I saw a tweet recently that said that all movies based on TV shows were bad, basically because they, more often than not, went for the nod & wink to the audience and instead of laughing with the the program that inspired them, preferring to laugh at them. Now at first thought I would agree with this statement. Most of them do in fact do this, and lets face it, most of them suck because of it. But while researching this article I was surprised to find that not all TV based films are crap, and in fact, some of them are actually pretty good. I also found that these films aren’t a recent trend. There are cinematic versions of classic TV shows dating back to the 50’s and were actually kind of a big deal.
The list of these films is quite extensive, so I decided to limit myself to the following: no animated (so no Simpsons The Movie, which lets face it is basically a long episode of the show, or SpongeBob Squarepants, which is a shame ’cause it’s hilarious), no sketches or shorts stretched into a movie (so no Blues Brothers unfortunately), no films used to finish or extend the show (ie Firefly/Serenity or Twin Peaks), no Star Trek (they’ll get their own Spotlight On), and no telemovies – cinema releases only. I’m also not going to do the Dr Who movies, I’ll leave them for Richo and his Who Reviews. That still leaves a heap of options so this article will be split into 2 parts. I hope you enjoy it!
Fun Fact: Get Smart actually had an earlier cinema release called The Nude Bomb (1980). It was a total bomb (pun intended) and nominated for a Golden Raspberry. It was so bad that the revival TV show ignored it completely for continuity.
Directed by: Peter Segal
Starring: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Alan Arkin & Dwayne Johnson
Plot: Maxwell Smart, analyst and wannabe agent for the secret spy agency CONTROL, working alongside the experienced Agent 99, must prevent KAOS, an enemy agency, from detonating a nuclear bomb in America and save the President.
For: I’m a big Steve Carell fan. I think he’s good in everything he’s in, it’s just that he’s often in very ordinary films / Doesn’t disrespect the source / Alan Arkin is great / Patrick Warburtin as Hymie / a few laughs / Terrence Stamp always good
Against: Doesn’t seem to know whether it wants to be a comedy or an action movie and so fails at both. The action isn’t exciting enough and the comedy relies too much on Carell’s natural charm / the love story simply doesn’t convince.
Favourite Scene: Hymie / the Cone of Silence.
Rating: 2 Lukes