Duncan Jones' 2009 sci-fi drama Moon is one of the 21st century's most underrated films. Directed by Jones (David Bowie's son), it's a stripped-down, tragic and often funny tale of an astronaut, isolated and farming helium on the moon.
To say that film is anchored by star Sam Rockwell is an understatement. He shares the screen with only a robot voiced by Kevin Spacey and, well, himself. When he discovers a downed vehicle containing what appears to be another version of him, Rockwell's performance is one of the best dual roles of all time.
Some actors have a knack for sharing the screen with themselves. Danny Kaye in The Wonder Man, Nicolas Cage in Adaptation and Armie Hammer in The Social Network—these actors make it look easy. But the fact is, if even Tom Hardy couldn't pull it off in Legend, co-starring with yourself must be harder than it looks. Need proof? Here are some of the worst dual performances of all time. (We're leaving out comedy because, well, we don't want to have to confine our discussion to movies with Eddie Murphy and Mike Myers in fat suits.)
Leonardo DiCaprio in The Man in the Iron Mask (1998)
DiCaprio's probably going to win an Oscar this weekend for his snot-caked, masochistic performance in The Revenant. He suffered for that role. Audiences, meanwhile, suffered for this Dumas adaptation, in which he tried to ditch his teen-idol status and came off looking like a whiny fourth Hanson brother.
Lindsay Lohan in I Know Who Killed Me (2007)
Lohan's breakout role was in the charming remake of The Parent Trap, so it only made sense that she be recast as twins later in her career. Only this time the twins are a pianist and a stripper who get their psyches mixed up after one of them is abducted by a serial killer. Probably because of cocaine.
Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson in The Island (2005)
Michael Bay coaxes better performances out of butt cheeks and exploding cars than he does out of actors, and McGregor and ScarJo are no exceptions…at least their butt cheeks look great!
Christopher Reeves in Superman III (1983)
"I can give as good as I get," Reeves' Clark Kent confusingly tells the evil version of Superman before knocking that weirdly Capone-accented sonofabitch in a vat of acid. Reeves is his usual milquetoast nerdlinger as Kent. But as evil Supes, he mistakes scowling and bulging neck sinew for performance, making for one of the most unintentionally hilarious fight scenes ever filmed for a major movie.
Jean Claude Van Damme in…a lot of movies
When Van Damme played twin brothers Chad and Alex—one great with guns, one great at fighting, both capable of doing the splits—in the 1991 trash classic Double Impact, it was novel. When he played twins again in 1996's Maximum Risk, it was maybe a coincidence (one of them was dead). In 2001's Replicant, he's a serial killer and his clone. And, wait, holy shit! Van Damme also interacts with his former self in Timecop. Damn—if there was a lifetime achievement award for being terrible beside yourself on screen, he would have, like, eight of them. And they'd all do the splits.
SEE IT: Moon plays at the Academy Theater. Feb. 26-March 3.
The Joy's free Weird Wednesday temporarily puts the monsters back under the bed to make way for Jeanne Bell's ass-whomping Blaxploitation flick TNT Jackson. Joy Cinema. 9 pm Wednesday, Feb. 24.
As is tradition, Church of Film wraps up its monthly run of themed movies at the Clinton with Funeral Parade of Roses, a pioneering journey through Tokyo's underground LGBTQ club scene. Clinton Street Theater. 8 pm Wednesday, Feb. 24
Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange celebrates 45 years of totally ruining "Singin' in the Rain" for folks who always take the advice of their nerdy friend who starts every conversation with "Oh man, you haven't seen that movie?" It's also, you know, one of the most terrifyingly sharp satires of human degradation ever made. Mission Theater. Wednesday, Feb. 24.
Still the Coen Brothers' best film, Fargo returns to theaters to celebrate 20 years of us wondering why it lost the Oscar to the fucking English Patient. Mission Theater. Wednesday, Friday-Saturday & Monday, Feb. 24 27-29 & 30.
This weekend, Mad Max: Fury Road is up for a staggering 10 Oscars (spoiler alert, it's gonna win a lot… of technical ones), but that masterpiece doesn't cancel out the greatness of The Road Warrior if only because Immortan Joe does not look nearly as good in bondage gear as Lord Humongous. Hollywood Theatre. 7:40 pm Friday, Feb. 26.
Woody Allen's classic comedy Annie Hall gets a revival, though the opportunity to pair it up with Rosemary's Baby and Ghost Dad still goes untapped. Mission Theater. Friday-Monday, Feb. 26-29.
Sophia Coppola's Somewhere follows the lives of a whiny movie star and his daughter as they shack up at the Chateau Marmont, and it's just as pretentious as a Sophia Coppola movie with that description sounds. 5th Avenue Cinema. 7 & 9:30 pm Friday-Saturday, 3 pm Sunday, Feb. 26-28.
The Hollywood dusts off its organ once again for a screening of the Buster Keaton films One Week and Go West. Hollywood Theatre. 2 pm Saturday, Feb. 27.
Currently a mainstay in Portland theaters due to a combination of the film's 25th anniversary and Portland's hatred of small dogs, The Silence of the Lambs keeps the lotion flowing for another week. Mission Theater. 8 pm Saturday, Feb. 27.
The Sting harkens back to a better time, when con men were handsome and not gainfully employed by big businesses in order to vacuum money from suckers en masse. Mission Theater. Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 27-28. 8 pm Saturday, Feb. 27.
Blaxploitation legend Fred Williamson is scheduled to be in attendance at the Black Film Fest's screening of Black Caesar, one of the genre's greatest achievements, featuring Williamson as a rising kingpin and a soundtrack by James Brown. I have a lot of funny shit to say about this (mostly involving the phrase "c'mon, Sex Machine"), but on the off chance that Williamson reads this, well, I'm gonna keep it to myself. Dude has black belts in three disciplines. Hollywood Theatre. 7 pm Saturday, Feb. 27. Black Caesar was postponed with screening date TBA, "due to an unexpected conflict in Mr. Williamson's schedule," according to the Hollywood.
A documentary about the drastic changes resulting in a strict regiment of meditation in a maximum security Alabama prison, the Clinton's screening of The Dhamma Brothers gets into the spriti of the film by accepting donations for the Vipassana prison Trust. Clinton Street Theater. 7 pm Monday, Feb. 29.
An often overlooked film in John Ford's oeuvre—especially by people who use oeuvre in regular conversation—The Quiet Man features a great performance by John Wayne as a boxer returning to Ireland that somehow manages to be neither overly macho nor racist. Mission Theater. Opens Tuesday, March 1.
Were the prospects of seeing a cheesy 1988 film about a kung-fu Interpol agent infiltrating Wall Street not enough to get you to B-Movie Bingo's American Hunter Screening, rest assured that there are also motorcycles, monkeys and falcons. Hollywood Theatre. 7:30 pm Tuesday, March 1.