Back Dick? Boo! Weenie On My Back? Whoop-doo!

Observe and Report

Did you hear about this crazy baby? It was born with a second penis. On it's back. Imagine having that in college. Well, two different producers have scooped up this exclusive piece of pop news and are attempting to build a couple of comedies out of it. Both films will be released within four months of each other. Back Dick is set to star everyone's favorite sitcom actor Angus T. Young. While Weenie On My Back will be headlined by beloved nerd Michael Cera. One is a PG-13 family film about a college kid struggling with a second organ that has come to overshadow his own popularity (did I mention that this extra penis also helps solve a campus crime?). The other is a pitch black, R rated comedy about a college kid struggling to deal with a second organ that soon grows to overshadow his own aspirations as a scientist (did I mention that the second penis also has the power of telekinesis?). I hooked-up our old "Soju After Movie" time traveling beer cooler to listen in on a future conversation about these two films. This is a pair of self-righteous film blog pundits that truly believe they are smarter than your average bear. We will call them Axel Blithington and Atom Squiggles. At this point, they have only seen advanced teaser posters for both films:

Blithington: Wowzers! I hear there are two Back Penis comedies coming out in 2011. Though I haven't seen either film yet, I am brewing an article about how Back Dick is commercial garbage while Weenie on my Back is a piece of certified genius! It's sad that more people know about Back Dick than Weenie on my Back.

Squiggles: It's not sad. It's totally understandable. Back Dick, for how bad it is, will be extremely popular. It is coming out during a slow movie month. It is supposed to be an "escape movie". People don't want to deal with the harshness of real life. With Cera attached to Weenie on my Back, you know there's going to be some sort of amoral social commentary that most people just won't get. Heck, even I don't get it.

Blithington: It's so, so sad. It's almost like the America Republic is simultaneously cumming in the pockets of my pants. I have to walk around with these huge sticky pools of creosote around my crotch all day. I don't know why it bothers me so much. But it is sad. I am crying over this. It's the American Republic's fault. They made it this way! Why are they championing this awful back penis movie and ignoring the good one? Why the heck would anyone want to see Back Dick? Damn you, American Republic! I will not stand for this injustice!

Squiggles: Sir, you have to look at both the movie's publicity attempt and the moviegoers' appetites! One penis solves crimes. That's sort of funny. But Weenie has the power to read minds! That's the kind of comedy America just doesn't get. They are too dumb to understand it. They just like looking at the Back Dick poster.

Blithington: Damn good assessment! I might just jot that thought down instead of straining to come up with my own. You are right about one thing. The marketing for Back Dick has been slightly better. The top hat on the penis? Brilliant! But it is mostly about audiences' appetites. And that is sad. It personally hurts me. Deep inside. Its like I'm being fucked up the ass by Back Dick. I can taste the salty foreskin of Back Dick in my mouth this morning. And it isn't delicious. It taste like 4th grade gym class. And that makes me sad.

Squiggles: It actually makes 100% sense. Back Dick equals family friendly, rated PG-13 comedy, starring a hugely popular sitcom star. Weenie on My Back is a vulgar, R rated comedy starring the underrated Michael Cera. He's so funny. I think. That's what I hear, anyway.

Blithington: Even though it's true doesn't mean it's still not sad. Sad, sad, sad. I feel like Morrissey, or a Mexican Emo kid that just got beat up after a Durango anti-Death cab alley riot. The readers of my blight...I, I mean site, should be more appreciative of Weenie On My Back. Back Dick is way too big and unrealistic. Weenie went for a more natural approach and nailed it. It wasn't goofy or over the top. It didn't try to be more than a back penis could. It was small and shriveled, and looked horrible after it came out of the swimming pool.

Squiggles: Har har. You are right, Sir. Remember in that leaked footage? Back Dick came out of the river near the college all hard and smiling with that weird face. Who comes out of a freezing lake with a boner? What is a boner, even?

Blithington:Weenie On My Back is so realistic. It's what I imagine my own back penis to be like. Cold and uncaring. A shriveled Vienna sausage caught between two bowling balls. Back Dick went way over the top. Putting hats on Back Dick? Like, WTF? And OMG!

Squiggles: And no one is going to put a bow tie on Back Dick! They only put a face on Back Dick so it would get the PG-13. Back Dick should never have a face. Remember that scene in the teaser trailer, where Angus T. Young is in the restaurant, and Back Dick pushes him face first into his food, because its getting hard watching Angus' date slurp spaghetti? Kinda funny for a minute. But that's the thing. That's why Weenie On My Back is so cool. Weenie never gets hard. It hates life. It so speaks to our harsh economic times!

Let's face it. Sometimes the same movie will come out twice in the same year. And there will always be some goofy, WALL-E bed sheet-wrapped blogger screaming about how one is better than the other. It's been that way for quite sometime now. And this weekend, we are seeing a muffled war between two mall cops. One is played by the lovable sitcom actor Kevin James. The other is played by the horrifying Bearman Seth Rogen. There's a huge faction of fearless fanboys lingering around the web that hate Paul Blart: Mall Cop with every ounce of their Judd Apatow-loving souls. Yet they are championing Observe and Report like it's the end all of mall cop comedies. Which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Apatow is running buddies with Adam Sandler, who produced Blart under his Happy Madison banner. Rogen and Sandler are appearing together in an Apatow directed film later this year. And they all adhere to the douchey frat esthetic that is so popular nowadays. Doesn't seem to matter, though. Whenever I ask, "Did you actually see Paul Blart?" These self-righteous couch critics always suck in their bottom lip before exhaling a spit-lathered, "No."

Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Heck, asking if they tongue dirty man-ass garners a less repulsed response. Though they refuse to watch Kevin James' hugely popular mall cop comedy, they don't mind telling you how much it sucks. They'll even tell you that more than half of its box office came from teens sneaking into My Bloody Valentine 3-D. Most of these ninnies are fronting in solidarity over their love for this second mall cop comedy, which opens this weekend. Funny thing is, they haven't seen it yet either. That hasn't stopped them from declaring it the better film. Its odd to watch these lofty pundits champion a potential dud while taking a giant shit on another, all the while having seen neither. It simply plays into feeding their inflated Id. Their name is on one DVD box quote, and suddenly they're the go-to cinema experts. They know absolute right from acute wrongness without predication. They are the high intellects. What they say goes. It's the coppered truth, and that will be the end of that argument! It's their way or the highway, no matter how many gen-pop audiences say otherwise.

Truth is, both films are quite entertaining. And similar. They don't deviate much from their core formula. Paul Blart: Mall Cop is about a lonely "delusional" mall cop harboring a crush on a sexy kiosk cashier. He earns her heart while saving the mall from an intrusive outside force. Observe and Report is about a lonely "delusional" mall cop harboring a crush on a sexy make-up counter girl. He earns her heart while saving the mall from an intrusive outside force. Both offer scenes of people shopping in a mall. Both offer scenes in an Arcade. Both offer scenes in a food court. There are rifts between co-workers inside the mall. One is a family friendly PG-13 crowd pleaser while the other takes a darker, twisted path to its eventual outcome. It's the same movie made by two very different artists. And that's where the divergence in theme comes from. They attack the material at slightly skewed angles. It's an interesting conceit. Both films are funny. Directors Steve Carr and Jody Hill work together in proving that two films about the same thing can resonate from the soul in different ways. Both movies are able to exist on their own merits. In the long run, both should prove to have equal footing. Even though Bart will be the hold over box office champion. It's PG-13 rating has a lot to do with that. So does the darker tone of the second picture.

If anything, this weekend will show the world that two mall cop comedies can exist side by side. You don't have to choose either one of them. You can love both equally. Now, let's look at some other box office wars that have raged over the last couple of years. For whatever reason, Hollywood always releases two versions of the same movie around the same time. Who were the winners? And who were the losers? Let's take a look. Whoop-doo!

Bedtime StoriesBedtime Stories vs. Inkheart

Premise: Fictional stories come to life in the real world.

Stars: Adam Sandler vs. Brendan Fraser

Year: 2008/2009

Tagline: "What if the stories you told came to life?" vs. "Every story ever written is just waiting to become real."

Self-righteous Blogger says: Inkheart? Boo! "It's nothing more than a standard adventure film with more CGI than reality, headlined by one of the worst actors in recent years, Mr. Fraser."

Opening Weekend Take: $27.4 million vs. $7.6 million

Final Gross: $110 million vs. $17 million

The Winner is: Bedtime Stories!

Hostel vs. Turistas

Stars: Jay Hernandez vs. Josh Duhamel

Premise: Young tourists are tortured to death.

Year: 2006

Tagline: "10,000 people are killed in America each year. Over 2,000 with firearms. Americans...They have no imagination." vs. "There are some places tourists should never go."

Self-righteous Blogger says: Hostel? Whoop-doo! "It is likely to do for Slovakia what Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat character did for Kazakhstan: provoke diplomatic outrage!"

Opening Weekend Take: $19.5 million vs. $3.5 million

Final Gross: $47.3 million vs. $7 million

The Winner is: Hostel!

Happy FeetHappy Feet vs. Surf's Up

Premise: Animated penguins.

Year: 2006/2007

Tagline: "Warning: May cause toe-tapping!" vs. "The Ocean just got cooler!"

Self-righteous Blogger says: Happy Feet? Whoop-doo! "In a time where computer animated films can generally be written off as bad, Happy Feet really knows how to have a good time and you will enjoy going along for the ride."

Opening Weekend Take: $41.5 million vs. $17.6 million

Final Gross: $198 million vs. $58.8 million

The Winner is: Happy Feet!

The Illusionist vs. The Prestige

Stars: Ed Norton vs. Hugh Jackman & Christian Bale

Premise: Magicians pull one over on the audience.

Year: 2006

Tagline: "Nothing is what it seems." vs. "Are you watching closely?"

Self-righteous Blogger says: The Illusionist? Whoop-doo! "Neil Burger has done well in adapting and directing an exciting film about love, magic, and power."

Opening Weekend Take: $6.1 million vs. $14.8 million

Final Gross: $39.8 million vs. $53 million

The Winner is: The Prestige!

CapoteCapote vs. Infamous

Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman vs. Toby Jones

Premise: A look at the life of Truman Capote.

Year: 2005/2006

Tagline: "Blank." vs. "There's more to the story than you know."

Self-righteous Blogger says: Infamous? Boo! "Sandra Bullock is miscast in a pivotal role, the same one Catherine Keener was Oscar-nominated for in Capote. Plus, who the fuck is Toby Jones? Hoffman ruled Capote already!"

Opening Weekend Take: $2.2 million vs. $452,966

Final Gross: $28.7 million vs. $1.1 million

The Winner is: Capote!

Madagascar vs. The Wild

Stars: Ben Stiller vs. Kiefer Sutherland

Premise: CGI animated zoo animals escape.

Year: 2005/2006

Tagline: "Someone's got a zoo loose." vs. "A whole new breed of tourist."

Self-righteous Blogger says: The Wild? Whoop-doo! "So what if it bears a striking similarity to another picture released in the last year? That shouldn't keep you from enjoying it, possibly even more than the other film.

Opening Weekend Take: $47.2 million vs. $9.6 million

Final Gross: $193 million vs. $37.3 million

The Winner is: Madagascar!

Chasing LibertyChasing Liberty vs. First Daughter

Stars: Mandy Moore vs. Katie Holmes

Premise: The president's misunderstood daughter searches for her identity.

Year: 2004

Tagline: "Every family has a rebel. Even the first family." vs. "The girl that always stood out is finally getting the chance to fit in."

Self-righteous Blogger says: First Daughter? Boo! "The rigidity of this White House-based fairy tale is in a category even pollsters may have a hard time assessing."

Opening Weekend Take: $6 million vs. $4 million

Final Gross: $12.1 million vs. $9 million

The Winner is: Chasing Liberty

Mission to Mars vs. Red Planet

Stars: Gary Sinise vs. Val Kilmer

Premise: People go to Mars.

Year: 2000

Tagline: "Let there be life." vs. "They didn't find life on Mars. It found them."

Self-righteous Blogger says: Red Planet? Boo! "I certainly wouldn't qualify it as a horrible flick, watchable to be sure, but one which will undoubtedly be forgotten by most as they walk out of the theater."

Opening Weekend Take: $22.8 million vs. $8.7 million

Final Gross: $60.8 million vs. $17 million

The Winner is: Mission to Mars!

The Truman ShowThe Truman Show vs. EDtv

Stars: Jim Carrey vs. Matthew McConaughey

Premise: An ordinary man is the subject of a reality show.

Year: 1998/1999

Tagline: "On the air. Unaware." vs. "The story of a nobody everybody is watching."

Self-righteous Blogger says: The Truman Show? Whoop-doo! "One of the most intelligent, mentally stimulating and memorable movies of the 90s. A must-see."

Opening Weekend Take: $31.5 million vs. $8 million

Final Gross: $125 million vs. $22.4 million

The Winner is: The Truman Show!

Antz vs. A Bug's Life

Stars: Woody Allen vs. Dave Foley

Premise: CGI animated ants.

Year: 1998

Tagline: "Every ant has his day." vs. "An epic of miniature proportions."

Self-righteous Blogger says: A Bug's Life? Whoop-doo! "It's Pixar. Duh!"

Opening Weekend Take: $17.1 million vs. $33.2 million

Final Gross: $90.7 million vs. $162 million

The Winner is: A Bug's Life

ArmageddonDeep Impact vs. Armageddon

Stars: Ron Eldard & Jon Favreau vs. Bruce Willis & Ben Affleck

Premise: An asteroid is hurtling towards earth.

Year: 1998

Tagline: "Heaven and Earth are about to collide!" vs. "Earth. It was fun while it lasted."

Self-righteous Blogger says: Armageddon? Whoop-doo! "Armageddon, although suffering from a few flaws, is entertaining, and most of the time has the right balance of drama, action and comedy."

Opening Weekend Take: $41.1 million vs. $36 million

Final Gross: $140 million vs. $201 million

The Winner is: Armageddon

Dante's Peak vs. Volcano

Stars: Pierce Brosnan vs. Tommy Lee Jones

Premise: A volcano is about to erupt.

Year: 1997

Tagline: "The pressure is building." vs. "The coast is toast."

Self-righteous Blogger says: Dante's Peak? Boo! "A quick studio cash grab!"

Opening Weekend Take: $18 million vs. $14 million

Final Gross: $67.1 million vs. $49 million

The Winner is: Dante's Peak!

TombstoneTombstone vs. Wyatt Earp

Stars: Kurt Russell vs. Kevin Costner

Premise: The life and times of Wyatt Earp.

Year: 1993/1994

Tagline: "Every town has a story. Tombstone has a legend." vs. "The epic story of love and adventure in a lawless land."

Self-righteous Blogger says: Wyatt Earp

? Boo! "Just recreating historical facts does not make for a good film."

Opening Weekend Take: $6 million vs. $7,543,504

Final Gross: $56.5 million vs. $25 million

The Winner is: Tombstone!

And finally: A five-way toss off...

Vice VersaBig vs. Vice Versa vs. Like Father, Like Son vs. 18 Again! vs. Dream a Little Dream

Premise: Dad swaps bodies with his son (or some variation of that idea).

Year: 1988/1989

Tagline: "Have you ever had a really big secret?" vs. "The comedy for the kid in all of us." vs. "Chris and his dad have accidentally chanced bodies. No big deal." vs. "Be careful what you wish for...It might just come true!" vs. "With dreams like these who needs reality?"

Self-righteous Blogger says: Boo! "They all sucked."

Opening Weekend Take: $8 million vs. $4 million vs. $7 million vs. $1.4 million vs. $2 million

Final Gross: $114 million vs. $13.6 million vs. $34 million vs. $2.5 million vs. $5 million

The Winner is: Big!

What have we learned from all of this? The film that opens first usually dominates at the box office, except in very rare circumstances. The quality of the film isn't a factor. Its that, by the time a better film comes around, the audiences is already sick of hearing about it. There is no way Observe and Report will ever make as much money as Paul Blart: Mall Cop. That's just the way these things work themselves out. It doesn't mean one is better than the other. In this case, both films are quite entertaining. See them both. Or don't seem them at all. It's all one big Back Dick, and its pointless to argue about it.

Have fun at the Cineplex this weekend. Go see Observe and Report even though you've already seen the other mall cop comedy. Eat food! Kill Grandma! Whoop-doo!

Cinemark Movie Club
B. Alan Orange