Monday, March 25, 2013

Films based on 1980's TV shows

Television shows turning full length feature films is nothing new, and has been done successfully on a few occasions. TV shows from the 1980s seem to be the ones most people are interested in seeing become films as that era seems to be hitting a nostalgia boom right now. So, can 80s TV shows transition into good films now? lets take a look at three examples.

Great: 21 jump street: I had never seen the original show , but knew the basic concept of the series. Taking this premise and giving it a face lift for a new generation could have gone either way. In my opinion at least , it turned out great. the actors fit their roles well and had chemistry together. The updated plot , which still revolved around undercover cops posing as students to bust a drug ring made sense and kept with the times. Overall not a bad movie

Good: The A-Team: Now the A Team was a movie I had looked forward to for a LONG time . I remember hearing everything from an all new cast taking over the roles,  to the original cast , minus George Peppard returning. So when this film was finally coming out I was excited , and for the most part it didn't disappoint. I had only one problem with it. Bradly Cooper was f*cking annoying in this film. I don't know what it is about him , but i hated him in this movie. Really this film wasn't horrible, but it didn't feel like the A-Team. Still good for a fun action movie though.

Horrible- Miami Vice: On paper, this film had a lot going for it. Colin Farrell as "Sonny" Crockett and Jamie Foxx as Tubbs seemed like good casting. Unfortunately the rest of the film was so bad that it seems little to no thought went into it. The film just dragged on and on and you lose interest in the plot rather fast. This is a case of taking a good idea and screwing it up.

TV shows I'd like to see become films

Airwolf : Given the current state of our world and all the different battles being fought , I feel Airwolf could be brought into this century and still be relevant. This film could be a real throwback to the 1980s where its an action film with a decent plot. It would be amazing what they could do with the concept of a high tech helicopter with today's technology.

Greatest American Hero: With all of the superhero films that have done HUGE business, I'm kind of surprised this one hasn't been revived. Sure its not exactly a traditional superhero film , but with its blend of comedy and action , in the hands of the right crew and with the right cast, it could be a great film.

Knight Rider: One of , if not the TV show people think about when you say talk about the 80s , Knight Rider was an incredible show that blended good story telling with awesome action. While 2 made for TV films (knight rider 2010 doesn't count) and a sudo-relaunch in the mid 90's with Team knight Rider and again in the 2008 Knight Rider have been made , they no where near captured the magic. Sadly with the downturn in the economy you cant have a true update since Pontiac is no more.

All in all, I do believe that it is possible for films based on 80s television shows to not only be good , but also do big numbers, which Hollywood loves.  As long as they're given the time , and the right team working on it, just like with any film, it can turn out to be a good product.

If you can think of any other films based on 80s shows that were great / good / horrible, or have any shows that you would love to see get the films treatment, let me know in the comments section

Monday, March 18, 2013

Review: Dead Heat

Dead Heat at face value, looks like your average buddy cop film.Seeing the movies poster adds to this notion , and the title which can have so many meanings, is no clear indication of what its about. So how did this movie fare with me? Not well actually.

Plot: Roger Mortis and Doug Bigelow are cops that are chasing crooks that are dead serious about crime. Or should I say they are chasing dead crooks perpetrating serious crimes? Seems some nutcase has learned how to bring back the dead and is sending them on crime sprees. Now these indestructible goons are in the way of officers Mortis and Bigelow. To even things up, when Mortis is killed he gets a jump start from the Resurrection machine and takes the fight to the zombie bad guys.

Thoughts: Alright....this plot is..insanely over the top. Normally that wouldn't be a bad thing for me , but there is barely a plot to the film. At the halfway point , I was checking the time on the film to see just how much longer it would go on. An un-interesting plot for a film which did have some decent potential. 

Acting: For a buddy cop film , Treat Williams and Joe Piscopo worked well together. Williams is the serious one , and Piscopo is the comic relief. Both did their part very well , and Williams showed some decent skill over the course of the film, but the one that kept me watching was Piscopo. His wisecracks and smart ass attitude were, in my opinion the highlight of the film.  

What I liked: The premise of the film was good, the acting was decent for what it was. 

What I disliked: The films plot falls apart rather quickly. Not in the sense that there's a ton of plot holes, but that it just drops off to the point where you don't care anymore. Also this film had a tendency to kill characters off as they're getting interesting. 

Overall: While not the worst film in the world , it is far from even being good. As far as buddy cop movies it tried something different but it just runs out of steam way to fast.

Final Grade: D

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Review: Trailer Park Boys: The Movie

I recently discovered the Trailer Park Boys series on Netflix. I had seen it on there previously , but didn't think it looked interesting enough . That was a very bad choice on my part since this was an outstanding , funny and original television show. After hearing they made a few movies I knew I had to see and review both of them , so here's my review of Trailer Park Boys: The movie.

Plot:Fresh out of jail, Ricky, Julian and Bubbles plan their dumbest scheme yet: get rich by stealing tons of change. But the crime won't be easy as the trio runs up against strippers, helicopters, gunfights and more.

Thoughts: While the Film really didn't do anything really different from the show concerning the plot, that was actually a good thing. The TV show never really focused  on the plot so much as the characters and this bare bones approach worked in the movie. Just enough plot to keep you interested , but never too much where it slows down the film.

Acting: Nearly every character from the show was played by the same actor in the film, the only exception being Lucy and Ricky's daughter trinity who is now played by Lydia Lawson- Baird. The actors did a great job , even down to the minor parts and extras. The three main actors Robb Wells (Ricky), John Paul Tremblay ( Julian) and  Mike Smith (Bubbles) all did outstanding work and really showed what they could do with a full length movie. Most of the movies I've seen based on TV shows tend to run thin on entertainment , but these three stayed entertaining for the duration.

What I liked: While it didn't do anything new , that's a good thing. Most movies that are based on a popular television series tend to change too much or deviate too far from the source material. I'm glad the film stuck to what it did best as a television show instead of going over the top with some huge plot or trying to go in a different direction and possibly harming the film.

I also like that you don't necessarily have to have seen the show previously, to understand the film or its characters.

What I disliked : The only thing that bothered me about this movie was the continuity errors. Some very minor things from the show were forgotten / ignored , and this is just a personal pet peeve of mine. I'm sure this being a lot of peoples first exposure to the series was a factor in this , and some of it was used as a plot device so it was a forgivable offense.

Overall: Trailer Park Boys: The Movie is a solid film, and you don't even have to have seen one episode of the show to find it funny. With a cast full of crazy characters and an equally insane plot, you'll have fun hanging out with the boys.

Would Recommend to: People who enjoyed The Hangover films , Old School  and Reno 911

Final Grade : B+

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