Monday, June 30, 2008

'Smart' Remake

With the dearth of stuff on TV during these summer days, I find myself at the movies a lot more during what has been an unusually strong summer.

"Get Smart" is the latest in the long trend of movies adapted from TV shows, and I have to say, it's one of the better ones. A friend of mine in LA saw the movie weeks before its official debut and raved about it, but when some less-than-kind reviews came out afterward, I didn't really know what to expect.

But my friends and I turned out to be very well entertained by the spy spoof, which stars Steve Carell ("The Office") and Anne Hathaway ("The Princess Diaries"). The movie deftly updates the 1960s Don Adams series, both paying an homage to the source material while creating something more modern.

Often, TV series adapted for the screen tend to fail more than they succeed. For every decent adaptation like "The Addams Family" (which I enjoyed at least even if others didn't), you get a lot of bad ones, such as "The Avengers."

With movies so expensive to make these days, Hollywood often looks for properties that the general public already has a familiarity with. Because people have a general idea of what something like "Get Smart" is going to be about, it makes marketing the movie that much easier.

What Hollywood often fails to realize is that TV shows have whole seasons to develop characters, whereas movies have just two hours, which is often why the movie never seems as good as the original.

But, occasionally, Hollywood also gets it right and can bring a fresh take to familiar material.

MONDAY'S BEST BETS: "The Middleman" (ABC Family, 10 p.m.) has gotten a lot of positive buzz since it debuted a couple of weeks ago, and a new episode airs tonight.

ABC is all-new with its all-reality lineup, beginning with two hours of "The Bachelorette" and continuing with "The Mole" at 10 p.m. NBC counters with "American Gladiators" and two hours of "Nashville Star."

Finally, Showtime airs new installments of "Weeds" and "Secret Diary of a Call Girl," beginning at 10 p.m.


zodin2008 said...

The negative reviews had repelled me back from "Smart" but after seeing you give it a thumbs up, I am more inclined to check it out. And you generally have to like any cast that includes Carrell, Hathaway, The Rock and Alan Arkin.

Phillip Ramati said...

It's a great cast and worth 2 hours of your time.

Coastbunny said...

Here's the url for my interview with Tom Astle and Matt Ember, the "Get Smart" screenwriters: