Diego Luna is bristling at RT's suggestion he pick just five favourite films. "It's really unfair to have to say only five films," he complains as he picks his final choice. "This barely covers my life; I'm up to about the age of 16 by the end of the list!" The 29-year-old has been acting since before 16 in his home country of Mexico, but burst onto the international stage aged 22 as part of the trio of leads in Alfonso Cuaron's Y Tu Mama Tambien. That film marked his first collaboration with Gael Garcia Bernal, a partnership that continues - this time with Cuaron's brother Carlos at the helm - with Rudo and Cursi, out now in UK cinemas.
Gael Garcia Bernal may be Mexico's best known acting export of recent years, having made a powerful debut in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Amores perros in 2000. A year later he co-starred with Diego Luna in Alfonso Cuaron's Y tu mama tambien. After a busy career which has seen him work with the likes of Pedro Almodovar, Michel Gondry and Fernando Meirelles, he reteams with Luna, and a different Cuaron -- Carlos -- for Rudo and Cursi. Of his five favourite films, Bernal had an easier time picking them than his co-star -- and curiously they've both chosen a Disney classic as their first choice.
We have Dave Eggers. He broke into the mainstream with 2000's A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, the idiosyncratic Pulitzer-nominated memoir about his journey to and living in San Francisco with his brother. Eggers followed that up with several more books, the script to Spike Jonze's Where The Wild Things Are, and founding McSweeney's, a book publishing arm (also the name of his quarterly literary journal).
We have Vendela Vida, who has written two acclaimed novels: And Now You Can Go and Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name. And Vida, alongside husband Eggers, acts on the board of 826 National, a nonprofit network of writing and tutor centers for children and teens, and edits The Believer, a monthly magazine of alt-culture interviews, think pieces, op-eds, and reviews.
Together, Eggers and Vida wrote the screenplay to Sam Mendes' latest movie, Away We Go (currently playing in limited release), starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph as a young wayward couple, who travel the nation in search of a permanent home for themselves and their unborn child. and Rotten Tomatoes spoke with Vida and Eggers for their collective Five Favorite Films.
While contemporary audiences might know him best as the swashbuckling Zorro, the gun-toting El Mariachi, or the voice of Shrek's furry friend, Puss in Boots (who's set to get his own spin-off film in 2012), Spanish native and Hollywood veteran Antonio Banderas got his start in the audacious films of art-house darling Pedro Almodovar (including Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Matador, and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown). Naturally, we were dying to see if Banderas' favorite films were as varied, and as controversial, as the movies in which he's starred -- and we weren't disappointed. Below, see which auteurs Banderas noted among his favorite directors, why he joined the cast of Mimi Leder's The Code (out this week on DVD) just weeks before filming, and how being a pragmatist is necessary for an artist in his particular line of work.
Food Party: best described as a Julia Child-hosted type of cooking show, if the set were designed by Michel Gondry, the episodes directed by Tim and Eric, and Julia Child replaced by a diminutive Asian bohemian. Hosted and created by 27-year old Brooklyn artist Thu Tran, Food Party gained cult status as a web series and has retained all of its DIY charms transitioning to cable television (it's currently airing on IFC through July 14th every Tuesday at 11:15PM and you can watch clips on their site). Viewers old and new are treated to Food Party's first season marathon of day-glo cardboard sets, lewd puppets, colorful characters played by friends and crew, food solutions to bizarre problems (marriage, pregnancy, murder, appeasing cave spirits), and Tran's unsettlingly tranquil line deliveries. Tran is a rare female presence in post-Adult Swim stoner comedy, and Rotten Tomatoes stopped her in New York to get her Five Favorite Films.
The artist formerly known as Common Sense stopped by The Rotten Tomatoes Show on Current TV to share his favorite movies. Lyrically gifted and socially conscious, but find out what movies inspire the "Terminator Salvation" actor.
In this week's romantic comedy The Proposal, Betty White steals scenes as Grandma Annie, the spunky, slightly daffy grandmother who welcomes her grandson (Ryan Reynolds) and his boss -- an uptight exec who has secretly blackmailed him (Sandra Bullock) into marriage -- into her Alaskan home. Rotten Tomatoes was honored to sit down with Betty White to discuss her Five Favorite Films (hint: she's a romantic at heart) and to revisit her incredible career in Hollywood. Read on to learn Betty White's Five Favorite Films and hear her insights into great television writing, silly moments on the set of The Proposal, and her take on the art of the conversation.
No director in recent history has made their particular genre as much their own as Wes Craven. The legendary helmer virtually redefined the horror movies with the likes of The Hills Have Eyes and The Nightmare on Elm Street. His very first film was the horrifically violent box-office smash The Last House on the Left. Unlike Elm Street - which is being reinvented without any input from Craven - Last House is being remade with the director's blessing, under the stewardship of Dennis Iliadis, and hits UK screens this Friday. RT had some time with Craven, and with the scaremongering legend on the other end of our phone, we just couldn't resist asking him for his five favourite films.
by Jen Yamato
on Wednesday, Jun. 03 2009, 05:25 PM
H.R. Pufnstuf. The Bugaloos. Sigmund and the Sea Monster. Brothers Sid and Marty Krofft are bonafide showbiz legends, thanks to their flair for the bizarre and knack for creating a brand of hit shows that entertained generations of Saturday Morning TV-watchers throughout the '70s and '80s. This week, as the septuagenarians see their popular adventure series Land of the Lost adapted for the big screen by director Brad Silberling and star Will Ferrell -- both of whom have an obvious nostalgic love for the material -- RT sat down with both Kroffts to learn not only what movies they love, but which ones influenced some of their most famous whimsical creations.
John Krasinski's character on The Office, paper salesman Jim Halpert, is one of pop culture's most unlikely icons, a hero for nice (if mischievous and self-assured) guys to model after and for girls of more quirky, sophisticated tastes to daydream over. Krasinski's film roles have been thoughtful variations on Jim, including Burt Farlander of his new film, Away We Go. Directed by Sam Mendes and written by power literary couple Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, Burt is an aimless, devoted husband who travels the nation looking for a new home for his equally aimless wife (played by Maya Rudolph). On the cusp of Away We Go's Friday limited release, RT spoke with Krasinski about his Five Favorite Films.
Finnish director Renny Harlin has one of the most schizophrenic CVs in movie-dom. He's directed some of the most beloved action films of the last 20 years, including Die Hard 2, Deep Blue Sea, The Long Kiss Goodnight and, of course, Cliffhanger. His latest, the faintly-ridiculous but always-enjoyable 12 Rounds continues this tradition. He's also, however, responsible for two of the most reviled movies of recent times -- for notorious flop Cutthroat Island and for taking a hatchet to Paul Schrader's The Exorcist: The Beginning. For someone with such a varied back catalogue, we had no idea what his five favourite movies would be. So we asked.
This Friday, Raimi steps out of the Marvel trenches and returns to horror with Drag Me to Hell, which stars Alison Lohman as a meek loan officer whose comfortable life gets turned upside down after a gypsy curse. The film has been drawing up spectacular reviews and is one the most critically cherished scary flicks in years. As Raimi revisits his horror roots, Rotten Tomatoes asked him to revisit his favorite films. (Obviously, we ask for a list of five for our Five Favorite Films feature, but Raimi had time for just three.)
Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh made waves when he premiered his latest film, The Girlfriend Experience, at this year's Sundance Film Festival -- not so much due to its subject, a high class call girl, but rather thanks to who plays her: adult film actress Sasha Grey, the 21-year-old award-winning star of countless films we can't mention here. An avowed cinephile and French New Wave enthusiast who once considered taking the stage name Anna Karina (and has been known as a Godard devotee ever since), Grey shared her Five Favorite Films with Rotten Tomatoes, revealing a penchant for intense character dramas that dare to be honest and open -- much like Grey herself. Read on for more about Sasha Grey's Five Favorite Films, her improvised central performance in The Girlfriend Experience, what it was like to share the screen with film critic Glenn Kenny (who appears in a cameo role), and more.
by Jen Yamato
on Wednesday, May. 20 2009, 04:07 PM
Tonight, American Idol will crown its eighth season winner; will it be the Acoustic Rocker or the Glam Guyliner? In celebration of tonight's season finale (watch it on Fox at 8/7pm Central), Rotten Tomatoes caught up with Season 7 winner and Platinum-selling recording artist David Cook, who will perform his single, "Permanent," during tonight's show. (Buy the live recording on iTunes and all proceeds will go to charity!) Cook shared with us his favorite films of all time, revealing that his tastes tend toward rock music influences, silly humor, and quotable comedies. See what David Cook picked as his Five Favorite Films (and his plan to follow fellow Idol winners into Hollywood) after the jump!
With Brick, Rian Johnson established himself as a filmmaker to watch. An audacious debut, it made use of a classic film noir plotline within a contemporary high school setting, and helped establish Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a leading man. Now, Johnson's back with The Brothers Bloom, a globe-trotting con man movie starring Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel Weisz that hits theaters this week. In an interview with RT, Johnson decided to select his five favorite con man movies of all time. He also talked about the script of his sci-fi project Looper, and explained why filmmakers are often con men themselves.
The blockbuster season is upon us and amongst the line-up is the highly anticipated reboot of Star Trek. RT spoke to the man in the captain's chair, J. J. Abrams, about his galactic re-imagining of the great Trek franchise as well as the films that have inspired him.
Abrams, made his name creating ratings gold on the small screen in the form of Felicty, Alias and the mind-bending Lost. His feature directorial debut came in 2006 with Mission: Impossible III and in 2008 he produced the film marketer's dream, Cloverfield.
Today, J.J. Abrams talks to Rotten Tomatoes about the light and dark in the Star Trek universe and the challenges and freedoms provided by the scale of shooting in space.
The Oscar-nominated actor Terrence Howard has amassed an impressive resume since making his Hollywood breakthrough in the 1995 drama Mr. Holland's Opus (he also starred in that year's Dead Presidents), excelling at giving each and every one of his characters an extraordinary complexity that always seems to simmer right beneath the surface, whether as part of an ensemble (Crash, Lackawanna Blues), as a villain (Awake, Idlewild), a sympathetic figure (Four Brothers, August Rush), or a hero in waiting (Iron Man). In a discussion about Howard's favorite films, Rotten Tomatoes discovered that the actor's affinity for music runs close to his cinematic tastes (in addition to performing his own songs in Craig Brewer's Hustle & Flow, he released an album in 2008).
Earlier this decade, Joe Wright directed two very English movies from two very English novels, both which had the fortune of achieving international crossover appeal. 2005's Pride and Prejudice was a sexy, modern take on the classic novel and reignited Austen-mania for the new millennium, while the celebrated Atonement featured breakthrough serious roles for James McAvoy and Keira Knightley and was nominated, among other Oscars, for Best Picture (ultimately, bowing down to No Country for Old Men).
For his American debut, Wright again draws from the literary wellspring, this time adapting Los Angeles Times writer Steve Lopez's The Soloist. The book and film recounts Lopez's (played by Robert Downey Jr.) friendship with Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a Julliard prodigy discovered years later as a homeless, schizophrenic vagrant. The Soloist opens this Friday in theaters everywhere, and Rotten Tomatoes spoke to Joe Wright to discover his own Five Favorite Films.