Five Favorite Films

Tuesday, Nov. 01 2011, 02:25 PM

You could set your watch to Aaron Eckhart's handsomely chiseled features -- but do so at your own peril. As he's proved time-and-again on screen, Eckhart excels at portraying deceptively charming men: be they manipulative executives, big-tobacco spin doctors, or physically duplicitous district attorneys. Which isn't to say he won't play nice, reasonably normal guys, of course. This week, however, Eckhart's up to his smooth-talking tricks in The Rum Diary, playing against Johnny Depp as the impeccably-dressed but otherwise rather rapacious Sanderson -- an American businessman out to turn postcard-perfect Puerto Rico into a lucrative tourist resort. We spoke with Eckhart recently, where he talked about the film, his thoughts on writer Hunter S. Thompson, and the art of playing the likeable bad guy. But first, he ran through his five favorite films.

Friday, Oct. 28 2011, 01:45 PM

I don't know you, but I'd like to. This Friday, come meet me under the cover of darkness for a movie with the greatest subject: ME...Puss in Boots. Stepping out of the green ogre's very large shadow, I am showcasing my considerable talents in a movie that has it all: drama, action, comedy, a little swashbuckling and, yes, a lot of romance. Before I sweep you off your feet and into my adventure, get to know me a little more: Presenting my Five Favorite Films...

Friday, Oct. 28 2011, 01:45 PM

Since her acting debut in Signs (at age six) and Oscar nomination for Little Miss Sunshine (at age 10), Abigail Breslin has taken an unpredictable path in her film roles, appearing in everything from family movies to heartstring-heavy dramas to unabashed horror-comedy -- as Zombieland's gun-toting scamp Little Rock, she got to indulge in what few of her young peers are allowed; namely, blowing away hordes of the undead. In this week's Janie Jones, Breslin plays the title character, a 13-year-old girl set adrift from her single mother to reconnects with her boozy rock-n-roll dad, played by Alessandro Nivola. We sat down with the young actress to talk about the movie and her music, where she sees her career headed, and her Five Favorite Films.

Monday, Oct. 24 2011, 12:00 PM

If British writer-director Bruce Robinson had only made one film -- 1987's inimitable comedy Withnail & I -- he would have been assured a place in the annals of cult movie history. And it very nearly became the case, too. When the combined forces of Hunter S. Thompson and Johnny Depp came calling, however, Robinson found himself being made an offer he couldn't refuse. The result is The Rum Diary, a long-gestating passion project for Depp instigated when he and Thompson unearthed an unpublished manuscript from the late gonzo legend's early years as a writer. We sat down with Robinson to talk about the challenge of bringing Thompson's novel to the screen, the weirdness of being back in Hollywood, and how Depp -- who previously tried to bait Robinson to direct Fear and Loathing -- finally lured him into taking on this job. But first, kick back with some lighter fluid and enjoy Robinson's five favorite films.

Friday, Oct. 21 2011, 01:10 PM

From vengeance-obsessed priests to tennis pros, from English naturalists to sentient computers, Paul Bettany has played a wide range of characters in his big-screen career. In his latest, Margin Call, Bettany plays a high-rolling investment banker whose company is on the verge of collapse -- an internal crisis that just might take the whole economy down with it. In an interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Bettany shared his favorite films, and also discussed Occupy Wall Street, why he (sort of) empathizes with bankers, and the difference between busking and filmmaking.

Thursday, Oct. 13 2011, 04:25 PM

If you've watched any popular television over the past five years or so, chances are you probably caught an episode or two of the sci-fi/fantasy series Heroes, and if you've seen Heroes, chances are you're already quite familiar with Hayden Panettiere, who played nigh indestructible cheerleader Claire Bennet. This week, she makes a return to ensemble drama with Fireflies in the Garden, starring alongside the likes of Willem Dafoe, Julia Roberts, Emily Watson, and Ryan Reynolds . RT chatted with Hayden about her new movie, as well as what it was like working with such a distinguished cast, and how thankful she is for her career. But before we get to all that, here are Hayden Panettiere's Five Favorite Films!

Wednesday, Oct. 12 2011, 08:25 AM

Veteran director Joel Schumacher has had an eclectic, sometimes distinguished, and never less than colorful career across four decades in Hollywood. Though for some his name is synonymous with the camp excesses of Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, the self-described "street kid from New York" boasts a much deeper and more varied filmography that includes cult gems, blockbuster thrillers and tense, micro genre pieces. With his latest, the heightened home invasion thriller Trespass, starring Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman, in theatrical release this week, we spoke candidly with Schumacher about his career. Read on to hear his thoughts on Batman, including how he wanted to direct The Dark Knight and almost cast Nicolas Cage as the Scarecrow, his admiration for Christopher Nolan's films, and his preference for smaller, darker films. But first, after much agonizing, he laid down his all-time five favorite films.

Thursday, Oct. 06 2011, 09:32 AM

Juno Temple's star is definitely on the rise. The daughter of punk filmmaker Julien Temple, the 22-year-old English-born actress began her career with supporting roles in movies like Notes on a Scandal, Atonement, and St. Trinian's -- and later delivered a lead performance in Jordan Scott's excellent boarding school drama, Cracks. She'll soon headline several films including William Friedkin's Killer Joe, Jonas Akerlund's Small Apartments and the long-percolating lesbian werewolf project Jack and Diane, in addition to starring as a "street smart Gotham girl" in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises -- a role that has fans speculating could be anything from Selina Kyle's sidekick Holly Robinson to Harley Quinn to a female Robin. In the meantime, Temple appears in this week's Dirty Girl, an autobiographical comedy-drama from debut director Abe Sylvia. We caught up with Temple recently to chat about Dirty Girl, but first, she took a few moments to run through her all-time five favorite films.

Thursday, Sep. 29 2011, 03:55 PM

Comedic actor Alan Tudyk is what we affectionately refer to as a "that guy," someone whose face is almost immediately recognizable but whose name tends to escape the average moviegoer. This week, Tudyk stars alongside Tyler Labine as the titular duo in the horror movie satire Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, successfully adding "misunderstood hillbilly" to his colorful list of past characters. The film, in which a couple of backwoods hayseeds on vacation are mistaken for murderous psychopaths, generated quite a bit of positive early buzz and has already been stamped Certified Fresh, and though it opens theatrically this week in limited release, it's already available via video on demand. RT was recently afforded the opportunity to speak with Tudyk, who absolutely gushed about his Five Favorite Films and went on to discuss his role as Tucker, his fear of horror movies, and his experience hanging out with pirates for a day. Click through for the full interview!

Tuesday, Sep. 20 2011, 08:40 AM

Not too many actors get to headline an action thriller while still in their teens, but then career trajectories can be a little different when you're an alumnus of a certain billion-dollar vampire franchise. Still just 19, Taylor Lautner was always the most likely of the Twilight triangle to embrace the action genre: his chiseled physique and Cruise junior profile suggest a screen life of tangling with bad guys, which is precisely what he does in director John Singleton's Bourne-like paranoid escapade, Abduction . With Abduction in theaters this week, we had the chance to chat with the personable Lautner about working on the film, where he sees his career heading, and his experience living inside the crazy celebrity bubble of the Twilight series. But first, he talked about his five favorite films. Take it away, Team Jacob.

Friday, Sep. 02 2011, 04:45 PM

New Jack City, Mario Van Peebles's first directorial effort, was a critical and commercial smash, and he's subsequently helmed and acted in a wide range of high-profile films and television shows. He made his big screen debut as a teenager in his father Melvin's pioneering indie Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song; years later, the younger Van Peebles directed Baadasssss!, playing his father in a critically-acclaimed drama about the making of that seminal African-American film. His latest, Redemption Road, stars Michael Clark Duncan and Morgan Simpson in a drama about two unlikely road trip companions who find common ground in music. In an interview with RT, Van Peebles shared his favorite films, and also discussed using music as a character in his movies, working with his well-known father, and making the world a greener place.

Friday, Aug. 26 2011, 04:58 PM

Best known for his Academy Award-nominated performance in The Green Mile, Michael Clarke Duncan has turned in memorable supporting performances in such hits as Sin City, Armageddon, and Kung Fu Panda (which puts his authoritative baritone to good use). In his latest, Redemption Road, Duncan plays Augy, a Shakespeare-quoting country music fan with a dark past who helps Jefferson (Morgan Simpson), a troubled young bluesman, to settle his late grandfather's estate. In an interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Duncan shared some of his favorite movies, and talked about his favorite cartoon character, the misconceptions about his size, and his role in one of Major League Baseball's most infamous nights.

Friday, Aug. 19 2011, 05:00 PM

Raised in Iowa by way of Honolulu and born of German, Irish, Native Hawaiian and Native American blood, Jason Momoa first turned heads as Hawaii's Model of the Year in 1999, thanks to his imposing stature and exotic looks. This week, he stars in Marcus Nispel's reimagining of Robert E. Howard's iconic warrior, Conan the Barbarian, and RT was able to chat with him over the phone about his Five Favorite Films, his love for the Conan character, and his career aspirations. Click through for the full interview!

Friday, Aug. 19 2011, 07:11 AM

Joel McHale's been making the abyss of modern culture that little bit more bearable over the past decade as the host of E!'s satirical The Soup, while he recently added a residency as the star of TV's acclaimed series Community to his resume. It follows that his next step toward media ubiquity should be a big screen career (he's already had supporting roles in Spider-Man 2 and The Informant), and this week McHale takes a somewhat unlikely starring role opposite Jessica Alba in Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D -- the latest in Robert Rodriguez's hugely successful series of adventure films. "You know, being in a kids movie -- I'd never really thought about it in my life until it was presented to me," says McHale. "My first inclination to do it was getting to work with Robert, and that's how it came together." In the film, McHale plays Wilbur Wilson, a sham TV host -- irony noted -- who pretends to hunt for real-life spies, unaware that his wife (Alba) is actually a secret operative herself (and that his dog is a robotic canine who sounds a lot like Ricky Gervais.) Here then are Joel McHale's all-time favorites.

Wednesday, Aug. 17 2011, 03:07 PM

Over the course of her 19-year career, Rose McGowan has established quite an eclectic resume, working with notable directors across several genres and moving effortlessly between film and television. This week, she continues her string of strong but flawed female characters as the evil sorceress Marique in Marcus Nispel?s Conan the Barbarian, and we were happy to chat with her about the film. She not only gave us her Five Favorite Films, but also talked about what it was like growing up and watching movies overseas, and how she influenced a rather taboo relationship in the new film. Click through for the full interview!

Wednesday, Aug. 03 2011, 10:04 AM

Director Craig Brewer made a big splash at Sundance back in 2005 when his first major feature, Hustle & Flow, won the Audience Award in the category for Drama. Brewer followed up in 2007 with another gritty tale set in the South, Black Snake Moan, starring Christina Ricci as a battered nymphomaniac and Samuel L. Jackson as the troubled farmer who rescues her from the side of the road. Though it didn't prove to be quite the critical darling that Hustle & Flow was, Black Snake Moan saw its fair share of supporters. With all that in mind, it was a bit puzzling to some when it was announced that Brewer's next film would be a remake of the '80s pop culture classic Footloose. RT recently had the opportunity to chat with Brewer, who not only gave us his Five Favorite Films, but also went on to explain passionately why he joined the Footloose remake, what he changed in his version, and how it does, in fact, fit within his wheelhouse.

Thursday, Jun. 30 2011, 06:20 PM

There's a lot more to David Hyde Pierce than Niles Crane. Though he's best known for his multi-Emmy-winning role as a highbrow, fastidious shrink on Frasier, Pierce has carved out a distinctive career on stage (he won a Tony Award for his starring role in the musical Curtains in 2007) and as a voice actor (key roles in A Bug's Life, Treasure Planet, and The Simpsons). In the psychological thriller The Perfect Host, Pierce plays a man preparing for a dinner party when an escaped fugitive turns up at his door; what follows is as twisty as a corkscrew, and audiences expecting good ol' Niles are in for a surprise. In an interview with RT, Pierce shared his favorite films, and discussed his juicy role in The Perfect Host, how he prepares for a role, and the legacy of Frasier.

Friday, Jun. 10 2011, 04:51 AM

riter-director-producer-composer (and occasional actor) John Carpenter is a modern horror icon whose keen sense of tension and terror has helped establish his work as some of the finest genre filmmaking to hit the big screen. His best known work is probably the 1978 slasher classic Halloween, but the '80s -- Carpenter's most critically and commercially successful decade -- brought forth other beloved gems like The Thing, Escape from New York, Starman, and the cult classic They Live. This week, his first directorial effort in a decade, The Ward, became availabe on Video on Demand, and he spoke to us about his Five Favorite Films.

Wednesday, Jun. 01 2011, 04:25 PM

Richard Ayoade is well known to fans of British TV as geek genius Moss on The IT Crowd, while his cult credentials extend to roles in Chris Morris' acerbic classic Nathan Barley and the surreal comedy series The Mighty Boosh. What the rest of the film world may not know -- and are about to discover -- is that he's also a talented and original director. This week, Ayoade's debut feature Submarine surfaces in cinemas, following on from its critically-acclaimed run in the UK. Based on the novel by Joe Dunthorne, the film charts the strange odyssey of 15-year-old Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) -- a peculiar miscreant in the lineage of Holden Caulfield, Antoine Doinel and Max Fischer -- as he falls for a quixotic girl (Yasmin Paige) and tries to keep his parents (Noah Taylor and Sally Hawkins) from splitting apart. Though it carries on the tradition of idiosyncratic coming-of-age cinema, Submarine also leaves its own imprint by staying true to the emotions of its characters. We caught up with Richard recently, where he chatted about Submarine and talked through his Five Favorite Films. Read on for more.

Thursday, May. 19 2011, 05:11 AM

His name may not be instantly familiar, but his work most certainly is: over a prolific career, Vic Armstrong has been a stunt man, stunt coordinator and second unit director on some of the biggest and best-loved action movies of the past four decades. He's stunt-doubled for successive James Bonds from Sean Connery to Pierce Brosnan, worn the cape and tights on Richard Donner's Superman, and famously done stunt work for Harrison Ford on, among many of the actor's other roles, the original three Indiana Jones films. Then there's his work with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone and Angelina Jolie, to name a handful. With the release of his book, The True Adventures of the World's Greatest Stuntman, we spoke to Armstrong about his career, filming action on Marvel's Thor and the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man, and his Five Favorite Films.

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