August 5, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Salem
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It may not literally be true that if you look up “hack” in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of Brett Ratner.  In fact, not all his movies are terrible:  there’s Family Man, and… well, Family Man really wasn’t bad at all.  But did we need the director of Money Talks, Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2, After the Sunset, Red Dragon, X Men:  the Last Stand, and oh wait, Rush Hour 3, as the producer of next year’s Oscars telecast?  (With awards show vet Don Mischer, technically.)  What was it about the grinding, depressing mediocrity of almost everything he’s touched that makes him seem like an ideal choice? 
I kid.  But not really.  Combined with the new, insanely complicated Best Picture nomination rules, this could be an awards season to remember.  And when Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker team up to present Best Foreign Language Film (“Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?”), the Academy–and all of us–may rue the day.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."