Brett Ratner, producer and director of such hits as “Hercules, ” the “Rush Hour and” “X-Men: the Last Stand, “ talked with Variety about his primary passion; home video and digital.
He started making his own home movies when he was 8 years old, and loved to listen to directors’ commentary on laser disk. When he released “Hercules, ” it included a 90 minutes running commentary and a director’s cut of the film.
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“From the first moment of pre-production to the premiere of the film, I’m always thinking of the home video of the release.” Many of Ratner’s films have experienced great success on home release, with “Rush Hour 3” as the top rental of 2007. Ratner said he spent a great amount of time remixing the sound for Hercules to ensure that the experience for the home viewer would be rich.
Brett Ratner grew up in Miami to what he describes as a “middle class Jewish family, ” but there were some twists and turns. His mother was from Cuba, he was born when she was sixteen years old, and he admitted in 2011 that he wasn’t sure who his actual father was, but he considered Alvin Malnik, founder of the Forge restaurant to be his father, because he helped raise him. Ratner’s own father was chronically homeless, a situation that inspired him to become a board member of Chrysalis, which helps homeless people to find work. Brett attended high school in Israel, but returned to Miami to graduate. He cites the film “Raging Bull” as his primary inspiration to take up directing.