Pitting Hollywood's 20 Most Derivative Movies Against Each Other

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Same? Same. Same! Pitting Hollywood’s 20 Most Derivative Movies Against Each Other

By Rob Payne | Seriously Random Lists | July 2, 2013 | Comments ()


This past weekend saw the release of White House Down, just months after the release of the other secret-service-agent-must-save-a-President-under-siege-at-the-1600-Pennsylvania-Ave. movie of 2013, Olympus Has Fallen. With Channing Tatum and Gerard Butler playing the ostensible McClanes — and Jamie Foxx and Aaron Eckhart playing the Samuel L. Jacksons — there’s probably a very good reason both of the dumb action movies were described as being, at best, Die Hard-lite. If we had to pick a winner out of that match-up — and I’ve yet to see either — I would say it’s television’s “24.” Because apparently it did more than prepare the U.S. for its first black President, but it also prepared us for the inevitable White House home invasion backlash, too.

As ridiculous as it seems, two identical movies coming out of the Hollywood system within a year of, even in the same year as, one another is nothing new. And while there is usually a clear victor between these dueling movies in terms of box office and audience/critical reception, that’s less interesting to me than determining the actual non-losers in terms of overall cultural impact. So let’s see who the real winners are when 20 of Hollywood’s Most Identical Movies Go Head-to-Head:

Armageddon vs. Deep Impact
Armageddon is the Michael Bay asteroid disaster movie starring Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, and Liv Tyler’s abdominal region.

Deep Impact is the Mimi Leder asteroid disaster movie starring Elijah Wood, Tea Leoni, and Morgan Freeman as the Black President.

And the wiinner is… Not-America! Because no other landmass on Earth seems to suffer any ill effects from either asteroid.

Antz vs. A Bug’s Life
Antz is the Dreamworks animated ant adventure starring Woody Allen, Sylvester Stallone, and Sharon Stone as the uncomfortably attractive love interest.

A Bug’s Life is the Pixar animated ant adventure starring Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, and Julia Louis Dreyfuss as the uncomfortably attractive love interest.

And the winner is… Dave Foley! Because a steady stream of income from Disney ensures he can make alimony payments in night perpetuity.

The Illusionist vs. The Prestige
The Illustionist is Neil Burger’s 19th century magicians movie starring Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti Rufus Sewell, and Jessica Biel as the woman who loves them.

The Prestige is Christopher Nolan’s 19th century magicians movie starring Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, and Scarlet Johansson as the woman who loves them.

And the winner is… Nikola Tesla! Because David Bowie made science-with-an-exclamation-point cool again.

Mirror Mirror vs. Snow White and the Huntsman
Mirror Mirror is Tarsem Singh’s Walt Disney-ish live action fairytale starring Lilly Collins, Armie Hammer, and Julia Roberts as the vamping evil queen.

Snow White and the Huntsman is Rupert Sander’s Brothers Grimm-esque live action fairytale starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron as the vamping evil queen.

And the winner is… Robert Pattinson! Because the scandalous Sanders/Stewart affair got him out of a tabloid relationship and into a David Cronenberg movie.

Like Father Like Son vs. Vice Versa
Like Father Like Son is the 1980s father/son body swap movie starring Dudley Moore and Kirk Cameron as the father/son son/father, respectively.

Vice Versa is the 1980s father/son body swap movie starring Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage as the father/son son/father, respectively.

And the winner is… Alcohol! Because movies like these are why we drink - just ask Dudley Moore.

K-9 vs. Turner & Hooch
K-9 is the 1980s man-meets-dog buddy cop action comedy starring James Belushi and a adorable German Shepherd as the buddy cops.

Turner & Hooch is the 1980s man-meets-dog buddy cop action comedy starring Tom Hanks and a adorable Dogue de Bordeaux as the buddy cops.

And the winner is… Hooch! Because he’s crazy.

The Truman Show vs. EdTV
The Truman Show is Peter Weir’s satirical takedown of reality television starring Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, and Natascha McElhone as the rebellious love interest.

EdTV is Ron Howard’s satirical takedown of reality television starring Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, and Jenna Elfman as the rebellious love interest.

And the winner is… Reality TV! Because we’ll never learn.

Chasing Liberty vs. First Daughter
Chasing Liberty is the romantic comedy about a President of the United States’ teenage daughter falling for a lantern-jawed good guy she probably shouldn’t starring Mandy Moore, Matthew Goode, and Mark Harmon as the concerned father-cum-POTUS .

First Daughter is the romantic comedy about a President of the United States’ teenage daughter falling for a lantern-jawed good guy she probably shouldn’t starring Katie Holmes, Marc Blucas, and Michael Keaton as the concerned father-cum-POTUS.

And the winner is… Sinbad! Because both movies made everyone forget that First Kid ever happened.

Tombstone vs. Wyatt Earp
Tombstone is the 1990s action adventure take on the shootout at the OK Corral starring Kurt Russell, Sam Elliot, Bill Paxton, and Val Kilmer as the charmingly offensive Doc Holliday.

Wyatt Earp is the 1990s period epic version of the shootout at the OK Corral starring Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, Michael Madsen, and Dennis Quaid as the charmingly offensive Doc Holliday.

And the winner is… Doc Holiday, what other historical figure had two legitimately brilliant portrayals within 12 months of each other?

Mission to Mars vs. Red Planet
Mission to Mars is the Brian de Palma sci-fi flick about the first manned mission to Mars, the “red planet,” starring Gary Sinise, Don Cheadle, Connie Nielsen, and Tim Robbins as the astronauts surviving the ensuing hijinks.

Red Planet is the only Antony Hoffman flick about the first manned mission to the “red planet,” Mars, starring Val Kilmer, Benjamin Bratt, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Tom Sizemore as the astronauts surviving the ensuing hijinks.

And the winner is… Martians! Because these lackluster blockbusters failed to resonate — as evidenced by the Curiosity rover’s interplanetary disrespect — the underground inhabitants could sneak attack us and we’d never see it coming.

Rob Payne also writes the comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter, tumbls on the Tumblr, and his wares can be purchased here. He totally cops to ripping off paying homage to Joanna’s text-on-pics style for this post.

Trailer Tuesday: Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams Kiss Angrily. Need I Say More? | We Live In a Country Where Cops Could Shoot a Dog Four Times And Russell Brand Is a Voice of Reason

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Jay Smith

    Valmont vs Dangerous Liasons?

  • xyz

    Hollywood "intelligence"..... NOT

  • AnnaKendrick'sLoveMuffin

    So, Olympus Has Fallen is set before Deep Impact during Morgan Freeman's congressional career? Or is it like the Bush family and that guys a cousin or brother or son?

  • peachykeen5014

    More of this, please.

  • e jerry powell

    I am so grooving on Dave Foley lately. But seriously, it's not the alimony that's killing him, because Tabatha Southey has a job. What's busting his balls is the family court judge overseeing the child support payments.

  • At least he's allowed back in Canada now?

  • e jerry powell

    Nope. The opposite. He's still in arrears on the child support, last I heard. The judge maintains that Foley's ability to pay has no bearing on his obligation to pay, regardless of the fact that his payments were calculated based on his income at the time of "News Radio" (though it dropped precipitously shortly thereafter).

    That whole thing strikes me as weird; the material change in his financial situation would be completely different if he and Southey were still married: if he had lost his job before the divorce, the whole family would have taken the hit together.

  • phofascinating

    The one that always baffled me was Paul Blart Mall Cop vs. Observe and Report. What crazy person was in the original pitch meeting and thought, "A MALL COP movie?! What a great idea! But their story sounds terrible. I'll go make my own and it will be HILARIOUS."

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Independence Day vs. Mars Attacks!

  • Steve Baker

    well done

  • CaseX

    No "Breakin'" vs. "Beat Street"? Christ...for the street cred alone...

  • jon29

    Paris and Shanghai were both completely destroyed in Armageddon. Criterion Collection, yo.

  • You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • jon29

    You know what's shameful? At the time, Criterion was the only way to get an anamorphic widescreen version of the film. Damned philistines.

  • Sherri

    What about Volcano and Dante's Peak?

  • The winner is Tommy Lee Jones. He's the only one in either one who's got a non-embarrassing career anymore, no?

  • Honestly, I couldn't think of a winner, and I couldn't make "nobody" funny.

  • Monica

    Lava? Can lava win?

  • Bananapanda

    It did make Hawaii.

  • You're history's greatest monster!

  • CosmoNewanda

    You forgot Friends with Benefits (2011) vs.No Strings Attached (2011). Winner: anyone who likes seeing Mila Kunis mostly naked.

  • Me!

  • Muhnah_Muhnah

    Me too!

  • Rocabarra

    This is a legitimately hilarious article. I have nothing more to add.

  • ZizoAH

    No Strings Attached vs. Friends with Benefits (a.k.a. Natalie Portman vs. Mila Kunis - the only time my whole life I doubted my homosexuality is when they went at it in Black Swan).

  • foolsage

    Erm. In the Illusionist, Sophie (the love interest - Jessica Biel) is torn between Eisenheim (the illusionist - Edward Norton) and Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell). Paul Giamatti's Chief Inspector Uhl is not part of the love triangle, as suggested in the article.

  • The fact that you know The Illusionist this well tells me you aren't ready.

  • foolsage

    Come on now; the love triangle is central to the whole movie. This isn't obscure trivia. ;)

  • kushiro -

    Please don't get mad at me, but is "erm" a thing people are doing now? Because, why?

  • foolsage

    It's an interjection, not unlike "hmm", that's used to indicate that the speaker/writer is pausing while considering how to express something. It's not a new thing. I couldn't say if it's a trend or not currently, and don't much care either way; it's something I've used for a long time.

    But curse you to the darkest depths of hell for asking a reasonable question! Arrr! Grrr! OK, no, I'm not mad at you.

  • BigBlueKY

    thank the ermahgerd meme.

  • bleujayone

    B-b-but where is the cage match between Lambada Vs. The Forbidden Dance? Or what about Breakin' Vs. Beat Street? Or the ultimate no-holds-barred battle of 1982- E.T. Vs. The Thing?

  • Idle Primate

    ET got a kid drunk whereas The Thing made us nervous about petrie dishes. No contest. And I didn't mention who wins

  • BWeaves

    Is it wrong that I thought most of these were the same movie?

  • TheOriginalMRod

    That is an interesting retouch job on the Doc Holliday picture... oh Photoshop, you have us spoiled... more interesting than the attempt to "paint" in the mustache and beard(?) is the liberal use of rouge... to make him look healthier? Because of the tuberculosis?

  • BWeaves

    It was common even through the 1950's to "color" black and white photographs. My own baby pictures from that era are from Olan Mills, are black and white, and retouched with hand coloration.

    However, the magic marker-ish beard and hairline are a bit amateurish on the Doc Holiday photo.

  • kushiro -

    Dave Foley used to be so pretty.

  • e jerry powell

    Being married to BPD seems to have that kind of effect on people.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    Nikola Tesla was the electric Jesus.

  • Nikola Tesla vs Thomas Edison. Epic Rap Battles of History Season 2. :


  • Bodhi

    I got my husband the Oatmeal's Tesla > Edison shirt for Christmas & would wear it every day if he could.

  • Robert Guillaume was in that Sinbad movie?!? I cry.

  • Laura

    To be fair, I'm pretty sure Paris was destroyed in Armageddon.

  • Fredo

    and didn't they also destroy some city in Asia? Hong Kong? Manila? The one with all the boats and the people huddled around the one good TV?

  • Shanghai. Not that I know every word to that movie. Because I don't. And by don't, I mean do.

  • Laura

    Yep, thinking you might be right. It's one of my guilty pleasure movies, similar to Con Air.

  • Fredo

    Con Air is everyone's guilty pleasure

  • zeke_the_pig

    And, in the vast majority of these colossal match-ups, no matter who wins, we all lose.

  • Fredo

    I don't know. I still have lots of love for Tombstone and Kilmer's Holliday.

    "You're no daisy! You're no daisy at all!"

  • Lovely Bones

    *Aims shotgun at face*


    *Proceeds to go on murder rampage while screaming NOOO!*

  • zeke_the_pig

    Hell I could watch 90 minutes worth of that performance alone.
    Aside from that, The Truman Show and The Prestige, though, probably about a combined 90 seconds of the rest of this twaddle is all I could stomach before looking like Kilmer's Holliday at film's end.

  • toblerone

    Where's the Wyatt Earp vs Tombstone comparison?

  • pajiba

    Umm. It's the second to last one.

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