Total Recall

Total Recall: We Own The Night and Other Sibling Showdowns

Brothers up in arms: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Gattaca, The Royal Tenenbaums.

by | October 10, 2007 | Comments

This week, We Own the Night hits theaters, telling the story of two
brothers (played by
Joaquin Phoenix and
Mark Wahlberg) on opposite sides of the
law. The sibling rivalry is often the basis for compelling cinema, something we’ll explore in this week’s Total Recall.

Sibling conflict has been at the root of many great works of art, be they The
(100 percent),
King Lear

(50 percent), or the first couple Kinks albums. The reasons
are obvious: How can people with such similar DNA turn out so differently? Why,
with so much in common, do brothers and sisters disagree, or follow decidedly
different paths in life? From uneasy Thanksgiving reunions to Cain-and-Abel-esque
showdowns, cinematic sibling dysfunction runs the gamut. Let’s take a look at
some memorable family feuds.

We can’t imagine someone who was enamored with the dark tone of the original

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
(38 percent) being particularly happy when
the jokier

Secret of the Ooze
(35 percent) came out. But for a kid growing up
during the grunge era, 1991 was a perfect storm of Turtles mania: An
avalanche of merchandise, a great cartoon on the air, and Turtles in Time for the Super Nintendo. And, of course, there was the movie.
Secret of the Ooze
had new monsters, more interesting human characters,
snappier pacing, and with an eminently quotable song from rap-poseur
, Donna Britt of the Washington Post praises that "it has enough jokes
aimed at adults to make for a relatively painless outing for parents forced to
take their kids to see it."

While Splinter dispensed wisdom like the ad hoc parental unit he was, the relationship between Leonardo (the leader) and Raphael (the
loose cannon) was always easier to digest for kids. Both devoted to honor and
duty but completely different in their approaches, they were your typical
squabbling duo that couldn’t stand each other’s presence but would do even worse
when separated. The two create the emotional crux of the series, which is
further explored in the recent animated
(31 percent).

Along with The
Princess Bride
(95 percent) and
Dead Poets Society
(83 percent), 1997’s
(80 percent) was one of those movies you’d always see for
the first time in middle or high school. It’s a great all-purpose
movie: a literate script for English class, lectures about DNA for biology
class, and the film’s thesis on human worth and potential can be shoehorned into
high schools affluent enough to have philosophy classes. Gattaca stars
Ethan Hawke
as Vincent Freeman, a genetically inferior man tormented by his superior brother
and a harsh reality: he can never achieve his dream of being an astronaut
through legal means. It’s a thoughtful movie that James Berardinelli calls "a
cautionary tale about the dangers of letting scientific ability outstrip ethics
and [a] morality play about the irrationality of bigotry."

Loren Dean
co-stars as Vincent’s brother, Anton. The two squabble and compete with
increasing severity. Anton eventually leads a shapeless life as a detective,
while Vincent pushes himself beyond his supposed genetic limits. Writer-director
Andrew Niccol
demonstrates with Gattaca that characters don’t necessarily have to be
supplanted by special effects and gadgets. Along with his screenplay for
The Truman Show

(95 percent), Niccol always insists on laying the human touch on science

In every Wes
movie looms the long shadow of the father figure, but some of the
most amusing relationships in his films are between brothers. See Bob Mapplethorpe
and his sibling John (aka Future Man) in
Bottle Rocket (78
percent). Or the trio on that spiritual bonding journey in
The Darjeeling
(64 percent). And there’s no shortage of ruined familial
relationships in 2001’s
The Royal Tenenbaums

(80 percent), Anderson’s third feature-length effort. The film has endured as one
of Anderson’s most beloved, called "a New Yorker cartoon come to life,
droll and sad and knowing at the same time" by MaryAnn Johnson of Flick

Amidst the beyond-neurotic denizens that make up the Tenenbaum household are
brothers Chas and Richie, played by
Ben Stiller
and Luke Wilson,
respectively. One of Anderson’s strengths is a knack for casting (Willem
as a sensitive German oceanographer in
Life Aquatic

remains brilliant), and here Stiller and Wilson get to take their "shtick" to an
extreme. Clashing Stiller’s manic outbursts against Wilson’s lackadaisical
demeanor creates the perfect comic contrast.

Given the inherent potential for love and conflict in any family, there is no
end to the number of stories that can be harvested from the cracks in fraternal
or sororal relations. Check out
Hannah and her Sisters
(92 percent),
(90 percent),
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
(89 percent), or
& Theo
(86 percent) for further adventures into the complex lives of

Tag Cloud

RT History Nat Geo Funimation sag awards romantic comedy razzies reboot WarnerMedia Black History Month halloween Rocky History lord of the rings stoner Spring TV HBO 93rd Oscars Peacock parents Alien Hallmark Turner Classic Movies TCA Winter 2020 TV Land 2021 Lionsgate Crackle saw chucky Interview Amazon cancelled TV series Certified Fresh green book halloween tv olympics Arrowverse Comics on TV Broadway A&E Creative Arts Emmys AMC Plus VH1 71st Emmy Awards revenge breaking bad venice all-time Thanksgiving Hallmark Christmas movies spanish language New York Comic Con PlayStation Anna Paquin Music Photos TCA Awards Paramount 99% thriller Countdown Western 2020 Disney zombies Disney+ Disney Plus comic books indiana jones El Rey foreign Sundance debate doctor who vampires DC Universe Trivia Food Network Set visit comedies Watching Series cooking Pacific Islander dreamworks Fox News NYCC Cosplay canceled TV shows Musical Legendary YouTube Hear Us Out cartoon Amazon Prime BBC America black Paramount Network Sci-Fi elevated horror golden globe awards Acorn TV Syfy series Emmy Nominations Best and Worst President prank cancelled TV shows OneApp ghosts asian-american Adult Swim Disney streaming service transformers Ghostbusters Lifetime Box Office ABC Signature TV movies Netflix Brie Larson Spectrum Originals 2015 79th Golden Globes Awards marvel cinematic universe BET trophy adenture cults crime drama slashers dragons ID psychological thriller USA zero dark thirty BAFTA singing competition 45 documentary french rom-coms 20th Century Fox teaser indie Wes Anderson 2019 TV Crunchyroll crossover Grammys comiccon DC Comics fresh sports witnail Valentine's Day 90s TV One genre screenings worst movies TCA Mary Tyler Moore 2017 HBO Max BBC One E! kaiju American Society of Cinematographers Comic-Con@Home 2021 scorecard The Walking Dead Discovery Channel movie First Look anthology versus casting Opinion Star Trek award winner movies comic book movies VOD Masterpiece Awards Tour psycho Sundance TV TBS action-comedy GoT finale Academy Awards AMC live event Tarantino Animation Superheroes 24 frames Oscars SDCC Apple YouTube Premium television Baby Yoda basketball Sneak Peek Holiday new york zombie police drama MTV what to watch Pop dramedy aliens mob sopranos critic resources CNN worst crime thriller social media independent crime politics HBO Go Character Guide Rocketman slasher Film rotten Holidays Marvel Teen spinoff franchise Super Bowl Extras jurassic park boxoffice 1990s news LGBTQ a nightmare on elm street child's play Apple TV+ The Purge reviews spain Binge Guide Neflix mutant christmas movies The Witch Logo archives talk show Video Games legend SXSW Comedy Central cops video Mudbound Avengers Pop TV Heroines Podcast Shudder telelvision Turner joker Reality cinemax Schedule spider-man Prime Video emmy awards Marathons ESPN IMDb TV Tubi justice league Election Instagram Live ViacomCBS blockbusters stop motion See It Skip It Country CBS All Access PaleyFest political drama Classic Film Tags: Comedy Rock E3 nbcuniversal discovery Film Festival Bravo royal family mcc new zealand Apple TV Plus Writers Guild of America kong game show Walt Disney Pictures The CW nature Showtime disaster TIFF cats free movies composers renewed TV shows anime dceu Comic Book vs. Stephen King Christmas docuseries Winners Musicals Hulu high school hispanic heritage month Emmys BET Awards boxing canceled dark Cartoon Network HFPA docudrama First Reviews spanish streaming movies Hollywood Foreign Press Association OWN GLAAD live action Tumblr Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Starz Esquire Winter TV directors festivals Toys dexter TV renewals war Premiere Dates Red Carpet The Arrangement Tokyo Olympics VICE DC streaming service toronto marvel comics hollywood San Diego Comic-Con monster movies Shondaland quibi DGA Fantasy based on movie james bond leaderboard Mindy Kaling supernatural Star Wars Warner Bros. japan king arthur Exclusive Video Lucasfilm know your critic Pirates TruTV NBC golden globes ABC RT21 MCU werewolf Year in Review 2018 Netflix Christmas movies YA strong female leads video on demand adventure Pixar Summer Freeform FX on Hulu superhero blaxploitation children's TV Reality Competition new star wars movies Image Comics facebook SundanceTV Television Academy tv talk Nominations popular travel Marvel Studios Rom-Com WGN historical drama dogs PBS scary Quiz National Geographic remakes Elton John CMT Disney Channel MSNBC The Academy universal monsters comics miniseries jamie lee curtis Travel Channel diversity theme song south america art house films spy thriller CW Seed trailers blockbuster laika Superheroe GIFs concert Sundance Now Universal animated batman Calendar robots international young adult Comedy Amazon Studios TNT godzilla Cannes Lifetime Christmas movies Kids & Family biography Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt streaming suspense Martial Arts IFC Films mission: impossible Endgame Trailer stand-up comedy scene in color adaptation ratings cars gangster Fargo TCM romance Universal Pictures Paramount Plus Polls and Games Drama Ellie Kemper screen actors guild Horror Biopics book Vudu rotten movies we love Mystery hist black comedy kids rt labs science fiction A24 72 Emmy Awards feel good Chernobyl TLC Mary poppins Tomatazos cancelled television pirates of the caribbean name the review italian deadpool Family sequels Awards APB game of thrones spider-verse medical drama Infographic documentaries Television Critics Association heist movie Pet Sematary Black Mirror dc toy story scary movies hidden camera X-Men football Captain marvel king kong classics festival FXX obituary 007 harry potter Pride Month cancelled technology Fall TV Fox Searchlight comic posters Amazon Prime Video Women's History Month twilight The Walt Disney Company hispanic FX natural history 4/20 rt archives Epix period drama Dark Horse Comics Spike Nickelodeon true crime women ABC Family Mary Poppins Returns Ovation Marvel Television CBS binge satire LGBT Song of Ice and Fire japanese latino die hard serial killer NBA biopic richard e. Grant BBC australia Sony Pictures 2016 Columbia Pictures mockumentary USA Network sitcom ITV wonder woman critics Disney Plus superman Britbox book adaptation target FOX 21st Century Fox comic book movie nfl criterion best DirecTV fast and furious Action sequel IFC 73rd Emmy Awards rt labs critics edition TCA 2017 YouTube Red 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards space Trophy Talk aapi unscripted