Welcome to the Weekly Movie Thread! Let’s talk about new films, old films, films you’ve caught on streaming, backlash from the Oscar winners, etc.
Fantasy Island, comes out this week. Judging from the trailers, it seems to be trading in its cozy TV roots for horror… a development that intrigues me. La Esposa Del Santo is not so enthusiastic, having so many childhood memories wrapped up in the series. She thinks that the trailer makes it look too much like Lost.
This brings me to today’s bonus prompt: what is your favorite cinematic adaptation of something from TV?
There are so many examples. The Batman movie starring Adam West, The Beverly Hillbillies, Bewitched, Dragnet, Dark Shadows, The X-Files: Fight the Future, and many more. You’d think that we would’ve left this all behind about a decade ago, but recent years brought us the Baywatch movie and CHiPs. Heck, even El Camino… a Breaking Bad film.
There are many ways to approach something from television. Sometimes they’re just direct continuations, like the Star Trek movies, Wayne’s World, and last year’s Downton Abbey.
Then there are reimaginings that update the property for the modern day audience. McG’s Charlie’s Angels (which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year) transforms the team from its glamorous origins into an explosion-filled action franchise.
The A-Team is pretty faithful to the spirit of the original show but with a bigger budget to do more ridiculous stunts. This seems to be the most popular option. Everything from SWAT and CHiPs to Lost In Space and Dukes of Hazzard has been given this treatment.
And then there’s my favorite iteration: the that gently mocks the original series yet remains remarkably faithful. The greatest example here is Betty Thomas’ The Brady Bunch Movie, which makes jokes at the family’s expense but is clearly made by people who love the show. I’d say more, but Millennial Malaise has it covered. Less wonderful but still pretty fun: Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller’s Starsky & Hutch (which was directed by Joker director, Todd Phillips).
The challenge of these movies is sometimes you do need to be a fan of the original show to get what’s referencing. This makes them baffling, sometimes, to someone who has zero knowledge of the original. As much as I love The Brady Bunch Movie, it must be baffling to newbies. It would be like if I watched a Turkish comedy based on an 80’s sitcom that I had no idea existed. Does The Brady Bunch Movie play to people who never watched the original show? Will this format last in the era of Peak TV, when audiences are more fragmented then ever before?
Or should we brace ourselves for the inevitable possibility of The Big Bang Theory Movie?