A friend did the corner set wall Penn thing recently but he had the subject trying to break out of it, climbing the wall, smashed into it.
He said he was running out of ideas and then went to the corner, feeling shitty about the Penn-esque nature of it and he wanted to break it all down, so he directed teh subject to do just that. I'll find a link and post it up. It actually works.
Now the Hopper thing, well, its a vibe and people take it literally and try to find a diner with that mood, which is a scene that hasn't existed in Manhattan for years. They even try to find THE diner, which was a composit of places and moods, and light it up with strobes and it looks like shit, or rather, it looks cheap.
I think it's ok that someone does it, though it's kind of lame considering it was Irving's calling card, but I find it really strange that someone does it and thinks they're original and sticks their chest out.
I'd probably respect Penn copies more if someone stomped through the Amazon and shot the natives in a portable studio. At least I'd give them an A for effort, but two corner walls?
I think I've seen that copied twenty two billion times.
It's the same with Hopper, who no photographer I know has copied well. They find that corner diner on a wet 4am Sunday morning and shoot and shoot and think they invented it, or shoot straight angles and think that really is "their" style.
It's pretty funny.