer Hunter, Coming Home), political corruption (All The Presidents’ Men), the effect of television in our lives (Network), racism and the drug trade (Superfly) and the list goes on. These films took on issues and the directors and other involved with the film weren’t afraid to face some controversy.

The Blockbuster Film
I also feel the need to mention that the blockbuster film, as we know it, came about in the 1970’s. Films like Jaws, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Superman weren’t just successful films. They broke box office records, had catch phrases and led to merchandising deals and sequels. Since then, it is rare that a blockbuster film doesn’t have some merchandise related to it, does very, very well at the box office and have a sequel or two in the works.

So, while the 1970’s may not be the definitive best decade in film, it does stand out from the decades that came before and from those that came afterwards.

Sources:

http://www.theauteurs.com/topics/2849?page=3

http://movieprojector.blogspot.com/2009/08/best-movies-of-1970s.html

http://www.filmsite.org/1939.html

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000217/bio

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000338/bio

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000184/bio