Seth Rogen seems to be popping up all over the place for me lately. First there was the whole Freaks and Geeks reunion that had me, erm, geeking out, but also feeling kind of old. Then it was reading about the awesome on-screen chemistry between Seth and (my hero) Barbra Streisand, which at first sounded creepy until I realized that the chemistry was just between a good Jewish boy and his Jewish mother. (Note to self: see The Guilt Trip, no matter how bad it likely is. Sing songs from Yentl in your head.) Then there was the realization that the damn bear in Ted looks exactly like Seth Rogen.
Director Jason Reitman might be most well-known for his films Thank You For Smoking, Juno, and Up in the Air, but for me, he is much more famous for his staged star-studded live-readings of some of my favorite movie scripts. For the past year, Reitman has done live reads of movies like The Breakfast Club , Reservoir Dogs, The Princess Bride, The Big Lebowski in Los Angeles and has taken this gig on the road to stage The Apartment in NYC and American Beauty at the Toronto International Film Festival. The formula is the same each time: great original screenplay, great cast, and—the best part—no rehearsal.
For his next installment in this unique series, he is tackling something he hasn’t done before—a movie that his dad made.
Oh yes, did I forget to mention that Jason Reitman is the son of Ivan Reitman, who in 1984 directed Ghostbusters, which is a movie that sits, laminated, at the tippy top of the very important list that is entitled: The Best of My Childhood.
Now, I typically tend to have feelings about iconic movie remakes. My feelings hover around a “Why did you have to go and mess with perfection and why is this even necessary?” place. I mean, I watched the Footloose remake and surprisingly tapped my feet right the heck along to the beat, but I still don’t understand WHY it needed to be done. I want my children to see the originals—I want them to have a little taste of my childhood. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore. Sigh. my kids don’t need the new ones with extra special effects and song remixes and the fancy 3D. Movies are iconic for a reason, and I see no reason to go ahead and redo a classic. I’m looking at you Planet of the Apes. And Fame. And The Karate Kid. And Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
But this right here? Getting worthy, wonderful actors and actresses to live-read from movies I absolutely love? It doesn’t get much better than this.
And Reitman’s choices to read the three infamous Ghostbusters—Seth Rogen as Peter Venkman, Jack Black as Ray Stantz, and Rainn Wilson as Egon Spengler—who were originally played to perfection by Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, and Harold Ramis, seem to fit like the perfect pair of winter gloves (but the ones with the special padding on the fingers so we can still use our touchscreens.)
(High five for me for remembering what all the Ghostbusters’ last names were!)
Now we’re going to play a little game called Let’s be Jason Reitman!! Where we get to cast actors for our other favorite childhood movies, like Back to The Future:
Marty McFly—This goes to Andrew Garfield for me. He’s got the right combination of nerdyslashadorable and can pull off young even though he’s basically in his thirties. You know, kind of like the original Marty McFly. And Garfield could easily pull off the orange puffy vest, no?
George McFly—I tossed around a few ideas, but ultimately went with Shia LaBeouf. Shia comes across as maybe, sort of, just a wee bit creepy while simultaneously being bumbling and nervous, which is exactly who George McFly is. Can’t you just see it? You are my density. I mean, my destiny.
Doc Brown—My pick is Bryan Cranston because after pulling off Heisenberg, pulling off a scientist seems like something he could do in his sleep.
Biff—Going with Hunter Parrish on this one, even though he may not be big enough of a meathead to fill Biff Tannen’s shoes, but he totally gave off that stupid jock feel in that Zac Efron movie about becoming a teenager again. (Oh, try to admit that you haven’t seen that movie. Just try.)
Lorraine—Alexis Bledel. Or even Alison Brie. They could both pull this one off.
Strickland—Matthew Broderick. Of course.
Now it’s YOUR turn! Who would read what parts at your live-reading of Ghostbusters? Or Back to the Future? Or your favorite movie from your youth??