Joe Dante is one of my favorite people.

You'll actually get some Joe Dante stories in the final two parts of my "25 Years In LA" series, but even before that, you'll get a video interview that we've cut up into three pieces for you. Last week, on the same morning we all learn that Christopher Lee had passed away, Joe came to the HitFix studios along with Anton Yelchin, who is the star of his new film "Burying The Ex," which will be in theaters on Friday.

I've interviewed Yelchin a few times, and I think he's one of those guys we'll be seeing in films for the next 40 years, easy. He's playing the game the right way on the studio level, having played Kyle Reese the last time they tried to reboot the "Terminator" series and appearing as Chekov in the new ongoing "Star Trek" film series. He's also been smart about constantly doing smaller challenging work to keep his chops sharp, and it's really paid off in films like "Like Crazy."

One of the reasons Joe is so easy to talk to and his funs are so much fun to watch is because he's a true film fan. I feel like Joe's movies work both as film criticism and film history as much as they work as stories, and that's part of the pleasure of the way he fills his movies with details you can continue to unpack on multiple viewings.

In this first part of our interview, we discuss that love of cinephilia and the ways it informs his work, and we'll have parts two and three on Wednesday and Friday for you.

"Burying The Ex" is in theaters and on-demand this Friday.

A respected critic and commentator for fifteen years, Drew McWeeny helped create the online film community as "Moriarty" at Ain't It Cool News, and now proudly leads two budding Film Nerds in their ongoing movie education.