The 10 Most Monstrous Jason Reitman Quotes From One 10-Minute Conversation with Roger Ebert

Until today, I'd somehow and quite miraculously managed to avoid any direct contact with the solipsistic bore that is Jason Reitman, confident in the knowledge that he was already well taken care of by the cadre of sycophantic film bloggers curled obediently at his feet, content to snatch up whatever pie-chart crumbs or slivers of contemplative self-regard should happen to tumble from his constantly moving lips. Well, that was nice while it lasted. Roger Ebert has just posted a series of short video conversations with Reitman -- in Chicago for his aggressively tweeted audience with Queen Oprah -- and while the legendary film critic assessed the Up in the Air director as "forthright and thoughtful," I probably would have gone with very different adjectives. Here then, in no particular order beyond that of awfullest to awfullest, are Reitman's ten most monstrous quotes.

1. "This movie that I'm writing right now -- I know what actors I want for it. I'll be able to go to them easily, and presumably it will be easier to greenlight than my first movie, or my second."

2. "It's easy to get caught up in a moment and think, 'Oh, I've been offered some giant studio film or a superhero franchise or some actor wants to meet with me about a project they want to do.' And it's easy to get caught up in a moment because it's flattering. But you can't do a movie because it's flattering. You have to do it because it's in your bones."

3. "My personal gut test is when I think about the movie that I'm considering, if when I think about someone else directing that movie it feels worse than that same director having sex with [my wife] Michelle, that's how I know I need to do this movie."

4. "The thing I'm writing right now, if someone else made it? I'd want to kill them. If someone else made Up in the Air or Thank You For Smoking or Juno, I would have wanted to rip their head off. I need that same sort of passion for every project I take on."

5. "Hopefully I will carry that fire as long as possible. It seems that most directors don't. For whatever reason, most directors don't."

6. "I was talking to Cameron a little bit ago, about how the tentacle in The Abyss was the first step of an evolution that led to the character in Terminator 2... I feel as though Thank You For Smoking was the first step to making Up in the Air."

7. "I needed to go through a three-film journey to make Up in the Air, that said so much of what I wanted to say about the politics of this economy, the politics of midlife crisis, and female midlife crisis vs. male midlife crisis, and the complex identity crisis that working women go through. All these ideas, and they kind of [began in] Thank You For Smoking and built to Up in the Air."

8. "Everything I've wanted to turn into a film becomes something new and different when it becomes a movie...Each time I work with an author, I say to them, 'A book and a movie are different things.'"

9. "I had a take on Confederacy of Dunces, for example. But I've never had a take on Catcher in the Rye."

10. "What I do feel is that Up in the Air is the most indicative film of 2009. It is the portrait of 2009. And when you look at this State of the Union that happened a couple of days ago, that was all about unemployment being at its highest since 1983, and all about job creation, and you realize how this film is kind of a portrait of America right now...I hope that doesn't come off arrogant. I really don't mean it that way."

· Jason Reitman in conversation [Roger Ebert's Journal]


  • SunnydaZe says:

    Ahhh, Seth is not a "contributor". He is the "Senior Editor". Big Difference... There was a time when Defamer was ONLY Mark Lisanti and Seth...

  • DKant says:

    YOU SUCK!!!
    Apparently that qualifies as a valid, rational opinion these days.
    Monstrous? What did he do to you or to any of the commenters spewing acid? So he is rich it seems - I didn't know that. Railing on him for THAT is the exact same thing as railing on someone because he/she's poor - stupid, and one could argue, 'wrong'. Besides, if he started out as a 'struggler' would that make him a better or worse director? He is what he is, and you simply have the choice of liking or not liking it. Noone is forcing you (or any commenters) to like him or consider him great or anything. I haven't seen any of his movies yet, and probably may not for a long time - they don't have me too interested just yet. But that doesn't mean "HE SUCKS" or even Michael Bay "SUCKS!!!!" (supposed to be the opposite end of the spectrum eh?). It's a free market dude. And I'm repeating myself, just make your choice and get over yourself. Everybody in the world doesn't have to agree with you.
    Monstrous? I guess it falls in pretty much the same league as calling out anything even marginally good as "SOTOTALLYRADFREAKINGAWESOMETHISCHANGESEVERYTHINGGGGG!!!!!!" these days.
    It's weird because I'm actually commenting on this instead of just reading, "not liking" and "moving on" as I was just a second ago 'advising' you to. Hm, guess I'm still learning.
    Humble Pie Corp

  • Psycho Bitch says:

    Haters are nothing but jealous losers who have absolutely NOTHING to contribute to the world. You guys are lucky for the Internet, you never have to leave your mommy's basement.

  • CMG says:

    I say this as somebody who liked Thank You For Smoking:
    This guy is a spoon-fed insider. He cannot compare his trajectory to any of his peers. Even those you can compare to like Sofia Coppola had to fight the struggles cast at them for being nothing but products of nepotism.
    On his films, Up In The Air had way too much self-awareness and destroyed an interesting sub-plot of a good book to get a predictable love story that ended in something that you could see a mile away.
    Reitman also has trouble writing about women. Juno's issues were he let Diablo have way too much free reign because he thought 'Well, she must know what teenage girls say'. Anna Kendrick's character had some great moments in dialogue but how her character is portrayed is so inconsistent and just felt like targetting Gen Y kids. Reitman is good at adapting good dialogue from good books but occasionally his women characters just feel so.... vapid. Katie Holmes in Thank You For Smoking, Vera Farmiga in Up In The Air, and Anna Kendrick just come off as far worse than their obviously flawed assholish male leads. I can get Thank You For Smoking but Up In The Air was too busy trying to make Clooney, in such an insincere way, a Tom Joad character by kicking down the female characters in the process.
    Plus the quirky soundtracks were fun when Wes Anderson did it. Now it just comes off as hipster-catering.
    I would just like to see him make an original movie based on his own ideas. He just comes off like a rich man's Eric Roth.

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