With the release of 'CHIPS' this week based on the six season run of the popular '70's and '80's television show 'CHiPs', this latest big screen adaptation of rich '60's, '70's and '80's source material adds another updated Hollywood makeover that may or may not prove to be successful, and which is created for an audience most likely to be unfamiliar with that earlier source material. 'CHIPS' joins a long line of updated small screen versions that have graced our big screens in recent years often with big names attached, that have included 'The A-Team', 'Starsky and Hutch', 'The Saint', 'The Equaliser', 'The Dukes of Hazard' (two films), 'The Sweeney', 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.', 'The X-Files' (two films), 'The Brady Bunch' (three films), 'The Avengers' (not the Marvel adaptation), 'Miami Vice', 'Charlie's Angels' (two films), 'The Addams Family' (three films), 'Dad's Army', '21 Jump Street' (two films) and probably the most successful long running franchise 'Star Trek' that has seen thirteen films released since 1979 in various iterations, followed up by 'Mission : Impossible' that has spawned five films so far with a sixth currently in production. Of course there have been plenty others too, most of which are instantly forgettable or unrecognisable, and animated series that have spawned live action remakes or reboots including 'Power Rangers', 'Scooby-Doo', 'The Smurfs', 'The Flintstones', 'Thunderbirds', 'The Muppets', 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' and lets not forget those Superhero characters offerings from both the Marvel and DC universe.
This week there are just three new filmic offerings coming your way, that kick off with the big screen treatment of a much loved late '70's/early '80's American motorcycle buddy cop show that is updated to the present day with all the politically incorrect, body humour, sight gags, sexual innuendo and over the top mindless unnecessary violence that fourteen year olds will just lap up! Then we have the big screen sequel to a popular Australian dance school drama that sees the continuation of those students lives out in the real world; and wrapping up with a French foreign language offering of a rural Doctors practice handed over from trusted long standing medic to a young buck from the big city.
When you have sat through your film of choice in the coming week, remember that, as always, you are warmly invited to share your movie going views and opinions with us at this Blog, by leaving your relevant, constructive and pertinent observations in the Comments section below this or any other Post. Meanwhile, enjoy your film experience this week.
'CHIPS' : (Rated MA15+) - with a tag line like 'Chip Happens' you just know what you're gonna get in this big screen adaptation of the popular television series that ran for six seasons, and 139 episodes from 1977 through until 1983. That series centred around two California Highway Patrol (CHP, hence CHiPs) men - Francis (Frank) Llewelyn 'Ponch' Poncherello played by Eric Estrada and Jonathan (Jon) A. Baker played by Larry Wilcox. In 1999 a one off made for television movie sequel was released that starred the original two leading cast members, and a number of supporting cast. And so in 2017 Dax Shepard has taken it upon himself to almost single handedly resurrect the show with this updated version following the old formula. Shepard Directed, Co-Produced, Wrote and Stars in this big Hollywood offering that was made for US$25M, has received average Reviews at best, and has so far taken US$18M at the Box Office since its release in the US on the 24th March.
In this big screen version Michael Pena stars as Officer Frank 'Ponch' Poncherello a cocky self assured FBI agent working undercover at the CHP investigating a multi-million dollar heist that just might be an inside job within the CHP, and Dax Shepard stars as Officer Jon Baker a former bike riding champion turned probationary CHP officer who is also trying to piece back together his life and his marriage. And then there's Vincent D'Onofrio as Ray Kurtz, a bloodthirsty leader of a group of corrupt cops within the CHP department. The two new CHP partners must first learn to get along with each other, and I guess they do say that opposites attract, and then they need to thwart the corrupt cops operating in their midst. Also starring Kirsten Stewart, and Eric Estrada cameo's as a Paramedic.
'DANCE ACADEMY : THE MOVIE' (Rated PG) - based on the popular award winning teenage Australian drama television series that aired over three seasons, and sixty-five episodes from 2010 through to 2013, charting a bunch of newly enrolled students at Sydney's National Academy of Dance. The three seasons represented, years one, two and three of their dance training culminating in their graduation and attempting to land contracts to become principle dancers with various dance company's. This film is therefore a big screen sequel to that series, and is set eighteen months after the events of series three, and follows Tara Webster's (Xenia Goodwin) journey as she pursues her dream to become a ballerina star, whilst also following the other characters from the series, and where they are at today in their lives, and their hopes and aspirations in pursuing their dance career dream. Miranda Otto also stars, and the film is Directed by Jeffrey Walker.
'THE COUNTRY DOCTOR' (Rated M) - also known as 'Irreplaceable', this French language dramedy film was first released in March 2016, and now a year later lands at Australian cinemas. Directed and Co-wriiten by Thomas Lilti this popular film stars Francois Cluzet as Doctor Jean-Pierre Werner, a rural Doctor who has devoted his lifes work to serving his patients in the country side, working long hours, often going beyond the call of duty, and establishing himself as a pillar of the community, over the last thirty years or so. He is dependable, reliable, responsible and trustworthy. When he himself is diagnosed with suffering from a serious illness it means he must give up his work and the pressures and demands that go with it. Enter Nathalie Delezia (Marianne Denicourt) a young Doctor with a Hospital background who is sent to assist Werner transition out of his role as the Country Doctor and take over his practice. Will she be able to take over from the man who believes he is irreplaceable, win over the locals, and meet the demands of her position as the new Country Doctor?
With three very different movies to choose from this week, plus all those others still out on general release, you are sure to find something that appeals to your film going senses. Remember to share your thoughts with us here when you have done so, and in the meantime I'll see you somewhere, sometime in the week ahead, at your local Odeon.
-Steve, at Odeon Online-