You may not have come across the name of Ivan Reitman before, but this Slovak-Canadian film director/producer has notched up a considerable string of movies to his name. Primarily known for his comedy-based efforts, Reitman's big break came when he produced 1978's Animal House with John Belushi. Since then, he has been at the helm in producing and directing household and popular U.S based hits such as Ghostbusters and several of Arnold Schwarzenneger-based movies.
As a whole, Reitman's movies have been met with a mixed response from both film critics and general audiences alike- although thankfully for him, during the 1980s and 1990s, despite the critical reviews and comments, this didn't deter audiences who still flocked to the cinemas and bought the videos and DVDs of these movies, regardless. Unlike a lot of people, I enjoy watching many of Ivan Reitman's comedies: they tend to echo some of the silliness and farcical and over-the-top humour that is found in Chris Columbus's notable comedy works in Home Alone, Mrs Doubtfire and Jingle All The Way.
One distinguishable element I have noticed about Reitman's comedies is in contrast to Chris Columbus's take on comedy: the physical and slapstick humour present in his efforts are further punctuated by snappy and at times amusing dialogue, whilst it relies much less on sentimentality to draw in audiences - which is something that Columbus is considerably known for in his movies.
In acknowledgement of his work, here is my rundown of Ivan Reitman's films, starting with my absolute favourite to least favourite in descending order:
*updated December 15, 2016*
Ghostbusters - 1984: Ivan Reitman's original smash hit about a group of supernatural busting heroes in the form of comedians Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis. Great fun with impressive special effects to boot
Fathers' Day - 1997: favourite Robin Williams comedy film of mine and my second fav Reitman film overall. Williams steals the show in this outrageous, funny and side-splitting farce, based on the original French effort, Le Comperes.
Kindergarten Cop - 1990: Arnold Schwarzenegger and a group of kiddies? What more can you ask for?
Ghostbusters II - 1989: Reitman's sequel to the hugely popular 1984 offering, though not as great as the prequel, still raises a few smiles
Junior - 1994: at times a misunderstood comedy that is also harshly mauled by critics, this effort, whilst the comedy is a lot less toned down in contrast to Ivan Reitman's other efforts, the rest of the film has sweet moments, as well as a lot of heart.
Twins - 1988: another Arnie comedy that shows more of his reserved nature and presence and less of the gung-ho, action Arnie. That, and he shows what a good actor he is too
Space Jam - 1996: the main reason to watch this film is for the Looney Tunes characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck as they slam dunk their way to victory with the help of basketball legend, Michael Jordan
Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot -1992: Estelle Getty looked far more at ease as her role as the cop's gun-totting granny, compared to Sly Stallone although the comedy was more of a miss than a hit
My Super Ex-Girlfriend - 2006: superhero comic caper parody with Uma Thurman in the lead role. Though it has garnered less than satisfactory reviews, I thought this one wasn't too bad.
Dave - 1993: Political satire starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver, again this one is not too bad
Stripes - 1981: One of his earlier offerings, but not a very memorable or funnier one to boot sadly. Comedy pales compared to his latter efforts.
Evolution - 2001: Supernatural comedy, in a similar vein to Ghostbusters but not as memorable and good
Beethoven - 1992: Canine offering that didn't impress me that much