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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Similar Movies Coming Out At The Same Time

If you were at the theaters recently you may have seen a trailer for the upcoming film White House Down featuring Channing Tatum as a secret service agent who saves the President (Jamie Foxx) when the White House is overrun. You may be thinking to yourself that you just saw this film except the agent was Gerald Butler, the president Aaron Eckhart and the film called Olympus Has Fallen. While I have not seen White House Down, I have seen Olympus Has Fallen and I would be shocked if the Tatum film delivers. It had me thinking of the other times where two movies, with basically the same plot came out at the same time. I even made my picks for the better film.

Armageddon (7/1/98) vs Deep Impact (5/8/98)
Two movies in which a comet/asteroid is hurling towards Earth as some brave astronauts and drillers try to save the nation. While Deep Impact may be a better film in the purest sense, there is no question that Armageddon was the grander and more entertaining film. With more money and a soundtrack to back it up, Armageddon dominated the box office and has cemented itself as the destruction movie of the 90s.
Rotten Tomatoes
Armageddon- 40%
Deep Impact- 46%

Chasing Liberty (1/9/2004) vs First Daughter (9/24/2004)
Two films about the 18 year old daughter of the President of the United States came out in 2004. Both Katie Holmes and Mandy Moore played the role of the daughter who gets frustrated with her constant protection and decides to rebel. In both films however, the girls falls for a boy who in both films happens to be a secret service agent. Both films flopped at the box office but Mandy Moore’s popularity earned Chasing Liberty a better box office return.  Both films stink but the edge probably goes to Chasing Liberty.

Rotten Tomatoes
Chasing Liberty- 19%
First Daughter- 9%

The Illusionist (9/1/2006) vs The Prestige (10/20/2006)
Coming out just a month in a half apart, these two period pieces were set in Europe and explored the world of seemingly supernatural magic and its role in life or death rivalries. Ed Norton starred in the slower yet more mystical Illusionist while Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman starred as dueling magicians in the Prestige. It is almost a joke to compare a Nolan film to anything else so you can trust me when I say that The Prestige wins.

Rotten Tomatoes
The Illusionist- 74%
The Prestige- 75%

Antz (10/2/1998) vs A Bug’s Life (11/25/98)
Two computer animated films about ant colonies dominated the end of 1998. With the same plot of a average ant becoming heroic, I honestly felt like I saw the same film twice. Both of these films were big hits at the box office but A Bug’s Life ($162.8 million) dominated Antz ($90.6) as Disney/Pixar dominated Dreamworks.  It would appear that A Bug’s Life was the winner but when you rewatch these films, you may start to to think that Antz is actually the smarter film.

Rotten Tomatoes
A Bug’s Life- 91%
Antz- 95%

The Truman Show (6/5/1998) vs EdTV (3/26/1999)
These are two films that show both the upsides and downsides of having cameras broadcasting your every move to millions of captivated Americans. As Both Truman (Jim Carrey) and Ed (Matthew McConaughey) are stars of reality TV the films follow a very similar generic plot. However on a closer look, this one is not close. The Truman Show is a fantastic film and is Jim Carrey’s best dramatic role. Truman Show banked on Carrey at the box office and succeeded with $125 million while EdTV only mustered $22.4 million. The Truman Show won awards and simply dominated this battle. We love you Truman!!!!!!!!!

Rotten Tomatoes
The Truman Show- 95%
EdTV- 63%

Saving Private Ryan (7/24/1998) vs The Thin Red Line (1/15/1999)
These were two World War 2 films about a man’s heroic battle while overseas. Saving Private Ryan was directed by Spielberg and starred Tom Hanks. Throw in the fact that it is a superior film and features arguably the greatest battle scene ever captured on camera, this was a no brainer. With numerous Oscar wins and a whopping $216 million to Red Lines’s $36 million, Ryan was simply a superior film on every level.

Rotten Tomatoes
Saving Private Ryan- 94%
The Thin Red Line- 78%

Iron Eagle (1/17/1986) vs Top Gun (5/16/1986)
These two movies are about young hotshot fighter pilots who fight enemy pilots while avenging the loss of these close to them while living up to the destinies of their fathers. Top Gun may not be realistic but it is definitely in the realm of possibility. Iron Eagle on the other hand has a ridiculous pot in which a high school student successfully take on an entire fleet of an unnamed Muslim country. Top Gun earned $176 million and is one of the most quoted and culturally iconic films ever while most people have not heard of Iron Eagle and its $24 million. Winner is easily Top Gun.

Rotten Tomatoes
Top Gun- 55%
Iron Eagle- 50%

Dante’s Peak (2/7/1997) vs Volcano (4/25/1997)
These two films about experiences experts fighting off a Volcanic eruption came out only a few months apart. Dante’s Peak threatens a small town protected by Peirce Brosnan while Volcano has Tommy Lee Jones trying to save LA. Both films were flops at the box office and suffered major losses. While the spectacle of Volcano is greater being filmed in LA, Dante’s Peak is a better all around film.

Rotten Tomatoes
Dante’s Peak- 32%
Volcano- 42%

Mirror Mirror (3/30/2012) vs Snow White and the Huntsman (6/1/2012)
It took tens and tens of years for them to make a Snow White film. Then amazingly they made two of them in the same calendar year. Thankfully, these films were very different and offered a different perspective on the classic story. Mirror Mirror stared Julia Roberts and was a very whimsical and comical look at the classic tale while Snow White and the Huntsman starred Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, and Chris Hemsworth and took a very dark and epic look at the story. While SWATH made more money at the box office, the film actually failed to deliver in its goal other than the wonderfully evil Theron. Mirror Mirror went for the whimsical feel and nailed it. It gets our vote.

Rotten Tomatoes
Mirror Mirror- 50%
Snow White and The Huntsman- 48%

Friends With Benefits (7/22/2011) vs No Strings Attached (1/21/2011)

Both of these “sex between friends makes them fall in love” films came out only a few months apart. With tons of star power on both side, we saw JT and Mila Kunis go up against Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. The films are literally the same movie but one takes the comedy part to a new level. Coming off her Oscar winning performance in Black Swan, No Strings Attached dominated the box office using Portman’s popularity. But despite its cute humor and good dynamic between its stars, NSA fell short in comparison with Friends with Benefits. FWB fully bought into the ridiculousness of its story and let JT truly shine. In a very very close one, I have Friends With Benefits by a inch.

Rotten Tomatoes
Friends With Benefits- 71%
No Strings Attached- 49%

Despicable Me (7/9/2010) vs Megamind (11/5/20100
Both of these animated films were extremely successful. In both films, we see a master criminal/villain have a change of heart and become the good guy. Despicable Me starred Steve Carrel and was hillarous at points and cute the other. Megamind starred Brad Pitt and Will Ferrell. In my opinion, Megamind is one of the most underrated films of the last 10 years. I literally could not stop laughing this entire movie. It is essentially Will Ferrell humor at its best. While Despicable Me had the box office chops and will probably live on longer, I absolutely loved Megamind and couldn’t vote against it.

Rotten Tomatoes
Despicable Me- 81%
Megamind- 73%

Capote (9/30/2005) vs Infamous (10/13/2006)
These films came out the same year and focused on the life of infamous writer Truman Capote. While both films didn’t do well at the box office, Capote is clearly the winner. With an Oscar performance by Phillip Seymore Hoffman, Capote was just a better film than Infamous. Infamous starred a big cast with Toby Jones, Daniel Craig, Sandra Bullock, Sigourney Weaver and Gwyneth Paltrow. While it was a good film and focused on the early life of Capote, it just didn’t match PSH’s performance.

Rotten Tomatoes
Capote- 90%
Infamous- 72%

Madagascar (5/27/2005) vs The Wild (4/14/2006)
Less than a year after Pixar brought us the hilarious and still money making film Madagascar, Disney made an attempt at an animated film about zoo animals being released into the wild with it’s The Wild. This one is not even a joke on every level. Let’s put it this way: they are still making Madagascar films which have grossed over a few hundred million dollars and I didn’t know The Wild was ever made until I wrote this blog.

Rotten Tomatoes
Madagascar- 55%
The Wild- 19%

Finding Nemo (2003) vs Shark Tale (10/1/2004)
Both of these animated films about fish and sea creatures came out around the same time. While Will Smith’s Shark Tale had its moments, great animation and funny lines, it doesn’t come close to the dominating Finding Nemo. Finding Nemo is considered by some the best animated film since the Lion King and Toy Story and still lives on in homes today. Winner: Finding Nemo
Rotten Tomatoes
Finding Nemo- 99%
Shark Tale- 36%

Orange County (1/11/2002) vs Stealing Harvard (9/13/2002)
Both of these hilarious films about getting someone into college are underrated comedies of the early 2000’s. OC puts Jack Black and Colin Hanks together as Hank’s character tries to get into Stanford while Stealing Harvard has Tom Green and Jason Lee trying to get Lee’s niece into Harvard. Both of these films have some hilarious moments from both Black and Green and both Hanks and Lee play their roles to perfection. While Tom Green makes me laugh as much as any human being on the planet, I am going to have to go with Orange County as the better overall film.

Rotten Tomatoes
Orange County- 46%
Stealing Harvard- 9%

Powder (10/27/1995) vs Phenomenon (7/5/1996)
Coming out less than a year apart, these two films featured average people with supernatural powers. Both were intriguing films and definitely worth a watch. However in my opinion, Phenomenon is the more clever film and it doesn’t hurt that it had a great performance from John Travolta.

Rotten Tomatoes
Phenomenon- 50%
Powder- 47%


Striptease (7/28/1996) vs Showgirls (9/22/2005)
Both films had popular stars stripping down in these two films. I won’t go into it more but just know that Striptease is by far the better movie. Showgirls is quite ridiculous.

Rotten Tomatoes
Striptease- 11%
Showgirls- 14%

Babe (8/4/1995) vs Gordy (5/12/1995)
Two films about a pig in the same year?? What was 1995 thinking? Babe all the way.

Rotten Tomatoes
Babe- 98%
Gordy- 14%

Little Big League (6/29/1994) vs Rookie of the Year (1993)
These two films featured young boys getting a career started in Major League Baseball; one as a pitcher for the Cubs ,the other as the manager of the Twins. Both are entertaining watches but Rookie of the Year is by far the better film. The movie is as funny as it is fun and I still quote this film with brothers today.

 Rotten Tomatoes
Little Big League- 33%
Rookie of the Year- 39%

Turner & Hooch (7/28/1989) vs K-9 (6/1/1989)
Both of these films feature Cops whos’ partner in fighting in crime is also his best friend, aka a dog. The films came out only a month apart but there is no question that Turner and Hooch starring Tom Hanks was the better overall film.

Rotten Tomatoes
Turner and Hooch- 62%
K-9- 22%

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