'Gilligan' sets sail on sea of movie hits and misses
You may have heard the news over your coconut radio. "Gilligan's Island" is sailing into theaters in the near future, though the exact release date is as much of a mystery as why everyone packed so many clothes for a three-hour tour.
Not everyone is thrilled with the plan.
"Gilligan's Island," which ran from 1964 to 1967 and eternally ever after in reruns, was a goofy sitcom that enjoyed solid ratings and a permanent place in America's pop-culture history, but few critics gave it rave reviews.
Some TV shows have been able to transform into movies that stand on their own. Others -- well, not everyone can make the small-screen to feature-film leap. Here's a look at just a few.
'21 Jump Street'
Before "21 Jump Street" opened in movie form in 2012, the Twitter disdain was palpable. Few fans of the Johnny Depp TV show felt that there was a need for a film version. But once the movie opened, the backtracking began. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill were a perfect pair as mismatched cops who go undercover at a high school. In a modern twist, Tatum discovers that today's kids don't take to his bullying jockishness that made him cool back in the day, and instead it's nerdy Hill who's a high-school hit. And the movie was fully aware of its source material, including one of the best cameos by an original star (Johnny Depp!) ever put to film. Look for the sequel, "22 Jump Street," coming in June.
'Brady Bunch Movie'
Here's the story ... of a lovely movie. "The Brady Bunch Movie," released in 1995, was one of the first TV show-turned-movies to turn the original show sideways. The Bradys still had their '70s clothes and morals, but they were flung into a 1990s world. Hilarity ensued. The film (and its 1996 follow-up, "A Very Brady Sequel"), was chock-full of sly references to the original show, from George Glass to Robert Reed's homosexuality. Not every TV show made the leap to the big screen so delightfully well.
Aaron Spelling's "Charlie's Angels" invented '70s jiggle TV, but the 2000 film version (and sequels) played the action-movie card, and did it well. Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu lived up to the angel wings of predecessors Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson (who declined to make cameos, though Smith showed up in the sequel). John Forsythe was the voice of Charlie in the film just as he was on TV, because OF COURSE.
'Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie'
The "MST3K" cast has written publicly about how horrible their Hollywood experience was. The film was made at the height of the O.J. Simpson trial, and one studio exec condescendingly asked the midwestern cast if they'd heard anything about it. But the film itself, a big-screen version of a "MST3K" episode, with the cast riffing on 1955 sci-fi classic "This Island Earth," is as laugh-a-minute as a regular "MST3K" show. The cast was able to later exorcise their demons with a hilarious on-show skit where Crow's movie, "Earth vs. Soup," endures its own hellish Hollywood development.
Pity the poor blue buddies of "The Smurfs." Eighties kids hold fond memories of them, but this half-CGI, half-live action 2011 movie (and its 2013 sequel) did not do them justice. Sure, they're goofy little critters with names representing their jobs (one of the few funny lines in the film references this), and sure, Neil Patrick Harris is hard to dislike, but the film gave many fans the blues. But the blue guys made enough green -- a second sequel is coming in 2015. Where's Original Idea Smurf when you need him?
'The Last Airbender'
You may not be familiar with the show it's based on, a Nickelodeon animated series, but the three seasons of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" were huge hits. Even those who loved it on TV had a hard time defending the 2010 film. It swept the Golden Raspberry awards, winning five Razzies, including worst film. It might just be the worst movie of the 21st century, and that's a century that includes Adam Sandler's "Jack and Jill."