Steve Stebbing

Breaking down all things pop culture

With all the movies out there, some of them surely have to be terrible. My job is to make sure you don’t waste any time on them so here are my dumpster fires this week:

1. Faith based films – At the current time there are three targeted films for the faith-based audiences playing in theaters, Paul, Apostle Of Christ, God’s Not Dead: A Light In The Darkness and I Can Only Imagine. While that last one is at a 70% on Rotten Tomatoes, Paul is at a rotten 41% and God’s Not Dead, the third in that series, is an abysmal 15%. Now, let’s put into context that the best measuring stick on the web, Metacritic, has that positive 70% ranked I Can Only Imagine at a horribly low score of 29/100 and you will get the point I make right here: There are no good faith based films and definitely none that will appeal to a new audience. Seriously. I believe the last film that seemed to cross over into the mainstream was The Passion Of The Christ and that had to be the controversy of the entire project that piqued the audience’s curiosity. Maybe the built-in and targeted viewers are enough to sustain these studios but shouldn’t they want more?

2. Tyler Perry – The theme of this week seems to be “don’t you want more?” as mega producer, writer and director Tyler Perry has another new film out this week. To date, his biggest hits involve him in drag playing the character of Madea, a successful adaptation from stage to screen, now muddled into a separate comedy horror genre for at least two films so far. Beyond that, Perry has many other dramas that have come and gone like two Why Did I Get Married movies, Kim Kardashian as a marriage counselor in Temptation and this week’s offering, Taraji P. Henson in Acrimony. In the U.S., Tyler Perry’s films are released across the country but here they are in a more limited capacity and, while I understand that he has gotten to the point that he gets to make whatever he wants, I wish we could see something fresh, bold and unpredictable. Is this too much to ask?

3. Cover art photo shopping – I won’t begin to get into the actual film itself but the cover art on the Blu-ray of the new comedy Father Figures brings up another marketing pet peeve of mine, horrible photo shop. Working at a video store for years (remember those?), I was subjected to dreadful cover art on many different titles but the ones that really bug me are big studio releases. Father Figures being the prime example right now, Ed Helms literally does not have a neck. What is this movie about? Just from the cover, we can surmise that Ed Helms has misplaced his neck and a surprised Owen Wilson is on board to help him recover it. Really, if you’re looking for something out of the blue to watch and this is thrust under your nose, it’s doubtful that this one is going home with you just based on sheer marketing laziness. I think we need to publicly shame these instances more. Who’s with me?

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