- Craig Bentley
- Film Producer,
Tom McCarthy, the director of The Visitor and Win Win, started his directing career with The Station Agent. I can’t think of another director who’s so faithful to his characters — he never goes for the cheap shot or cheap laugh.
Among recent documentary releases, my choice (excluding the one I produced, of course) would be Waste Land. I enjoyed it on several levels: getting to know the interesting people who make their “living” picking recyclables from the largest dump on Earth; the art that comes from their efforts, thanks to photographer Vik Muniz; the environmental message; and finally, the effect being made “movie” stars has on these impoverished landfill workers.
- The Station Agent (USA) 2003, Miramax
- List price: $19.99
- Waste Land (Brazil/England) 2010, New Video Group
- List price: $29.95
- Film Producer
Garden State — starring, written, and directed by Zach Braff — is one of the films that inspired me to become a movie producer. It’s an authentic-feeling story loosely inspired by Braff’s upbringing in New Jersey. When Braff got word that he was cast in Scrubs, he quit his waitering job only to discover the show wouldn’t begin shooting for months. During that downtime, he wrote the first draft of Garden State.
I recently re-watched the epic series Battlestar Galactica, which reimagined the original 1978 series of the same name. This space opera masterfully delves into the relationships of the flawed yet noble characters and constructs a universe in which the robots that humanity has created fight back against their parents. The box set includes unaired editions of the episodes shown on TV as well as the direct-to-DVD coda The Plan.
- Garden State (USA) 2004, Twentieth Century Fox
- List price: $14.98
- Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series (USA) 2004, Universal
- List price: $199.98 (26 discs)
- Publicist, UltraStar Cinemas
Love and Other Drugs, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, was an enjoyable departure from the typical love story, following two quirky characters on a path to love that is neither straight nor narrow. Hathaway is strong in her portrayal as a commitment-phobic free spirit battling Parkinson’s disease, while Gyllenhaal’s ladies’ man realizes he’s finally met his match.
The Hangover is one of those DVDs that I pull out regularly for great entertainment. This film took the buddy comedy to a whole new level, thanks to the comedic genius of director Todd Phillips and performances by Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and Ken Jeong. Who can forget the baby in the closet, the tiger in the bathroom, and Stu’s quickie marriage during the most unforgettable night in Vegas ever documented?
- Love and Other Drugs (USA) 2010, Twentieth Century Fox
- List price: $29.98
- The Hangover (USA) 2009, Warner Brothers
- List price: $19.98