Film killed the TV star
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Film killed the TV star

As we edge further away from the yesteryears of Hollywood's birth, there have been a sudden influx of television shows that were made into movies either due to the pruning of Hollywood's originality or masochism on their part. Many have entered the competition, but only a few have made it to the top of box office charts. The rest are either the by-products of directors who have ventured the road less taken, resulting in their movies becoming cult hits, while others just faded into obscurity. Without further ado, let us look at the movies that have been screened for viewing pleasure, resulting in our amusement and delight or cringing horror. No mundane ones will be mentioned because we have either slept the movie off or thankfully, forgotten its very existence.

"The Addams Family" (1991)


Before running the agency of mind-wiping "Men In Black", Barry Sonnenfeld had his hands full dealing with "The Addams Family", a macabre household filled with quirky and morbid characters, ranging from Gomez Addams (Raúl Juliá), the patriarch who is very much in love with his wife, Morticia (Anjelica Huston) to his two children, the sarcastic Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman). However, contrary to its television series that ran from 1964 to 1966 for a total of 64 episodes, the film has a more dramatic plot, where Gomez's debt-ridden lawyer tries to pass off his loan shark's son as Gomez's long-lost brother in order to locate the hidden vault where they keep vast treasures. The television series merely depicts the Addams family as a group of supernatural beings whose macabre interests are often misunderstood by outsiders despite their well intentions, from which the humour of the episodes derive.

"Mission: Impossible" (1996)


Unlike most of the movies listed here, the film versions of "Mission: Impossible" supposedly follows on from the television series, but there are almost no constants between films save for Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt. The only members lucky enough to appear in more than one instalment are Ving Rhames, who played Luther Stickell, and Simon Pegg, who played Benji Dunn. However, the films do retain the hallmark from the television series, such as Hunt receiving his orders via a recording, which then self-destructs, although the original theme song has been changed into a version by Irish rock band U2. Both the television series and the films chronicles the various exploits of the IMF, a small team of secret agents used for covert missions against dictators, evil organisations and even crime lords. The television series has a total of seven seasons, while the films have four instalments to date, with a fifth in the works, which bears testament to the audience's reception.

"Charlie's Angels" (2000)


The death of actress Farrah Fawcett has definitely caused grief in many of her fans; most of whom know her by her role in the "Charlie's Angels" television series back in 1976. She played Jill Munroe, one of the three original Charlie's Angels, alongside Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith, who played Sabrina Duncan and Kelly Garrett respectively. The show tells the story of three female police academy graduates who are relegated to traffic duty. Feeling disheartened by their jobs, the trio quit, and were then hired by the Charles Townsend Agency as private investigators. However, the identity of their boss, Charlie, is never revealed, and the Angels communicate with him through a liaison, a man named Bosley (David Doyle). In the film adaptation by McG in 2000, the premise remains the same as does the voice of Charlie (John Forsythe), although the Angels have been changed. Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu play Natalie Cook, Dylan Sanders and Alex Munday respectively, whose mission is to rescue software genius Eric Knox (Sam Rockwell) before his revolutionary voice-recognition software is used for villainy. The film was a modest success, and spawned a sequel, "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle".

"Serenity" (2005)

Many may not have watched Firefly or its film counterpart, Serenity, but the few who have can testify to its greatness. Joss Whedon's space western have definitely broken new ground when Firefly was first shown on television in 2002, only to be cancelled before it could even finish its first season run (only 12 episodes out of 14 were aired). This series about the adventures and encounters of a group of ragtag individuals led by Captain Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) who travel on a "Firefly-class" spaceship rose to cult status, thus making the release of "Serenity" in 2005 much anticipated. "Serenity" is one of the few movies that brought back its entire cast from the television series to the movie, continuing where "Firefly" left off, although the viewpoint of the film is shifted to that of River Tam (Summer Glau), the mysterious woman with psychic powers that is on the run from the Alliance, a government that is hunting her and her brother, Simon (Sean Maher) down in order to keep her from divulging their top secrets that she learnt in captivity.

"Star Trek" (2009)


Ah, the science-fiction series that revolutionised fandom. From "Star Trek", a league of fans known as Trekkies were spawned, alongside its six-season series, eleven feature films, dozens of games, hundreds of novels, numerous toy lines and replicas, as well as a themed attraction in Las Vegas. The original "Star Trek" cast was led by William Shatner, who played the infamous James T. Kirk, followed by Leonard Nimoy as Spock, DeForest Kelley as DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, James Doohan as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, Nichelle Nichols as Uhura, George Takei as Hikaru Sulu, and Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov. After three seasons, the show was cancelled, which saw four different cast changes. The impact and significance that the original series had was understood by J. J. Abrams, which then saw a 2009 reboot film, with an all-new cast such as Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin and an alternate timeline, but retained most of the original elements such as the characters James T. Kirk, Spock, Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, Uhura, Hikaru Sulu, Pavel Chekov; all of which were played by the aforementioned new cast respectively, and the film even brought in Leonard Nimoy himself to part a key role. The film featured Eric Bana as the antagonist Nero, a Romulan from the future who sought to destroy the United Federation of Planets.

"The A-Team" (2010)


Arguably, "The A-Team" could have been so much better, but considering the superficiality of the material that it is based on, allowances would have to be made. The main characters from the television series are back in the film, with Liam Neeson taking over George Peppard's role as Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith; Bradley Cooper as Lieutenant Templeton "Face" Peck, who was previously played by Dirk Benedict; Quinton "Rampage" Jackson who took over the role of Sergeant First Class Bosco "B.A."(Bad Attitude) Baracus from Mr. T; and last but not least, Sharlto Copley as Captain H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock, who was played by Dwight Schultz. On the other hand, other than the derived character names and insertion of the show's popular catchphrases, the characters' personalities are vastly different than their television series counterparts, The film has the A-Team on a mission to retrieve stolen U.S. Treasury plates and clear their names in the process, after having been falsely accused as war criminals "for a crime that they didn't commit".

"21 Jump Street" (2012)


Contrary to "The A-Team", the film adaptation of "21 Jump Street" saw better critical and commercial reception, not to mention a better looking makeover, what with American heartthrob Channing Tatum and affable-looking Jonah Hill cast as the crime-fighting duo, Greg Jenko and Morton Schmidt, respectively. Nothing about the film is the same as the television series, save for its main premise of sending cops with youthful appearances undercover in high schools and colleges to infiltrate drug trafficking and gangs. Further, the "21 Jump Street" television series featured a group or squad of undercover cops while in the film there were only two protagonists. Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum) are former classmates who meet again at police academy. They graduate together as partners, but are assigned to park patrol, and eventually, reassigned to the revived specialty division on 21 Jump Street due to an arresting mistake. Schmidt and Jenko are then tasked with a mission to go back to their old high school to stop a new synthetic drug from spreading to other campuses by finding the supplier.

"Dark Shadows" (2012)


Despite being based on the gothic horror soap opera of the same name, Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows" did not get to enjoy the intense cult following that the original did as its lacked a certain finesse, although its visual style and acting has been praised by many. Part of the issue comes from the lack of a focused plot and its flat jokes; the former which the television series successfully managed to achieve due to its lengthy run, which was a total of 1,225 episodes. The protagonist of the film, vampire Barnabas Collins, only made his appearance a year after the television show's run, while in the film he appeared 15 minutes after. This demonstrated that Burton's "Dark Shadows" had tried to condense most of the original's major story plots into its two-hour reel, starting from the introduction of the Collins' family and Barnabas' eventual change into a vampire by the witch Angelique Bouchard, to Maggie Evans/Victoria Evans' arrival at Collinwood Manor, where the rest of the family is introduced and finally, the chaos that ensues when Barnabas rises from the grave that he was buried alive in by the villages due to his vampiric nature and returns to the Collins' household to assume his rightful place.

"The Three Stooges" (2012)


Although not the greatest vaudeville and comedy act by any means, "The Three Stooges" have clearly established themselves as pop culture icons since its inception in the early to mid–20th century. Best known for their numerous short subject films that deal with physical farce and slapstick, "The Three Stooges" are known by their first names as Moe, Larry, and Curly or Moe, Larry, and Shemp, among other line-ups. The Farrelly brothers' slapstick comedy film is a much longer tale of said stooges, but otherwise still divided into episodes/acts, and places them in a modern setting where the trio is shown as orphans, who lived in the Sisters of Mercy Orphanage till they are 25, helping out. When they get wind that the orphanage will be shutting down unless they can come up with $830,000 in 30 days, the trio volunteers to go out and try to raise the money somehow. The next acts then depict how the trio attempt to earn the money needed, such as helping a woman named Lydia to kill her husband so she can be with her lover and inherit his considerable fortune and being a cast member for "Jersey Shore".


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