Five Favorite Films

Monday, Dec. 07 2009, 03:38 PM

Audiences down under have been familiar with Australian actor Sam Worthington for a few years now, but for the rest of the world it's almost as though the guy appeared out of nowhere. This year he's already starred in Terminator Salvation (some critics suggesting he was the best thing about the film), and will soon headline 2010's amped-up remake of Clash of the Titans. Then, of course, there's his pivotal role in arguably 2009's most anticipated film -- James Cameron's 3-D sci-fi epic Avatar. So just how did this little-known actor become the planet's go-to action guy? Maybe it's got something to do with his taste in movies...

Thursday, Dec. 03 2009, 04:33 PM

It's no secret that director Jason Reitman comes from an established Hollywood pedigree, and while his father, Ivan Reitman (Stripes, Ghostbusters), is remembered most for his iconic 80s comedies, Jason is well on his way to making a similar name for himself with his edgy comedies of the aughts. Reitman burst onto the big screen in 2004 with a critically acclaimed satire, Thank You for Smoking, then followed that up in 2007 with the quirky, indie comedy Juno. The latter went on to win various awards, including the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for newcomer Diablo Cody's pop-slang heavy script, and jumpstarted the career of its diminutive, sharp-tongued star, Ellen Page. This week, Reitman's latest effort, the George Clooney-powered Up in the Air, opens in limited release, and we were lucky enough to sit down with Jason for a friendly chat about his Five Favorite Films and his personal Tomatometer.

Tuesday, Dec. 01 2009, 04:01 PM

At the ripe age of 58, Jesse "The Body" Ventura (or James George Janos, as his parents named him) has had quite the colorful life. The former biker and Navy SEAL entered the squared circle of the wrestling ring in the mid-70s and found fame in the WWF during the 80s. From there, Ventura embarked on an acting career and went on to run successful political campaigns, first for mayor, and then for Governor of Minnesota, and picked up surfing in the meantime. So what hasn't Jesse Ventura done, exactly? Read our interview to find out his Five Favorite Films, learn about his new show on truTV, and find out what conspiracy theories have got him spooked.

Tuesday, Nov. 24 2009, 09:09 PM

Filmmaker Ruben Fleischer is having a very good 2009. The former music video director has seen his debut feature, Zombieland, open at number one at the US box office and take in nearly $75 million domestically, while earning an impressive 89% Fresh rating from critics -- not bad for a horror-comedy road movie revolving around the undead. With the film about to open in Australia, we got the chance to catch up with Ruben and ask him his five favorite films. And a fine list it is, too.

Friday, Nov. 20 2009, 03:37 PM

With "Red Cliff" (starring Tony Leung and Zhang Fengyi) making its way into theaters, director John Woo stopped by The Rotten Tomatoes Show on Current TV to share his five favorite movies. Find out the list of films that inspired the action director!

Tuesday, Nov. 17 2009, 03:19 PM

During his remarkable 40-year career, Werner Herzog has made some of world cinema's boldest films -- including Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Stroszek, Fitzcaraldo, and a remake of Nosferatu. In recent years, he's approached mainstream success in the United States, with the eccentric documentary Grizzly Man and the Vietnam war film Rescue Dawn, which starred Christian Bale. His latest, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, features Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes in the tale of a cop who tries to solve a brutal murder and keep his grip on reality while battling drug addiction, gambling debts, and familial woes. Read the full article to get the whole story.

Tuesday, Nov. 10 2009, 04:17 PM

We're fairly certain Roland Emmerich's movies hold the record for combined body count. Such a feat is a result of career built around movies like Independence Day, Godzilla, and The Day After Tomorrow, bombastic, crowd-pleasing disaster movies that frequently leave the planet in runs. His latest effort is 2012, opening this Friday and starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as survivors in a world tearing apart at the seams and submerged in water. Rotten Tomatoes spoke to Emmerich to get his Five Favorite Films, and on the following page you can read our interview, where he discusses the upcoming 2012 television show, his thoughts on Avatar, and creating popcorn movies on a global scale.

Friday, Oct. 23 2009, 03:17 PM

Adam Goldberg has starred in major releases like "Zodiac" and "Saving Private Ryan," but he ventures away from the mainstream and into the art house in his latest film, "(Untitled)." Find out what movies Goldberg chose as his favorites when he stopped by the Rotten Tomatoes show on Current TV!

Friday, Oct. 23 2009, 10:26 AM

24 star Carlos Bernard is one of the show's few fixtures. With all the double-crossings, cliff-hangers and back-stabbings, it's a wonder anyone has survived from the first season, but his character Tony Almeida was an integral part of the season just aired, the seventh in the show's run. All indications suggest that he'll be back in a big way for Day 8, set to kick off in January. The actor came to London this week to promote the DVD release of the show's seventh season - available on Blu-ray for the first time, and RT sat down with him to guage his five favourite films, talk about the show and do our best to learn all we could about Day 8. We failed spectacularly on the latter point, for he choose instead to invent an plot too implausible even by 24 standards, but read on for the rest...

Wednesday, Oct. 14 2009, 04:25 PM

Director F. Gary Gray began his career creating music videos for several big name R&B and hip-hop artists in the early 90s, including Ice Cube, TLC, and OutKast. In 1995, Gray made a big screen splash with a little stoner comedy called Friday, starring a pre-Rush Hour Chris Tucker and an up-and-coming Ice Cube, a friend of Gray's. Friday was a surprise hit, opening the doors for future high profile projects such as The Negotiator, 2003's The Italian Job remake, and Be Cool. This week, Gray continues his strong track record in the crime/action genre with Law Abiding Citizen, and we got the chance to sit down and chat with him about his favorite movies, his career, and what it's like to sit in on a viewing of one of his films.

Thursday, Oct. 08 2009, 04:33 PM

Tony Jaa began his career as a stuntman for other actors, much like one of his martial arts inspirations, Jackie Chan. Working under his master and mentor, Thai director Panna Rittikrai, Jaa took hits and tumbles in equal measure before getting his first starring role in 2005's Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior. Now, the much anticipated sequel Ong Bak 2(whose story, interestingly, does not tie in with either Ong Bak 1 or The Protector), finally opens this month in limited release, and it looks to be much grittier than his previous two films. We decided to ask Tony what his Five Favorite Films were, and the choices he offered reflect the various influences that have shaped his career.

Monday, Oct. 05 2009, 10:12 PM

Kristen Bell made her mark on the pop culture landscape as the star of TV's Veronica Mars, which she followed with a run on the hit series Heroes and one of her most famous (if unseen) roles -- as the voice of Gossip Girl in the much-loved teen drama. Last year she arrived on the big screen for real after starring in the Judd Apatow-produced comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a surprise box-office hit that also earned positive reviews from critics. This week, Kristen's back on screens -- and back in tropical climes -- for Couples Retreat, a relationship comedy from Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, and she'll soon be heard as the voice of Cora in the animated film of Astro Boy. We caught up with the star to find what her all-time favorite films are.

Tuesday, Sep. 22 2009, 03:42 PM

Chicagoans Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert changed the face of movie criticism with At the Movies; now, another critic from the Windy City, Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips, is ready to take up the mantle on the venerable show. Phillips was a theater writer at the LA Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Dallas Times Herald before taking over as the movie beat at the Tribune. In 2006 and 2007 he was a frequent guest on At the Movies, filling in for Roger Ebert alongside Richard Roeper. Now he's a full-time occupant of the critics' chair, alongside New York Times pundit A.O. Scott (find out what Scott's Five Favorite Films are here.)

Thursday, Sep. 17 2009, 02:35 PM

A.O. Scott of the New York Times -- and now, At the Movies -- is one of America's best-known and most trusted film critics. Scott's tenure with the Times began in 2000; prior to that, he was a book critic for Newsday, and contributed to a number of other publications. Beginning in 2006, he filled in for Roger Ebert on At the Movies; on Sept. 5, he and the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips took over as the hosts of the show, replacing Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz. In an interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Scott shared some of his favorites (he particularly likes long movies and Italian films), and discussed the differences between appraising movies in print and on television, as well as what the new At the Movies has in store for audiences. (Be sure to check back next week, when we present Phillips' Five Favorite Films.)

Thursday, Sep. 17 2009, 08:27 AM

Nick Love isn't known for heart. The film which earned him his "From the director of..." title card, The Football Factory, is nothing if not violent, loud and not particularly critically well-loved. His follow-up, The Business, recasts Danny Dyer and sets itself in the Costa Del Crime world of 80s Spain and had a similarly rocky reception with scribes. And yet he's one of Britain's better-known directors, suggesting he talks to an active audience of cinemagoers. With The Firm, Love revisits themes present in both films -- the 80s and football-fan violence -- but has more in common with his lesser-seen debut feature, coming-of-age comedy Goodbye Charlie Bright. Early notices have been warmer than Love tends to receive from critics, with Empire declaring the film, "intense, exciting and impressive." RT caught up with Love to rundown his favourite films and chat about the flick.

Tuesday, Sep. 15 2009, 11:26 AM

Actor, producer, and director John Malkovich has had a long career spanning almost three decades. Beginning in high school on stage, Malkovich, a founding member of the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, has also earned praise for several of his film roles, including supporting turns in 1984's Places in the Heart and 1993's In the Line of Fire. This week, Malkovich stars in a new independent film, Disgrace, which opens in limited release on Friday. When we asked John for his Five Favorite Films, he responded by saying, "I can't really say that I have five favorite films; somehow my mind just doesn't work that way. Here are five films that I would imagine a lot of film buffs would already have seen." And with that, we present to you John Malkovich's list of five recommendations he would make to any cinephile.

Monday, Sep. 07 2009, 10:59 AM

Richard Curtis has a plan. "What I've decided is to choose recent films," he explains to RT. "I do think that often people get stuck in always saying the five greatest films of all time, films they saw between the ages of seventeen and twenty-two, because that's when you're forming your opinions. I think I'll talk about modern films, which aren't necessarily the greatest films ever made, but are five great films." The Boat that Rocked is out on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK this week and is soon to hit US cinemas retitled Pirate Radio. Read on to learn about the five films he can't do without.

Friday, Sep. 04 2009, 03:02 PM

Rapper Chris "Ludacris" Bridges has established himself in the acting community with roles in movies like "Crash" and his latest, "Gamer," alongside Gerard Butler. Find out what movies the Atlanta-based "raptor" considers his favorites!

Tuesday, Sep. 01 2009, 01:05 PM

Earlier this year, Rotten Tomatoes and Current TV took a chance and launched a movie review television show unlike any other: one based on the myriad viewpoints and opinions of the moviegoers themselves. The Rotten Tomatoes Show, now 25 weeks old, has proven to be a success, featuring webcam reviews submitted by viewers, Current TV and RT community members, film critics, and filmmakers. However, another big reason for its success is the chemistry and wit of its hosts, Ellen Fox and Brett Erlich. Some may recognize Fox from her few small film roles, or from her days as a film critic herself for The Chicago Tribune, but in The Rotten Tomatoes Show she has found a new home, and she's one of the big reasons the show works. Ellen took some time out of her schedule to share her Five Favorite Films with us, so have a look, and say hello to one of RT's newest friends.

Tuesday, Aug. 18 2009, 10:17 AM

Eli Roth became part of the mainstream movie watching consciousness from behind the camera by directing the gruesome horror movie "Hostel," but he'll be going in front of the camera for Quentin Tarantino's Nazi-killing flick "Inglourious Basterds." Roth stopped by The Rotten Tomatoes Show on Current TV to share his favorite movies that he admits not a whole lot of people have seen.


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