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Ivan Reitman Opts To Step Back From Ghostbusters 3 Director Role, Producing Instead


Ivan Reitman Harold Ramis Dan Aykroyd

Ivan Reitman – director and executive producer on both the Ghostbusters films – has decided to step down from his role as director for the proposed third film, deciding instead to take on a producer role. The decision comes in light of Harold Ramis’ death; he had been suffering from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis for several years and died last month.

Harold RamisHarold Ramis at the Los Angeles Premiere of 'I Love You, Man' in 2009

Ramis, who played Egon Spengler in the Ghostbusters movies, had a huge influence on many comedy actors and writers today. And it was his later work, most notably on, National Lampoon's Vacation, Groundhog Day and Analyze This, that really cemented his reputation as a comedy mastermind. And so profound was his impact on Reitman, that following his funeral, the director decided to re-think his Ghostbusters III role. 

Continue reading: Ivan Reitman Opts To Step Back From Ghostbusters 3 Director Role, Producing Instead

A Week In News: A Ghostbusters' Departure, TV Sleuth Gets Another Shot, And Celebs Re-Shuffle Relationships


Harold Ramis Kim Kardashian Miley Cyrus Katy Perry Lisa Kudrow Paula Patton Robin Thicke

Harold Ramis

So Long Harold Ramis: This week, the world lost the comedy talent known as Harold Ramis: Ghostbusters actor and the man behind many a funny comedy film. Ramis died after complications associated with autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels. Ramis' fellow industry figures and his league of fans across the globe have clamoured to pay tribute to the legendary filmmaker, with even Barack Obama dropping a Caddyshack joke to honour the star. Stacks of twinkies have been left outside the Ghostbusters fire station in Tribeca, as an ode the wonderful Ramis and his cinematic legacy. RIP Harold Ramis: 1944 - 2014.

Katy Perry Dominates The News: Katy Perry has single-handedly made sure the pap lens of the world hasn't strayed from her this week. From announcing her Prismatic European tour then making out with Miley Cyrus to delivering a baby and even angering the world's Muslim population with her "blasphemous" new music video, the pop star has kept herself busy. However, Perry's relationship with singer-songwriter John Mayer has made headlines after it was strongly rumoured that the pair had broken up.

Continue reading: A Week In News: A Ghostbusters' Departure, TV Sleuth Gets Another Shot, And Celebs Re-Shuffle Relationships

'Ghostbusters III' Will Still Happen, Despite Death Of Harold Ramis


Harold Ramis Bill Murray Dan Aykroyd Ernie Hudson Rick Moranis Sigourney Weaver

Ghostbusters III remains on course for release despite the death of Harold Ramis, who was set to play one of the main characters. Ramis died on Monday after a long illness, prompting countless tributes from those who knew and respected the filmmaker as well as from his fans across the globe.

Harold Ramis
Harold Ramis' Death Was Saddening But Will Not Prevent A Third 'Ghostbusters' Being Released.

Ramis' Ghostbusters co-stars, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Rick Moranis, have also paid their respects to their long-time friend but are seemingly prepared to see the new movie through without him.

Continue reading: 'Ghostbusters III' Will Still Happen, Despite Death Of Harold Ramis

Harold Ramis, A Comedy Great: But Which Was His Finest Movie?


Harold Ramis Bill Murray

Comedy actor and director Harold Ramis sadly passed away last night at age 69. Tributes have been flooding in with many of Hollywood’s biggest names wishing to pay their respects to the ‘Ghostbuster’s’ star. Remis’s career included writing, directing and starring in some of the greatest comedies of the last thirty years. In tribute to Ramis, here’s a look back at 10 of movies he’ll be remembered for.

Animal HouseHarold Ramis Was Part of the Legendary Comedy 'Animal House'

Animal House (1978)

Continue reading: Harold Ramis, A Comedy Great: But Which Was His Finest Movie?

Year One Review


Weak
The filmmakers and cast find a few great laughs in this flimsy premise, but the whole film is so underdeveloped that it hardly seems to be up there on screen at all.

In a prehistoric woodland village, the goof-off Zed (Black) isn't a very good hunter, while the smart-but-shy Oh (Cera) isn't the best gatherer. After breaking the community's one rule, they're banished, heading off over the mountains. There they run into the biblical world, linking up with Cain (the hilariously slippery Cross), Abraham (Azaria) and Isaac (Mintz-Plasse) on the way to Sodom to rescue their enslaved semi-girlfriends (Raphael and Temple).

But a nasty soldier (Jones), scheming princess (Wilde) and flamboyant high priest (Platt) are in their way.

Continue reading: Year One Review

I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With Review


Good
As the affably larcenous and willing-to-please foil to Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Jeff Garlin has it easier than just about anybody on the show, usually having to do little more than spread his arms and protest with a baffled "Whaaat?!" or "Come ahn!" to get a laugh. David panics, Garlin gripes; it's a good mix. What works well for a sidekick, of course, is usually night and day from what works for a lead. This issue crops up repeatedly in I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With, directed, written by, and starring Garlin, who ambles the streets of Chicago, bouncing from rejection to odd (but funny) scenario to rejection again with the same resigned air. The laughs come, but with hardly anybody able to get a rise out of this guy, they're more like quiet chuckles when they could be explosive.

I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With is a genial piece of work that is not much more than a sequence of barely-connected riffs. This should be perfectly fine for most people watching, as the majority of the riffs star good people who seem perfectly happy to hang out and improv some well-calibrated chaos with Garlin. He plays 39-year-old James, a Chicago comic who's still living with his mom and eking out an existence as an improv comic and occasional actor. With no girlfriend and having just lost out a part in a remake of Marty to Aaron Carter, James moons about the city in a lovelorn fashion and suffers through a series of low-level professional and romantic humiliations. These stages of plot exist not so much to illustrate James' dark night of the soul as to provide stages for the high-grade performers Garlin talked into coming out to play. Second City notables like Bonnie Hunt, Dan Castellaneta, and Tim Kazurinsky are given pride of place, and there are good turns from Richard Kind and Roger Bart -- though the cameo rotation gets excessive with one scene in particular that's obviously jammed in there just to give Amy Sedaris a reason to show up.

Continue reading: I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With Review

Knocked Up Review


Essential
What separates the films and television series of Judd Apatow from the rom-com epidemic (I feel that term is fair) is a singular word: growth. Apatow's works spend time with their characters, main and supporting, enough so that we can sincerely laugh with them and understand their decisions. It goes for his oeuvre overall as well: from the troubles of teenagers (Freaks & Geeks) to the pre-paranoia of college life (Undeclared) to the struggle of leaving your youth behind (The 40-Year-Old Virgin), Apatow builds, thematically, with each project. And that's how we finally come to Knocked Up.

Ben (Seth Rogen) holds onto drugs and buffoonery the way Andy in Virgin held onto childhood/teenage obsession. He spends his days smoking cannabis, making herpes jokes with his roommates and marking when celebrities get naked in films for a forthcoming website, FleshoftheStars.com. It's at a local club that he meets Alison (Katherine Heigl), a newly-promoted correspondent for the E! network. After a fumbling flirtation and a bevy of drinks, Ben and Alison return to her sister's guest house, willing and ready to make a mistake. That mistake blooms, after 8 weeks, into an unexpected pregnancy, forcing Ben into adulthood and Alison into a relationship that mirrors her sister Debbie's (Apatow's wife Leslie Mann) marriage to Pete (the reliable Paul Rudd).

Continue reading: Knocked Up Review

Meatballs Review


Excellent
Bill Murray has enjoyed a career renaissance in recent years, playing the model of middle age and forlorn cool in movies from precocious youngsters such as Sofia Coppola and Wes Anderson. Having cachet in the independent film community is very nice, and it does make for some good magazine articles.

Still, I miss the laugh-out-loud Bill Murray, the one from circa 1979 to 1993. And, really, with American comedy in such a precarious state at the multiplex, isn't it time he dug into his old bag of tricks? Would anyone blame Murray if he broke ranks with the art house crowd and helped revive the Farrelly brothers' career?

Continue reading: Meatballs Review

Knocked Up Trailer


On the heels of 2005's blockbuster The 40-Year-Old Virgin, writer/director Judd Apatow again mines hilarity from the relatably human in a comedy about a one-night stand with unexpected consequences: Knocked Up. Katherine Heigl (Grey's Anatomy, Roswell) joins Virgin alums Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann for a comic look about the best thing that will ever ruin your best-laid plans: parenthood. 

Continue: Knocked Up Trailer

Club Paradise Review


Bad
Before "celebrity" reality shows, ensemble comedies were the lifelines that kept failing showbiz careers from bottoming out. This subgenre was like a post-Thanksgiving meal concocted of small quantities of disparate leftovers. It was never particularly good, but if one dish didn't taste good, at least you had a dozen other Tupperwares to open.

Club Paradise is a prototypical specimen, starring a dozen actors in career lulls, including Mork, Twiggy, a gaggle of Second City vets, Jimmy Cliff, and even Lawrence of Friggin' Arabia. A word of warning: these leftovers are rotten.

Continue reading: Club Paradise Review

Ghostbusters Review


Extraordinary
Films like Ghostbusters are inseparable from the '80s -- self-mocking and smart, yet lowbrow and mainstream, they rescued us from the unfunny film comedies of previous times. (If Ghostbusters had been made earlier, it would have been much less funny. If it were remade today, it would probably be much dumber, like TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer.)

Like Bill Murray's other top comedies, the slightly more subversive Caddyshack and Stripes, Ghostbusters passes the most important test of cinematic greatness -- no matter how many times you've seen it, you may end up watching it again when it comes around on TV. Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis are postgraduates in "parapsychology" who pretend to investigate paranormal phenomena (the movie begins with Murray trying to pick up a coed by convincing her she's psychic) until they're kicked off campus. So they start a business and become celebrities when they start capturing real ghosts. This cheesy premise is handled so smoothly that there is never a confusing moment, something screenwriter Ramis would achieve again with Groundhog Day, an equally odd concept which also worked. Unlike Groundhog, Ghostbusters is strictly for laughs -- which doesn't mean that it's dumb.

Continue reading: Ghostbusters Review

Caddyshack Review


Excellent
No, they don't make 'em like this any more. Now you just can't make jokes about guys eating boogers and turdlike objects floating in the swimming pool -- not unless you want the FCC coming down on your ass! The absurd humor of Caddyshack is legend enough to merit little additional comment from me, but it's notable for featuring Chevy Chase in one of his most sophisticated roles -- but his deadpan dialogue is only the second-most quotable in the movie, after Bill Murray's infamous Carl Spackler, one of Murray's most ridiculous roles on film. The plot wanders around the golf course and involves a half-dozen elements, but if you simply dig the gopher, the caddy, and the Dangerfield, you're not going to be doing half bad.

Analyze That Review


Weak
Analyze This was a very successful 1999 comedy starring Robert De Niro as a mob boss on the verge of a nervous breakdown and Billy Crystal as his unwilling shrink. The movie pulled off a few laughs, most notably by demonstrating De Niro's ability to turn his tough-guy movie persona on its head. Analyze That is a superfluous sequel representing little more than an opportunity to cash in on that prior success.

The new movie picks up with legendary Mob boss Paul Vitti (De Niro) nearing the end of his term in Sing Sing and Dr. Ben Sobol (Billy Crystal) dealing with the recent death of his legendary father. After a series of attempts on his life, Vitti puts on a semi-catatonic act to avoid the general prison population and save his own life. The FBI, baffled by this turn of events, brings in Sobol, his former psychiatrist, to consult on the case, ultimately releasing Vitti into Sobol's custody. Thus, the reluctant doctor is forced to once again try to mend Vitti's fractured psyche, in addition to housing him and finding him an honest job. Needless to say, this wreaks havoc with the poor doctor's already troubled personal life.

Continue reading: Analyze That Review

Multiplicity Review


Good
I hate it when a film sounds like it's going to be great, has a hilarious teaser-trailer, stars some wonderful actors, features a small role played by the daughter of one of my film review subscribers, and ends up falling a bit flat on the screen.

Such is the case with Multiplicity, the new Harold Ramis-Michael Keaton comedy about a guy who clones himself in order to get a little free time.

Continue reading: Multiplicity Review

Heavy Metal Review


Very Good
There wasn't a more seditious movie you could watch as a kid growing up in the 1980s than Heavy Metal, a film that not only relished in its sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but was animated, too. The collection of a handful of hand-drawn sci-fi vignettes are loosely connected by an evil, glowing green ball which tells its story (huh?) to a young girl it soon plans to kill. Some of the stories are funny. Some are gruesome. Some look cool. Some are drawn terribly. All of it amounts to a graphic, guilty pleasure that features a soundtrack from the era's biggest rock groups. And, uh, Stevie Nicks. Anyone from the era will love it, while everyone else simply won't get it at all.

Stripes Review


Extraordinary
This sloppy but popular comedy stands just behind Bill Murray's best movies -- Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Lost in Translation -- in quality, but stands with them in establishing the film comedy as we now know it: irony-soaked, lowbrow, and funny. As late as the mid-'70s, too many film comedies were earnest, cute throwbacks without a single real laugh. (Thank God for Mel Brooks, who made the only consistently funny comedies of the decade.) Supposedly hilarious films like Shampoo and The Goodbye Girl (or insert another '70s comedy here... I'm having trouble remembering any of them) now seem naïve and lame -- all the more so for trying to be trendy and sophisticated. Such films tried harder to please the critics than the crowds, not by being highbrow but by being frothy.

All that was dead the moment Bill Murray threw the candy bar in the pool in Caddyshack. Critics hated Caddyshack, and called Saturday Night Live skits "mean-spirited," but for everyone else, it was finally OK to be crude, clever, offensive -- and funny. Subsequent films like Stripes, often featuring one or more cast members from SNL (Murray, et al.) or Second City TV (Harold Ramis, John Candy), set the mold. The formula hasn't needed much tweaking since then, either; the successful comedies of recent years (There's Something About Mary, American Pie, etc.) owe everything to them.

Continue reading: Stripes Review

Groundhog Day Review


Essential
Brilliant, quirky, good-natured, and smart are just some of the adjectives that we film critics don't get to use often enough, but all of them apply to Groundhog Day. Director/screenwriter Harold Ramis, actor Bill Murray, and everyone else involved with this film have all been responsible for their share of dogs. But this quirky, good-natured comedy is as good as it can be. Too rarely does a clever screenplay come along to give good actors a chance.

Murray's TV weatherman is a burnout with a bad attitude, a small fish in a small market, who affects the egotism and cynicism of all members of the press but knows that he's second-rate. Then, in a bizarre plot turn, he is thrown into a time warp where he is forced to live the same day over and over until he gets it right -- and to learn to appreciate life's blessings in the process.

Continue reading: Groundhog Day Review

Orange County Review


Very Good
Forget She's All That and its brethren. Back in the 1980s, the maestro of teen films -- John Hughes (The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles) -- taught us to produce films in the finicky teen-comedy genre. His simple rule -- a single motivation is required for all main characters: lots and lots of angst. Just create a simple story of teenagers yearning to escape the downtrodden existence of childhood and the microcosm of high school, and success is surely guaranteed.

Life has been good for Shaun Brumder (Colin Hanks) in simple Orange County, California. He's a good kid with a love of catching waves, a sweet girlfriend, and despite his eccentric family, life is always like riding six-foot waves that curl for days. After a freak surfing accident drowns one of his best buds one summer, Shaun begins to reassess his life and inspiration strikes one day in the form of a novel by Marcus Skinner. He decides to become a writer, trades in his surfboard, improves his grades, and waits for his acceptance letter from Stanford College to study under his new idol Skinner. But when Stanford rejects him due to a guidance counselor's mistake, Shaun only has 24 hours to fix the problem and get the hell out of O.C. to follow his dreams and work out the angst.

Continue reading: Orange County Review

Ghostbusters II Review


Good
No one has ever accused Ghostbusters II of being a great film, or even a good one, for that matter. But getting beyond its atrociously Up With People plot -- if that's possible -- reveals that, hey, we've still got the original cast and crew, and they're all still pretty funny on the whole.

The story's the thing that kills GB2 right from the get-go, which picks up five years after the original: Our boys in brown saved the city, but now they're reduced to hosting cheesy psychic TV shows and begging for work, as most of the spirit disturbances have been cleaned up. Even Venkman (Bill Murray) didn't end up with Dana (Sigourney Weaver), who's now divorced and has (gasp) a baby, one which will figure centrally in the plot machinations later on, involving (double gasp) Peter MacNicol as a vaguely Eastern European art expert. Good lord.

Continue reading: Ghostbusters II Review

Orange County Review


Good

Somewhere inside the surprisingly fresh, sharply jocular, angst-of-youth comedy "Orange County" there's a trite, typical teen movie struggling to get out. But director Jake Kasden just keeps out-witting the monster, pulling the carpet out from under its inherent clichés and giving his characters the chance to breathe and break free of their stock moldings.

A screwball affair about a bookwormy high school beach bum from the SoCal 'burbs who thinks his life is over when he doesn't get into Stanford, this flick rises above the spiritless, increasingly insipid, cookie-cutter teen genre simply because Kasden ("Zero Effect") and screenwriter Mike White ("Chuck and Buck") cared enough to try a little harder.

Played with pitch-perfect Everykid exasperation by sublimely expressive string bean Colin Hanks (son of Tom), Shaun Brumder had his heart set on pursuing his literary aspirations under the tutelage of his favorite writer, a professor at the venerated campus. So when he finds out his rejection was the fault of an inept guidance counselor (Lily Tomlin -- in the first of several inspired cameo performances) who sent the wrong transcript, Shaun goes on a dogged mission to get the decision reconsidered.

Continue reading: Orange County Review

Harold Ramis

Harold Ramis Quick Links

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Harold Ramis

Date of birth

21st November, 1944

Date of death

24th February, 2014

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Male

Height

1.88


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Harold Ramis Movies

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story Of National Lampoon Trailer

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story Of National Lampoon Trailer

In the 1970s came the most controversial and accessible comedy ever seen. The National Lampoon...

Year One Movie Review

Year One Movie Review

The filmmakers and cast find a few great laughs in this flimsy premise, but the...

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Year One Trailer

Year One Trailer

Watch the trailer for Year OneHarold Ramis takes us on a journey back to year...

Knocked Up Movie Review

Knocked Up Movie Review

What separates the films and television series of Judd Apatow from the rom-com epidemic (I...

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Knocked Up Trailer

Knocked Up Trailer

On the heels of 2005's blockbuster The 40-Year-Old Virgin, writer/director Judd Apatow again mines hilarity...

Analyze That Movie Review

Analyze That Movie Review

Analyze This was a very successful 1999 comedy starring Robert De Niro as a mob...

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