March 2014 + 5 Cancelled TV Series That Continued on the Big Screen

I watched Gravity on the 1st of March. I didn’t watch another film ’til the 18th. Let’s see how this pans out…


March’s films

Gravity#13 Gravity (2013)
#14 World War Z (Extended Action Cut) (2013)
#15 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
#16 Chicken Little (2005)
#16a The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition) (2012/2013)
#17 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
Catching Fire#18 Space Battleship Yamato (2010)
#19 Union Station (1950)
#20 Mad Max (1979)
#21 Monsters vs Aliens (2009)
#22 Veronica Mars (2014)
#23 Legends of the Knight (2013)
#24 The Searchers (1956)


Analysis

Surprise!

March was set to be a bit of a challenge: I accumulated a deficit of four films across January and February, meaning I needed to be viewing at 150% normal necessity to get back on target; and I wasn’t going to sacrifice my annual Game of Thrones catch-up week just to accommodate some paltry movies, no sir.

So I feel a little pleased with myself that I managed to not only watch this month’s allocation of movies (for the first time since last October, in fact), but also that extra 50%. And all of Game of Thrones season three, of course.

Now, you may note that it’s the end of March — a quarter of the way through the year — and I’m not yet at 25 films. How can I be on target? Well, technically — technically — I don’t need to reach #25 until the start of April (thanks to February’s shortness, a day-by-day breakdown puts the quarter-way film on April 1st), so by making #24 at the end of March I am back on target. Technically.

That said, I’m more than 10 films behind where I’ve been for the past few years (2010, 2011 and 2013 all found me at #38 now, coincidentally), so that’s a shame. This year is shaping up to be a funny one though, so goodness knows what April will bring.


What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen…?

Squeezed in at the end there is The Searchers, this month’s WDYMYHS film, meaning I’m still on track with that too. Maybe it’ll all work out this year? That’ll be the day…


5 Cancelled TV Series That Continued on the Big Screen

Many TV shows have been remade for the big screen, often old favourites revived with all-new casts and a bigger scope. In fact, a surprising number have made the leap to the cinema with the original cast intact — all those infamous “the regular show, but in Spain” sitcom movies from the ’70s, but also successful shows where someone saw moneymaking potential just by doing the same thing but bigger.

Rarer, though, are TV series that were dropped but then, due to the dogged determination of fans and/or creators, found themselves with a large-scale reprieve. The following aren’t just any movies based on TV shows (like I said, there are loads of those), but specifically ones that were continued on the big screen — not rebooted, restarted, recast, or in any other way remade, but continued.

  1. Veronica Mars
    Veronica MarsThe recently-released inspiration for this list. An underrated series from the late ’00s, its creator and stars have tried to get a movie made ever since it was ditched. With traditional options failing, they famously turned to Kickstarter — and fans coughed up almost $6 million. Relatively strong limited-release box office and VOD chart positions suggest their wish for a sequel may be granted. Unlike:
  2. Firefly
    FireflyThe modern marker of true TV success — DVD sales (they also led to a return for series like Family Guy) — saw Joss Whedon’s short-lived, beloved space Western revived for a lap of honour. Sadly it struggled to find a big enough audience there either, dashing hopes of a sequel. But at least we got one movie. One big damn movie. One day, I’ll tell you all about how I think it’s better than Star Wars
  3. Star Trek
    Star TrekSci-fi fandoms lend themselves to this kind of list. Now that it’s a massive multimedia franchise, spanning half a dozen long-running TV series and twice as many movies, it’s easy to forget the original Star Trek was cancelled after just three years. The post-Star Wars movie world saw it rescued for the big screen. A bit like what J.J. Abrams is doing now, one might argue.
  4. Police Squad!
    Police Squad!The what now, you might ask? Police Squad lasted just six episodes in the early ’80s, but then they spun it off onto the big screen as The Naked Gun (hence that first film’s ludicrous subtitle) — which was obviously a success, because it spawned two sequels and people still go on about it. Apparently “many gags from the show were recycled for all three films,” which I guess is fair enough if no one watched your show.
  5. Twin Peaks
    Twin PeaksTwin Peaks was a cultural phenomenon, and is widely attributed with revolutionising US network television thanks to its filmic style and long-running storylines. Too long-running, as it turned out, when audiences abandoned it after things got weird (the fact it was masterminded by David Lynch should’ve been a clue) and the driving mystery was kinda-solved. A prequel movie did little to clarify things. (Apparently. I’ve still only seen season one.)

But then there’s…

    The X Files
    The X FilesSure, the first X Files movie came mid-series, but the second was a considerable time after the show left our screens. And after the TV series ended on a cliffhanger, what better than to return to the big screen so you can tell… a completely standalone and unrelated story with a TV-friendly small scale. Oops. Hopes for a third movie that would deal with the hanging plot threads were basically killed right there.

Was it worth these TV shows being continued, or should they have left well enough alone? What other demised shows deserve the same treatment?


Next month on 100 Films in a Year…

#25.

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