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Not To Be Confused With…

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For some reason, filmmakers keep stepping all over each other when it comes to titling their works. You think you're hiring a thoughtful arthouse flick, when onto your screen erupts a crazy action movie - or you're channel-surfing and land on a film you've heard so much about, only to find it's rather different than you remember. So to solve such conundrums and keep you on the straight and narrow, we've assembled an easy guide to films with similar titles, so you'll never be confuddled again...

One is...
A Vikings vs. aliens vs. dragon-aliens movie.

The other is...
A look at the exploitation of immigrant labour.

How to spot the difference...
If you see someone get beheaded / breathe fire, it’s Outlander.

One is...
An Oscar winning death penalty drama with Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon

The other is...
A drama about an IRA informant

How to spot the difference...
Is there someone dressed as a nun? If so, it’s…actually, that’s probably inconclusive. You’ll have to attempt to distinguish accents: Deep South = Dead Man singular; Norn Iron = 50 Men.

One is...
A drama about adolescence, directed by Catherine Hardwicke

The other is...
A French thriller about a young man on the run parkour-style, currently being remade with Mickey Rourke

How to spot the difference...
Do you see her from Twilight (not her, the other one)? If so, it’s the former. If they’re speaking in foreign and/or Mickey Rourke’s in it, it’s the latter.

One is...
A drama about an alcoholic in rehab

The other is...
A horror about “rage-infected” zombies

How to spot the difference...
If McNulty shows up drunk, it’s the former; if there are lots of shots of London-but-empty, it’s the latter. The presence of Sandra Bullock in the former is also a clue.

One is...
An Alfred Hitchcock thriller with dream sequences by Salvador Dali

The other is...
A heartwarming documentary about teen and pre-teen spellers

How to spot the difference...
If the cast are short, awkward and very intelligent, it could be either, boom boom! Just kidding: that’d be the latter. If there are melty clocks, it’s the Hitchcock.

One is...
Another Hitchcock film, wherein Ingrid Bergman spies for the Allies

The other is...
A biopic of rapper Notorious B.I.G.

How to spot the difference...
If the lead weighs as much as the next four names on the cast list, it’s the 2009 version.

One is...
A Hong Kong film where cop & gangster moles try to smoke one another out

The other is...
Richard Gere playing a corrupt cop as Andy Garcia investigates

How to spot the difference...
This one’s a little tougher, what with both being gritty cop thrillers. Here’s the giveaway: if they’re all ethnic Chinese, and the plot seems a little like The Departed, it’s Infernal Affairs.

One is...
A barmy French action-comedy, or its lesser US remake

The other is...
A blistering Martin Scorsese film with Robert de Niro going nuts

How to spot the difference...
They’re both terribly stylish, in their own ways, so the best thing is to look at the colour of the taxi. If it’s white-with-green, it’s Taxi; if yellow, Taxi Driver. Unless Queen Latifah is in it, in which it’s the remake of the French.

One is...
Jason Statham driving around southern France and shooting shit up

The other is...
Ewan McGregor running around Edinburgh and shooting up shit

How to spot the difference...
Does it look like a sunny day in the background? If yes, Transporter. Does the male lead look emaciated? If yes, Trainspotting.

One is...
Last year’s Oscar-nominated short, about two undertakers attempting to transport an old lady’s body to her grave.

The other is...
Pixar’s story of an old man who ties balloons to his house.

How to spot the difference...
They’re both animated and they both have elderly male leads, which could be confusing, so look closely at the supporting characters. If there’s a talking dog, it’s Up. If there are dancing skeletons, it’s This Way Up.

One is...
A series of short films based on urban legends from 1980s Communist Romania.

The other is...
A partial biopic of Queen Elizabeth I of England, focusing mainly on the middle period of her reign, around the time of the Spanish Armada.

How to spot the difference...
Look closely at the clothing: is it grey and horrible? If so, it’s Tales from the Golden Age. If there are ruffs, it’s The Golden Age.

One is...
David Lynch’s misfiring adaptation of Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi novel.

The other is...
The Diablo Cody-scripted hip-teen-pregnancy comedy

How to spot the difference...
If the script makes little sense to the adult ear…actually, that doesn’t help. OK, if Sting turns up in a nappy, it’s Dune. If it’s Michael Cera in short-shorts, it’s Juno.

One is...
The story of terrifying ghosts emerging from a strange fog

The other is...
The story of how the US got drawn into Vietnam.

How to spot the difference...
If there are pirates, it’s the former. If some old dude is talking about politics, it’s the latter.

One is...
The DVD-tastic story of an ex-Navy SEAL whose family are kidnapped by drug lords.

The other is...
A major blockbuster about an ex-Special Forces soldier with claws that come out of his hands.

How to spot the difference...
Both feature lots of ass-kicking, but if the script features too many mutants and a silly bit with someone’s mouth being sewn shut, it’s the X-Men movie.

One is...
A Terrence Rattigan play about a woman who leaves her husband for a pilot, originally filmed with Vivien Leigh in 1955 and due to be remade with Rachel Weisz.

The other is...
An action movie where super-intelligent sharks hunt down marine researchers and Samuel L. Jackson gets chomped.

How to spot the difference...
Are there literal sharks, or figurative ones? If the former, it’s Deep Blue Sea with no definite article.

One is...
The 2006 film about a magician in love with a noblewoman engaged to a Crown Prince.

The other is...
The 2010 animated story of a magician trying to make ends meet in the dying days of the music-hall.

How to spot the difference...
If there’s an air of wistfulness and melancholy about it all, it’s the 2010 animated film. If you spot Jessica Biel in a nightie, it's the 2006 one.

One is...
The story of a killer croc terrorising a peaceful lake, as aided and abetted by the awesome Betty White.

The other is...
A wimpy Australian indie starring annoying musician Ben Lee.

How to spot the difference...
Do you feel an inexplicable irritation? Then it’s The Rage In Placid Lake.

One is...
A Michael Bay film about giant robots

The other is...
A Romanian story about a little boy who goes to McDonald’s for his birthday.

How to spot the difference...
Is there a McDonalds? Does it explode? If yes and no respectively, it’s Megatron.