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.
While he's become best known for portraying a red, horned antihero in Guillermo del Toro's popular comic book adaptations Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Ron Perlman has long been a favorite character actor among fantasy and science fiction fans thanks to his work in films like Quest for Fire, The City of Lost Children, Cronos, and Blade II. This week, the classically-trained actor (who is between seasons on his critically acclaimed FX series, Sons of Anarchy) stars in Mutant Chronicles as Brother Samuel, a monk dedicated to guarding a set of scriptures that predict the coming of an ancient enemy. Rotten Tomatoes talked with Perlman about his favorite movies and directors, whose films he watches when he's having a rough day, and his remembrances of working alongside one of his idols, Marlon Brando.
Rotten Tomatoes caught up with actress Bai Ling (Red Corner, Southland Tales) on the verge of her latest film, Crank: High Voltage, to talk movies and learn more about the bold and sensual artist, who at times is better known for her off-screen persona than her expansive body of work. Below, find out which romantic classics and modern films Bai Ling names among her Five Favorite Films and, and read on for our in-depth conversation about her work, her life, and her pursuit of happiness as we peel back the layers of the force of nature known as Bai Ling.
Art imitates life (and vice versa) in Hannah Montana: The Movie, in which teen idol Miley Cyrus stars as the titular character, a 16-year-old A-list celebrity desperately trying to balance stardom with her normal life. That normal life is her "real" life as Miley Stewart, a high schooler whose pop identity is only known to family and friends and who is about to get a wake-up call in the form of an extended stay in the homegrown Tennessee countryside where she grew up, courtesy of dad Robby Ray Stewart (played by Miley's real-life father, country music star-turned-actor Billy Ray Cyrus). RT talked to the elder Cyrus about his favorite films, his transition from "Achy Breaky Heart" recording artist to Hollywood thespian, and how he credits David Lynch (and a letter from Johnny Cash) with helping daughter Miley become the teen entertainment phenomenon that she is today.
James Marsters is perhaps best known to audiences as the blonde-haired Sid Vicious-alike Spike on the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The vampire who earned his nickname by impaling his victims on railway spikes, he went from Big Bad to Buffy's boyfriend when a shadowy government cell called The Initiative fitted a chip in his brain that prevented him from doing harm. He stars this week in Dragonball: Evolution, based on the Japanese Manga comic, as Lord Piccolo, the megalomaniacal villain out to destroy the world by uniting the seven Dragonballs. Continue on as he shares his five favourite films with RT.
There can be few actors better suited to starring in a film about the golden age of British rock and roll than Bill Nighy. No wonder, then, that he's front and centre as part of the ensemble cast of Richard Curtis' latest comedy, The Boat that Rocked. RT catches up with Nighy the day after the world premiere of The Boat that Rocked and he's remembering a late night that involved hanging out with one of his heroes, Paul McCartney. His passion for music is evident is pretty-much any interview he gives, and as he chooses his five favourite films it's incredibly obvious that a killer soundtrack has a big impact...
by Jen Yamato
on Wednesday, Apr. 01 2009, 04:50 PM
Most directors debut their deeply personal passion project before moving on to studio gigs, but indie helmer-turned-Apatow Buncher Greg Mottola (The Daytrippers, Superbad) flipped the script with Adventureland, his semi-autobiographical tale of love, angst, '80s pop and corndogs that opens nationwide this week. Adventureland follows recent college grad James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) -- an uptight, overeducated intellectual who reads poetry "for fun" -- who takes a job at a low-rent carnival one summer working with excitable bosses (SNL's Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig), unmotivated slackers (Martin Starr of Freaks and Geeks), a surly, punk-loving love interest (Twilight's Kristen Stewart), and lots and lots of righteous retro tunes. (Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus" has never borne such loathing, or been heard so often, since 1985.)