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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

coming soon to a theater near you...

Picture, if you will, a 10-year-old me: Already a grotesquely tall, awkward cornstalk of a kid — a brier patch of hair and glasses that make his eyes look five sizes too big — who suddenly discovers his purpose in life. The year is 1990, and "Ducktales: The Movie" is about to open in theatres.

To fully grasp how big of a deal this was for me, imagine all the hoopla and whoop-de-doo made about the recent "Sex and the City" movie; replace Sarah Jessica Parker with Scrooge McDuck, all those damn shoes with Huey, Dewey and Louie, and the nudity and naughty language with Rip Taylor voicing a genie. Boom — that was "Ducktales: The Movie." If life truly is like a hurricane, then "Ducktales: The Movie" was a freaking tsunami for young Adam.

Looking back at it now, it's possible I overreacted a little. Not only was the movie SPOILER ALERT not that great, but I was under the impression at the time that no other television show in history had ever made that monumental leap to the big screen. Ah, poor, naive idiot-child. Or could it be possible I actually had faith in the ability of Hollywood to concoct original film ideas?

Such faith is long since murdered, of course, and you need only look to this summer's movie line-up to find the culprit. This year alone we have film versions "Speed Racer," "Sex and the City," "Get Smart," and a new "X-Files" movie, all looking to turn a quick buck off ravenous fans of the original series.

Not all TV-to-movie adaptations have been bad, of course. And to celebrate this not-suckiness, the good folks over at RottenTomatoes.com — that web site that compiles reviews of movies in order to assign them average scores and designate them as "fresh" or "rotten" — have assembled a very good list of the top 50 TV-based movies ever made. This is not, mind you, a carefully rationalized compendium chosen by film scholars and movie geeks who spent weeks pouring over DVDs and scribbling notes. These are the top 50 based on the already existing Rotten Tomatoes scores. That's how "Borat" ended up being #1, because it's the best-reviewed movie based on a TV show (or TV show character, in this case) of all time.

This obviously exposes the list to reams of criticism and snarky feedback, which is kinda the point. "The Simpsons Movie," for example, comes in at #3, while the (in my opinion) superior "South Park" movie is #7. Six Star Trek movies make the list, the highest being "Star Trek: First Contact" at #6. (You can almost hear Shatner screaming "KAAAAAAHN!!", as "The Wrath of Khan" only made it to #7.) Last summer's awful "Transformers" made the list (#37), which sucks, but it is surpassed by "The Powerpuff Girls Movie" (#31), which rules. Also, "The Muppet Movie" sits pretty at a respectable #9, but is narrowly defeated by, of all things, "The Wild Thornberrys Movie" at #8. Seriously, what the hell is a wild thornberry, anyway? (Is it anything like a schnozzberry?)

Missing from the list? I don't know, only "Ducktales: The Frigging Movie," that's all. However, another childhood favorite, "Batman: Mask of the Phantasm," swings in at #19, even beating Adam West in "Batman: The Movie" at #29. (Yeah, suck it, Rozwadowski.)

Any of your favorites not there? Wanna dispute the rankings? Any TV show you can't believe hasn't been made into a movie yet? ("Darkwing Duck," hello?) Drop us a line.

-- Adam Reinhard, areinhard@greenbaypressgazette.com

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4 Comments:

"Arrested Development" will top this list when the film version comes out. Anything less will be a huge mistake.

And excuse me Mr. Reinhard, but did "Mask of the Phantom Clones," or whatever your precious animated movie is called, feature Adam West carrying a giant bomb on a dockside as a tuba plays? Did it feature shark repellent? Did it feature Julie Newmar in a skin-tight Catwoman costume? Well, two out of three ain't bad ...

-- Tom

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At June 3, 2008 at 10:23 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At June 4, 2008 at 8:45 AM  

I love Rotten Tomatoes... but Mission Impossible III and II over Mission Impossible? Come on! Floppy-haired Tom Cruise NEVER wins.

And how did Star Trek III (yes I'm a giant nerd) even make the cut?

Other omissions include: The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Mr. Bean and The Saint.

Clearly the BIGGEST omission is one I thought you would have picked up on, Adam. Where was Monty Python?!?!?!?!?!

--Malavika

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At June 4, 2008 at 8:45 AM  

The Untouchables isn't in the TOP friggin 5 of ALL TIME!!! That's a travishamockery!

And The Wild Thornberrys Movie tops The Spongebob Squarepants Movie? Its not even in the same league of Nicktoons. This list has some great movies in it but they are way out of whack in the rankings.

The Saint was terrible but should have made it in over some of the latter movies in the list.

I'm grateful that Wild Wild West was not included because I used to like watching Robert Conrad now and then on Sunday afternoons in syndication. I was actually excited to hear about that movie being made until Will Smith was cast. WWW was the strangest combination of sci-fi and western serials but it somehow worked.

The inclusion of MST3K makes me very happy. I long for the days of Comedy Central when it was just MST3K, KITH, Whose Line, and Monty Python 24-7.

Why wasn't He-man and the Masters of the Universe on the list? Dolph Lundren was at the pinnacle of his career.

As much as I love Batman TAS and Mask of the Phantasm, hands down Adam West's Batman was the better movie. Who doesn't love the scene where Batman is running around with an oversized bomb and deciding that he can't kill innocent ducks swimming by. Classic.

By Blogger Antony, At June 5, 2008 at 9:02 PM  

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