Thursday, 17 November 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies based on a TV Series

I’ve gone all American this week, mostly because the feature film versions of TV shows are usually sitcoms these days and I don’t see the point. Dad’s Army would have been here BUT I am yet to see it despite its bad reviews. And don’t get me started on the gad damn awful Inbetweeners Movies.

Don't forget to check out where it all started at Wandering Through the Shelves.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E 

 Unlike other Guy Ritchie films (he seems to be tamer these days) but still with a few signature moves, the film adaptation of the celebrated spy TV series didn’t seem to have the desired impact as it should have. A fabulous cast, beautiful scenery and the charm of the 60s, what went wrong? Nothing really, I loved this film. It didn’t help that it wasn’t really given a fanfare release in the middle of August. Not really the blockbuster film but still a sizable budget. During the cold war, America and Russia were not friends but when Italian Nazi supporters kidnap a famous German scientist to build a nuclear bomb, both sides have to play nice to stop the bomb and the crazy people who have it. The casting seemed odd on paper but my gad they got it right with Henry Cavill as CIA agent Napoleon Solo and Armie Hammer as KGB agent Illya Kuryakin. It’s fun, with a few laughs and enough to keep the action going. Just wish a second film was in the works…

Charlie's Angels 
Three women, kicking ass and taking names but being told what to do by a man. Ok I’ll stop now. Charlie’s Angels was very much needed, the sequel is another thing – flying Demi Moores was not needed. An action film with great female leads, characters who can take care of themselves and are not distracted by men… oh wait….ok I’ll really stop now. I actually enjoyed this film. Lucy Lui, Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz were pretty darn good. The story was also quite good too, having Sam Rockwell as the bad guy who wants revenge on Charlie for killing his dad was also fun to watch (love that guy). It also helped a great deal that Bill Murray was there too, I think he could have saved the sequel.

Dark Shadows 
The more recent addition to these picks is Tim Burton’s salute to Dark Shadows. Reading about the show it sounds pretty damn good and before its time maybe (but it did last 6 seasons). The once prominent Collins family are struggling along in business and with each other, but when Barnabus Collins who was cursed by a witch and turned into a vampire is unearthed, the family’s fortunes change but entirely for the better. Full of supernatural-ness and melodrama, just the soap opera, but overall underwhelming.


  1. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.!!! At last. It was the first one I thought of but I bypassed it because I thought it would be everywhere today since its of such a recent vintage but this is the first I've seen it pop up. I also thought it was great fun and really got the spirit of the original. The look of it was fantastic and one thing I really liked about it was that the three main characters actually showed signs of their battles after they were over. Not enough to spoil their beauty of course but still unlike so many others they didn't brawl and then appear without a scratch in the next scene.

    Not a big fan of either the TV Charlie Angels nor the movie. The show was a huge trendsetter when it debuted and it was mindless fun but only for a while.

    I was little when the original Dark Shadows was on, so young I wasn't allowed to watch since my mother thought it was too scary for me-so of course I snuck a peek whenever I could!, but she had friends whose world STOPPED when it came on in the afternoon! No phone calls, no talking other than to comment on the story, nothing but the show. Funny that it could inspire such devotion when you look at it now and see how on the cheap the production was. Walls shake when the doors are slammed, the camera wobbles etc. but the actors were professional and gave it there all. All that being said I thought the movie version was a big disappointment.

    Having skipped Man from U.N.C.L.E. it wasn't too difficult to come up with three more, the theme offers a rich pool to pick from. These are the ones I came up with.

    Serenity (2005)-Continuing the story of Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) and his crew who are roaming the galaxy in their beat up spaceship Serenity from the short lived show Firefly. With a brother and sister who are being pursued by a hired killer, the ruthless Operative (Chiwetel Ejiofor) the group planet hop from place to place in their somewhat unreliable rust bucket. By turns light-hearted and tense.

    The Fugitive (1993)-Dr. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) is attacked in a home invasion and his wife murdered by a one armed man. Falsely accused of the crime he escapes after a spectacular train wreck and sets out to find the person responsible all the while pursued by the dogged efforts of Deputy Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones). Fasted paced and entertaining, TLJ won a best supporting Oscar for his work. Updated and slightly rethought version of the classic David Janssen series with some terrific action set pieces.

    Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)-There’s a plot to turn innocent people into assassins and through them kill prominent people including Queen Elizabeth II but the police are on it. The problem however is that the case has been assigned to Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) an utterly clueless detective who specialty is bumbling. Silly comedy turned formerly stern leading man Nielsen into a comedy mainstay. Based on the comic TV series Police Squad.

  2. I've seen the first two movies and really enjoyed them. I never got to finish Dark Shadows, it wasn't for me and I end up dozing off.

  3. I've seen the first two movies and really enjoyed them. I never got to finish Dark Shadows, it wasn't for me and I end up dozing off.

  4. I've only seen Charlie's Angels which I didn't really care for. I never saw the rest of them.

  5. I haven't seen any of these, neither the series nor the movies, but I've always wanted to check out the Charlie's Angel series because those women are such badasses.

  6. I have seen all three! I loved The Man from UNCLE and have never seen the original TV show but would love to. I agree that they should make a sequel. Charlie's Angels....meh but I loved Bill Murray. I think he hated making this film and didn't get on well with one of the leads so didn't come back. Dark Shadows could have been so much more...I have seen parts of the original series which I liked. This film seemed to sway from a lot of humor to very creepy to over the top to sweet didn't gel right.

  7. Your first two picks were both solid, dumb fun. I thought Dark Shadows was just bad.

  8. Cool picks. I could watch Man from U.N.C.L.E. on repeat and it would never get old. Though I have a BIG crush for Charlie Hunnam and he'll be the only reason I see Ritchie's King Arthur, Man From U.N.C.L.E. should've gotten a sequel. Charlie Angels was so bad-ass to see in theaters as a teenager. The only flaw in the movie was Tom Green, but otherwise, those girls were awesome. This makes me want to watch it again. :D

  9. Dark Shadows is the only one I've seen and I didn't like it. Just really tired of Tim Burton, the sameness of all his movies and Johnny Depp as eccentric characters wearing a lot of makeup and wigs.