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Stallone and De Niro's celluloid grudge match isn't the first

10:25 AM, Dec 24, 2013   |    comments
Two terrors of teens everywhere, Freddy (Robert Englund), left, and Jason (Ken Kirzinger), go head-to-head in 2003's "Freddy vs Jason." (Photo: James Dittiger, New Line Cinema)
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On Wednesday, Santa Claus brings an epic battle between Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro in the boxing comedy Grudge Match, a dream come true for anyone ever hoping to see Rocky Balboa and "Raging Bull" Jake LaMotta put up their dukes in the same ring on the big screen.

However, it's just the latest of many heavyweight bouts between franchise favorites in films over the years. Here are a few more to put on your ultimate Hollywood fight card.

Freddy vs. Jason

The matchup: The title of Freddy vs. Jason (2003) says it all. Horror fans lost their heads (and not due to a machete attack) when Friday the 13th mainstay Jason Voorhees sauntered in and interrupted Nightmare on Elm Street baddie Freddy Krueger right in the middle of a kill. All hell then broke loose with Jason putting Freddy through a series of windows and Freddy getting some revenge by sending Jason flying via airborne torpedoes.

The winner: Just when Jason was thought down and out, he rose again - as he often does - and stuck Freddy's severed, clawed-glove arm right through his back. Ouch.

Aliens vs. Predators

The matchup: The scintillating sci-fi smackdown in AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004) also roped in some humans, who stumble upon a pyramid housing the Alien queen and a whole bunch of her facehugger and chestburster offspring. A group of Predators - who it turns out have been visiting Earth for millennia - get involved and it becomes a three-way battle.

The winner: A human guide (Sanaa Lathan) survives the onslaught and the Predators even give her a souvenir after they defeat the Alien queen. Yay, humanity!

Star Wars nerds vs. Trekkies

The matchup: The comedy Fanboys (2009) puts on screen a cold war that has been waged at comic conventions and message boards for decades: the opposing fan bases of Star Wars and Star Trek, each thinking their franchise is the best. When a group of George Lucas lovers are on the way to raid Skywalker Ranch so their dying buddy can see The Phantom Menace, they stop at the Iowa hometown of Captain James T. Kirk and run afoul of the Trek fans visiting their Mecca.

The winner: After getting a tongue lashing by the head Trekkie (Seth Rogen so nerded up he's almost unrecognizable), the Star Wars faithful run over a statue of Kirk and Khan in their van. That'll teach 'em who's got the Force.

King Kong vs. Godzilla

The matchup: Two movie giants first meet in King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), in which a Japanese pharmaceutical company wants some extra publicity and captures Kong from his island home after getting him drunk on berry juice. When the great ape wakes up, he breaks free and begins wreaking havoc on the landscape - though he runs into Asia's chief havoc-wreaker in Godzilla. Destruction ensues, usually involving rock throwing and atomic breathing.

The winner: King Kong is the last beast standing, but really, the actors probably thought taking off those old-school rubber and fur creature costumes at the end of the picture was a major victory.

Clark Kent vs. Superman

The matchup: How do you take down Superman's good-guy image? In Superman III (1983), it was by unleashing a dark, cruel Superman. When his alter ego Clark Kent (Christopher Reeve) returns to his hometown of Smallville for a high school reunion, bad guys give the hero enough Kryptonite not to kill him but instead turn him into, well, a real jerk. He straightens the Leaning Tower of Pisa, douses the Olympic Flame and goes on an alcoholic bender before good-guy Clark is able to separate himself in time for a junkyard fight.

The winner: Who else? Clark Kent takes out his evil doppelgänger by strangulation, though audiences were the real winners by getting two Reeves for the price of one.


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