Play Pause

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Directorial Feature Spotlight: Ivan Reitman

'Best Known For His '80s Work, I Enjoy Most Of His Stuff, Especially Films Critics Have Panned To Death' 

Ivan Reitman is a Canadian born director and producer of Slovakian descent, who is best known for his comedy movies. His big break came when he produced National Lampoon's Animal House, which was directed by John Landis in 1978 and produced Meatballs, the following year. Reitman's early 1980s work is remembered by critics as his best work with the likes of Stripes, Ghostbusters, whereas his 1990s and post-1990s work is less favourably admired.  

I really enjoyed Ghostbusters, but the sequel disappointed me in so many respects, really enjoyed the Arnie movies, Kindergarten Cop and Junior, whereas with Twins, it just didn't do much for me and the female leads that include Kelly Preston were bland and inconsequential. Danny DeVito was okay though. 

Slammed as one of the worst comedies, as well as Ivan Reitman movies, ever (even I bought into the negativity and criticism at first), I, in stark contrast, loved Fathers' Day, but it is thanks to Robin Williams being in this movie. I know I have mentioned my sheer love and enjoyment for this film on so many occasions and that had it not been for his inclusion, it would have been nowhere as funny and watchable, nor would it work as well. I probably and might have not given it any attention, if that had been the case. That film gets a lot of hate by critics, but as a comedy and Robin Williams fan myself in general, that movie makes me smile and laugh throughout and it is definitely a guilty pleasure movie of mine. 

Compared to my previous choices and reasons for liking and disliking a particular director's work, Reitman is different, as comedy films compared to other genres are arguably a lot more subjective. Comedy is a subjective thing: you either get the humour or you don't, you either love the humour or you don't, depending on the tone and style of it and whether it makes you laugh. Which Reitman's movies tend to do for me. Sure enough, people can argue it is too silly, low-brow, farcical that borders on stupidity. But as long as it's not mean-spirited or intentionally hurts other people, there is no harm in it.

From what I've seen of his movies and judging by them, it seems that most of his comedies rely on silly and low-brow situations; well, that is tended to be the case but for Legal Eagles, the Ghostbusters films, Six Days Seven Nights, and whilst this is not everyone's cup of tea, I really do enjoy this type of comedy and that it makes me laugh.   

Similarly as with Chris Columbus, through Kindergarten Cop, Twins, Junior and Fathers' Day especially, Reitman does touch on the sentimentality, in order to balance out the movie's general wackiness that occurs, and yet unlike Columbus, he doesn't go overboard with it to the point that it becomes incredibly sappy. 

My Super Ex-Girlfriend, starring Luke Wilson and Uma Thurman, which came during the tail end of Reitman's directorial career was occasionally amusing I'd have to say and Evolution was a bit meh. Ghostbusters II was a sheer disappointment, both comedy- wise and the story just didn't grab me as much as the first movie did. 

Ivan Reitman's films may not garner the biggest praise and respect from movie critics alike, but his movies are about entertainment and putting a smile on people's faces, not just bums on seats and thus, for the most part, they have done that for me. I don't care how silly, lame, stupid they and its characters are, but it's all in good nature and they have certainly provided me with some of my personal favourite cinematic and movie moments I've experienced. 

Notable Favourites: Ghostbusters (1984), Twins (1988), Kindergarten Cop (1990), Junior (1994), Fathers' Day (1997), My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006)  

Notable Non-Favourites: Ghostbusters II (1989), Dave (1993), Six Days, Seven Nights (1998), Evolution (2001), Stripes (1981)

Grade I Would Award Towards Ivan Reitman: B-

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...