Young Jason Bateman was born on January 14, 1969, and soon thereafter arrived on the scene as a child actor in "Little House on the Prairie" in the early '80s. He went on to star in other relatively nondescript TV movies and shows before ultimately landing the role of Michael Bluth, the everyman trapped by the absurdity of his ridiculous family in Fox's (now Netflix's) cherished "Arrested Development."
Old Jason Bateman was also born on January 14, 1969 and, after starring on Fox's (now Netflix's) cherished "Arrested Development" as Michael Bluth, the everyman trapped by the absurdity of his ridiculous family, went on to star in such big budget productions as "Hancock," "The Kingdom," "Horrible Bosses" and, now, "Identity Thief."
Today, the two actors square off in our version of a steel cage death match: a comedic compare/contrast blog post based on inane categories where a winner is completely predetermined but only truly revealed at the end of a thousand or so words. Only one actor who consistently rocks an un-ironic no-teeth smile will be leaving here with any dignity. But who will it be Old Jason Bateman or Young Jason Bateman?
Highest Grossing Film
Old Jason Bateman: "Hancock" (2008), $227,946,274
Young Jason Bateman: "Necessary Roughness" (1991), $26,255,594
Advantage: OJB, especially if you consider yourself one of those people who likes having $200 million dollars instead of not having $200 million dollars.
Movie That Might Politely Be Considered 'Not One of His Best' by Family Members
Old Jason Bateman: "Extract" (2009)
Young Jason Bateman: "Teen Wolf Too" (1987)
Advantage: OJB. Whereas "Extract" seems like something OJB's family might lightheartedly chide him about around the dinner table, "Teen Wolf Too" probably wasn't spoken of in the YJB house ... kind of like if you found out when you were eight that your father was financially supporting a second family.
Old Jason Bateman: Old Justine Bateman
Young Jason Bateman: Young Justine Bateman
Advantage: OJB. While Young Justine Bateman had a successful career with a seven-year stint on "Family Ties," Old Justine Bateman not only aged gracefully but took some initiative and just started taking classes at UCLA. It's close, but OJB never has to talk about how hot Michael J. Fox is in person at UCLA in 2013, right?
Highest IMDb-Rated Movie Whose Title Includes Punctuation
Old Jason Bateman: "Smokin" Aces" (2006), 6.6 rating
Young Jason Bateman: "Right to Kill?" (TV movie, 1985), 6.9 rating
Advantage: You'd think that YJB would take the win here by virtue of (mocking air quotes) "counting," but that's old-fashioned. The real issue here is that you can't read "Right to Kill?" without doing it in a Ron Burgundy voice, since there's no verb in the title? By rule, that means "Right to Kill?" is disqualified for illegal performance enhancers. OJB gets the controversial nod here.
Most Noteworthy Non-Acting Gig Within the Film Industry
Old Jason Bateman: Executive Producer of "Mansome" (2012)
Young Jason Bateman: Directed episode of "Family Matters" in 1997
Advantage: It's close, but OJB notches another one in the old belt. While "Mansome" wasn't the best-reviewed documentary, it did feature good buddy Will Arnett, which is always a plus unless we're talking about the movie "Southie." And while we're sure the set of "Family Matters" was fun, even the director knows never to tell Reginald VelJohnson what to do.
Number of Films in Which His Character Bitched Around George Clooney
Old Jason Bateman: One, "Up in the Air" (2009)
Young Jason Bateman: None
Advantage: OJB, by default. During the filming of Jason Reitman's "Up in the Air," OJB could go home to his wife and answer the inevitable "How was work, honey?" with "Fine, got to glare disapprovingly at George Clooney for letting me down yet again! (playful laugh)" YJB was forced to initiate conversations with his braces-clad girlfriend by using lines like, "Today was awesome, turns out Brent Spiner is actually a really nice guy!" (No dis-res-PECT meant to Brent Spiiiinah, I got a lot of love for Brent Spiiinah, but we're talkin' 'bout George Clooney heeeeeeere.)* *To be read in a Stephen A. Smith voice.
Most Intriguing Character Name
Old Jason Bateman: 'Henry Weston, the Mutant' in "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" (2007)
Young Jason Bateman: 'Spider' in "Sol Goode" (2003)
Advantage: OJB gets the points. 'Henry Weston, the Mutant' could go in any direction, especially within the context of "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium." People named Henry usually aren't mutants, and mutants are usually bad, and "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" seems like it's just two long hours of grins from happy people. What gives? Meanwhile, 'Spider' could either be a drug dealer or a ten year-old's cute nickname. Consultations with the world's best mathematicians confirm that Bateman was not ten years old in 2003, so.
Movies Where He Rocks a Weird-Looking Bowl Cut
Old Jason Bateman: None.
Young Jason Bateman: Almost all of them.
Advantage: OJB. Oh, sure YJB apologists: Young Jason "didn't know any better" and "grew up in the '80s" and "looked hot anyway" and "I'd still hit it" and "why are the cops here" and "I meant when he was 18" and "I was kidding anyway." Fine. But OJB more than just aged after "Arrested Development"; he matured. He matured into a real boy. With a real haircut.
Number of Times the Letters 'TV' Appear Next To a Title on His IMDb Page
Old Jason Bateman: 5
Young Jason Bateman: 30
Advantage: OJB again gets the nod. (Obnoxious throat clear), the site is NextMovie, not NextTV. (*Checks to see if "NextTV" is a real site* *Is relieved that it's not* *Moves on*)
Movie Poster Featuring Him That We Wouldn't Mind Owning
Old Jason Bateman: "Horrible Bosses" (2011)
Young Jason Bateman: "Teen Wolf Too" (1987)
Advantage: And down goes OJB! Down goes OJB! Young Jason Bateman finally scores the surprising knockout with his devastating "Satisfied Grin Behind Two Random Hairy Right Arms and Next to a Werewolf's Face" attack! OJB has no idea what hit him! He's still down!
Let's go to the judges! This could be closer than we think ...
The final tally: Old Jason Bateman 9, Young Jason Bateman 1.
Indeed, it was a valiant comeback effort by YJB in the final round, but OJB's lead was just too difficult to overcome. And now that we've decided a champion, the two of them can go back to being (SPOILER ALERT!) the same person again.