Friday, May 25, 2012

Movie Deja Vu

Source: IMDb & Box Office Mojo

While so many movies are pumped out to the masses we're bound to see some deju vu. Hollywood has never been a stranger to piggybacking off a "successful" formula either. It's blatantly obvious they are running out of ideas, much less good ideas. Some would question: "Why are they doing "said" movie when it's already been done?" Take for example, Snow White. Do we really need another Snow White movie, let alone two in the same year? When this occurs it usually comes down to two things: Which one will fare better at the box office, and which one will be the fan favorite? (In most cases, these two questions are one in the same)

More times than not, the second movie tends to make more money. However, in the event that it doesn't, it's (usually) dubbed the fan favorite anyway, making the second film (usually) the better one regardless of profit. Take a look at a list of deja vu movies below and see for yourself. Remember, these films only consist of same-year-release-date, with extremely (operative word being extremely) similar plots lines.

(Note: I based this off domestic gross only, as some movies do not have the international gross listed)

Top Gun vs. Iron Eagle
Plot: Young hotshots with incredible, innate fighter pilot skills. Top Gun is the obvious winner here, while Iron Eagle... well... does anyone even remember this movie?
Iron Eagle
Release Date: January 17, 1986
*Top Gun*
Release Date: May 16, 1986
Gross: $176,786,701

K-9 vs. Turner & Hooch
Plot: A police officer teams up with dog. Turner & Hooch grossed a bit more at the box office, but K-9 got two direct-to-video sequels, while Turner & Hooch only managed a failed TV pilot. Neither film were particularly well reviewed.
Release Date: April 28, 1989
Gross: $43,247,647
*Turner & Hooch*
Release Date: July 28, 1989
Gross: $71,079,915

Leviathan vs. The Abyss
Plot: A group of people on an underwater mission encounter dangerous, unidentified creatures that put their lives in serious peril, changing their mission to survive! Not only is The Abyss a great movie, but it helped launch James Cameron's career, while no one has even heard of Leviathan.
Release Date: March 17, 1989
Gross: $15,704,614
*The Abyss*
Release Date: August 11, 1989
Gross: $54,222,310

Terminal Velocity vs. Drop Zone
Plot: Special Forces skydivers. Drop Zone was supposed to be released first, but re-shoots ended up delaying it until after Terminal Velocity was released. Intentional? hmmm...
Terminal Velocity
Release Date: September 23, 1994
Gross: $16,487,349
*Drop Zone*
Release Date: December 9, 1994
Gross: $28,735,315

Gordy vs. Babe
Plot: Live action movies that involve talking pigs. I'm sure Gordy was seen by one or two people, while Babe was seen by all. It's considered one of the greatest family films ever made (and certainly the best-ever with talking animals). It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects.
Release Date: May 12, 1995
Gross: $3,941,146
Release Date: August 4, 1995
Gross: $63,658,910

Dante's Peak vs. Volcano
Plot: Volcano eruptions. The former being the surprising winner, taking home more cash-flow than the latter. This is one of the few examples that disputes my deja vu theory. Regardless, Volcano is still the fan favorite.
*Dante's Peak*
Release Date: February 7, 1997
Gross: $67,127,760
Volcano (fan favorite)
Release Date: April 25, 1997
Gross: $49,323,468

Antz vs. A Bug's Life
Plot: Featuring ants as their main protagonists. Both films were a success with both audiences and critics, as well as financially, however, A Bugs Life clearly takes the cake.
Release Date: October 2, 1998
Gross: $90,757,863
*A Bugs Life*
Release Date: November 20, 1998
Gross: $162,798,565

Deep Impact vs. Armageddon
Plot: A meteor headed for Earth. Both films revolved around different reactions to the same idea - one more dramatic, the other more action-based. Armageddon made more money, but scientists say Deep Impact was much more accurate.
Deep Impact
Release Date: May 8, 1998
Gross: $140,464,664
Release Date: July 1, 1998
Gross: $201,578,182

Supernova vs. Pitch Black
Plot: Space movies about a motley crew of misfits that must survive a hostile environment and an Ax Crazy serial killer. Pitch Black did more with its plot than Supernova did and it eventually spawned a pretty fat franchise with a sequel and a video game, while Supernova pretty much... super-sucked.
Release Date: January 14, 2000
Gross: $14,230,455
*Pitch Black*
Release Date: February 18, 2000
Gross: $39,240,659

Mission to Mars vs. Red Planet
Plot: Movies about going to Mars! Here's another example where the first movie made more money than the second. However, overall, both films were major money losers for their studios, but Red still manages to have a larger fan-base today.
*Mission to Mars*
Release Date: March 10, 2000
Gross: $60,883,407
Red Planet (fan favorite)
Release Date: November 10, 2000
Gross: $17,480,890

Orange County vs. Stealing Harvard
Plot: Two guys finagling their way into the good graces of a prestigious university. Neither did well at the box office, but Orange County is considered better and has a better following today.
*Orange County*
Release Date: January 11, 2002
Gross: $41,076,018
Stealing Harvard
Release Date: September 13, 2002
Gross: $14,036,406

Chasing Liberty vs. First Daughter
Plot: Both rom-coms about a First Daughter who falls in love with a seemingly ordinary young man, only to discover that he's actually an undercover Secret Service. Could these two films have a more similar plot-line? Both tie for lameness.
*Chasing Liberty*
Release Date: January 9, 2004
Gross: $12,195,626
First Daughter
Release Date: September 24, 2004
Gross: $9,055,921

The Illusionist vs. The Prestige
Plot: Period movies where very handsome actors play magicians who seem to perform the impossible. Both were successful, but Prestige seems to have more fans currently.
The Illusionist
Release Date: September 1, 2006
Gross: $39,868,642
*The Prestige*
Release Date: October 20, 2006
Gross: $53,089,891

Paul Blart: Mall Cop vs. Observe and Report
Plot: Both comedies about overweight mall security guards attempting to stop criminals. Mall Cop was a runaway box office smash, but critics weren't too fond of it. Observe did modestly at the box office and got mixed reviews, but is perceived as the better film.
*Paul Blart: Mall Cop*
Release Date: January 16, 2009
Gross: $146,336,178
Observe and Report (fan favorite)
Release Date: April 10, 2009
Gross: $24,007,324

The Back-up Plan vs. The Switch
Plot: Cheesy rom-coms about a single woman who undergoes artificial insemination. Although, Switch received slightly better reviews than Back-Up, both opened to disappointing numbers - shocker.
*The Back Up Plan*
Release Date: April 23, 2010
Gross: $37,490,007
The Switch (fan favorite)
Release Date: August 20, 2010
Gross: $27,779,426

Killers vs. Knight and Day
Plot: A hit-man and a normal gal who gets caught up in his spy-based dilemma. Knight and Day fared somewhat better as it received relatively decent reviews, whereas Killers wasn't screened for critics and barely made back its budget
Release Date: June 4, 2010
Gross: $47,059,963
*Knight and Day*
Release Date: June 23, 2010
Gross: $76,423,035

No Strings Attached vs. Friends with Benefits
Plot: A been there done that rom-com posing the same question "can casual sex exist without emotion creeping in?" Both films were modestly successful box-office wise, but Friends still wins with its mostly positive reviews compared to Strings' mixed critical reaction. And if we're going off total gross (international as well as domestic), Friends wins by a couple million, so....
*No Strings Attached*
Release Date: January 21, 2011
Gross: $70,662,220
Friends with Benefits (fan favorite)
Release Date: July 22, 2011
Gross: $55,802,754

The Tree of Life vs. Melancholia
Plot: "Big-budget art-house films" that feature dysfunctional family drama alongside epic cosmic events. Melancholia got better reviews and public praise, while The Tree of Life had better PR and received more awards.
*The Tree of Life*
Release Date: May 27, 2011
Gross: $13,303,319
Melancholia (fan favorite)
Release Date: November 11, 2011
Gross: $3,030,848

Mirror Mirror vs. Snow White and the Huntsman
Plot: Live-action versions of "Snow White." Mirror Mirror is more humorous and family friendly, whereas Snow White and the Huntsman is a darker, more Lord of the Rings stylized version.
Mirror Mirror
Release Date: March 30, 2012
Gross: as of May 25, 2012 = $61,671,689
Snow White & the Huntsman (fan favorite?...)
Release Date: June 1, 2012
Gross: ??

If history has taught us anything SWATH will be our box office winner. Stay tuned...

Who is your Queen?
you see Snow White and the Huntsman in theaters?

Monday, May 21, 2012

007's Skyfall Teaser

Source: Youtube

"Some men are coming to kill us... we're going to kill them first."
Columbia Pictures finally released their first teaser to the long awaited Jame Bond movie, Skyfall, the 23rd Bond film and third to star Daniel Craig as Agent 007 (following Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace). This is just an early tease, so it doesn't reveal too much (which I like), but it still gives you a taste of what's yet to come. And man, does it taste sweet. It's a perfect teaser, I think. It's intriguing, thrilling and badass. Take and look and enjoy!

Skyfall is directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, Away We Go), from a script by Robert Wade, John Logan and Neal Purvis. Helen McCrory and Ola Rapace will appear in Skyfall, joining previously announced stars Daniel Craig as James Bond 007, Javier Bardem, Dame Judi Dench as M, Ralph Fiennes (love him), Albert Finney, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, with Ben Whishaw. Talk about a great cast! You can expect to see 007 hit theaters on November 9th 2012.

Look any good?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dark Shadows Review

If you're looking for a quirky, vampire comedy with hints of romance, teenage angst, mingled with a little "cheese," look no further - Dark Shadows is your man. Director Tim Burton finally returns to his dark roots with his latest efforts. And even though it doesn't come close to Burton's classics - Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice - it's still entertaining.

In case you don't know the story, it goes something like this:
Johnny Depp stars as Barnabas Collins, a prominent citizen of Collinsport, Maine, who had the misfortune of breaking the heart of a witch, Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). She retaliates by turning Barnabas into a vampire, and burying him for 200 years. When he escapes, it's 1972. He returns to his family mansion, which is occupied by a new generation of Collinses, including Elizabeth (Michelle Pfeiffer) and young Carolyn (Chloë Grace Moretz who I adore, btw). Additionally, a new governess, who oddly enough resembles Barnabas's long lost love, turns up. Barnabas tries to restore the family's glory, and its fishing business, but Angelique is still alive and hell bent on possessing Barnabas at any cost.

With its malnourished
story line, by no means is this popcorn flick worth remembering (even though it does have two important key players - JD and vampires), but as a whole, and not to be a complete downer, Dark Shadows is still enjoyable, humorous and fun to watch. I applaud Burton and his amazing special effects crew as well. The visuals were phenomenal! Absolutely stunning. If you remember anything from this movie it's the special effects, backed by a great 70's soundtrack. All in all, I'd say this is a renter.
Rating: C


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Marvel's The Avengers Review

What do you get when you put Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Captain America (Chris Evans) in a room together? One big testosterone fueled fighting machine, not to mention an excellent start to the Summer blockbuster season. Marvel's The Avengers has already ranked in a whopping $200M+ opening weekend, domestically. Foreign: over $441M, equaling an incredible grand total of $641,800,000 worldwide. That's a pretty impressive feat considering the production budget was $220M. Our friends over at BoxOfficeMojo foresee it making roughly $420M (domestically). I say it surpasses. We shall see.

The story goes something like this: Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Director of the international peace keeping agency S.H.I.E.L.D., is forced to recruit each hero into a special task force to fight earth’s annihilation using the Tesseract, an untested energy source that will open a portal to Chitauri forces guided by Thor’s demented half-brother, the exiled Loki (Tom Hiddleston - love him). Loki immediately invades S.H.I.E.L.D.’s headquarters and kidnaps, using mind control of course, several of its key scientists, including super archer Hawkeye/Agent Clint Barton.

The summer smash hit has everything you could want from a superhero movie and more - try 6 times more. And with 6 times more the muscle you can expect 6 times more the "magic," which is blatantly evident in this blockbuster hit. Director Joss Whedon does the seemingly impossible by satisfying each superhero’s fan base while simultaneously dividing out each hero’s scenes in equal fashion. He delivers with thunderous applause and for that we thank you.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Sure it has some cheesy one-liners, backed with some near impossible action scenes, but c'mon, it's a superhero movie. It's fun, funny, exciting, thrilling and above all highly entertaining back with some phenomenal special effects. They definitely left it open for a sequel, which of course will make even more money. My only compliant is that the final battle scene is a bit lengthy and was reminiscent of the final battle scene in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. But we can over look that thanks in large part to the flashy, patriotic driven superheroes themselves. As far as seeing this movie in 3D, I've said it before and I'll say it again, if a movie isn't filmed in 3D (ahem, The Avengers) it's a waste of your money and don't bother. Be sure to stay till the very end of the credits too - some fun stuff.

Did you like?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Movies That Come to the Rescue Mash-Up

Source: Firstshowing

This is a perfect movie mash-up in light of Marvel's release of The Avengers this weekend. The Sleepy Skunk put together this awesome super hero movie mash-up entited: Movies That Come to the Rescue. This mash-up features cool footage from pretty much every superhero anything. They even added Blade, along with, my personal favorite, Batman. You'll also see The Watchmen, Spidey, TMNT, Kick-Ass, The Shadow and The Incredibles in the mix as well. It's definitely a fun superhero tribute. Enjoy!

Even though I'm not a fan of their song choice (Perfect Situation by Weezer), I feel the clips were added perfectly to match the song, which is very cool. The guys over at Sleepy Skunk have been whipping up mash-ups for a little while now, and they definitely excel at it. You can also find a full rundown of every piece of footage, with time breakdowns, on their YouTube page. Some of my all-time favorite superhero movies include Batman (1989), The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 2, X-Men 2, Iron Man and Thor.

What are some of your favorite Superheros?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Final Chilling Trailer For The Dark Knight Rises

Source: TDKR07202012

"My mother warned me about getting into cars with strange men"
Warner Brothers has released their final, chilling trailer to Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. One last reveal to convince everyone to see this in theaters - as if we need convincing, right. Anyway, you will definitely want to check it out. This looks phenomenal and I have no doubt it will be this Summer's #1 blockbuster. Christian Bale returns as Batman with Tom Hardy as Bane, Anne Hathaway as Catwoman (after seeing this trailer, I'm hating the idea of her as Catwoman a lot less), along with many more familiar faces. The fire rises as the legend comes to an end.

Eight years after The Dark Knight, the terrorist leader Bane arrives in Gotham City, pushing it and its police force to the limits, forcing its former hero Batman to resurface after taking the fall for Harvey Dent.

The Dark Knight Rises is once again directed by Oscar nominated British filmmaker Christopher Nolan, of Following, Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight and Inception previously. The script was co-written by Christopher & Jonathan Nolan (The Prestige, The Dark Knight), from a story by Chris Nolan & David S. Goyer (of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight). Warner Bros is bringing the legend to regular and IMAX theaters everywhere July 20th, 2012.

Worth seeing?

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