Identity Thief

2013.moviedoppelgangers

Every year, there seem to be unintended themes emerging from movie releases. It’s almost as if the studios called each other to coordinate projects like friends in high school planning to wear matching outfits on a Friday. Sometimes this effect is unintentional, like when an emerging movie star manages to have multiple films comes out the same year (see Melissa McCarthy below); other times, it’s a result of executives switching studios and developing similar projects (like the infamous Disney and DreamWorks 1998 double-header grudge match of A Bug’s Life vs. Antz and Armageddon vs. Deep Impact). This year is no different, producing a slew of movie doppelgangers. For the sake of creativity, I left the painfully obvious off. Still, who can forget offerings like Olympus Has Fallen up against White House Down as well as This Is the End paired with The World’s End? And, if you really hate yourself, you can watch a terrible trippleganger of A Haunted House, Scary Movie 5 and 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Whether it’s similar themes, the same actor in noticeably similar roles, or parallel stand-out moments in two films, this list of 13 movie pairings can provide a nice selection of companion pieces for your viewing pleasure.

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discs its disaster

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. It’s a Disaster Four couples get together for their monthly brunch, but today’s gathering includes a few surprises. Tracy (Julia Stiles) has brought along a new boyfriend (David Cross), one of the couples is heading towards a separation, and a mysterious incident in the city has left them trapped in the house with little in the way of reliable information. A lack of certainty, loyalty and sanity quickly overcomes the group leading to even more trouble. Writer/director Todd Berger‘s ensemble comedy is easily the funniest disaster film in ages. Most of the cast are (fairly) fresh faces, but in addition to the two names above America Ferrera gets to show a decidedly different side of herself. It’s a simple film, essentially set in a single location, but sharp writing and a lively cast collectively imbued with fantastic comic timing make it a hilarious and energetic romp. [Blu-ray extras: Commentary, behind the scenes, Comic Con panel, viral videos, trailer]

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Pacific Rim Charlie Day

Charlie Day joins us this week to talk about the inventive offensiveness of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as well as what it was like to play a hipster scientist for Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. Plus, Sasha Grey gives us some romance tips after scaring us in Would You Rather, Craig Mazin shares the creation of four Identity Thief script pages, and we answer a listener question about finding viable production partners. That’s a lot of ground to cover, and we’re all hung over on discount champagne, so let’s get started. Download Episode #6

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Identity Thief Movie

Despite being panned by critics (including here), Identity Thief scored big at the box office and with fans. Seth Gordon‘s comedy starring Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman earned $36.6m through the weekend against limited competition. The only other wide release was Steven Soderbergh’s final film (until we coax him out of retirement), Side Effects, which was in 500 fewer theaters and scored $10m. Warm Bodies dropped to the #2 spot with $11.5m, only $1.9m worth of people wanted to see Top Gun re-released in 3D, and the Oscar-nominated The Gatekeepers won the highest per theater average this weekend with over $14k in 3 theaters. Identity Thief has a production budget listed as $35m, so the numbers here are solid and point it directly toward never-ending syndication on TBS. It’s probably not surprising, but the number one movie also earned a massive disparity between critics and audiences, so it’ll be interesting to see if it can maintain its good will going into next weekend where only Die Hard, A Good Day to and a few indies led by the titanic Nicholas Sparks’ Romance Train await crowds looking for something to do between inhaling heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. For those who enjoyed Identity Thief, screenwriter Craig Mazin recently spoke about it on Broken Projector, and he’ll be back on the show this Friday to go through four pages of the script from conception to production. Plus, Gordon spoke with us about aiming to please audiences, something that the director seems to have pulled off here. [Box Office Mojo]

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Seth Gordon

Director Seth Gordon made a big splash in 2007 with The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. Since its release he has made three more features, Four Christmases, Horrible Bosses, and Identity Thief. An obvious tie between all these films, as well as the Academy Award-winning doc he produced, Undefeated, is a crowd-pleasing quality. Gordon wants to appeal to anyone he can with his studio comedies, and with his newest movie, Identity Thief, he faced his greatest challenge in doing so. Anyone can jump onboard with the wish-fulfillment of killing their boss, but can millions of people do the same for a criminal who ruins people’s lives? As long as that criminal is Melissa McCarthy, as Gordon tells us, they can.

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Identity Thief

Identity Thief has more than a few good things going for it: it boasts a funny and talented cast, it features some amusing comedic chemistry between its two leads, and it has a plot that’s both rooted in the real world and ripe for some amusing and wacky cinematic hijinks. And yet, Seth Gordon‘s latest squanders every bit of promise it has to its name, with the final product ringing up as a mostly laughless, morally questionable, and wholly unoriginal pile of boring trash. The film is purely formulaic – the sort of comedy where you can see every beat (especially the “emotional” ones) from a mile way and nothing is capable of surprise. To be sure, there are “shocking” moments – sequences of violence, poorly considered sexual escapades, and even one hell of a car accident – but none of that jolts because it’s sharp or smart or interesting, it’s all sort of stagey, like the comedic version of a horror film jump scare. What’s most grating about Identity Thief is that it’s such a tremendous waste of time for everyone involved – from stars Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy to the very audience paying to watch it. Save your money. Keep your credit cards in your pocket. Stay home.

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Han and Greedo

There were far too many news stories about Star Wars this week. It was a shock and awe campaign of rumors, half-truths and legitimate plans that all pointed to Disney making 29 new films featuring all our favorite characters for the next seventy years. To help dig through it all, Full of Sith podcast host Consetta Parker and Jovial Jay from TheForce.net join us to explain whether a movie about Yoda, Boba Fett or Han Solo should shoot first. Plus, Identity Thief screenwriter Craig Mazin explains how to make an uninteresting character interesting, and Geoff and I tackle a listener question about overcoming the fears of rejection and imperfection by talking about our own biggest failures. Download Episode #5

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Identity Thief

Given the fact that Identity Thief stars Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, it wasn’t all that much of a surprise that its first trailer was full of laughs. But what kind of came out of nowhere was how many cars got crashed in it and how much serious physical trauma Bateman and McCarthy endured during just two minutes of footage. It got to the point where it started to look like they were starring in an action movie. The second trailer that just got released for the film doesn’t do anything to contradict that notion either. As a matter of fact, it gives us another scene where McCarthy gets hit by a car, and one where she gets her head smacked against a passenger seat window; and that’s in addition to the part where Bateman hits her with an acoustic guitar. Is it possible that this year’s rekindling of the Three Stooges franchise was so inspiring to people that it’s going to usher in a full-on slapstick revival in comedy?

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Identify Thief Movie

Skipping all the nonsense of Face/Off, Melissa McCarthy becomes Jason Bateman in Identity Thief with a far simpler method: she steals his credit card information. Why didn’t John Woo think of that? From Seth Gordon (King of Kong, Horrible Bosses), the movie focuses on a man named Sandy who confronts the Florida woman who steals his identity and lives large on his dime. The trailer looks absolutely hilarious, giving just a hint at the raw craziness that the movie embraces. Check it out for yourself:

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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