April 19, 2014

Tag Archives: brett ratner

Brett Ratner criticized by Oscar bloggers for derogatory remarks – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: “Tower Heist” director Brett Ratner, who has been tapped to play producer for next year’s Academy Awards telecast, is in hot water for derogatory remarks he made following a Q-and-A in Los Angeles.
“Rehearsing is for fags,” Ratner commented when asked about his process. To him, it might have felt like a harmless, off-the-cuff slang term that he uses with his buddies. But his word choice has raised the ire of multiple, respected film writers, some of which are calling for Ratner’s proverbial head.
In a Grantland column bluntly titled “Why the Academy Should Fire Brett Ratner,” Mark Harris writes of Ratner’s hasty apology and sums up, “I’ve had to listen to versions of every one of these mea-not-quite-culpas over the years and seriously, I’m no longer interested in patiently witnessing the slow arc of a public figure’s learning curve. What I do care about is what the Academy does, which should be either to ask for and receive his resignation from the show or to drop him as the producer of a show that is supposed to represent the best the industry has to offer.
“There’s not really a long, nuanced debate to be had about this,” Harris continues. “If he had used an equivalent racial or religious slur, the discussion would go something like, ‘You’re fired.’ Apology or not. The same rule applies here. You don’t get a mulligan on homophobia. Not in 2011.”
Awards Daily writer Ryan Adams adds, “I sincerely believe the Academy needs to fire Brett Ratner.”
And Twitter, at this moment, shows a steady stream of support for Ratner’s removal from the Academy Awards.
Will it happen? Should the Academy react? Was Ratner out of line? Let us know your thoughts below, and we’ll continue to trace the fallout from Ratner’s comments.
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“Tower Heist” offered on Video on Demand 3 weeks after theatrical debut

HollywoodNews.com: It could be a game-changer or could just be an irrelevant blip (it’s so hard to tell sometimes). The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Universal has announced a (very) limited test run with offering premium-priced Video On Demand for Brett Ratner’s all-star caper comedy Tower Heist (trailer) just three weeks after the film’s November 4th theatrical debut.
Long-story short, if you live in Atlanta or Portland and get your cable TV via Comcast (which now of course owns Universal), you will have the option of purchasing a (I presume) one-time viewing of the Ben Stiller/Eddie Murphy film for ‘just’ $59.99 just three weeks after the theatrical opening weekend (which I presume means the start of its fourth weekend in theaters). Other online or cable companies will allegedly have the option to offer this same service at the same time, but we’ll see if anyone else bites. The price point is obviously intended to appeal for larger families or large groups of friends who don’t have to see the newest releases right away, but don’t want to wait until DVD and the other various home-video platforms.
If you live in LA, New York City, and I presume other big cities, a first-run evening ticket is about $12. So factor in a family of four seeing an evening show is going to run them $50 alone before concessions and any parking fees are included. Even in cities where tickets still remain under $10 (less than you’d think), the bill can easily end up topping $60 when you add in family-sized refreshments and the like. The difference between this VOD offering and last Spring’s disastrous ‘Premium VOD’ is that this will offer consumers the chance to see the movie while it’s still in first run theaters and well-before it’s available on DVD and other OnDemand-type sources.
So while I can think of no one who would pay $60 to see a first-run film at home by themselves or even with another party, I do see the theoretical appeal of a bunch of friends or a larger family getting together and taking it in. What’s your thoughts? Is this another botched attempt to circumvent the theatrical experience, or does the swiftness of said debut make it a more attractive option for larger parties?
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Eddie Murphy will host the Oscars and Anderson Cooper will host the Winehouses

HollywoodNews.com: Eddie Murphy is the official host of the 2012 Oscars. The Academy named him today much to the delight of producer Brett Ratner. Ratner and Murphy will have had a big movie opening in November, “Tower Heist.” Surely a hit, the film will be wave they can ride right into the February proceedings.
Why announce this so early? It helps promote “Tower Heist.” And it eclipses what the Golden Globes will do with Ricky Gervais. I’m excited because with tributes to Oprah Winfrey and James Earl Jones, the Oscars will finally feel like a ceremony for everyone. It’s about time. Here’s hoping, though, that Billy Crystal will be involved, too, more than last time. The Oscars are already shaping up like a great night and we don’t even know which movies will be nominated. (Well, we have an idea.)…
…Anderson Cooper kicks off his syndicated talk show next week. His first guests will be Amy Winehouse’s family. That should be something. Will the Winehouses become the new generation Jacksons? The cash-in is right around the corner…
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Eddie Murphy confirmed as Oscar host – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: It’s official: Eddie Murphy will be hosting next year’s Academy Awards.
From the release:
Oscar nominee Eddie Murphy, whose performing career spans movies, television and the stage, will host this year’s Academy Awards show on Sunday, February 26, 2012, telecast producers Brett Ratner and Don Mischer announced today. This will be Murphy’s first hosting stint on the Oscars®.
“Eddie is a comedic genius, one of the greatest and most influential live performers ever,” said Ratner. “With his love of movies, history of crafting unforgettable characters and his iconic performances – especially on stage – I know he will bring excitement, spontaneity and tremendous heart to the show Don and I want to produce in February.”
Commented Mischer, “Eddie is a truly ground-breaking performer, whose amazingly diverse array of roles has won him a devoted audience of all ages. His quick wit and charisma will serve him very well as Oscar host.”
“I am enormously honored to join the great list of past Academy Award hosts from Hope and Carson to Crystal, Martin and Goldberg, among others,” said Murphy. “I’m looking forward to working with Brett and Don on creating a show that is enjoyable for both the fans at home and for the audience at the Kodak Theatre as we all come together to celebrate and recognize the great film contributions and collaborations from the past year.”
Murphy began his career at the age of 15 as a stand-up comedian. In 1980, at the age of 19, he joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” becoming the show’s youngest cast member to that point, and bringing to life many of the show’s most memorable characters. His 1983 album “Eddie Murphy: Comedian” won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recording. It included portions of his groundbreaking HBO special “Eddie Murphy Delirious.” In 1987, “Eddie Murphy Raw” was theatrically released and went on to gross over $50 million. Murphy made his feature film debut in 1982 with the classic “48 Hrs.” and would go on to star in such box-office hits as “Beverly Hills Cop” and the “The Nutty Professor” and “Shrek” franchises. All told, movies in which he has performed have earned in excess of $7 billion worldwide during their theatrical releases.
Murphy earned an Oscar nomination in 2006 for his supporting role in “Dreamgirls.”
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre at [...]

Should Eddie Murphy host the Oscars? – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Eddie Murphy’s name has surfaced as the frontrunner to host the 84tht annual Academy Awards.
Brett Ratner, who has been tapped to produce the latest Oscar telecast, will meet with Academy president Tom Sherak on Tuesday to present his choices for host, and Deadline reports that Murphy leads the pack.
The connection makes sense on some level. Murphy’s linked to Ratner now, having done the director’s upcoming comedy “Tower Heist.” The Academy favors comedians (Billy Crystal, Steve Martin) as hosts, and Murphy ruled the stage as a standup for large chunks of his career – though he hasn’t performed live stand up in years, to my knowledge. He hasn’t had to. His films, no matter what critics says, have earned a staggering $3 billion at the box office.
Murphy’s presence as host would bring in a younger, more diverse audience who normally would have no interest in the Oscars. We have no doubt he’s capable of handling the gig, if it were handed to him.
But why would he? Hosting the Oscars in a thankless job. Very few are commended. Most often, the talent selected as host only opens themselves up to the harshest criticisms. (Ask James Franco, who’s still talking about last year’s bomb.)
The Deadline piece says Murphy is “showing interest.” But I wonder if he knows how much preparation goes into the hosting gig. It’s hard work. Intense work. Yet the Deadline story mentions that Murphy is an extreme cinephile who worships the Oscars … so maybe he does understand the weight that comes with the gig, and he’s ready to rise up and meet the challenge?
It would be an interesting choice. And ultimately, I’d rather focus on the films being nominated, and not the person introducing the presenters. But it might be Murphy. What do you think?
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Brett Ratner on Oscar gig: Feels like “Twilight Zone” – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The news surprised everyone, including Brett Ratner himself.
The “Rush Hour” director, who is about to storm theaters with the promising ensemble comedy “Tower Heist,” had been selected to team with Don Mischer to produce the 84th Academy Awards, which are set for Feb. 26, 2012.
So what was Ratner’s reaction?
“When I first sat down with Tom [Sherak] and Dawn [Hudson], I almost felt like I was in ‘The Twilight Zone.’ I didn’t know what to think,” Ratner tells THR in an interview. “I was just trying to keep my cool. But then when I went to see Don, when I sat down with him, I felt so confident about it. The guy is just a pro. So I feel good going into it.”
The director says he was approached by the Academy to help infuse a little comedy into the annual telecast … and if you saw James Franco in drag last year, you know that good humor is desperately needed.
“To their credit, Tom and Dawn really understand what is needed, and comedy is a big part of it, and I want to make that part of it,” Ratner said. “I think that is going to be tremendous.”
When asked what changes could be made from last year’s telecast, Mischer admits, “Anything I ever do, the Olympics opening ceremony, the Super Bowl, you’re always looking at things you’d like to change. We’ll be looking at the past shows, going back to the early days, scouring them for ideas. The first thing we have to do is hire a creative team and then decide what our options and directions are.”
They also said they haven’t discussed possible hosts yet. But now that Ratner has a connection to Eddie Murphy through their collaboration on “Tower Heist,” might we suggest the stand-up comedian for the gig? Purple or red leather suit is required, though.
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Brett Ratner and Don Mischer will produce 84th Academy Awards telecast

HollywoodNews.com: Brett Ratner and Don Mischer will produce the 84th Academy Awards telecast, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak announced today. This will be Ratner’s first involvement with the Oscar show; Mischer will for the second year in a row serve as a producer and as the telecast director.
“I was so impressed with Brett when I met with him to discuss the Oscar show,” said Sherak. “He has an incredible love of film and its history and is a true student of the business of movies. He’s unbelievably creative and knows how to take risks that are both interesting and inspiring. Together with Don Mischer – who, by the way, just earned an Emmy nomination for his work on the 83rd Academy Awards – I think these two will give us a fantastic Oscar show that you won’t want to miss.”
“I’m thrilled that Don will again bring his tremendous expertise to the Oscar telecast,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “And Brett has a really smart and fresh take for the show. They have great chemistry, and their vision meshed so well with ours.”
“Making movies has been my dream since childhood, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have made several, but the Oscar show is in a league of its own,” said Ratner. “It will be fantastic to work with a live television master like Don to meld the glamour of legendary Hollywood with the enormous talents who thrill moviegoers today.”
“The Academy Awards are in a class by themselves, and I’m elated that the Academy has asked me to return,” said Mischer. “I hope to take the wealth of knowledge I now have about the Oscars, which is a completely unique kind of show, and work with Brett to create an evening that is fast-paced, fun, and memorable to movie fans and Oscar fans everywhere.”
Ratner’s work spans movies, including eight features; numerous television series; over 100 music videos; and a multitude of commercials. A native of Miami Beach, he is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he now serves on the Dean’s Council. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Simon Wiesenthal Center. Ratner’s next directorial release is “Tower Heist,” due out in November, and he will soon begin directing “39 Clues” for DreamWorks, based on the popular young-adult book series published [...]

“Horrible Bosses” box numbers trigger sequel talk

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Audiences turned out this weekend to support the star-studded comedic ensemble “Horrible Bosses,” which finds Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day plotting to kill Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell. The comedy nabbed an estimated $28 million in its opening weekend, giving it the No. 2 slot in the box office Top 10.
But would more people have turned out if the comedy starred Ashton Kutcher, Ryan Reynolds, Philip Seymour Hoffman or Johnny Knoxville, as originally planned?
In an interview with “Bosses” producer Brett Ratner, he revealed that the above actors all, at some point, were attached to the comedic premise. Casting options come and go in Hollywood, so it’s no surprise that these names were floated (and eventually flopped).
But in the piece (which you can read HERE), Ratner also admits that sequel talk has begun, and the franchise could go in wildly different directions. Ratner, perhaps jokingly, said that while no plans for a follow up are in development at this time, titles like “Horrible Wives” and “Horrible Children” appeal to him.
What do you think? Is this a concept you want to see expanded? Or was “Bosses” a one-and-done hit? Let us know.
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This Week in Movies By Pete Hammond

HollywoodNews.com: Two debuting comedies on different ends of the audience spectrum were upstaged by autobots and decepticons as the second week of Transformers: Dark Of The Moon held on to the number one slot at the boxoffice with a drop of only 52% for $47 million. That’s impressive because an opening of the size this third edition of the Transformers franchise had would be expected to take a bigger tumble in its second weekend.
In fact the 2nd film in the series, Revenge of the Fallen did just that with a 61% dive. So good reviews, good word of mouth and of course those higher 3D ticket prices are keeping this one at Bay, so to speak. Say what you will about director Michael Bay. He knows how to deliver a blockbuster. This film should easily top the first two and ultimately be the number one grossing movie of 2011. It’s already tallied $261 million domestically and is well on its way to over a billion worldwide. With next week’s 3D juggernaut, the Harry Potter finale, in the wings expect a much bigger drop but Transformers has already proved its might.
Comedy, despite what an L.A. Times article said earlier in the week, is also still king at the box office and not an endangered species, particularly the raunchy kind exhibited by Judd Apatow’s biggest grosser ever, Bridesmaids , The Hangover Part II and now this week by the very funny, extremely crude and deliciously wicked Horrible Bosses. This perfectly cast employee revenge flick makes the most of a terrific premise and took in an estimated $28 million to place second .
The very R-rated movie also scored a nice B+ Cinemascore rating and top reviews with a 75% fresh ranking at Rotten Tomatoes. And for a change it gives co-star Jennifer Aniston a chance to do something different as she plays (to the hilt) a sexually harassing dentist who wears revealing dental smocks which trying to seduce her assistant , hilariously played by Charlie Day. The entire cast which includes a seething Kevin Spacey and an almost non-recognizable Colin Farrell as well as Jasons, Bateman and Sudeikis really shine here. Perhaps it is a bit surprising that top critics have fallen for it the way they have but funny is FUNNY and Horrible Bosses delivers. [...]

‘Six Feet Under’s’ Freddy Rodriguez to join ‘Chaos?’

HollywoodNews.com: Chaos reigns.
The Brett Ratner produced CBS series about CIA agents is on again after nearly being killed by corporate network warfare.
Sources tell me that star Freddy Rodriguez, who was so good in “Six Feet Under” and the movie “Bobby,” is all set to play the lead. The rest of the cast is secure as well, despite contrary reports.
CBS and 20th Century Fox Television will make “Chaos” as a joint venture for CBS TV after weeks of playing tug of war with Ratner and the show’s creator.
At the center of their disagreements was money, of course, and location. CBS wanted to shoot “Chaos” in Dallas, where Ratner made “Prison Break.” The only problem is, “Chaos” needs an international feel, with good locations and sets. Now that Ratner and co. have won the right to do the show properly, it will be returned to Hollywood.
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