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This week, David, Devindra, and Adam discuss the sad business of Brett Ratner’s Oscar-hosting gig, unabashedly praise Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, ponder the bizarre world of Cars, and get excited for new episodes of Arrested Development. Special guest Keith Phipps joins us from AV Club. To read more about the twisted world of Cars check out Eric D Snider’s and Rachel Mercer’s respective blog posts. Also, check out the AV Club’s awesome podcast, Reasonable Discussions.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. We’ll be reviewing The Muppets and Hugo next week.

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‘Woody Allen: A Documentary’ Trailer

Thanks to a career that spans all the way back to the ’50s and includes nearly four dozen directorial efforts — more than a few of which are well-loved classics — Woody Allen is one of those all-American icons everyone’s familiar with. But since he’s almost as private as he is prolific, he’s also a figure that retains a surprising amount of mystery. While he’s hardly a hermit on the order of J.D. Salinger, Allen has tended to stay quiet about his personal life and creative process throughout the years.

Happily, the allure of becoming part of PBS’ American Masters series was apparently too much for even Allen to resist. The legendary writer-filmmaker has revealed himself like never before for Woody Allen: A Documentary, directed by Robert Weide (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and produced by Brett Ratner (seriously!). The two-part, three-and-a-half-hour film follows Allen’s tale from his Brooklyn childhood all the way through his current work. Check out the trailer after the jump.

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Brian Grazer Replaces Brett Ratner as Oscars Producer

Earlier today, Eddie Murphy dropped out of his Oscar-hosting job after his Tower Heist director Brett Ratner resigned from his Oscar-producing gig. But if the Academy has things their way, Murphy may return yet. Producer Brian Grazer has been tapped to replace Ratner as the new Oscar producer, and apparently his first job will be to get Murphy back. More after the jump.

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Entertainment news over the past week has been dominated by one facepalm-worthy Brett Ratner remark after another, finally resulting in his stepping down from his Oscar-producing gig. But there’s no need to worry — everyone’s favorite walking PR blunder is doing just fine, with one ’80s remake in the works and another one about to hit theaters after a long delay.

In the midst of that Howard Stern interview during which he bragged about sleeping with a young Lindsay Lohan, Ratner also revealed his plans to remake the 1982 teen sex comedy The Last American Virgin. Meanwhile, the Ratner-produced Mother’s Day, a remake of the 1980 Troma film, will finally be getting a North American release next year. More after the jump.

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Eddie Murphy Quits as Oscar Host

Here’s what will hopefully be the last strain of the Oscar fallout from Brett Ratner‘s comments over the past week: Eddie Murphy has quit as host of the 84th Academy Awards. Brett Ratner called Murphy his first and only choice to host, and there was something appealing about the idea of blatant showman Ratner working with Murphy for the Oscars. I think some of us had images of Murphy emerging from a comedy cocoon that enshrouded him around the time of Beverly Hills Cop II. When Ratner quit as Oscar producer yesterday evening, we didn’t know if Murphy would go with him.

Evidently Murphy didn’t want to do the show without Ratner, so he’s out. A statement from Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak is below. Read More »

Brett Ratner Steps Down as Producer of Oscar Telecast

When we ran a review of Brett Ratner‘s Tower Heist at the end of last week, a section of the comments that followed were dominated by discussion of Ratner’s perceived character, and the fact that many /Film staffers aren’t exactly fond of the guy. Some readers even expressed sympathy for the fact that Ratner gets so little love. This sort of conversation seems to crop up every time Ratner is in the news, whether he is making headlines for a film project, or for something more personal.

Lately the headlines have been very personal, and they point to stories that illustrate with pristine clarity why Ratner gets little love. Over the past week Ratner’s public comments have included some pathetic douchebag bravado — which Ratner later recanted and even admitted was false — as well as a statement that could be his epitaph: “rehearsing is for fags.”

That statement called into question Ratner’s suitability as producer of the Oscars, as that job makes him a de facto ambassador from Hollywood to the rest of the world. Some called for Ratner to be replaced as Oscar telecast producer, despite his apology for the rehearsal comment.. (Andrew O’Heir published an impassioned piece at Salon just hours ago calling for Ratner’s dismissal.)

Now Ratner is stepping down as Oscar producer — or being allowed to say that he is stepping down. Whether Eddie Murphy, his high profile choice to host, will remain on board, is not yet clear. Read More »

What do you call a movie that’s not NOT funny and not NOT entertaining? Tower Heist sounds right. The latest film from director Brett Ratner has some fun moments to keep the audience engaged but never puts the claws in. It never grabs you. Never makes you laugh until you cry or pump your fist with excitement. It’s a by the numbers crime comedy that lives and dies with its setting, its actors and a few choice moments. Most of the time it’s mindless and, if that’s your kind of thing, you may love it. But if you demand a movie that demands something of its audience, Tower Heist will be sorely disappointing. Read More »

Last week, Universal Pictures revealed that it would be releasing the Brett Ratner comedy Tower Heist on VOD for $59.99 just three weeks after its November 4 opening in Atlanta and Portland, Oregon. The move immediately sparked outcry from exhibitors across the country — Cinemark, the U.S.’s third-largest theater chain, quickly announced that it would not be showing Tower Heist in any of its 3,800 theaters, and several smaller chains including Galaxy Theatres, Regency Theatres, and Emagine Theatres followed suit this week.

Now it seems the exhibitors have won the standoff, as Universal has agreed to drop the VOD experiment. More details after the jump.

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