Steve Stebbing

Breaking down all things pop culture

The 15:17 To Paris – When this film hit theaters I may have taken a couple shots at director Clint Eastwood saying that maybe his age might be muddling his filmmaking decisions and was reprimanded by Drex for being “ageist”. Maybe I was being a bit unfair but after another viewing on Blu-ray, I still stand by my opinion that this film is absolutely terrible and it all rests solely on Eastwood’s shoulders. The film follows three friends who took down terrorists who hijacked a train in Paris and rather than cast capable actors in these roles Clint decided that the three real guys would be perfect to re-enact their actions. This would be all well and fine if everyone was a real player but when you see Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer and Thomas Lennon at the start of the film who simply out act and outclass these three in a stark obviousness that’s hard to get over. Adding to that awfulness is dialogue written by someone clearly out of touch with how people talk these days so I suggest you skip this one.

The Hangover Part III – Last week I brought up The Matrix Reloaded, a film that kind of destroyed the path laid out in the first installment. Well, this week I bring focus to the third piece in the Hangover trilogy, a merciful end to a series that fell off the rails after a successful start. While this one isn’t as bad as the second movie, it’s a glaring reminder of how great this all started off and how sharply it plummeted. Released five years ago this week, this series is closed out by a film that digs into a darker brand of humor and adds John Goodman to the mix but is such a glaringly forgettable film that you have a hard time with the fact that it started from a blockbuster game changer. Way to go from a fireworks opening to a sparkler finish.

Fast And Furious 6 – It’s not often that a franchise has two points of their run that signified a down stroke in their quality but the Fast And Furious saga is definitely an offender. Now, it isn’t anywhere near the garishly blinding mess that was John Singleton’s 2 Fast 2 Furious but Justin Lin’s final outing in this series is a vast departure from how great Fast Five was. Like my previous dumpster fire, this film came out five years ago this week and I remember being so excited to see where Dominic Toretto, Hobbs and company would go next. What we got was an unutilized Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, an unfocused return of Michelle Rodriguez and a ridiculous finale with the longest airport runway in existence. This film is far from a dumpster fire (the next film in the series is closer) but this is when the fire was lit.

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull – Obviously this is the biggest inferno of a dumpster fire I have covered on this blog so far. On the tenth anniversary, let’s reminisce about how terrible this movie was. The term “nuke the fridge” became synonymous with the term “jumping the shark” when it comes to ridiculous plot twists as Indy survives a nuclear bomb by hiding in a refrigerator. Horrible. Then there’s the entirety of Shia LeBeouf’s character Mutt Williams, who shows up looking like a greaser extra from The Outsiders, swings around with monkeys and then is revealed as our hero’s son. It’s like slowly sliding to a death in lava. You can see it all happening but can’t do a thing to prevent it. The elation of seeing Harrison Ford don the fedora and satchel again was so short-lived as everything was completely wasted in a losing effort of two guys trying for new relevancy with a classic and revered character. I can never wipe this film from my memory and neither can you. We’re in this together.

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