Laser Time – Twin Competing Movies

Call it common thought, stolen scripts, or something else entirely, but it’s always weird when two studios put out very similar movies in the same timeframe. We dig into the biggest clashes of twin movies and declare winners!

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30 thoughts on “Laser Time – Twin Competing Movies

  1. I’ve never seen either, but I always confuse ├ćon Flux and Ultraviolet. They released three months apart and despite not knowing anything about either films, the trailers, posters, and everything surrounding them are always blended together in my mind.

    1. Ditto on that front, the only reason I’d be able to say Ultraviolet is the Jovovich one is because it was recently added to Netflix and she’s in the promo art.

  2. Correction: Big Trouble was written by Dave Barry, not Carl Hiaasen. Probably wouldn’t have commented if I wasn’t such a big Dave Barry fan. Love the show!

  3. I live in the town with the Coca-Cola sign that was in Armageddon (at the end, when the sun rises after Earth has been saved and the kids run around the corner in slo-mo playing with trucks and airplanes and whatnot). It was repainted just for the shot, and it still looks great.

    Also Chris, Dave Barry wrote Big Trouble, not Carl Hiaasen. It was heavily influenced by Hiaasen’s style, but not written by him.

    1. Sorry to double up but I wrote the above before the episode was over. Two pairs that stand out in my memory that weren’t mentioned:

      1. Sky High and Zoom. Both movies about schools for kids with superpowers. Sky High starred Kurt Russell and wasn’t too bad from what I recall. Zoom starred Tim Allen and Courteney Cox and bombed as hard as it sucked.

      2. Finding Nemo and Shark Tale. I think these came out in pretty close proximity. An even more stark example than Antz + A Bug’s Life. Finding Nemo was revered by all and got a sequel 13 years later, whereas I challenge you to name one person who has given a shit about Shark Tale since it was in theaters.

  4. I 100% can NOT believe this one didn’t open with that clip from Knocked Up. It’s so on point for this theme

  5. This is a FANTASTIC episode topic. I’m curious if I’ll be able to think of any that aren’t discussed on here.

  6. I recently watched both Like Father, Like Son and Vice Versa, as well as the original 1948 Peter Ustinov directed version of Vice Versa. I also watched Turner and Hooch and K9 not long ago. There’s still something tolerable about some of these 80’s movies that aren’t necessarily the highest quality.

  7. Since it seems like nobody watched Paul Blart, I just thought I’d chime in and let you guys know that the plot of the first Paul Blart is 100% Die Hard. Except it takes place in a mall instead of a skyscraper. I mean, to the point where it’s obviously intentional. It’s a bunch of weirdly high-end thieves taking a bunch of hostages while the guy that’s not supposed to be there runs around the building trying to stop them. And then at the end it turns out the cop that’s trying to stop the thieves is actually with them. Which is straight up the twist from Die Hard 2. And I think they even end

    The only difference is that it takes place in a mall instead of a skyscraper, and there’s a lot of fat jokes. I believe the climax even takes place on an airfield.

  8. Ending with that song again? . . . Thumbs up from me!!

    Going off of Chris’s point that super-hero movies come out as twins and triplets these days anyway:
    2 decades ago, it might have been that two of the same movie come out by accident, but if that happens in 2017 it’s because all the marketing execs are looking at the same Google Trends data. The same consultant goes around to 7 different movie studios and tells them all to bet on astronauts, so we get Gravity then Interstellar and The Martian, Passengers, Life and all the also-rans in-between.

    I guess it’s Star Trek and Star Wars spending billions of dollars on hyping up spaceships for 3 years.

  9. From the Wikipedia page:

    -Batman Vs Superman/ Captain America:Civil War
    -Zootopia/Sing
    -No Strings Attached/Friends with Benefits
    -Cop Out/The Other Guys
    -Madagascar/The Wild

    1. I’ve always felt that Madagascar was another one of those ideas that Katzenberg took to Dreamworks. Not just because of the nearly-identical premise, but because Madagascar (and even the trailers) put an emphasis on the animals escaping to… “the WILD!” Sort of claiming those words so that Disney’s movie comes off like the cheap knock-off.

    2. I was actually involved in the production of The Wild! aett above is right – it was literally a case of the same script (or at least premise) shopped to two different studios. Disney was still pre-Pixar purchase, and they had farmed out the production of The Wild to a Toronto-based company called Core Feature Animation. The company I was working for provided all the 3D animation software to Core, and we actually had people on-site. I got to go to several of their weekly parties/progress reports, met the director (Steve ‘Spaz’ Williams, who did all the VFX for Jurassic Park!), and even went to the wrap party (sadly neither Kiefer Sutherland nor Eddie Izzard were there).

      Unfortunately, the movie just wasn’t that great, but the experience was amazing.

  10. First ones that come to mind that you didnt mention are No strings attached and friends with benefits. Im still unable to figure out which is which just by name.
    Another pair that comes to mind are Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down

    1. As someone who has seen both, Olympus Has Fallen is by far the better movie, simply because OHF is basically “Die Hard in the White House” and is great in a cheesy 80’s action movie way where hundreds of people both police and civilians die on-screen in the opening set-piece battle just to prove how evil the bad guys are. White House Down on the other hand tried to be an action-comedy and failed miserably because the action was subpar and the comedy was as simple has “Mild mannered guy who was a coward for the entire movie hits a terrorist with a vase at the end!”

      To show the sheer difference in action quality in the two movies, both movies have the exact same scene where Navy SEAL’s swoop in on helicopters in an attempt to take the White House but since this is near the middle of the movie we know they’re going to fail. In OHF they show-up and immediately the Korean terrorists activate the White House’s advanced anti-air defense turrets against them which shoots them all down. In WHD when the helicopters show up literally just three dudes on the roof top with two machine guns and an unguided rocket launcher and proceed to shoot down all the helicopters somehow. OHF had an exciting sequences with tracer bullets ripping the air apart as helicopters go down all over the White House as they juke the fire and attempt to engage the turrets , WHD had the helicopters hover in place before getting shot down completely boringly and and if the helicopters from OHF had met the terrorists from WHD they would have immediately wiped out the terrorists immediately.

  11. There is actually a fifth body swapping movie from that same time period, 1989s Dream a Little Dream. The last theatrical Corey and Corey movie where Jason Robards gets stuck in Feldman’s body by some magic shit. Totally awesome movie!

  12. I had the same EdTV theater experience, but with Showtime and Resident Evil.
    I had just moved to Louisiana, and I was only 16. One of the guys in my homeroom invited me to hang out with a group of friends – they were going to see Resident Evil, and as long as half of the group was 17 or older, they would let us all in. He told me to meet them at the mall, so I had my mom drop me off.
    They never showed. This was before 16 year olds had cell phones, but after Verizon started buying and removing payphones, so I couldn’t call home to have my mom pick me up. I tried to buy a ticket, but the guy at the box office just said “Showtime is showing at the same time. Wanna buy a ticket to that instead?”
    In hindsight, I think he was trying to say “I can’t sell you a ticket to Resident Evil, but I can sell you this other ticket for you to go see whatever the hell you want” but instead, I just bought it and watched an Eddie Murphy/Robert DeNiro buddy cop movie in an empty theater, by myself. It was just as fun as you’d imagine.
    When I got to school on Monday, my friend asked what happened. I told him, and apparently there were 2 malls, each with a movie theater, and since I was still new, I didn’t know that when a teenager referred to “the mall” they specifically meant the OTHER mall.
    To this day, I have still never seen Resident Evil.

  13. You guys did an earlier one with Jezabel and Gone with the Wind, but I think a huge one you should have mentioned that was Shaft/Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. Both kickstarted the blacksploitation genre and came out the same year 1971. Sweet came out a few months earlier, but was the indie darling vs Shaft’s big Hollywood budget and catchy theme that is more well known than the movie. Very rarely is a genre born with twin movies, so seemed notable. Probably overlooked because blacksploitation movies are aimed at black people and well Lasertime is whiter than Wonder bread. Keep up the good work Laserdudes, loved the podcast as always.

  14. I honestly can’t believe you didn’t mention the movie pair that started the dueling production trend (at least in modern terms) – Tombstone and Wyatt Earp.

    Both are genuinely good movies that essentially tell the same story in very different ways. Tombstone is a straightforward Hollywood action movie, while Wyatt Earp is a much more nuanced character drama. Both movies feature tremendous, all-star casts:

    Tombstone: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Bill Paxton, Sam Elliot, Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, Jason Priestly, Stephen Lang, Thomas Hayden Church, Dana Delany, and Charlton Freakin’ Heston

    Wyatt Earp: Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, Jeff Fahey, Mark Harmon, Michael Madsen AND Tom Sizemore, Catherine O’Hara, Bill Pullman, Isabella Rossellini, Mare Winningham, Jim Caviezel, Tea Leoni, Martin Kove, and Johnny Cage himself – Mortal Kombat’s Linden Ashbey

    Most people say Tombstone is the better movie, but I actually prefer Wyatt Earp. It is long and a tad self indulgent (what 3 hour movie isn’t?), but the story is so well done that the end is extremely satisfying and worth the running time.

    What makes me surprised you didn’t bring it up is the fact that Chris is always talking about his collection of HD DVDs, including Wyatt Earp… but then I realized it wasn’t Chris that owned the movie – *I* was the one who had Wyatt Earp on HD DVD and had somehow mingled our movie collections together in my mind.

  15. My movie twins are actually triplets! Oh the miracle of life has surprised us again. They have very little in common with the exception of setting and naming convention, but it took me a solid 6 months for my brain to figure out which was which. The setting: the Wild Wild West. The naming convention: definite article, adjective, number. On December 11 (never forget), Netflix graced us with The Ridiculous 6. 14 days later, ol’ Quentin gave us The Hateful Eight. Then in summer of 2016 we got The Magnificent Seven. I like to think they are a trilogy in a shared universe. They might make the best triple feature of all time

  16. Brett brought up going to see ‘The Matrix’ which reminded me of its twin, ‘Equilibrium’…Ive heard people claim that the Matrix hasn’t aged well, but…hoo boy, Equilibrium is almost impossible to watch now!

    Brett’s story also reminded me of when my friends and I tried to sneak unto Blade 2 when we were 16-17 years old. We pooled our cash and our one 18 year old friend bought all of our tickets. We got caught on the way in and couldnt get a refund, so we had to watch ‘Ice Age’ instead. Our 18 year old friend bragged about how awesome Blade 2 was the whole drive home and I still hate ‘Ice Age’ and it’s ‘Land Before Time’ amount of sequels to this day!

  17. Another pair of twin movies: Capote starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Infamous starring Toby Jones. Both were biopics about Truman Capote, writer of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood. Both movies were released over a year from each other.

  18. The illusionist and the prestigue. And spoilers on onw of the theres an actual set of twins as part of the movie plot

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