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Brett Ratner to produce next year’s Academy Awards

Brett Ratner to produce next year’s Academy Awards (photo)

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I can see the posters now: “From the director of ‘Red Dragon’ and ‘After the Sunset’ comes a new kind of Oscars!” Yes, that’s right: Brett Ratner, he of the “Rush Hour” series and assorted other Hollywood pictures, will co-produce the 84th Annual Academy Awards with returning producer and director Don Mischer. Here’s what Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak had to say about his very surprising choice:

“I was so impressed with Brett when I met with him to discuss the Oscar show. 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.”

Ratner just gave an interview to Deadline.com, in which he explains some of his motivation for taking this high-risk gig. Apparently, he’s been very vocally critical of recent Oscar telecasts and at Oscar parties he loved to tell anyone who’d listen what he’d do if the people in charge gave him the show. Finally, the people in charge decided to listen. After Sherak and new Academy CEO Dawn Hudson offered him the job Ratner says he “looked through every single telecast” and then called up Sherak and Hudson “and said, ‘I can do this.'”

I’m sure he told the producers of “X-Men: The Last Stand” the same thing.

I kid! Look, clearly the Academy is trying to broaden and diversify the audience for the Oscar telecast. This year they hired James Franco and Anne Hathaway as co-hosts, two very unconventional choices. It didn’t ultimately work out, but it was an interesting risk (it might have been a smarter risk to hire hosts with experience at stand-up comedy or public speaking, but whatever). Unconventional is exactly the word I’d use to describe Ratner’s selection here. And he certainly has made a lot of popular movies. Maybe he knows what a mass audience wants to see from the Oscars. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I do.

It’s definitely possible that Ratner will bring some new ideas to the table; based on the Academy’s statement, he got the job on the back of a very convincing sales pitch. Who knows? Maybe he will successfully bring some new eyeballs to the Academy Awards. I’m certainly curious to see what he does. Then again, I would watch the Oscars if they were broadcast from a pet store and hosted by a chinchilla.

Do you think Brett Ratner will produce a good Oscar telecast? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…