Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Directors Project: #43 - Rob Reiner

Scene from Cinema Paradiso
With the many lists and essays written on the subject of film, there has been one thing that The Oscar Buzz has tried to understand: Who is my favorite of the film world? For 10 weeks this summer, I will be exploring this with a countdown of the Top 50 names based on a numerical ranking of ratings from various sources, the following is a list of directors who rank above everyone else. With occasional upsets, this is intended as both a discussion opener as well as a better understanding of me as a film critic and fan. Please enjoy and leave any comments you have regarding the entry's selection.


Years Active: 1959-present

Films as Director: 16

Oscar Wins: 0

Who: The second-generation of directors in the Reiner family, he made his start as an actor making appearances on the series All in the Family. Once transitioning to film, he began to take on a sort of sentimental Americana tone with emphasis on appealing to family audiences often through comedy and elaborate mishaps. While he isn't necessarily the most acclaimed director, he has worked with a lot of the best actors of his time and have resulted in some Oscar nominated performances. Along with Ron Howard, he is able to transition from actor to director without much issue, resulting in something that may not be all that authentic visually, but he does make a competent job as a journeyman director whose films continue to entertain and stand the test of time. His recent films may have not captured as much excitement as his earlier work, but he manages to appeal to his audience and while overly sentimental, has an impressive catalog that compensates for the lull.

A scene from When Harry Met Sally...
-- This is Spinal Tap (1984) --

Flickchart Ranking: #32 (900 points)
IMDb Rating: 6/10 (60 points)
Perks: None
Total: 960 points

-- When Harry Met Sally... (1989) --

Flickchart Ranking: #338 (600 points)
IMDb Rating: 6/10 (60 points)
Perks: None
Total: 660 points

-- The Princess Bride (1987) --

Flickchart Ranking: #465 (450 points)
IMDb Rating: 5/10 (50 points)
Perks: None
Total: 550 points

-- The Bucket List (2007) --

Flickchart Ranking: #611 (400 points)
IMDb Rating: 6/10 (60 points)
Perks: None
Total: 460 points

OVERALL TOTAL: 2580 points

Scene from This is Spinal Tap
This may be one of the biggest surprises on this list (only one is more shocking) because when I think of great directors, I do not necessarily think of Reiner. He has never been a director that I have hated, but his filmography is one that I don't quite associate closely with his work. Even then, the films that I have on this list are rather impressive, including This is Spinal Tap and romantic comedy cornerstone When Harry Met Sally.... He is a journeyman director of the best sort, producing films that appeal to general audiences that have bite, but won't offend anyone. He isn't visually complicated, but that's what makes his films great. He is wholesome and while his recent stream of films aren't all that great, he had a decent run of films that continue to inspire categories from drama to romance to mockumentaries.

UP NEXT: The quintessential Americana director whose films are so full of patriotism and everyday justice that he can't help but put a smile on your face.

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