|| Print ||
|Written by Kevin Johns|
|Monday, 31 March 2008 19:00|
With cinematic budgets pushing hundreds of millions dollars on a regular basis, original concepts are now a scarce thing in Hollywood. More than ever before, filmmakers need to rely on properties that have already proven successful with viewers; no one wants to take a risk on an untested narrative when that much money is on the line. As such, three of this summer’s potential blockbuster hits are already familiar to most of the viewing public. Sex and the City makes its big screen debut on May 30, Get Smart hits theatres on June 20, and The X-Files: I Want to Believe will be released on July 25. Though these films all have the potential to be major big screen hits in the coming months, all three got their start on the small screen as beloved and long running television series long before launching into feature length films.
Making the jump from the living room to the movie theatre is, however, nothing new. Way before Michael Keaton donned the pointy-eared cowl in Tim Burton’s 1989 hit Batman, Adam West brought the dark knight to movie theaters in feature length adaptation of his 1960s camp Batman television series. Another beloved 1960s series was resurrected as a feature film a full decade after cancellation with the release of director Robert Wise’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979.
The film spawned not only multiple sequels, but several television series as well, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Stark Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager, before finally dying with the cancellation of Enterprise in 2005. J.J. Abrams (who proved his metal creating cult television series Felicity, Alias and Lost, before moving into feature films with another television adaptation, Mission: Impossible III in 2006) will attempt to once again resurrect the series next year with a Star Trek prequel film covering the early years of Captain Kirk and his crew.
When South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut was released in 1997, creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker surprised everyone by creating a film that not only drew rave reviews from critics but also garnered Academy Award nominations as well. Stone and Parker capitalized on every advantage the medium had to offer by packing their film with coarse language, surprisingly beautiful compositions, and unforgettably catchy musical numbers. (Who didn’t leave the theater humming, “Step one, instead ass say bum, like ‘kiss my bum’ or ‘you’re a bumhole’”?). 2002’s Jackass: The Movie followed suit, with Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera and the rest of the Jackass crew taking the premise of their hit MTV television series and pushing it to the extreme cinematic limit, resulting in a hilarious and unforgettable piece of cinematic performance art.
Despite establishing a solid fan base with shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Joss Whedon’s television series Firefly was cancelled by FOX after airing only a handful of episodes in 2004. Fans of the series, known as Browncoats, profoundly mourned the death of the series and bought up DVD box sets by the handful. Their passion was rewarded when Captain Mal and his crew once again launched into space in a feature length big budget space epic, Serenity, in 2005.
Whedon was able to bring back the entire ensemble cast of his series, but not all television stars accompany their shows to the silver screen. Filmmakers in recent years have seized on the success of a number of campy 70s era television shows by creating films such as The Brady Bunch (1995), Charlie’s Angels (2000), Starsky & Hutch (2004) and The Dukes of Hazard (2005), which recast the roles with contemporary actors to varying degrees of success.
Sometimes transitioning from television to cinema means more than just recasting actors; sometimes it means changing the medium entirely. Animated television shows became live action star vehicles when it came time for feature length adaptations of The Flintstones (1994), Garfield (2004), Aeon Flux (2005) and Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007). Of course, when it comes to hit cartoons, few can compete with the perpetually running Simpson family, who remained animated when it came time for their movie last year. While some suggest the show jumped the shark nearly a decade ago, there is no denying that The Simpsons Movie was well worth the wait. Full of laughs and filled to the brim with beloved characters, The Simpsons Movie was every bit as enjoyable as classic episodes from back when the show was at its creative peak and firing on all cylinders in the mid-to-late 90’s.
Adaptations of television shows do not always receive such a warm response. Critics and audiences alike hated the prequel to David Lynch’s cult water cooler series Twin Peaks when it was originally released., Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992) is now viewed, in retrospect, as a startling accomplishment, if not a masterpiece.
Whether critics and audiences will respond with similar disdain to this summer’s batch of television based films remains to be seen. The success of The X-Files: I Want to Believe rests almost solely on stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson’s ability to rekindle their incomparable television chemistry, and it remains questionably whether Steve Carell’s The Office fans will follow him to the theatre for a spy spoof, a genre that the Austin Powers films have already mined. With a trailer that appears desperate to recapture the feel of the series, while promising more of the same, Sex and the City seems to be the safest bet in the bunch. If anything is certain, it is that feature length theatrical releases need to offer something special if they are going to draw audiences and sell tickets; after all, why spend $10 bucks when you just stay home and watch reruns?
The film sex and the city ( http://file.sh/sex+and+the+city+torrent.html ) simply shouldn't be taken too close to the heart. It was created as entertainment rather, and not as a teaching template. And from that point of view I like it