A Repo! Rip-off?

When I first heard about Repo! The Genetic Opera, it was premiering at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal. It seemed to be everything I hated: pointless gore, forced cult appeal and a Hot Topic aesthetic all wrapped up in a rock opera I figured I’d dislike as much as its predecessor, Rocky Horror. So when I caught myself tapping along to one of the pre-released tracks (“Zydrate Anatomy”), I was already surprised. And downright shocked when I watched the movie and actually enjoyed it.

The film tells the story of a dystopian future in which organ failure has crippled the globe and the market for replacement organs is monopolized by GeneCo, a company as necessary as it is corrupt. But what happens when a patient can’t pay the debt they owe? The Repo Man comes calling. The story itself is the tale of this Repo Man, who is by night a cruel killer but by day a single father trying to protect his ailing daughter from the darkness of the world. Throw in a drug-dealing graverobber, a vapid junkie socialite played by Paris Hilton, a blind opera singer and a cast of other strange characters and you get something truly unique–even if that uniqueness isn’t come by naturally.

Perhaps appropriately for a film that demands to be a cult classic, the studios weren’t big on it and it never got a proper release, languishing at little festivals until it hit DVD a few months ago. But now there’s a new movie coming out and it seems just a bit…strange. Here’s the word from The Examiner

I am a fan of the rock/horror opera film, Repo! The Genetic Opera. I liked the originality and despite some tacky song numbers it was a very entertaining movie. Lately I’ve been reading teasers and rumors about a Universal Studios picture in the works with a similar title and a near mirror of the storyline. Repo! Wasn’t a mainstream movie and it didn’t make as big as impact as it should have, but it has its followers and had enough success for the sequel rumors to begin circulating. However, I want to make it very clear right now that this Repo Men! film is not, I repeat, not the sequel to the Genetic Opera. To be perfectly honest I can’t figure out this Repo Men! movie, I just don’t see the point in making a film so similar.

Repo Men! Centers on Remy, played by Jude Law, a repo man made up of artificial organs, who receives a heart transplant. When he struggles to make the payments, he must go on the run from his former partner, played by Forest Whitaker. Beth, played by Alice Braga, married but lost touch with Remy while he was serving in the Army. Ten years later, Beth, down on her luck and retrofitted with artificial organs, is reunited with Remy as they seek to run. For Genetic Opera fans this will sound very familiar.

I’m not against this film; I just don’t understand why a studio like Universal would go through the process of making a film that is so very similar to another. I realize that some of you are wondering why I would question the integrity of the film, but the sequel fad is roaring strong and I’m afraid that this may turn out to be another slip in the wrong direction. I certainly hope that this doesn’t mean that other studios will begin ripping off plotlines from less successful films. I’ll keep watching for updates and we’ll just have to wait and see where this film ends up.

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Now, some might call this a misunderstanding, a case of accidental similarity. But a look at this interview with the writer, director and actress Alexa Vega tells a different story.

The Green Lantern: FIRST FLIGHT Movie DVD

Though shows like the original Spider-Man, the 90s X-Men cartoon and even Iron Man are fondly remembered by many, the biggest and brightest star of the superhero genre was undoubtedly Batman: The Animated Series. It stood apart from the others with its heavily stylized art-deco-cum-neo-gothic look, sharp, intelligent writing, powerful new takes on well-known characters and inspired voice casting from Kevin Conroy’s alternately light and dark Bruce/Batman and Mark Hamill’s manic and theatrical Joker to Michael Ansara’s striking turn as Mr. Freeze.

After B:TAS, there came The New Batman Adventures, JLA, Batman Beyond and more, all in a similar style (with many redesigns) and taking place in a single epic universe. Now, the success of those shows and feature-length films like Mask of the Phantasm, Sub Zero and Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker has paved the way for new films like Wonder Woman, released March 3rd. And next up, it has been announced, is the Hal Jordan origin story The Green Lantern: First Flight!

The first trailer was shown at WonderCon and the movie will be released June 28th, 2009 on DVD and Blu-Ray, which will feature over three hours of extra content, commentaries and a digital copy. Plus, the legendary Bruce Timm has selected two of The Green Lantern’s finest episodes of Justice League to be included on the Blu-Ray edition.