Posts Tagged ‘ABC’

2012 Summer Movies

April 26, 2012

The weather is getting warmer. The days are getting longer. That can only mean one thing:

The summer movie season is coming!

In addition to not having to go to school, it was the summer movies that made me count the days to summer vacation. The films that come out during the summer have it all, action, drama, comedy, romance and lots of cool special effects to keep things from getting boring.

In addition to the usual mix of superhero and animated films, this year’s batch of summer films are based on the following:

  • A nonfiction book
  • A book by Saddam Hussein
  • A Broadway play
  • Two fairy tales
  • A 1960’s soap opera

So, here are a few I would like to highlight.

May
The Avengers

A superhero film that Marvel fans have been waiting for, since it features, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow and the Hulk. Phew! That’s a lot of superheros. Expect to see a lot of fanboys on opening night. How can you tell the fanboys from the regular moviegoers? Simple the fanboys will be wearing either Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow or the Hulk t-shirts. This film opens on May 4.

Dark Shadows
Would you believe that in the 1960’s there was a soap opera about a vampire? Yes it is true and it was called Dark Shadows. The soap opera was about the Collins family and one member in particular, Barnabas Collins, who was cursed to live as a vampire by a witch. The show ran on ABC from 1966 to 1971 and developed a cult following, which lead to films and a brief return to television in the 1990’s. Now Tim Burton has directed the theatrical version, with Helena Bonham Carter as psychologist Dr. Julia Hoffman and none other than Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, the very reluctant vampire. The film opens on May 11.

The Dictator
Here’s something else from the “Would You Believe” file. Saddam Hussein wrote a book. Yes, it is true and it is a work of fiction called Zabibah and the King. The book is about a love affair between a wise king and a beautiful peasant named Zabibah. Now would you believe that Sacha Baron Cohen made a film based on this book? Yes, this is true, as well. This film stars Cohen as the title character, as well as Megan Fox and John C. Reilly. It opens on May 11. By the way, I think theater managers would like it if you leave the pancake mix at home.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Who wants to watch a movie that features women at various stages of their pregnancy? Neither do I.  This stars Cameron Diaz, Isla Fisher and Jennifer Lopez and opens on May 11.

June
Rock of Ages

Who wants to play air guitar and jump up and down on a sofa?  Obviously Tom Cruise does, since he is starring in this film based on the Broadway play of the same name. This film also stars Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin. It opens on June 1.

Jack the Giant Killer
The trend of fairy tales to the big screen continues with a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk. This is a motion capture film that was partially filmed in the forest that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to write The Hobbit. The films stars Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor and Bill Nighy, and it opens on June 15.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Honest Abe was a vampire hunter as well as a president who tried to keep the country together? Wow, the dude burned the candle at both ends. Actually, this is a film by director Timur Bekmambetov, the man who brought us Wanted, and it stars Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie and Benjamin Walker. The film opens on June 22.

Brave
A soon to be classic from the folks at Pixar. This film features a female protagonist who has to use her moxie and archery skills to undo a curse. Features the voices of Billy Connelly, Emma Thompson and Kelly MacDonald. The film opens on June 22.

July
The Amazing Spider-Man

Another movie Marvel fanboys have been waiting for. Personally, I think the reboot was unnecessary. The powers that be could have ended it at Spider-Man 3 and concentrated on other superheros in the Marvel universe.  Of course, the fanboys will be easy to pick out in the audience, since they will be the ones wearing the Spider-Man t-shirts. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Martin Sheen, and Sally Field and it open on July 3.

Ice Age: Continental Drift
Another animated film for the summer and another installment in the Ice Age “saga”.  This time an iceberg is involved and it is used for a good purpose. The film features the voices of Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo and opens on July 13.

The Dark Knight Rises
Yet another film that fanboys have been waiting for, albeit this film is the one DC fanboys have been counting the days and hours to and guess what t-shirts they will be wearing? Anyway, it features Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. I admit, I’ve been looking forward to this film because I want to see how Christopher Nolan ends the trilogy and I do hope this is the end of any and all Batman films. Directors Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan captured the darkness of Batman very well. Things got lost when director Joel Schumacher took over. So, let’s end it with The Dark Knight Rises and if the powers that be wants to do another superhero film let them pick from other characters in the DC Comics universe. The film stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Anne Hathaway, and opens on July 20.

Here Comes the Boom
Here comes a comedy about a mixed martial arts fighter. Sounds like it will become a classic, like Citizen Kane. Don’t you think? Yeah, I don’t think so, either. It stars Kevin James and Salma Hayek, and open on July 27.

August
The Bourne Legacy

This Bourne movie doesn’t feature Matt Damon, but it does feature Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton. The film opens on August 3.

Total Recall
Talk about your useless remakes. The one with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone was good enough. Can’t the powers that be greenlight something original for a change? (Yes, I know I say that a lot.) Anyway the film stars Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale and opens on August 3.

The Expendables 2
If you like shoot’em up movies with explosions and car chases, then this is the film for you. Stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Bruce Willis and opens on August 17.

ParaNorman
Now this film sound interesting and original. It is a stop action animation film about a boy who can speak to (as well as see) dead people and uses this skill to save his town from an old, old curse. Features the voices of Leslie Mann, Anna Kendrick and Casey Affleck and opens on August 17.

Well, those are just a sampling of the movies that will be coming out this summer. Just be sure to save me a middle seat in the middle row.

Sources:
http://www.reelz.com/article/1421/summer-2012-preview-25-movies-well-be-talking-about-next-year/

http://www.collinwood.net/info/

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1589395859/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=1589396138&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1FQXRKHC99VX0TRB9DSW

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1217209/

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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

From the Tube to the Silver Screen

December 29, 2011

Would you believe that a movie version of the 1990’s FOX television show 21 Jump Street will be released on March 16, 2012? Yes, it’s true. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, 21 Jump Street was a police drama about a special unit of police officers who investigate youth crime. These police officers were chosen to be a part of this unit because they could pass for high school and college age students.  It’s headquarters is located at 21 Jump Street (hence the title). The show launched the careers of Johnny Depp and Holly Robinson Peete.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, let me be the first to tell you that I’m not exactly going to be camping out for tickets to this film. Still, the idea of television shows that are turned into movies makes for a good blog subject. So, I will be spotlighting television shows that got the big screen treatment. Of course, the most famous example of a television show that made the transition to the big screen is Star Trek. Still, there have been others that have made the transition, some successfully, some not so successfully. Such as:

The A-Team (2010)
I pity the fool who thought I wouldn’t include this film. Actually no, I don’t, I just wrote that for the heck of it.  This film is based on the NBC television show that ran from 1983 to 1987 about four Army veterans framed for a crime they didn’t commit. (In the television series they were Vietnam veterans, in the movie they were Iraq War veterans.) So, they make their living as soldiers of fortune who help ordinary folks in trouble, such as rescuing people from cults. The film version features the team tracking down counterfeiters. Like the television show, the film featured its fair share of car chases, explosions and pithy banter between the actors.

The Addams Family (1991) /Addams Family Values (1993)
These films started out as a comic in the New Yorker that was drawn by Charles Addams, which then led to a television series that ran on ABC from 1964 to 1966, which then led to two films staring Raul Julia as Gomez Addams, the eccentric patriarch of the gothic Addams family and Anjelica Huston as his macabre, yet loving wife Morticia. Since the powers that be were smart enough to get actors like Julia and Huston, who played their roles well without going overboard both the films were commercially successful and got good reviews.

Bean, the Movie (1997)
This show was a hit on the BBC and soon became a hit worldwide. Actor Rowan Atkinson (who is also is famous for his Black Adder and Johnny English roles) plays Mr. Bean, a museum security guard who doesn’t talk but gets into all sorts of trouble and his attempts to rectify the situation makes it worse (and funny). In the film version, museum officials send Mr. Bean to the U.S. to accompany Whistler’s Arrangement in Gray and Black, No. 1: The Artist’s Mother, also known as Whistler’s Mother, as a way to get rid of him for a few weeks. After the painting is delivered to a Los Angeles museum, Bean subsequently ruins it. His attempts to fix the painting initially makes it worse (and funny). Yet in the end, Mr. Bean saves the day, as well as the painting and to top it off, he actually speaks a few well chosen words.

The Beverly Hillbillies (1993)
This started out as a sitcom that aired on CBS from 1962 to 1971 about the Clampett family who fell into a fortune when oil was discovered on their land. Father Jed moves daughter Ellie May, nephew Jethro and mother-in-law Granny from their humble home in the hill country of Arkansas to Beverly Hills. It is there that the salt of earth Clampetts meet the phony social climbers of Beverly Hills and the end results are very funny. Yet, this was one movie treatment of a sitcom that should not have been greenlighted. The characters in the film were all one-dimensional and the story of someone wanting to marry Jed for his money didn’t hit the jackpot, so to speak.

Of course, this is just a short list of the many television shows that were made into movies. Still, it would be nice if the suits in Hollywood would stop with the TV shows into movies trend. While there have been some television shows that were turned into great movies, such as The Addams Family and Bean. There were others that were real duds, such as The Beverly Hillbillies. So, listen up suits. How about you folks leave the television shows alone and actually seek out some original projects. Yes, I’ve said that in other blog entries and if you want me to stop saying it, then greenlight something that didn’t start out as a television show!

Sources:
http://blog.moviefone.com/2011/12/19/21-jump-street-poster-jonah-hill-channing-tatum/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092312/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084967/

http://www.amazon.com/Bean-Rowan-Atkinson/dp/B00007AJF7/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1324578809&sr=1-1

http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/whis/hd_whis.htm

http://www.amazon.com/Addams-Family-Values/dp/B000FIHN52/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1324578847&sr=1-1

http://www.tv.com/shows/the-addams-family/

http://www.amazon.com/Beverly-Hillbillies-Diedrich-Bader/dp/B0002XL2ZW/ref=sr_1_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1324575748&sr=1-2

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055662/

 

 

Movie Stars Go to the Small Screen

October 27, 2011

Lately, major film stars have turned up on television shows and I’m not talking about guest appearances. Christina Ricci is on the ABC drama Pan Am. Zooey Deschanel is in the FOX sitcom New Girl. Believe it or not, back in the 1950’s and 1960’s it was verboten for movie actors to do anything on television. When the studio system dissolved, television evolved into a training ground for many, many actors. Take Sally Field, she got her start in television shows such as Gidget and The Flying Nun, then she went to movies such as Norma Rae, Places in the Heart and, yes, all those Smokey and the Bandit films. George Clooney took a similar path to film, since he learned the craft on various sitcoms before hitting the jackpot with the NBC drama ER. He then did some back and forth between film and television, before settling on film. Now, there seems to be going back and forth between television and film. In fact Sally Field went back on television, since she was on the ABC drama Brothers and Sisters. Anyway, this is interesting enough to get me thinking. (Oh geez! There you go again. You must be saying now.) So, here’s my take on this development.

It’s the Recession
While Ricci was in the Adams Family films and Deschanel was in Elf, these aren’t actress known for working in blockbusters. So, while the studios are spitting out remakes and retreads, since they are sure bets in these economic times, actresses like Ricci and Deschanel are left scrambling for work. Where can they find work? Independent films? Maybe. Yet, if they want a more regular paycheck, there’s television and that’s where they went. After all, there’s nothing wrong with following the money.

Willingness to Try Something Different
Ricci and Deschanel are both young enough to try something new without their career’s taking a big hit. If they want to grow as actresses, they should be on the lookout for roles that aren’t just “girl next door” or types they’ve done before. If these roles are found on television, then what’s the harm in signing up with a television program? Lucille Ball worked in film for 20 years before she went to television and no one faults her for making the switch.

Demographics
This applies to more to Sally Field, than to Ricci and Deschanel. The audience for film skews towards the 18 to 35 demographic. So, it can be difficult for actresses over 40 to find roles in film that aren’t just the killjoy or shrewish mom. If an actress over 40 wants to keep working and have roles that are more than just “types”, series television is a viable option.

So, if actors and actresses like Field, Deschanel and Ricci find a role that helps them to grow as artists or even if it just helps to pay their bills, more power to them. Opportunities aren’t always found where one would expect them. If doing something different helps them out, good for them. They are taking responsibility for their lives. No matter who you are or what stage of live you are in, that’s always a good thing.

Sources:
http://popwatch.ew.com/2011/09/21/new-girl-zooey-deschanel-terrible/

http://screenrant.com/pan-am-series-premiere-review-mcrid-133372/

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000398/