16 Movies that Share the Same Title and Not Much Else

Avengers and The Avengers

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Every once in a while you will see a trailer for a movie whose name instills a sense of déjà vu because you’ve seen it before, even though the new movie isn’t a reboot. This lazy film phenomenon doesn’t happen often but when it does, usually the two movies have nothing in common. The movies below all share the same name and (spoiler alert!) Mr. Magoriam’s Wonder Emporium is not on this list.

16. Hot Pursuit (1987) and 15. Hot Pursuit (2015)

Judging from the previews of the Reese Witherspoon/Sophia Vergara opposites forced together/buddy cop/chase movie Hot Pursuit, it looks they are trying to recreate the success of the movie The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, except with more jokes about aging and feminine hygiene “lady business.” (Definitely a project Witherspoon should have made a Midnight Run away from.)

Hot Pursuit shares the same name as a 1987 comedy starring John Cusack as a college student who misses a flight to join his girlfriend and her family on a Caribbean vacation. He spends the majority of the movie trying to catch up to them and, naturally, some ‘80s wackiness ensues. This movie actually has some funny moments and is noteworthy for Ben Stiller in a small role as a dumb, young bad guy way before his part in Dodgeball. Plus, it’s got one crucial thing his year’s Hot Pursuit lacks — Robert Loggia.

14. Bad Boys (1983) and 13. Bad Boys (1995)

Will Smith’s career was just taking off when he teamed with Martin Lawrence in their version of Lethal Weapon, and the popularity of the movie with fans in 1996 earned them a prestigious MTV Movie Award nomination for Best On-Screen Duo (although they rightfully lost to the magic that was Farley Spade in Tommy Boy).

Years before the song “Parents Just Don’t Understand” was even a dream in Will Smith’s head, Bad Boys was an appropriately titled movie about tough teens trying to get through their stint in juvie. Sean Penn plays a bad boy who ends up ruling the roost in this classic cult movie, with the help of a pillow case full of soda cans.

12. The Avengers (1998) and 11. The Avengers (2012)

In 2012, Marvel Studios’ The Avengers was the biggest blockbuster superhero movie of this century and the reason this post-aughts era will most likely be known in the future as “The Age of Ultron.”

There was, however, another movie also named The Avengers that came out in 1998 and was based on the 1960s British spy series of the same name. Ralph Fiennes is definitely more dapper in a top hat than Mark Ruffalo is in stretchy jeans but Uma Thurman’s skintight outfit is actually not that far off from Scarlett Johansen’s Black Widow. But that’s where the similarities end between the two movies. Unlike the Hulk-sized blockbuster that was Marvel’s The Avengers, the 1998 film bombed big time, making only $48 million worldwide, a gross earning so low, Tony Stark would consider it chump change.

10. Kicking and Screaming (1995) and 9. Kicking and Screaming (2005)

Will Ferrell can usually do no wrong when it comes to all things funny, but surprisingly, even he couldn’t bring too many laughs to 2005’s Kicking and Screaming, where our favorite goofball was pitted against his hardass father as the two duke it out as pee-wee coaches to their kids’ soccer teams. (Ferrell’s father, played by Robert Duvall, has remarried and has a son the same age as his own grandson). Duvall’s character shows all the warmth of The Great Santini (pun intended) and the kid-friendly movie is just as hard for adults to like. Although, there is something to be said about a movie that gives its funniest lines to Iron Mike Ditka.

While the title Kicking and Screaming is used very literally in the movie about soccer coaches fighting, it has a little more subtle meaning in the 1995 indie film that launched the directing career of Noah Baumbach. Over a decade before mumblecore became a thing, Baumbach put his stamp on the slacker indie film genre as Kicking and Screaming captured that feeling, you know the one, of finally graduating from college and then fighting like hell to stay there before life drags you off into adulthood.

8. Twilight (1998) and 7. Twilight (2008)

Everybody in the world knows the plot of the Twilight saga, so we won’t bother rehashing that one. But there once was another Twilight film, a neo-noir detective thriller made in 1998 that didn’t do well at the box office, as it was even slower-paced than the vampire Twilight. It was however packed with quite an impressive cast. Any film that stars Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon and Gene Hackman is at least worth a second look on cable one afternoon.

6. Project X (1987) and 5. Project X (2012)

Project X might seem like an odd title for a high school party movie, reason being that the title was actually a working title that stuck as it helped market this movie to the teen/college guy crowd, who helped it make a surprising amount of money. The events of the ultimate party unfold from the point of view of a video camera used by one of the partygoers. With its handheld, found footage look, Project X seems like it’s going for a cross between The Blair Witch Project and Superbad. 

Never to be confused with 2012’s Project X is 1987’s Project X, a sci-fi drama in which Matthew Broderick is assigned to work on a top secret Air Force project that performs experiments on chimps. This Project X is more like Rise of the Planet of the Apes meets Silkwood than a teen party sex comedy. Plus, a highly communicative chimp was more believable at the time than Matthew Broderick as an Air Force pilot.

4. Rush (1991) and 3. Rush (2013)

2013’s Rush is a Ron Howard-helmed drama that captures the non-stop action, macho rivalries and epic hairstyles of 1970s auto racing. Chris Hemsworth plays the cool British driver, James Hunt, with the long blonde hair and Daniel Bruhl is great as the Austrian rival, whose name most women will never remember since they came to see Chris Hemsworth.

There is another kind of rush besides adrenaline and in the 1991 film Rush, which also takes place in the ‘70s. Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jason Patric play cops who go way too deep undercover as they try and take down a local drug lord. The film contains some intense sequences and earned rave reviews for its depiction of drug addiction. (Jason Patric successfully hides his Lost Boys good looks under his Al Pacino-as- Serpico beard.) It’s tough to say which Rush is the better film, but with Gregg Allman playing a Texas drug dealer, the real question is: how did the producers hold back from naming the 1991 Rush, “Whipping Post” instead?

2. Crash (1996) and 1. Crash (2004)

Perhaps the gold standard of movies that share the same title yet have absolutely nothing in common, this pair has likely caused much confusion in the home rental market. If one were to, say, watch 1998’s Crash thinking they were getting the Oscar-winning Matt Dillon/Don Cheadle drama about race relations, they would instead get a twisted tale couples who take the phrase “autoerotic” quite literally.

Interestingly enough, both films proved to be controversial in their time. David Cronenberg’s 1998 Crash drew controversy for its racy mix of sex and violent car crash imagery. (It forever became known as the movie where James Spader makes sweet love to Rosanna Arquette’s leg scar.) Flash forward to 2004, when Paul Haggis’ Crash becomes a surprise Best Picture winner, beating out the more critically-favored Brokeback Mountain. Both movies also feature scenes with cars. And that’s about the extent of their similarities.

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Documentary Now! Robert Evans Mansion

The Reel Deal

Everything You Need To Know About “Mr. Runner Up” Inspiration Robert Evans

Watch the two-part finale of Documentary Now! this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

In its upcoming two-part finale, Documentary Now! spoofs the crown jewel of docs: The Kid Stays In The Picture. It’s the autobiographical documentary about Robert Evans, the unlikely Hollywood mogul whose mix of self-aggrandizing bravado, classic good looks and extremely circumstantial good luck took him from being a salesman to an actor to the head of Paramount Pictures.

If you’ve never seen the film, it’s totally worth it. Rotten Tomatoes agrees, with a staggeringly-high approval rating. Watch it before, or watch it after — doesn’t matter. You’ll appreciate it whenever.

In the meantime, here’s a bit of background that will come in handy…

Robert Loves Robert

Robert Evans desk

USA Films/Everett Collection

Robert Evans is the ultimate Robert Evans fan. The movie was narrated by Robert Evans and based on his memoir of the same name. It is totally unbiased.

He’s Kind Of A Big Deal

Robert Evans, Chinatown
Paramount Pictures

Evans produced some of Hollywood’s true classics: Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, Love Story…the list goes on. Totally legit and amazing movies.

He’s Also Kind Of A Joke

Wag The Dog
New Line Cinema

Evans has been parodied in TV shows and movies like Entourage and Wag The Dog. He is the quintessential “producer” you already have in your head.

So Wrong He’s Right

Robert Evans Slap
20th Century Film Corp

Robert Evans is a notorious narcissist whose love of self is so blind and sincere that it’s actually adorable.

There’s Something Missing

via Giphy

Entire sections of Robert Evans’ life are left out of the documentary. Maybe it’s because of timing. Maybe it’s because real life isn’t a tidy narrative. Who knows.

He Blew It

Spider coke

Evans had a pretty spectacular fall from grace. He was convicted of cocaine trafficking in the early 80’s, and was connected to a contract killing during the production of The Cotton Club. Oops.

Losing Is For Losers

Everett Collection
Everett Collection

In the Robert Evans mythology, all tragedies are just triumphs in disguise, and every story has a happy ending…for Robert Evans.

Bill Hader Jerry Wallach

With these simple facts in hand you are now prepared to thoroughly enjoy the two-part finale of Documentary Now! starting this Wednesday at 10/9c on IFC.

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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