Friday, September 04, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
By Patrick Goldstein From the LA times:
My father loves to brag to his friends that while his son is a big-shot Hollywood reporter, it was his father who actually met Michael Jackson. Until he retired a few years ago, my dad had a store called the 24 Collection on the Lincoln Road Mall in Miami Beach that specialized in fashion, jewelry, art and one-of-a-kind oddities (I still have a clock set into a Cuban cigar box with a portrait of Fidel Castro on the clock face). One day Brett Ratner, who grew up in Miami and whose mother was a regular customer at the store, called my dad and asked if he could bring his pal Michael Jackson by to look around. As he often did as a courtesy for celebrities who might be annoyed or hounded, my father closed the store that afternoon and put the staff at Jackson's disposal.
"Michael walked around every inch of the store, feeling things, smelling things," my father remembers. "He'd ask questions about what this was or that was, where it was from, how we found it. I made sure the staff didn't intrude on him, although one person did ask for an autograph, which made them an ex-employee right away. But Michael was just off in his own world, curious about everything he saw."
I think my dad got his hopes up when he saw that Jackson was also accompanied by an aide who had a zippered envelope full of cash. But the King of Pop never bought anything. After spending an hour in the store, he just thanked everyone for letting him look around and left.
I called Ratner this morning to ask him how he became such fast friends with Jackson. It turns out that they met in 1998 when Ratner was finishing his first "Rush Hour" picture. One day, Chris Tucker was doing a scene and broke into a wild, Michael Jackson-style dance. The sequence was so funny that when Ratner had test screenings of the film, it got one of the biggest laughs in the picture. But because it was an obvious Jackson impression, Ratner knew he had to clear it with the pop star before he could put it in the movie.
That presented a problem, since Jackson was so reclusive that even Ratner, one of the great celebrity schmoozers of our time, couldn't get to him. He even called Jackson's Neverland ranch but never got anywhere. Then he got lucky. "My editor was talking to the projectionist who ran the final screening and it turned out that he was Michael's personal projectionist," Ratner told me today. "So I gave him the print and asked him to play the beginning of the second reel for Michael, which had Chris' dance in it."
Two days later Ratner picked up the phone and heard the soft, feathery voice of Michael Jackson. So what did Michael say? Keep reading.
"Michael said he'd watched the whole movie and loved it, especially the scene Chris did with his dance. He said, 'You have my permission to use whatever you want.' " That was great, but Ratner needed something in writing. When he asked Jackson to sign something on a piece of paper, Jackson simply invited him up to the ranch. "So I drove up there and walked in, with all his giraffes and other animals, all out there to greet me." Ratner recalls. "I ended up staying at the ranch and we just became great friends. We both had this huge, almost childlike fascination with movies and music and all kinds of entertainment."
Over the years, Ratner and Jackson spent an enormous amount of time together. They would film each other, with Jackson asking Ratner about how he became a film director and Ratner asking Jackson about how he became an entertainer. "I have hours of footage of us, sitting around in our pajamas, with me asking him about what kind of music he loved as a kid, what kind of books he had on the wall as a kid. When you were with him, you really felt like God was within him. He was an amazing, superhuman kind of person, but he always treated you as an equal. He would be your friend and he never asked for anything in return."
One of their favorite activities was to have dance-offs in the game room at Jackson's house. Jackson would put on a record, usually a song by his sister, Janet, and unleash some awesome dance moves. Then Ratner or Chris Tucker, who would sometimes come along, would play Michael's records and dance along to them. I asked Ratner if that felt a little like a mere mortal playing one-on-one with LeBron James. "Hey, I wasn't self-conscious. I'm a pretty good dancer. It was just fun to do it together."
When they weren't dancing, Ratner and Jackson would watch movies together. He says they must've watched the original version of "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" 50 times over the years. "I know that people looked at Michael and thought he was strange, but to me, he was fascinating," Ratner says. "He was the most inspirational person in my life. His one dream was to cure all the sick children in the world. And when I'd say, 'Isn't that impossible?' Michael would just start to cry. He was very emotional about things that moved him. I guess you'd have to say he was a pure innocent in a world that wasn't so innocent anymore."
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Written by S.T. VanAirsdale | 14 Apr 2009, 7:00 AM
Say what you will about the Rush Hour franchise and anything else in Brett Ratner’s cinematic oeuvre, but never accuse the guy of not having taste. The 40-year-old director recently plucked a handful of out-of-print film books from his home library, giving them a long-overdue revival under his new Rat Press imprint. Among them: Jim, filmmaker James Toback’s 1971 memoir about his tense, orgiastic days living with football great Jim Brown; and Lawrence Grobel’s expansive interviews with Marlon Brando and producer Robert Evans. Each approaches their subjects’ legacies with wit, candor and unparalleled access, revealing perspectives that Ratner says have influenced him — and should influence others — for years.
CLICK HERE for Full Article
Monday, March 30, 2009
From Fox Business News:
College Basketball Fever Strikes Guitar Hero(R) Metallica(R) With Bob Knight, 'Coach K,' Rick Pitino and Roy WilliamsSANTA MONICA, Calif., March 30, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ ----Activision Publishing, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI) Guitar Hero(R: 26.93, 0, 0%) makes a slam dunk with the latest installment of the "Risky Business"- inspired advertising campaign featuring four of the best-known national collegiate basketball coaches of all time and their surprise encounter with world-famous rock band Metallica. The ad is an extension of the "Risky Business"- inspired Guitar Hero campaign that pays tribute to the famous lip- and guitar-syncing scene that appeared in the popular film "Risky Business." The ad will highlight the coaches jamming on instruments from Guitar Hero(R: 26.93, 0, 0%) Metallica(R: 26.93, 0, 0%) to the song "Old Time Rock and Roll," performed by Bob Seger.
The commercial, airing now and throughout the men's college basketball playoffs and championship game, features the all-time leader in college basketball coaching wins Bob Knight gripping the mic, arch rivals Duke University Coach Mike Krzyzewski ("Coach K") and University of North Carolina Coach Roy Williams sharing duties on the guitar, and former NBA coach and current University of Louisville Coach Rick Pitino dominating the drums. During their performance, the men are confronted by legendary rock band, Metallica, who are unimpressed by the coaches' rock and roll fantasy.
For the full article: CLICK HERE
And also check out a little outtakes video:
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Brett Ratner has a library full of books about filmmakers and their work experiences. So it's hardly a surprise to discover that the director behind the "Rush Hour" films has decided to start publishing books himself.
He's just launched a new series of film books through his Rat Press imprint, including a James Toback memoir about his friendship with NFL running back turned actor Jim Brown, as well as two interview books from longtime Playboy Q&A king Lawrence Grobel -- a collection of interviews with producer Robert Evans and an updated account of Grobel's fascinating 1978 interviews with Marlon Brando.Full Article here:
And of course:
Monday, March 23, 2009
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Friday, January 09, 2009
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Steve Wynn Exposes Inner Daredevil To Promote Encore Las Vegas
If you didn't know, we're getting extremely excited for the opening of Encore Las Vegas, Steve Wynn's follow-up to his hugely successful Wynn Las Vegas. The opening date is not until Dec. 22nd but we will probably be writing something about Encore every day until then, starting with the making of the Encore website video.
If you head over to EncoreLasVegas.com (or if you don't want to wait for that to load, go here) you will see a video of Steve Wynn sitting atop the corner of the top of Encore which is 675 feet above ground. Naturally, you assume that this is a green-screen trick. Wynn is kinda old and that is really high up. But Encore wants to let you know that Steve Wynn was actually sitting atop the resort's precipice.
This behind-the-scenes YouTube video shows Steve and Hollywood director Brett Ratner filming the commercial which was shot from a helicopter as Steve sat on the building. As far as we can tell, Wynn is not wearing a harness of any sort and those helicopter blades are only like three feet away from his face. Oy! Our heart just stopped a little thinking about that.
Of course, Wynn had some practice as he did a similar thing for the Wynn's opening. God bless him! Maybe he can teach us how to overcome our fear of heights (which by the way, is something we just acquired in our 29th year. Sheesh.)
Note: And yes, we will be commenting on the follow-up video soon where Steve talks about Encore and what's inside all the while sporting a purple v-neck sweater.
Article by Juliana at Hotelchatter.com
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Check back for the full video soon!
For more photos head to rap-up.com: CLICK HERE!
To download the single from itunes, CLICK HERE!
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Look for the commercials to be posted online soon!
For now, take a look at some behind the scenes photos and a game trailer for GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR.
Kobe Bryant looking at playback with Brett and some young fans
Michael Phelps, Brett, and Tony Hawk
Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision, testing out a prototype of Guitar Hero: One Man Band
Alex Rodriguez and Heidi Klum
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Alina's hot new song and music video "When You Leave - Numa Numa" is available to download on iTunes! GET YOURS TODAY!
CLICK HERE to go directly to the iTunes store!