Steve Stebbing

Breaking down all things pop culture

Trading Places – The formulation of my comedy side definitely came from all the John Landis films I watched far before I really should have been able to, which I accredit to my aunt’s massive VHS collection and the lack of supervision over what I was picking. This Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy classic is one of the leading films in that childhood crash course of funny and it celebrates thirty-five years of existence this week. The product of a very mean-spirited bet between two vicious old rich men, the fish out of water aspect on both ends of our character’s spectrum is still so much fun to watch and Aykroyd in a Santa suit is still my go to Christmas profile picture. And yes, I fell in love with Jamie Lee Curtis and you can watch it over and over again like me with the anniversary Blu-ray!

Jurassic Park – Steven Spielberg birthed the blockbuster film with Jaws and continued to re-up that with franchise film after franchise film and twenty-five years ago this adaptation of the popular Michael Crichton book stomped its way onto the screen. This movie was everything to me and, at the time, it was the movie I had seen the most times in theaters by the end of its theatrical run. Running down the surface level of great things in this film I have some serious points. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) was and is the epitome of brainy cool, Sam Neill made everyone want to study dinosaurs, Ellie Sadler was a woman that was tough as nails and, I have to side with Tim here, no raptors in the kitchen. I know people are screaming “Genero eaten off the toilet! C’mon!” This is just a short list of awesomeness, there’s too much to include in a short write up!

The Last Days Of Disco – Twenty years ago today we saw the re-emergence of writer and director Whit Stillman almost five years after his well-reviewed film Barcelona with a movie that would seriously put him on the map. Interestingly enough, he would then disappear again for another hiatus, this time a thirteen year one. A film about two fresh out of college Manhattan book editors looking for love in all the wrong clubs, this film introduced me to the lovely Kate Beckinsale and opened my eyes to the range of Chloe Sevigny, who I knew from Larry Clark’s Kids. It’s interesting to note that Stillman was pressured by the studio to put top name actresses in this film like Winona Ryder but he stuck to his guns and made the film he wanted to. Take that as a lesson.

This Is The End – Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg made their directorial debut five years ago with this totally meta film about the end of the world. Basically, during a party at James Franco’s house, the rapture happens and holes to hell open up all over the world, killing a lot of the party’s guests, some in spectacular fashion. The remaining ones, including Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, Rogen and Franco, have to band together to survive in this hilarious film full of in-jokes and self-deprecation. This movie is pure fun, nothing more, nothing less. I can understand people having slight issues with it but you all knew what you were getting into, right?

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