Thursday, September 3, 2015

Does Hollywood Have Double Vision?

If something is worth saying, it's worth saying twice -- or so it is said. But does this also apply to movies? Following close on the Vibram heels of "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," is "Observe and Report," opening tomorrow, the second shopping-center security comedy in a matter of months.

Does Hollywood Have Double Vision?

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Observe & Report´s Seth Rogen. In a Mall Cop smackdown, does Seth Rogen lose to Kevin James?
Observe & Report's Seth Rogen. In a Mall Cop smackdown, does Seth Rogen lose to Kevin James?

If something is worth saying, it's worth saying twice -- or so it is said. But does this also apply to movies? Following close on the Vibram heels of "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," is "Observe and Report," opening tomorrow, the second shopping-center security comedy in a matter of months. 

Is Hollywood seeing double? In recent years, moviegoers had to choose from competing Truman Capote biopics, "Capote" and "Infamous"; colliding killer-asteroid actioners, "Armageddon" and "Deep Impact" (yeah, I know, one was an asteroid, the other a comet); twin eruption thrillers, "Volcano" and "Dante's Peak"; the magician mysteries "The Prestige" and "The Illusionist"; and the insect animations "Antz" and "A Bug's Life."

In movies, as in pregnancies, twins are still relatively rare. The twinning effect may have been most pronounced in 1987 where it seemed almost every other film was about a parent and child trading bodies ("Vice-Versa," "Like Father, Like Son," "18 Again") , a kid becoming his adult self ("Big") or an adult regressing to her teen self ("Peggy Sue Got Married." (BTW, the upcoming Matthew Perry/Zac Efron comedy "17 Again" revisits this time-travelling comedy scenario.)

At the moment there are two Marvin Gaye biopics in pre-production, one to be produced by James Gandolfini and the other by director F. Gary Gray. The R & B singer is a great subject. Though Gaye himself sang, "It Takes Two," he didn't mean it takes two movies to make one complete film portrait.

When twin movies are delivered around the same time, are you more or less interested in seeing the films? Movie twins I've missed? Seth Rogen or Kevin James? I have to say that Sandra Bullock in "Infamous" was a sharper Harper Lee than Catherine Keener in "Capote." Your thoughts on movie twins? Observe and report. (Hat tip to Nick Tarnowski for his help.)

Film Critic
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Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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