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Harry Potter

Warner Bros has their Oscar campaign for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" under control. A new ad for their For Your Consideration crusade highlights every single tear-jerking moment from the film. Snape's memories? Check. Harry's walk into the forest? Check. The King's Cross Station scene? Absolutely. Only time will tell whether it has what it takes to convince the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to give it a best picture nod, but it certainly has us poised to go out and buy the DVD when it hits stores Friday.

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FROM MTV MOVIES: In a move that falls right in line with the old adage "actions speak louder than words," director Brett Ratner has stepped down as producer of the 2012 Academy Awards.

Ratner submitted his resignation to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization in charge of the Oscars, on Tuesday (November 8), according to a statement posted on Oscars.org. The "Tower Heist" director has been making headlines over the past few days — first, due to his comments about a sexual relationship with Olivia Munn, then at a screening of "Heist," where he used a gay slur, claiming that "rehearsal is for f--s."

"He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself," Academy President Tom Sherak said in the statement. "Words have meaning, and they have consequences. Brett is a good person, but his comments were unacceptable. We all hope this will be an opportunity to raise awareness about the harm that is caused by reckless and insensitive remarks, regardless of the intent."

Read the full story at MTV Movies!

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FROM MTV MOVIES: The American public may no longer be convinced about Eddie Murphy's enduring comedic gifts, based on the number of folks who purchased tickets to "Imagine That" and "Meet Dave." Even Eddie Murphy may no longer be convinced about Eddie Murphy's enduring comedic gifts. But one man with no such doubt is Brett Ratner, who is producing the 2012 Academy Awards and who has tapped Murphy to host.

"I think there's no question about it. He's the greatest," Ratner told us Sunday night at the Emmy Awards about Eddie taking on the gig and slaying the crowd. "My first idea was the show had to go in the direction of more comedy with a single host, and there's nobody better on that stage than Eddie Murphy."

"I grew up watching 'Raw' and 'Delirious' and being a big fan of him," Ratner added. "He's a huge movie star. He has huge international appeal. There's nobody better. He's a pro. The guy is a pro."

Read the full story at MTV Movies!

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Eddie Murphy's hosting the Oscars next year, and as happy as I am about the news, I can't say I'm at all surprised by it.

I had the chance to chat with "Tower Heist" director Brett Ratner for MTV News' Fall Movie Preview week, and the filmmaker had nothing but rave reviews for Murphy's work in the heist comedy. (You can read all of his comments in my interview here.)

While we were talking, Ratner — who is executive producer of the 84th Annual Academy Awards — teased about his future collaborations with Murphy: "'Tower Heist,' just like [my previous] movies were great preparation for me to make this movie, this is preparation for me to do something huge with Eddie."

The Oscars certainly qualify as something huge, I'd say, and based on something else that Ratner told me, it's pretty clear why he named the "Beverly Hills Cop" legend as his host.

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Brett RatnerBrett Ratner might not have been the choice Hollywood was expecting when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their producer for the 2012 Oscars, but he certainly is an interesting one.

But the "Tower Heist" director has been known for his large-scale films, and the very elements of his filmmaking that have drawn fire from skeptics might be exactly what the Oscars need this year. Ratner, for his part, thinks he can bring something special to the biggest night in Tinseltown, something he's been complaining has been lacking in previous years. And with the failed attempt at drawing in a younger audience by hiring Anne Hathaway and James Franco as hosts last year, it seems like the Academy is seeking an alternate route.

So what can we expect Ratner to contribute to the awards show? We brainstormed a few things we hope happen at this year's event.

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OscarsThe 82nd Academy Awards opened up the Best Picture race from the traditional five spots to a more inclusive field of ten, casting a wider net that allowed some delightfully unexpected movies on the path towards Oscar glory.

But it looks like the gates are closing once again — well, maybe, at least. The Hollywood Reporter has the news that the Academy has revised the Best Picture rules for the second time in as many years, this time creating a system where the final nominees for next year's awards could range from anywhere between five and ten contenders. In order to receive a Best Picture nomination, a movie needs to receive "enough first-place votes on the nomination ballots to amount to five percent of the ballots cast."

The Academy says that this new procedure adds "a new element of surprise," but from where I'm sitting, it's a new element of disappointment. Imagine, if you will, if these new restrictions were in place for the past two Oscar ceremonies — who would've been left off the playing field?

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Luz Penaby Luz Pena

[Editor's Note: Luz Pena and Philip Robibero of Hofstra University were the winners of the 2011 Oscars® Red Carpet Correspondent Contest held by mtvU and the Academy. Luz and Philip traveled to Los Angeles last week to cover the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, bringing you all the news and scoops from the stars you could possibly want. This is their story.]

Being this year's Oscar Correspondent for mtvU is not only an achievement that will open many doors for my professional career as a broadcast journalist, but a breakthrough into this industry as the first woman/Hispanic to win this contest!!

On Sunday February 27, 2011, the president of the Academy, Tom Sherak, announced Phil and I as the winners of the contest. My heart began to beat faster and I had a flashback of all the hard work and passion we put into this project. Finally, our dedication and sleepless nights were paying off, and our dream to be on the red carpet interviewing celebrities was just hours away from becoming a reality.

Right after the announcement, camera flashes and interviews were more than I could remember, but the humble feeling of finally achieving our long desired dream was priceless.

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OscarsIt could have been the lack of "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" cast members in attendance, or the fact that the momentum shifted from "The Social Network" to "The King's Speech," or the decision to "ban" Banksy, or the snubs for appealing stars like Ryan Gosling, Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield.

Whatever it was, the 83rd Annual Academy Awards did not draw, or captivate, the younger audience it had set its sights on this year by bringing in hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway.

But it wasn't just the younger set that Franco and Hathaway failed to impress. Many have criticized the duo and the show itself as disjointed and unfunny in the days since the Oscars telecast. Now, Academy president Tom Sherak is speaking out in defense of the stars in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, explaining exactly why he doesn't see the evening as a misstep.

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Annette BeningBy Sterling Wong

As with everything in life, winning an Oscar is sometimes a random process. You could be "The King’s Speech’s" Tom Hooper, who scored the coveted Academy Award for Best Director with his third film and his first nomination, or you could be Kate Winslet, who accrued five nominations before getting her Best Actress Oscar in 2008 for "The Reader."

Sometimes, that random process means a series of disappointments. Take Annette Bening, for example: with her loss to Natalie Portman at this year’s Oscars, Bening has now gone zero for four in her quest for the golden statuette, with nominations including "The Grifters," "American Beauty," "Being Julia" and, of course, "The Kids Are All Right." There's no doubt that the talented actress deserves the award, but somehow, it just hasn’t worked out yet. Like we said — random!

Of course, Ms. Bening is not the only Hollywood thespian who is long overdue for an Oscar. After the jump, take a look at some other actors with luminous careers and multiple nominations who still have not made their way to the podium.

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If there's anyone alive who should be giving us lessons on life and love, it's Russell Brand.

The British comedian and husband of Katy Perry left his pop star wife at home and hit the Academy Awards red carpet with his mother instead. But did having the woman who raised him stop him from an inappropriate on camera interview confrontation with MTV's Josh Horowitz? Don't even dream of it.

Brand has already shared with us his guide to manners, which involved man-on-man kissing, menstrual cycles and job interview techniques, but once Brand was done licking Horowitz's face he had a few more gems to share with us.

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