Teenage Mutant Ninja Spiderman???

So, I’ve been devouring a ton of superhero material lately as I work on my third Click Your Poison book. As such, I recently watched TMNT in theaters, and yesterday I watched The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on DVD. These were hands down my two favorite cartoon franchises during my childhood, so in a way, I couldn’t help comparing them. But since one is currently in theaters and the other just now available for rent, many of you might have missed a little something I picked up on:

The two movies have the exact same plot.

It should seem obvious, but SPOILERS will follow. Now then, let’s examine the similarities:

Our heroes, Peter Parker and April O’Neil, are both awkward young dreamers with moviestar looks who work for the local news.

Each of their fathers were tragically murdered when they were children, too young to realize that Dear Old Dad was actually destroying his own scientific work (mutating animals) once he realized that the corporation he was working for had nefarious plans for his bizarre experiments.

But fear not! For our heroes will discover old video footage (in the form of ancient video blogs that never made it to the internet) which clears dad’s name. Oh, and we learn he destroyed all but one tiny specimen that grew up to create a wise-cracking superhero (team).

That’s when our heroes must turn against the corporation they once thought was their friend, and face off against the latest in mechanized exo-suit technology.

The differences? There’s no Giant Pizza-Eating Spiders in one, and our Human Hero was not bitten by Radioactive Turtles in the other. Although, that would make for an amazing mash-up…

Why do they have the exact same plot? Good question. Let’s examine the possibilities.

  • Could it just be a giant coincidence? Yes, it could be. Parallel Development does happen. In fact, a friend of mine is doing a kickstarter for his graphic novel featuring little known x-mas legend, Krampus, only to learn there’s a Krampus movie in the works. PS — you should totally support the project, it looks awesome! (/end_friend-plug)
  • Could it be that there’s nothing new under the sun? That there are only so many variations of a story you can tell? Sure, could be. I know of the notorious Seven Storylines, but even so this seems a bit too similar.
  • Could it just be Hollywood Formula? AKA, (Repeat What Works = Money, where x = x and Money = Everything) Last couple of years the formula was “Hey villain, why not intentionally get yourself captured?” See: Latest Bond movie with Javier Bardem, Batman movie with Bane (and Joker prior to that), Loki in The Avengers, and KHAAAAANNN in the latest Star Trek.

My money’s on door #3. What do you think? Does it even matter? Or is it only story-perfectionists like me that care about/even notice this stuff? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Comment below and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog.

Thanks for reading!


Photo Credit



RESULTS — Online Oscar Pool

Okay, so I hope no one went out and put money on my picks. I voted with my heart, not with my head–that is to say… I got crushed.

Sad Oscar

Here are this year’s winning filmmakers:

Best Picture (3 pts): Argo
Directing (2 pts): Life of Pi
Original Screenplay (2 pts): Django Unchained
Adapted Screenplay (2 pts): Argo
Leading Actor (2 pts): Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln”
Leading Actress (2 pts): Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook”
Supporting Actor (2 pts): Christoph Waltz
Supporting Actress (2 pts): Anne Hathaway in “Les Misérables”
Production Design (1 pt): Lincoln
Documentary Feature (1 pt): SUGAR MAN
Documentary Short(1 pt): “Inocente”
Animated Short(1 pt): “Paperman”
Live Action Short Film (1 pt): CURFEW
Foreign Language Film (1 pt): “Amour” – Austria
Animated Feature (1 pt): BRAVE
Film Editing (1 pt): ARGO
Sound Editing (1 pt): SKYFALL & ZD30
Sound Mixing (1 pt): LES MIS
Cinematography (1 pt): “Life of Pi”
Visual Effects (1 pt): “Life of Pi”
Costume Design (1 pt): ANNA KARANINA
Makeup and Hairstyling (1 pt): LES MIS
Original Score (1 pt): LIFE OF PI
Original Song (1 pt): “Skyfall” from “Skyfall”

Out of a possible 32 points, our winning entrant earned 26. I earned 9.

This is how I looked after tallying the results.

I’d like to think this means there were a lot of excellent contenders this year. However, I promised a free e-copy of INFECTED to anyone who beat me… and just about everyone did.

Winners, expect a confirmation email soon. Thanks for playing, everyone!

My Oscar Picks for 2013

If you’ve read my last few posts, you know I’m running an online Oscar pool. As per the rules, here are my picks (you have until 5:30 pst, when the show begins, to submit your own choices).

This is based solely on my opinion. I’ve seen all the Best Picture nominees (except Zero Dark Thirty) and I’ve consulted no outside source. These are just what I think deserves the award, not what it most likely to win (thus, you might find it easy to beat me if you enter).

Still, deciding wasn’t easy. Some years are filled with shoe-ins, but this time around I was split on almost every category… Okay, here goes.

Best Picture (3 pts): LINCOLN
Original Screenplay (2 pts): MOONRISE KINGDOM
Adapted Screenplay (2 pts): LIFE OF PI
Leading Actor (2 pts): Daniel Day-Lewis
Leading Actress (2 pts): Jessica Chastain
Supporting Actor (2 pts): Philip Seymour Hoffman
Supporting Actress (2 pts): Anne Hathaway
Production Design (1 pt): LINCOLN
Documentary Feature (1 pt): SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN
Documentary Short(1 pt): “Mondays at Racine”
Animated Short(1 pt): “Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare””
Live Action Short Film (1 pt): “Curfew”
Foreign Language Film (1 pt): AMOUR
Animated Feature (1 pt): WRECK IT RALPH
Film Editing (1 pt): LIFE OF PI
Sound Editing (1 pt): DJANGO UNCHAINED
Sound Mixing (1 pt): SKYFALL
Cinematography (1 pt): LINCOLN
Visual Effects (1 pt): PROMETHEUS
Costume Design (1 pt): ANNA KARENINA
Makeup and Hairstyling (1 pt): HITCHCOCK
Original Score (1 pt): SKYFALL
Original Song (1 pt): “Suddenly” from “Les Misérables”

Good luck to all those who entered! Now, a little more fun– Daniel Tosh tells you everything you need to know about the Best Picture nominees:

As a final bonus, for those who are into drinking games, here’s a good one for this year: http://filmdrunk.uproxx.com/2013/02/filmdrunk-oscars-drinking-game-2013

Be safe; have fun! Winners will (most likely) be announced tomorrow.

Online Oscar Pool

Every year I have people over and we watch the Oscars. We make good food, others bring dishes potluck style, and  we bet on the outcome of awards. It’s become my SuperBowl. I keep up with movies; not so much with football…

This year, with so many of us living all over the place, and with my network ever expanding online, I’m hosting a separate betting pool on my website. And this is not just for my close friends (I’ll still do that at home)! So come one, come all.

Annnnnnd… since I don’t really know the legality of hosting a betting pool online, it’s more of a contest. Free to play, winner gets a $10 giftcard to Amazon.com. PLUS, as a bonus standing offer, if you can beat me personally, I’ll gift you an ecopy of INFECTED (if you don’t have one already).

All you have to do is fill out the form below before showtime on Feb 24th (I’ll post mine online then too) to qualify.

The complete list of the nominees are here.