ivan reitman

Ivan Reitman.

It’s admittedly cliche to write “we lost one of the greats,” but nothing feels more appropriate when writing about director, producer and screenwriter Ivan Reitman.

Reitman’s work is the quintessential comedy experience for people across at least three generations. His biggest film, “Ghostbusters” was a first-of-its kind pop culture phenomenon. “National Lampoon's Animal House” flipped frat house humor on its head. “Meatballs” introduced the world to Bill Murray, for cryin’ out loud. Reitman always seemed to know exactly how to blend silliness, innovation and heart in the most magical way.

Part of Reitman’s gift was his knack for finding funny people. "You get a sense after a while when you're seeing something special in a person," Reitman said in a 2007 interview. "They have a way of taking a stage, or taking a screen. It's not just that they know how to say something funny—there's something about their face where you just have to keep looking at them."

Reitman even saw the comedic potential of action superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger, who starred in two of Reitman’s movies: “Kindergarten Cop” and “Twins.” This was a near 180-degree turn from the normal bare-chested barbarian and souped-up killing machine roles that Schwarzenegger had become known for.

On hearing the news of Reitman’s passing on Feb 12, Schwarzenegger gave a heartfelt statement on Twitter, calling him not only “comedy royalty,” but also “kind, generous, smart as hell, and always there for you.”

Schwarzenegger certainly wasn’t alone in his appreciation. Filmmakers and film lovers alike paid tribute on social media.

Paul Feig, who directed the all-female version of “Ghostbusters” in 2016, reflected collaborating with Reitman for the project. “It was always such a learning experience,” he wrote. “All of us in comedy owe him so very much.”

Kumail Nanjiani, co-creator of “The Big Sick” and a film trailblazer in his own right, tweeted, “A Legend. The number of great movies he made is absurd.”

Included in that absurd list is “Beethoven” and “Space Jam,” which Reitman produced. It’s not easy to make family movies that are actually funny to all family members. But Reitman excelled at it.

Mindy Kaling, who worked with Reitman on the rom-com “No Strings Attached,” described him as “old school in the best way,” adding, “it’s sad he’s gone, it makes me feel older and like my childhood movies are more far away than ever.”

Even Tom Rothman, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, spoke out. According to CNN, Rothman said in a statement, “Tonight, the lady with the torch weeps, as do all of us at Columbia, and film lovers around the world. Ivan Reitman was an inseparable part of this studio’s legacy, but more than that he was a friend. A great talent and an even finer man; he will be dearly missed…”

Ivan instilled a love for comedy into his son, Jason Reitman, whose tribute took on a more personal tone.

“All I want is the chance to tell my father one more story,” the tweet read.

Jason might not be able to fulfill that wish, but he does continue his father’s storytelling legacy. Working with his dad, Jason directed the franchise’s latest installment: “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” and has produced dark comedy cult classics “Jennifer’s Body” and “Young Adult.”

Even the official “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” Twitter account paid its respects, saying, “See you on the other side. Rest In Peace Ivan Reitman”

The world might be saddened by the loss of this icon of feel-good entertainment, but it’s only because he gave us all so so many moments that opened our hearts and brought us to laughter.

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

Keep Reading Show less

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

Keep Reading Show less

Sandy Hook school shooting survivors are growing up and telling us what they've experienced.

This story originally appeared on 12.15.21


Imagine being 6 years old, sitting in your classroom in an idyllic small town, when you start hearing gunshots. Your teacher tries to sound calm, but you hear the fear in her voice as she tells you to go hide in your cubby. She says, "be quiet as a mouse," but the sobs of your classmates ring in your ears. In four minutes, you hear more than 150 gunshots.

You're in the first grade. You wholeheartedly believe in Santa Claus and magic. You're excited about losing your front teeth. Your parents still prescreen PG-rated films so they can prepare you for things that might be scary in them.

And yet here you are, living through a horror few can fathom.

Keep Reading Show less