After enjoying one of the more impressive career ascensions of the 1980s and 1990s, writer-producer-director Martin Brest crashed in spectacular fashion with a film almost universally derided as the worst of the year, if not the decade. Having established his pedigree with film projects at New York University's School of the Arts and Los Angeles' American Film Institute Conservatory, Brest earned his stripes as the director of the modest comedy-drama "Going In Style" (1979). He found unexpected studio success with the Eddie Murphy blockbuster "Beverly Hills Cop" (1984), a project he had nearly turned down. The Robert De Niro-Charles Gordon action-comedy "Midnight Run" (1988) kept the winning streak going, while the critically-acclaimed "Scent of a Woman" (1992) proved the director just as capable of delivering affecting drama as gunfights and belly laughs. The first chink in Brest's armor came with the Brad Pitt vehicle "Meet Joe Black" (1998), a beautifully filmed, yet ponderous drama that failed to connect with its anticipated audience. If "Scent" and "Joe Black" represented the crest, then the Ben Affleck-Jennifer Lopez romantic-drama "Gigli" (2003) epitomized the crash. A critical and commercial disaster of career-destroying proportions, "Gigli" loomed like an epitaph over a body of work that boasted some of the most successful films of the decade, made all the more ominous by Brest's cinematic inactivity in the years that followed.