So, have you seen this year's comedy about an overweight, overzealous, loser-y mall cop who takes his job way too seriously and is hopelessly in love with a fellow shopping center employee? If you're not sure whether I'm referring to January's hit Paul Blart: Mall Cop
or the newest Seth Rogen
comedy Observe and Report
(in theaters now), don't be too hard on yourself: Both flicks have eerily similar plotlines. This isn't the first time two films with the same subject matter have been released within a year of one another; Hollywood has a talent for redundancy (see: recycling and ripping off). The question is: Are similar movies created equal? Let's examine some other big-screen parallel premises to see which log line ultimately won the bottom line.
Leviathan vs. Deep Star Six
(1989): Released a mere two months apart, both disaster movies center on deep sea crews attacked - and picked off one after the other - by a bloodthirsty sea creature. Leviathan starred Pete Weller
, Daniel Stern and former Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson
. Deep Star Six starred a bunch of people you've either never heard of, or don't care to hear from again (Sorry, Nia Peeples
). Both feature satisfyingly gory effects (corpses incubate new creatures and one crew member implodes from water pressure) and last minute, just-when-you-thought-the-monster-was-dead attacks on the surface. Though you have to be fond of a movie that contains the line, "Eat this, you big sack of fish shit!", Deep Star Six made only about half of its counterpart's U.S. grosses at the box office and is admittedly the lesser film when considering cast and content.
In this faceoff, Leviathan is topside.