It’s no surprise at the amount of TV shows that have been turned into movies. The impact that nostalgia has on consumers is so important that millions of people will race to buy a $15 dollar ticket just to go see a movie loosely based on a show from 30 years ago. I’m not above it; if someone were to create a Hey Arnold! live action movie next month, I’d be the first to see it - even if Jaden Smith was cast as Arnold.
Sitting on the rights to a show that lasted more than 2 seasons is a gold mine for producers and an easy job for writers. Alvin and the Chipmunks have had 4 movies since 2007; hell, Entourage had a movie 3 years after going off the air. Think about Mission Impossible. The movies are so well known that kids these days don’t know that it was a TV show. Actually I’ll take that back, a lot of adults don’t not know that it was a TV show.
We aren’t far from seeing every TV show we grew up with making their way to the big screen. CSI: The Movie. Malcolm in the Middle: The Movie. Breaking Bad: The Movie. These and many more could be reality very soon. Some might be great, some won’t. Be prepared because some will be so terrible that an entire generation will come to only know of your favorite show as the terrible rendition that someone will have created. How do I know? Because it’s already happened - a lot. Here’s the list of the 12 worst movies based on TV shows.
12 Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
Charlie’s Angels is a product of a different time, a time when smacking your secretary’s booty was somehow considered encouragement. The show’s concept is pretty sexist, so translating it to the new millennium can lead to significant challenges. Full Throttle, the sequel of the first Charlie’s Angels, failed to handle these challenges and created new ones on top of it all.
11 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
In 2006, Sacha Baron Cohen redefined improv-comedy with the “classic” mockumentary Borat. By 2009 he reminded us that most improv-comedy sucks with his “sequel” starring fellow alumni of Da Ali G Show, Bruno. The movie was filled with unfunny jokes and completely failed when attempting to produce “genuine” reactions to Bruno’s antics.
9 Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie
8 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra/Retaliation
7 Inspector Gadget
6 The Adventures Of Rocky & Bullwinkle
If you needed a reminder, Robert De Niro makes a lot of bad movies and this one is possibly the worst. For anyone with no knowledge of American television, Rocky & Bullwinkle is a cartoon from the ‘60s about a flying squirrel and his moose friend who defend their home from villains portrayed as caricatures of Russian spies. During the Cold War there was no one better to portray as villains in kids TV shows.
4 The Dukes of Hazzard
3 Transformers: Dark of the Moon
2 Dragonball Evolution
Screw this movie. ‘Nuff said.
1 The Last Airbender
This is as bad as am adaptation can be. As a fan of the original show, personally this movie made me very sad. M. Night Shyamalan took something beautiful and just ruined it, and the worst part is I just can’t understand why. Why would it be a good idea to change the pronunciation of the main character’s name? Why take the comic relief and make him a super depressing a-hole? Why try to fit 20 half-hour long episodes into an hour and a half? Why cast all white people just to try make them look Asian? So many questions, but none of them matter.
This film is so bad that, allegedly, the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender told cast members of the original show not to go see the movie and pretend that it never happened. Even if you didn’t love the TV show, the grating 3D used in the film, mixed with the lack of action, and ridiculous amounts of exposition given as voice overs is enough to make anyone stop watching. Unlike other movies on the list, The Last Airbender didn’t have to worry about the changing times, or the loss of cast members. Everything was primed for this to work out, the only thing that stood in the way was the pompous and awful decision making of M. Night Shyamalan. This is a far cry from a bad rendition of a TV show, this is just bad.
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