Posts Tagged ‘NBC’

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/

2011 Summer Movies

May 5, 2011

Yippee, it’s May. Not only does it mean that winter is over, spring is in full bloom and summer is just around the corner, it also means that Hollywood will be churning out my favorite kind of movie—the SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER!!  Since I love summer blockbusters sooooo much, I will use this blog entry to highlight a few of the many movies that will be coming out this summer.

May
Thor

Based on the characters from Marvel Comics, Thor is more than just a big lug with a hammer.  After all he gets his powers from the Norse gods, so he can’t just be some rock’em sock’em super hero. In fact, Stan Lee admitted that he occasionally had his characters, like Thor and Silver Surfer put forth his own philosophy of life. The film was directed by none other than Kenneth Branagh, of Hamlet fame and stars Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman.

Pirates of the Caribbean—On Stranger Tides
Love’em or hate’em, you have to hand it to Disney, when something works for them, they keep using it. Case in point, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The last one made $300 million, so the powers that be decided to make another one. This one features Penelope Cruz, as well as Johnny Depp and is in 3D. I’m sure this will make a pretty penny this time around, as well. After all, the mouse doesn’t live on cheese alone.

Hangover 2
The crew from Hangover, which is the highest grossing R-rated comedy, is back. Need I say more?

June
X-Men First Class

Another one of Marvel and Stan Lee’s properties is getting the blockbuster treatment this summer. This one is a prequel of how Charles Xavier and Magneto came to be who they are. While some of the teaser posters weren’t so great, this film looks interesting to me. This film stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and January Jones.

Cars 2
I guess the folks at Pixar thought since sequels worked so well for Toy Story, might as well try them for Cars. This time Lighting McQueen gets involved with spies during an international road race. I’ve seen the previews and they look good, so I’m actually looking forward to this film. Features the voices of Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy.

Rise of the Apes
Look at what Star Wars has wrought, sequels and prequels everywhere. This is a prequel for the original 1968 film Planet of the Apes with the dude who played Moses in The Ten Commandments. Hmmm, what was his name?* Well, senior moments not withstanding, this film deals with genetic engineering and what can happen when tinkering in the lab goes astray. Stars James Franco, Tom Felton and John Lithgow

July
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2

The long awaited end of the Harry Potter series will come this summer. Will Voldermore be defeated? Will Hermonine choose Harry or Ron? What will become of Harry? Oh wait, these questions were answered in the books. Maybe I should hurry up and read them all. Stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson.

Captain America: The First Avenger
Yet another Marvel property is getting the movie treatment. This time the story deals with a someone who volunteers to take part in an experiment during World War II to become a super soldier, only to end up with super human strength. Stan Lee must be very happy to see his creations on the big screen. I hope he is getting some money out of this, as well.  Stars Chris Evans and Samuel L. Jackson.

Cowboys and Aliens
Talk about your genre mashups. It wasn’t enough to make a western or a sci-fi film, director Jon Favreau of Iron Man fame, decided to take the graphic novel (comic book to those over the age of 40) by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg and turn it into a movie. Of course the next question is, who will win? The cowboys or aliens? I have a feeling it will be the cowboys. Stars Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig.

August
The Smurfs

Yes, those little blue creatures who got their start in a comic strip in 1958 by Belgian artist Pierre Culliford, also known as Peyo, and then ended up as a Saturday morning cartoon on NBC in the 1980’s, are now coming to a multiplex near you—in 3D no less. Again the powers that be are into recycling and there is no end to this trend in sight. To quote, a famous Smurf line: “La, la, lala, la. La, lala, la.” Features the voices of Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria and Katy Perry.

Conan
Speaking of recycling, weren’t the first two with the Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger enough? Stars Jason Momoa. Would you believe that Momoa got his start in Baywatch Hawaii? Talk about fail safe casting.

Final Destination 5
Will this be the final Final Destination or will there be a 6, 7, 8….

Well, those are my thoughts on select 2011 summer movies. Tune in again next week for another thrilling blog entry. (Okay, so my blog entries aren’t exactly thrilling, but they are good reads.)

*It was Charlton Heston and I knew it along. I just did that to be funny.

Sources:
http://www.reelzchannel.com/article/1082/summer-2011-preview-20-movies-well-be-talking-about-next-year/

Cantu, Hector, Heritage Magazine “Stan the Creator” Fall 2008, pg. 51

http://bluebuddies.com/help/smurfs_peyo_biography.htm

Darth Vader’s Costume & Other Ephemera

November 4, 2010

Christie’s Auctions in London will be selling a complete Darth Vader costume from the Empire Strikes Back at a sale on November 25, 2010 of pop culture items. The costume is expected to sell for between $250,000 and $365,000. The previous owner is identified as an American collector and no reason was given as to why the collector wanted to sell this item.

Wait there’s more the Syfy Channel will be airing a new reality show called Hollywood Treasure.  The show deals with the work of Joe Maddalena, the owner of Profiles in History, a dealer of autographs, documents, photographs and Hollywood memorabilia.  Maddelena appeared on NBC’s Today Show and he talked about a few items that will appear in the show. These items include a golden ticket from the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory that came from one of the actors in the film, a sketch by Tim Burton for the Nightmare Before Christmas and the Holy Grail of pop culture collectibles, an Action Comic #1, the comic book that introduced the world to Superman.

Yet, the crank in me says “Wait a minute, don’t we have too much junk in our lives?” Shows like Hollywood Treasure encourage people to think that their ephemera is worth something, when chances are the do-dads are only worth what the person paid for them in 1990. As for the Darth Vader costume, other than using it as a Halloween costume, what will the winner of the auction do with it? A costume of one of the most famous villains in film history isn’t exactly an item you display in your living room. That is, unless your home is a shrine to all things Star Wars, then having it in your living room might work.

Then the pop culture aficionado in me says “Shut up crank!” Superman and Star Wars are as much a part of our culture as Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gadsby.  They aren’t just kids stuff. Items of pop culture are both a snapshot of their time and they look forward to the future. They deal with dreams, dealing with loss and finding your place in the world. So, is any wonder that there are people who are willing to spend lots of money to get their hands on an Action Comic #1 or a Darth Vader costume.

Take that crank!

Note: Any mention of auction houses or dealers of collectibles are mentioned for informational purposes only. They are not to be taken as an endorsement.

Sources:
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/39867573/ns/today-entertainment/?gt1=43001

http://www.ology.com/screen/hollywood-treasure-review

http://www.profilesinhistory.com/profiles-in-history.html