Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Quote of the Day
"The sad truth of the matter — and we all know this — is that’s pretty much standard-issue pseudo-macho vulgarity, the kind of asinine locker-room talk you find in situations like the entertainment industry or finance, where soft little guys like Ratner make a lot of money by talking on the phone and never going outside."
-- Salon's Andrew O'Hehir nailing both Brett Ratner's "rehearsing's for fags" comment and the director's entire essence in one sentence
In case you haven't heard, Ratner pulled out of the Oscars, much in the same way his father should've pulled out 42 years ago -- so if nothing else we'll all be spared the hacky hell he would've wrought on the proceedings.
To O'Hehir's immense credit, he somehow managed to issue a call for Ratner to step aside without letting his column degenerate into ineffectual, cartoonish outrage. His point was simple and undeniable: Brett Ratner said something offensive and stupid; he has a history of saying shit like this; nobody's saying he should never work again but he damn sure shouldn't be representing the entire industry of filmmaking on its biggest night. And, as I said, his take on Ratner as a typical Hollywood pussy who thinks he's a lion -- the kind of big mouth who mistakenly believes that the multi-million-dollar deals he traffics in pack on genuine muscle mass and make him a tough-guy -- is thoroughly spot-on.
You know something, though? I was just about to post this and something hit me: While it's good that Ratner's out because he's, quite frankly, a terrible director and an all-around shitty human being, he really was and is the perfect guy to helm the Academy Awards. He's the dirty secret that the Academy never likes to admit about itself, namely that it's garbage -- that no matter how many times it dumps awards into the big, clammy hands of Harvey Weinstein and whatever tedious Oscar-bait period piece he produces then markets the hell out of, the true bread and butter of Hollywood is the unimaginative, hand-held-cam-shot drivel that gets 30% on Rotten Toamtoes but which puts the asses of 17 year olds in theater seats. Hollywood these days is far more Fast Five than Hard Eight, and I have no doubt that -- whether Tom Sherak chooses to publicly cop to it or not -- that's exactly what the Academy was thinking when it hired its most profitable genre's most notable auteur. Ratner is the Elia Kazan of crap -- thus making him the flawless choice to helm what's become the world's most glamorous charade. When you think about it, the Academy got exactly what it paid for in Brett Ratner. It shouldn't pretend that it's better than him, because it's not -- and maybe it should be forced to wallow in the sewer of its decision. The same way it continues to make us suffer through Brett Ratner's God-awful movies.