Brett Ratner is a director who has proved himself to be an A-list director yet still receives the criticism of an up and coming filmmaking. He has proved himself marketable once again though with a successful opening of “Rush Hour 3,” which took in $19 million on Friday night and beat out the reigning film “The Bourne Ultimatum” by $9 million, impressive considering it was up against the movie that just took the record for the biggest opening August movie ever. Ratner is comfortable with the “Rush Hour” franchise, however, having made the previous two films as well. He is also no stranger to sequels having recently directed the third “X-Men” film in the series as well as a remake of the Hannibal Lector movie “Manhunter,” “Red Dragon.” This raises the question that, if so many people are going to see his movies, why is he still not taken to be a credible Hollywood director?

Ratner was born on March 28, 1969 in Miami, Florida. Like most filmmakers, he spent his childhood making home movies of his friends with a camcorder. Despite his lack of enthusiasm for school, he was accepted to New York University at the age of 16, a college he chose because it is where Martin Scorsese had attended. In order to get into the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, he had to prove his directing skills, since his grades did not live up to his own hype. Of the many scholarships he applied for his senior year, he received one from Steven Spielberg’s production company, Amblin Entertainment. With the money, he produced his senior project, a documentary about a child star who appears in lunch meat commercials, titled “Whatever Happened to Mason Reese.” The film got him into directing music videos. With more than 100 videos under his belt from artists ranging from Jay Z to Madonna, he proved himself worthy of moving on to motion pictures.

When the original director of the Christ Tucker film “Money Talks” dropped out in 1997, Ratner got the job. His film debut was given flattering praise, and soon, he was directing Tucker again along with Jackie Chan in the action comedy, “Rush Hour” in 1998. The film grossed $250 million world wide and at the time was New Line Cinema’s highest grossing film ever. In 2000, he directed “The Family Man” with Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni. He was then asked back to direct the sequel to “Rush Hour,” “Rush Hour 2” in 2001. This film had the highest opening comedy non-holiday weekend box office gross ever. In 2002 he made “Red Dragon” with Anthony Hopkins and Edward Norton.

Ratner was then asked to direct the first “Superman” movie to come along in years. Like several directors before him, however, he dropped out of the project and instead made “After The Sunset” with Pierce Brosnan in 2004. Meanwhile, “X-Men” director Bryan Singer was starting work on “X-Men: The Last Stand,” the third of the “X-Men” films. Instead, he decided to take on “Superman Returns,” the film that Ratner dropped out of while Ratner took over directing “X-Men.” The film was a hit as well though critics believed that Singer’s version would have been superior. But this weekend, Ratner has his moment of glory once again, at least until the critics catch up to him.

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