Trying to translate a popular TV series into a narrative worthy of a feature film is no walk in the park. Going from half an hour to 45 minute episodes that usually follow the same format, giving you just enough to chew on to make you yearn for the next chapter to a 90 minute stretch can prove challenging. Features follow a different formula, slowly building up characters and stories; yet using situations and people that thousands of fans already know is pretty handy.
Hit TV series Entourage has managed to get to 8 seasons after starting back in 2004. Loosely based on actor Mark Walhberg’s life before he was a well known Hollywood star, writers Doug Ellin and Rob Weiss give us an extra dose of Vincent Chase and in his boys in latest film of the same title, Entourage. Offering familiar faces, crude jokes and endless parties, it seems the film remains loyal to the tropes the original series adopted. With the return of Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Dillon and Jeremy Piven this film is certainly one that will make you laugh at the fun these characters are having on screen.
Entourage does its fans justice that’s for sure and the recent British spy thriller that was Spooks gave us the right dosage of what the gritty BBC show is all about. Introducing new characters, along with some of our favourites, Harry Pearson takes us on a rollercoaster of a ride with new recruit Will Holloway played by no other than Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington.
Running since 2002, with 10 seasons under its belt, it’s hard to think the creators managed to come up with anything; however Spooks: The Greater Good gives original fans exactly what they want. An understanding of the series will certainly enhance one’s viewing experience but the feature cleverly coaxes people in with fresh, new faces that are sure to force younger audiences to root out the series DVDs. Overall, a very worthy representation for such a long running series.
Another series that has been running for decades, and at face value seems to have exhausted all avenues, is the fantastically crafted animation that is The Simpsons. It doesn’t matter if you have seen the episode time and time again, or the same joke is repeated over and over, this show will stay on your TV screen.
Taking nearly two decades for Matt Groening to give the world a full hour and a half of this crazy, off the wall family that has an uncountable amount of fans, our favourite nuclear power station worker Homer does the exactly what he always does, the opposite of what he should. Accidentally polluting the town’s water supply, Springfield turns on this family of mis-fits making for one very enjoyable viewing experience. Not to forget spider pig, obviously.
Sticking with comedy for the moment, Sacha Baron Cohen has been many prominent faces of tongue in cheek, quite frankly outrageously clever characters over the last decade. Ali G, Borat, Bruno this man has crashed onto our TV screens and made quite a name of himself. Out of all the films this man has starred in, Ali G Indahouse is by far the funniest of them all. Not to mention Ali G, is the original character that sparked this man’s career taking it to the next level and giving him is very own film was a very wise move.
Despite an unknown cast, Cohen carries this film offering an endless number of laugh out loud moments as this wannabe gangster attempts to overthrow the British government. Who’d of thought that this Jewish, Haberdashers’ attending posh-boy could produce something so utterly hilarious that launched his career, not just as a comedian, but an actor who has gone on to do some impeccable roles. If you are up for a non-stop fest of laughter, this is the film for you.
Staying in the realm or should we say Galaxy of comedy, Joss Whedon’s sci-fi series Firefly branched out into the big bad world of features after only 14 episodes, with a continuation of the main plot-line, Serenity. Keeping to what they know and basically making the film for die-hard fans, Serenity has a certain something that captures to the attention of anyone who likes a good story with complex characters.
Of course, having previously watched Firefly will explain certain traits the film embodies, yet Serenity is somewhat of a prequel/ sequel hybrid that enhances the series in a completely different way. Sadly not taking off as well as the studio thought, parts of the series and the film were left open, clearly intending to expand through other means. A worthy follow-up to a quirky cowboy space series that more film fans need to see.
Star Trek almost seems to be the father of all geeky sci-fi series. A series that has had so many spin offs and variations of the same theme, but still managed to produce two very strong features over the last five years. Following all the same characters, Kirk, Spock, Scotty – you name it, both feature films; Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness take us right into the heart of space adventure.
Borrowing aliens, animals and jokes present in the series, Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto make for a great pair looking scarily like the original actors, not to mention a welcome addition of funny man Simon Pegg. Pairing comic relief with space seriousness. J.J Abrams takes us on an expedition that pays tribute to the series as well as putting a modern spin on a universe that has been explored so many times.
So many series and so many films! Be sure to catch Entourage this Friday, 19th June.