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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Rob Reiner!

07.28.2014by:

Movie Jail

This is Movie Jail, a unique maximum security prison that houses some of the worst writers, directors, actors and producers from Hollywood and beyond. Their crimes? The offenses vary from convict to convict but most of these inmates have contributed negatively to the film world to some capacity and his or her misdeeds have covered a long enough period of time that the authorities had to intervene. In each column a defendant is put on trial, arguments are made, and then it is up to YOU, the jury, to decide if the person is guilty or not guilty of crimes against cinema. Their lives are in your hands, dude.

The Defendant

The Case

The Prosecution: And So It Goes, The Magic of Belle Isle, The Bucket List, Rumor Has It, Alex & Emma, The Story of Us, North

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, this trial could be called "The Tale of Two Rob Reiners." One was behind the camera for classics like This Is Spinal Tap, The Princess Bride and Misery, while the other has spent too much time involved with politics, and as a result the quality of his movies has suffered. From 1984 to 1992 almost everything Mr. Reiner touched turned to gold, however his films since then have been incredibly disappointing.

How bad has it been for Mr. Reiner? According to Rotten Tomatoes, the closest he's come to directing a fresh movie since 1992 was Flipped with 55%. But that movie is a masterpiece compared to most of his other directing efforts over the past twenty years. Many consider North to be one of the worst movies ever, and Mr. Reiner's The Story of Us, Alex & Emma, Rumor Has It, and The Magic of Belle Isle have all received very negative reviews from critics. And while his The Bucket List may have done well at the box office, critics didn't have great things to say about the film (only 40% at Rotten Tomatoes) and the prosecution didn't care for it either. Mr. Reiner's And So It Goes opened over the weekend, and like other recent films from the director, was also panned by critics.

Although the prosecution and defense are primarily looking at films directed by Mr. Reiner and not his acting roles for this trial, it's kind of sad the best thing Mr. Reiner has done in years was starring as Leonardo DiCaprio's dad in The Wolf of Wall Street. The prosecution understands the jury probably doesn't want lock up the guy who directed movies like Stand By Me and A Few Good Men, however he's also responsible for far too many awful films, and since it's unlikely Mr. Reiner will return to form anytime soon, the prosecution believes he definitely deserves to go to Movie Jail.

The Defense: Flipped, The Bucket List, Ghosts of Mississippi, The American President, A Few Good Men, Misery, When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride, Stand By Me, The Sure Thing, This Is Spinal Tap

Ladies and gentlemen, my client's recent films haven't exactly wowed critics, but based on the strength of his older films, the defense thinks it's very unlikely the jury will send him to prison. Mr. Reiner hasn't directed just one or two memorable films, but at least seven with This Is Spinal Tap, The Sure Thing, Stand By Me, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, Misery and A Few Good Men. The American President and Ghosts of Mississippi are also excellent movies from my client, but it's those seven that will probably keep my client out of Movie Jail. Look at this way: do Mr. Reiner's seven best films make up for his seven worst? In the defense's opinion they do, and we believe the jury will agree. And although they might not be as fantastic as his older films, Flipped and The Bucket List are also both very solid movies.

Mr. Reiner's work as a political activist has definitely had a negative impact on his movies though, and the defense is hoping his involvement with politics hasn't annoyed jury members too much. For those of you who just want to toss him in jail for being an anti-smoking advocate should remember this trial should only be about his movies. For the record, my client is fully aware dabbling in politics has hurt his directing career:

People kept asking me, 'How do you balance it?,' and the point is, you don't. I know now, about me: I can't split my attention in that way. It doesn't work. I mean, it shows, to be honest with you. You can't do both.

Maybe my client hasn't done a fantastic job balancing movies and politics, but the defense believes his films from 1984 to 1992 are so strong he shouldn't even be up for Movie Jail. Perhaps he needs to focus more on movies and less on politics, however the defense still believes in Mr. Reiner and his skills as a director.

IN CLOSING...

What should we do with Mr. Reiner and his precious goo? Do you think he is still capable of directing a decent movie, or do believe he's a lost cause? Is Rob Reiner GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?

COMMENT BELOW WITH YOUR VERDICT!

*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil's advocate but you get the point. Anyways, this is all in fun so don't take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called "Troll Tower" and believe me you do NOT want to go there.

WHAT SAY YOU, GUILTY OR NOT?

LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

Dennis Quaid was found NOT GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial, with many jury members saying although they haven't been impressed with his most recent films, he's still a talented and very likable actor. Hopefully Mr. Quaid will realize he dodged a bullet, and will start picking better projects to work on instead of starring in crap like Playing for Keeps and The Words.

PREVIOUS VERDICTS

GUILTY Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Vince Vaughn, Tim Burton, The Farrelly Brothers, Michael Bay, Jessica Alba, Ice Cube, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Marlon Wayans, Julia Roberts, M. Night Shyamalan , Katherine Heigl , Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tyler Perry, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Ashton Kutcher, Happy Madison Productions, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Willis, Paul W.S. Anderson, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brett Ratner, Rob Cohen, Renee Zellweger, Shia LaBeouf, Renny Harlin, Diane Keaton, McG, Demi Moore, King Joffrey (Game of Thrones Special), David Spade, Spike Lee, Kevin James, Joel Schumacher, Ehren Kruger, Chris Rock

NOT GUILTY Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Nic Cage, John Travolta, Oliver Stone, Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Wes Craven, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Rodriguez, Kristen Stewart, Roland Emmerich, Kevin Costner, Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Smith, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Anna Faris, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron, Ray Liotta, Jason Statham, Paul Walker, Will Smith, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Johnny Depp, Ryan Reynolds, Milla Jovovich, John Singleton, Jon Voight, Jack Black, Brian De Palma, Jerry Bruckheimer, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Freddy Krueger (Halloween Special), Johnny Knoxville, Orlando Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Aykroyd, Sylvester Stallone, Gavin Hood, Jason Lee, Jennifer Garner, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kate Beckinsale, John Cusack, Chris Columbus, Clive Owen, Terrence Howard, Andrew Niccol, Drew Barrymore, Steve Martin, Joel Silver, Michelle Rodriguez, Kiefer Sutherland, Dario Argento, Susan Sarandon, Dennis Quaid

Extra Tidbit: Who should stand trial next week? Share your suggestions for actors, directors and writers below with your verdict!
Source: JoBlo.com

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+0
1:21PM on 07/29/2014

Guilty…sadly

Rob made some great films in the 80s and early to mid 90s. After The American President and Ghosts of Mississippi, full out collapse. I look to these guys to help fix the current problems with Hollywood movies, and show how to make movie where story is more important than comic book CGI action re-used and re-used. Rob's films of the last 20 years have been crap. His films have been for a quick and easy paycheck, rather than to give audiences a film in the classic and talent storytelling which
Rob made some great films in the 80s and early to mid 90s. After The American President and Ghosts of Mississippi, full out collapse. I look to these guys to help fix the current problems with Hollywood movies, and show how to make movie where story is more important than comic book CGI action re-used and re-used. Rob's films of the last 20 years have been crap. His films have been for a quick and easy paycheck, rather than to give audiences a film in the classic and talent storytelling which at one point was in a Rob Reiner film.
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5:27AM on 07/29/2014
Not a fan but he's directed 3 films which are hard to argue 'Great Films in Cinema' so he gets a pass... Not guilty.

I love Stand By Me, to me that's his best film to date.
Not a fan but he's directed 3 films which are hard to argue 'Great Films in Cinema' so he gets a pass... Not guilty.

I love Stand By Me, to me that's his best film to date.
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2:56AM on 07/29/2014

Mega Not Guilty

Spinal Tap, Princess Bride and Stand By Me are 3 of the biggest get out of jail free cards ever.
Spinal Tap, Princess Bride and Stand By Me are 3 of the biggest get out of jail free cards ever.
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11:48PM on 07/28/2014

Not guilty.

Actually, I think "A Few Good Men" is stilted, shallow 80s-style cheese (though released in the 90s, I realize).

...but even so, I say acquit. Reiner's good movies are simply too good. He seems to have poor judgment when it comes to scripts, but that's a trickier practice than most realize.
Actually, I think "A Few Good Men" is stilted, shallow 80s-style cheese (though released in the 90s, I realize).

...but even so, I say acquit. Reiner's good movies are simply too good. He seems to have poor judgment when it comes to scripts, but that's a trickier practice than most realize.
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10:48PM on 07/28/2014

Not Guilty...

Can't give the "Meathead" the thumbs down.

Not guilty, if for no other reason that he was on one of the most inovative TV shows of all time (besides being the guiding force behind "Stand By Me" and "When Harry Met Sally").
Can't give the "Meathead" the thumbs down.

Not guilty, if for no other reason that he was on one of the most inovative TV shows of all time (besides being the guiding force behind "Stand By Me" and "When Harry Met Sally").
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7:10PM on 07/28/2014

Guilty

The fact that Mr. Reiner has made so many outstanding films is exactly why his latest output puts him behind bars. It's not just the occasional slip-up here or there a la Francis Ford Coopla (who at the very least is pushing boundaries with this new films, even if they are bad) or Brian De Palma (whose scripts have gone downhill but still has style to spare). It's obvious he doesn't care anymore and just wants a paycheck. 100% guilty.
The fact that Mr. Reiner has made so many outstanding films is exactly why his latest output puts him behind bars. It's not just the occasional slip-up here or there a la Francis Ford Coopla (who at the very least is pushing boundaries with this new films, even if they are bad) or Brian De Palma (whose scripts have gone downhill but still has style to spare). It's obvious he doesn't care anymore and just wants a paycheck. 100% guilty.
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5:20PM on 07/28/2014

"Sad"? But his performance in WOLF OF WALL STREET...

... was very good. Same in SLEEPLESS IN SEATLE, his guest appearances on NEW GIRL, and even DICKIE ROBERTS. Actually, why CAN'T we count his acting roles? It would certainly help his case. Since this is just about his directing works, he's Guilty.

It's very hard for me to say that. He didn't just make classics. A lot of them set new standars for cinema:
1) SPINAL TAP popularized mockumentaries.
2) STAND BY ME (I liked it) showed that coming of age dramas could be targeted just to
... was very good. Same in SLEEPLESS IN SEATLE, his guest appearances on NEW GIRL, and even DICKIE ROBERTS. Actually, why CAN'T we count his acting roles? It would certainly help his case. Since this is just about his directing works, he's Guilty.

It's very hard for me to say that. He didn't just make classics. A lot of them set new standars for cinema:
1) SPINAL TAP popularized mockumentaries.
2) STAND BY ME (I liked it) showed that coming of age dramas could be targeted just to adults.
3) THE PRINCESS BRIDE (I thought it was decent) showed that a throwback to fairy tales and swashbuckling didn't have to be a parody.
4) WHEN "HARRY" MET "SALLY" (I loved it) changed the rom-com genre in so many ways I can't summarize.
A FEW GOOD MEN and THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT didn't change any rules, but they were both excellent in general nonetheless.

I read that his ex-wife Penny Marshall stopped making movies because "After 9/11, studios demanded action movies only, and I wanted to make movies with heart". I'm sure Rob feels the same way because at one point he settled on making light movies. Some of them are good (FLIPPED), and others aren't but are still passable (THE STORY OF US and RUMOR HAS IT). That's why he reminds of James L. Brooks: They both try to make movies like this as an alternative to blockbusters AND to make us remember previous decades. But that's no excuse for bad quality. And it's not that they're both too "old school" for today. On the contrary, they've both tried to adapt themselves to the new generation and failed.
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11:06AM on 07/28/2014

Not Guilty

Hard to find Rob guilty, he has made some of the greatest films in movie history. So he's made a few clunkers. Just about any prolific director has. I'm giving Meathead a pass until there's a real transgression.
Hard to find Rob guilty, he has made some of the greatest films in movie history. So he's made a few clunkers. Just about any prolific director has. I'm giving Meathead a pass until there's a real transgression.
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9:33AM on 07/28/2014

Stratburst makes a good point, but...

Still not guilty.

If Rob Reiner's early work wasn't in SUCH stark contrast to most of his work these days (I still need to watch Flipped), I wouldn't be so easily swayed. But the man has made more than a few genuine classics. Maybe if he did another Stephen King adaptation he'd be able to reclaim some of his former glory. It can't be denied he's fallen off significantly in quality, but I think he's got it in him to still do good work, if he tries.
Still not guilty.

If Rob Reiner's early work wasn't in SUCH stark contrast to most of his work these days (I still need to watch Flipped), I wouldn't be so easily swayed. But the man has made more than a few genuine classics. Maybe if he did another Stephen King adaptation he'd be able to reclaim some of his former glory. It can't be denied he's fallen off significantly in quality, but I think he's got it in him to still do good work, if he tries.
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9:08AM on 07/28/2014

I hate to say it, but Guilty

I loved Rob Reiner's early films like SPINAL TAP and PRINCESS BRIDE but his recent output has been terrible. Yes, his acting is good but his recent films have sucked.

Besides, I can't stand it when people say, "He was in (insert classic movie). He gets a lifetime pass!" No, that means he's set the bar high, and should maintain that level of quality if he wants to maintain a career.
I loved Rob Reiner's early films like SPINAL TAP and PRINCESS BRIDE but his recent output has been terrible. Yes, his acting is good but his recent films have sucked.

Besides, I can't stand it when people say, "He was in (insert classic movie). He gets a lifetime pass!" No, that means he's set the bar high, and should maintain that level of quality if he wants to maintain a career.
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8:52AM on 07/28/2014

EJ ENTERTAIMENT

not guilty
not guilty
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8:42AM on 07/28/2014

Not Guilty.

Rob can't ever be put in jail. He's made literal classics and as such can never be made to answer for any modern faux pas. Also, pulling out "North" on anyone is a low blow.
Rob can't ever be put in jail. He's made literal classics and as such can never be made to answer for any modern faux pas. Also, pulling out "North" on anyone is a low blow.
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8:29AM on 07/28/2014

So Not Guilty

The man is such a professional... killed it in The Wolf of Wallstreet as well,
The man is such a professional... killed it in The Wolf of Wallstreet as well,
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8:02AM on 07/28/2014

Not Guilty

^^^^^^^
^^^^^^^
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7:55AM on 07/28/2014
Not guilty. He has his own niche that he's gotten comfortable/used to now which is good. Not guilty for me. And I love The Story of Us.
Not guilty. He has his own niche that he's gotten comfortable/used to now which is good. Not guilty for me. And I love The Story of Us.
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7:45AM on 07/28/2014

Not guilty

Stand by me + misery + a few good men + the bucket list + the american president = life free pass !

great great director
Stand by me + misery + a few good men + the bucket list + the american president = life free pass !

great great director
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7:18AM on 07/28/2014

Not guilty

Yes Reiner has declined into the mediocre but the killer role he was on from 84 to 92 - where he tackled all sorts of genres and knocked each of them out the park - should exclude him from jail for life. EDIT: there would be no "West Wing" without "The American President", got to give him props.
Yes Reiner has declined into the mediocre but the killer role he was on from 84 to 92 - where he tackled all sorts of genres and knocked each of them out the park - should exclude him from jail for life. EDIT: there would be no "West Wing" without "The American President", got to give him props.
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