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Six ways Brett Ratner's resume could shape the Oscars

August 5, 2011 |  3:18 pm

Brett Ratner says he wants to change the Oscars, inject a dose of energy and comedy into what can sometimes be a stuffy telecast. But the filmmaker doesn't have to look far afield -- or even to partner Don Mischer, a veteran of live-television events-- for cues on how to shake up the show. Over the course of his filmmaking career, Ratner  has directed and produced a number of movies that could be useful in helping him craft an Oscar telecast.

Here are six of those films, and how they might assist him:

"Rush Hour:" We couldn't get enough of Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan on the big screen. Why not have them host the Oscars, at least until a convoluted plan involving counterfeiters and hostage takers threatens to steal millions from people we don't know anything about? Tucker and Chan could fight good-naturedly, and with borderline racial sensitivity, just off the stage for three hours, before the show ends with a moment of cross-cultural bonding, preferably involving song.

"Code Name: The Cleaner:" In this 2007 critics' darling, Cedric the Entertainer wakes up in a room next to an unfamiliar creature and wonders what exactly just happened, and why his life has come to this. Ratner can replicate this feeling for the people in the Kodak Theater by having  Melissa Leo give a speech to them.

"Red Dragon:" Ratner's adaptation of Thomas Harris' novel looked at how victims of a serial killer met their end. Here's hoping the filmmaker doesn’t get any ideas for spicing up the In Memoriam section.

"The Family Man:" In the 2000 fantasy-tinged drama, Nicolas Cage comes to the realization that his life is hollow, spent in the empty pursuit of shiny pleasures that he's always believed he wanted but never stopped to ask why. This parable can be described to a room full of Oscar hopefuls with the aim of seeing how many make the connection.

 "X-Men: The Last Stand:" By now it's becoming clear that that the Oscars want at least a small piece of the fan boy demographic. Maybe best not to remind those fan boys, then, that  Ratner directed "X-Men: The Last Stand." And if they do figure it out and the ratings are weak, ABC could just reboot the show five years  later and pretend the original never happened.

 "Santa's Slay:” in this 2005 holiday classic, Santa Claus is revealed to be a man with no great regard for bettering the world around him, but as someone who simply got stuck with the noble mission because he lost a bet. Any parallels to real-world Oscar producers are strictly in the eye of the beholder.


Tower Heist: A clue to this year's Oscars?

Brett Ratner: Oscar fan who recognizes his outsider status

Rush Hour director to produce the Oscars

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: A scene in "Code Name: The Cleaner." Credit: New Line