Category Archives: Interviews

EXCLUSIVE: Justice Smith from ‘Paper Towns’

FullSizeRenderNewcomer Justice Smith gave us an EXCLUSIVE interview about starring in the upcoming movie, Paper Towns.

When mysterious Margo (Cara Delevingne) disappears, Q (Nat Wolff) and his friends set out on a road trip to find out what happened to her. Justice plays Radar, one of Q’s best friends.

The movie, based on a book by best-selling author John Green, is Justice’s first role on the big screen—and he could not be more excited.

At the time of the audition, he was not aware of Paper Towns, he did however read one of John Green’s other books, ‘Abundance of Katharines’. Justice only knew what he read off the script they had given him for Paper Towns at the audition. Afterwards, he was elated to find out more about his character.

“When I realized what it was and I read the book and I read the whole script, I started to incorporate who the character actually is. I feel like I already had a way I was going to play him and luckily it was not too far off from what is in the book and what the fans are going to want to see from Radar.”

Though Justice does not own the world’s largest collection of black Santas like Radar’s parents do, the two still share a lot of similarities.

“We’re both very intelligent! We’re both very loyal. Radar is a little more reserved and I feel like I can be that sometimes. I very much enjoy my privacy and my reticence and not always being big and out. Radar’s very introverted… and we both wear glasses sometimes!”

John Green, who also penned The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska, held high praise for the way Justice handled his character.

“From the moment I saw Justice’s audition, I knew we’d lucked into the perfect Radar. I didn’t yet know of course that he is brilliant and charming in life as well as in character, but I am so grateful that he will forever more be Radar to me.”

The encouragement and support from John Green and fans of the book (called ‘Nerdfighters’) constantly lifted up the cast’s spirits on set. The love from the fandom shook away Justice’s doubts of playing the character wrong, and John Green’s support took the pressure of his shoulders.

“John really trusted all of us. He once said that we know the characters more than he does now. It’s because we had to live as these characters everyday during the two months we were shooting. I guess we discovered more about the characters and really incorporated them into our own lives. We were really supported and trusted and that made everything easier.”

Justice said he would not change anything about the experience even if he could. Like the characters of Paper Towns, at the end of the day, he discovered something new about himself through his journey, emerging with experience and new friendships that will last a lifetime.

“I learned a lot about myself from this experience. It was my first movie and there’s a lot of technical lingo I learned. I feel like the people I got to know have shaped me in new ways. It’s hard to pinpoint—I guess I’m not that self-aware—but I do feel like I’ve grown a lot especially in acting.”

First Published @ Fanlala.com

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Meet Justice Smith who plays Radar in John Green’s ‘Paper Towns’ movie

DSC01792With a large fan base of Nerdfighters and last year’s success of “The Fault In Our Stars movie,” it’s no surprise that the world is eagerly awaiting the release of “Paper Towns.” Based on the book by John Green, Paper Towns stars a cast of fresh new faces—among them, Orange County School of the Arts’ very own alum, Justice Smith, class of ’13.

Paper Towns is Smith’s first movie, and the journey has been incredible, to say the least. He describes everything in his past as stepping stones that have gotten him to where he is today, and hopefully will continue to propel him forward in the future. His high school career as part of OCSA’s Acting Conservatory marked the very beginning. Students at OCSA attend academic classes in the morning, and conservatory classes in the afternoon until evening.

“OCSA taught me a lot of what I know. I don’t think I would be where I am if it wasn’t for OCSA,” reflected Smith. “I think constantly being in class everyday and working that muscle over and over really helped give me confidence and what I need to go out and work.”
Smith credits many of his teachers in the conservatory for his success today, including Ms. Sebelius who inspired Smith’s love of Shakespeare, Mr. Paul, the conservatory director at the time, Mr. Uribe, and Mr. Nathan.

In his senior year of high school, Smith was selected to be part of the prestigious YoungArts program, joining the likes of Viola Davis, Kerry Washington and Josh Groban.

“I got to go to YoungArts because of OCSA,” he explained. “Mr. Paul introduced me to that and I sent in my audition tape. They flew me out to Florida, and it was a weeklong intensive with all these awesome masters and renowned people. YoungArts was a great experience. It gave me all these other opportunities. I got to be on a Master Class on HBO because of YoungArts. I got to fly places and speak at places because of YoungArts. I really owe a lot to them. It was amazing. I got to meet lots of great people and lots of great teachers.”

One thing led to another and before he knew it, Smith landed the role of Radar for Paper Towns. Though official publicity for the movie has not started, the cast is already experiencing love from fans who call themselves Nerdfighters. Their motto is, “Don’t Forget To Be Awesome,” popularized by author and vlogger John Green and his brother, Hank.

“When I was out in North Carolina there were a lot of people who were extras on set,” said Smith. “They were fans of the book, so they wanted to take pictures and talk. They were super supportive. John Green’s fans are super nice and awesome. Nerdfighters are smart kids who are passionate about something.”
Working with Green was an experience he’ll never forget. The author put great trust in the cast of fresh faces, which encouraged the actors along with the fans’ support.

“From the moment I saw Justice’s audition, I knew we’d lucked into the perfect Radar,” said Green. “I didn’t yet know of course that he is brilliant and charming in life as well as in character, but I am so grateful that he will forever more be Radar to me.”
Smith’s future looks bright and promising—and his family couldn’t be prouder. Though his role in Paper Towns certainly kicked his career off to a great start, it did not make him exempt from family chores—his mom still makes him take out the trash. The people in his life still treat him as the Justice Smith they’ve always known.

“I have lots of new relationships but all my old friends still treat me the same. I’m just a whacky weird kid,” he said.

Keep your eyes peeled for more of Smith in the future!

“I’ve always wanted to be in a coming-of-age movie and I feel like I did that. I have a lot of dream roles in plays because I’m fascinated with plays,” he mused. “[In movies], I would love to play a superhero. They’re doing a new Spiderman right now and I don’t know what their take is on that but I would love to read for Miles Morales.”
Catch Paper Towns in theaters June 5, 2015!

First Published @ LATIMESHIGHSCHOOLINSIDER

THE MAZE RUNNER Cast Gives Us Behind the Scenes Scoop!

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Dylan O’Brien and Cassandra Hsiao

DYLAN O’BRIEN SHARED STORIES WITH KPF’S CASSANDRA
With a movie surrounding the premise of a maze plagued by monsters called Grievers, there’s sure to be plenty behind-the-scenes footage of complex action-stunt sets. Dylan O’Brien describes a scene in the movie where his character Thomas flees from a Griever by jumping onto ivy vines that cover the maze walls. During filming, O’Brien was up on the wires for an entire 12-hour day—the crew even brought the food to him during breaks. Director Wes Ball used actual ivy on the film set.

“In the scene, I’m running away from the griever and it jumps on the wall over me, so [the crew] shook the wall and debris was shaking down. It kept getting in my eyes,” he laughed. ‘Wes would be like, “I got it baby, don’t need the medic.’ And he’d come over and just take it out of my eye. Before I was never someone who was comfortable with people touching their eyeball, but now I am.”

The Maze Runner still of Dylan O’Brien and Ki Hong LeeThe cast also had to deal with a slippery set. Characters called Runners are sent out into the maze to map it every day. In action-packed sequences, they run for their lives from Grievers, and filming that was no easy task.

According to O’Brien, the maze was hosed down and packed with real mud. This proved to be tricky—even dangerous—for the cast.

10358568_677495699001160_7701159235454914440_n“There’s a scene in there when I pulled my hamstring when I was running,” says Ki Hong Lee, who plays Minho, the Keeper of Runners. “We would literally run all day, 12-14 hours in an abandoned parking lot. Even inside the maze, I fell three times.”

Even so, the cast picked up their heads and continued to run under the watchful eye of their director.

“Wes says this a thousand times: ‘Pain is temporary but film is forever,'” says O’Brien. “He drives us into the ground but it’s fun and awesome. I love sprinting, so this was perfect, but also exhausting. Wes’s philosophy always came into play.”

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The cast of THE MAZE RUNNER KI HONG LEE, KAYA SCODELARIO, THOMAS BRODIE-SANGSTER, WILL POULTER AND DYLAN O’BRIEN

And after a month of working hard together, it’s natural that the cast found themselves bonding like a family. Kaya Scodelario plays the only girl in the movie, but at no time did she feel like the boys treated her differently. In fact, the cast calls her “laddish.”

The strong bromance on set definitely had its consequences—which fans will love to see on the DVD extras.

“Apparently there’s a 20-minute gag reel, and I don’t know if that speaks to our professionalism,” jokes Will Poulter, who plays Gally. “It’s 20 minutes of us cracking up and not doing our jobs properly.”

Run with the Gladers when The Maze Runner opens in theaters, Sept. 19.

「分歧者」(Divergent)洛杉磯記者會

Image「分歧者」(Divergent)洛杉磯記者會上,出現了大批20歲以下的「少女記者」,讓年齡層偏高的好萊塢影劇記者們頓時升格為爺爺奶奶。這群獲電影公司特別邀請的少女記者其實來自各種粉絲自發的論壇和網站,專門關注青少年熱門小說改編作品,影響力龐大,也是「分歧者」、「飢餓遊戲」等電影主要觀眾群和票房貢獻者,其中不乏華裔女孩。看過「分歧者」,她們向本報分享了感受。

「少女記者」們紛紛表示「分歧者」電影比預期的要好,甚至超越原著。Page to premiere網站創始人Kimmy West表示:「『分歧者』的小說其實並沒有『飢餓遊戲』那麼引人入勝,但電影拍攝出來效果不錯,特別是選角都很恰當,但相比之下,我還是更喜歡『飢餓遊戲』,覺得『分歧者』似乎過於暴力,個別殺戮和冒險情節會對青少年有不太好的影響。相比之下『飢餓遊戲』也包括殺戮,但展現手法比較含蓄,沒有『分歧者』那麼直接。」她們也喜歡片中男主角提奧詹姆斯(Theo James),認為他比「飢餓遊戲」中兩位男星更有魅力。

Image比較兩位女主角─90後女星,女孩們則覺得夏琳伍德利(Shailene Woodley)雖然演技不賴,但珍妮佛勞倫斯(Jennifer Lawrence)更有親和力。Page to premiere網站記者Natasha Polis表示:「勞倫斯個性上大大咧咧,平時受訪與粉絲互動都更放的開,笑點不斷,很像鄰家女孩。但夏琳伍德利很注意自己的談吐,吃東西也很挑剔,作為上更像明星,有距離感。」

在眾多小記者中也有一名華人女孩、14歲來自核桃市的蕭靖彤(Cassandra Hsiao)。她是KidsPickFlicks的記者和影評人。自小喜歡寫作的她也曾被Scholastic Kids Press Corps選中作為少年記者,經常受到迪士尼等電影公司邀請,參與青少年電影和動畫片的記者會,她目前擁有自己的電影博客https://starraptureblog.wordpress.com/category/interviews/,上面有很多她對好萊塢大明星的採訪及電影評論。

蕭靖彤表示,很看好夏琳伍德利,特別期待伍德利目前拍攝的另一部暢銷小說改編作品「生命中的美好缺憾」(The Fault in Our Stars),這部小說比「分歧者」更讓她痴迷。蕭靖彤說,以後的夢想是成為「分歧者」原著作者諾妮卡羅斯 (Veronica Roth)這樣的青年作家。現年25歲的諾妮卡羅斯大學期間就完成了「分歧者」,如今已寫了三部暢銷小說。

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全文網址: 「分歧者」粉絲客串記者 把作者當偶像 | 電影世界 | 娛樂追星 | 聯合新聞網 http://udn.com/NEWS/ENTERTAINMENT/ENT3/8543148.shtml?fb_action_ids=593072350776829&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B613551928720413%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D#ixzz2vxIXSLue
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FROZEN: I Became a Disney Animator!

It’s a long process to bring a movie to life.

At the Frozen press day at the Walt Disney Animation Studios, I got the rare opportunity to try my hand at becoming an animator myself!

I learned from the special effects team that one of the many challenges of making Frozen was shooting the film with all the angles and the camera tracking. In an empty room, six LED lights track the movement of the camera. On the computers, however, it’s a different story. When the camera moves, the tracker on the computer moves as well.

“At the end of the day, the goal is to map an organic, three-dimensional motion for a layout artist from the real world into the virtual,” says Evan Goldberg, Disney Animation’s Manager of Technology. “How do we decide where to put the camera to tell the story in the best possible way? How dramatic do we want it to be?”

The five monitors in the room begin to play a blocked out, pre-production scene from the movie, where Sven the reindeer is dashing towards a falling ship. I got to experiment with the camera, which showed what I would be seeing had I been standing in the virtual room myself. I could move the camera wherever I wanted in the virtual world. I could stand right next to the ship and watch Sven dash towards me, I could shoot the sky and swing downwards, I could run with Sven and make the scene as thrilling as possible – the possibilities in the virtual room were endless.

DSC_2837Another department was the character development. “This department is primarily responsible for building character rigs, the cloth rigs and running stimulation on the show,” says Frank Hanner, character CO Supervisor.

The riggers build skeletons to the characters, attach muscles and skin on the characters, and build animator controls to allow the animator to determine how the characters move around – from a slight smile to skipping down the street.

In Frozen, there are 312 unique character rigs, more rigging done than on any other Disney film. There are 245 cloth stimulation rigs, an impressive number because it is more than double the number of all stimulated costumes in the combined Disney films preceeding Frozen.

DSC_2832“An average human has a 100,000 hairs on their head. Elsa has 420,000 hairs on her head. She has really thick, lustrous beautiful hair. Our last very famous Disney leading lady was Rapunzel, who only had 27,000 hairs,” explained Hanner.

In the end, I tried my hand at animating Olaf, the snowman who has the uncanny ability to disassemble his body. The countless buttons and controls took a while to get used to, but soon I realized it’s ridiculously fun to stretch Olaf’s mouth as wide as possible or make him cross-eyed and silly.

Cool off with Frozen, in theaters November 27!

 

Kat McNamara on Why CONTEST is Unlike Other Bullying Movies

Actress Katherine McNamara (New Year's Eve 2011 and Tom Sawyer & Hucklberry Finn 2013) poses in various teen fashion trends and beauty looks.

Actress Katherine McNamara (New Year’s Eve 2011 and Tom Sawyer & Hucklberry Finn 2013) poses in various teen fashion trends and beauty looks.

“Contest” is a coming-of-age movie with a strong message of anti-bullying. KidsPickFlicks’ very own Movie Star Movie Critic, Kat McNamara, stars in the Cartoon Network movie alongside Kenton Duty and Daniel Flaherty. Find out more below about the twists and turns in “Contest,” the Stop Bullying Speak Up Campaign, and also a bonus, a Kitkat fun fact.

Q: Tell us more about your character in “Contest.”

Kat: “Contest” follows the story of two students, Matt and Tommy. Matt is the star athlete of the school who is also a bully. Tommy is a kid who loves to cook and just wants to stay out of trouble, but is victimized by Matt. I play Sarah, a student blogger for the school, and a new girl in town who is trying to make new friends. She’s very down to earth, very no nonsense, and really appreciates when people are genuine and kind to one another. Because she’s a bit of an outsider, she has more of an objective view of the bullying that is going on and can see through people’s facades to their true colors. When Matt and Tommy end up working together on a cooking contest for teens, they form an unlikely friendship. Sarah has some serious doubts that Matt has truly changed his ways and my character tries to speak up and warn Tommy to be careful. Will Matt and Tommy stay friends? Will the bullying continue? Want to know what happens next? You’ll have to watch “Contest” on October 6th on Cartoon Network to see if my character’s suspicions prove right or wrong!

Q: What do you hope the audience will take away?

Kat: “Contest” is a very important movie for kids and their parents to see. It discusses the very serious issue of bullying. Bullying has become way too common in our society – so common that it is now seen as an epidemic. Today, people prepare children to be bullied and treat it as a fact of life. My question to those people is why not focus that energy on preventing bullying in the first place. If kids and adults work together to stop bullying at its source, we may be able to make it stop for good. This is the goal of Cartoon Network with their Stop Bullying Speak Up campaign which is why “Contest” has found such a great home with the network. Something unique about “Contest” is its point of view. Our goal with the film was to present these issues in a very authentic light – in a way that was true to life to what kids experience every day in schools across the country and the world. There are many films that do this, but not many that have a rating that is appropriate for kids of all ages. This film was made as not only an entertaining story, but also as an educational tool and a conversation starter for kids and their families to learn the true ramifications of their actions.

Q: What is the best part about being involved in this movie?

Kat: For me, the best part of being involved in “Contest” and Cartoon Network’s #StopBullyingSpeakUp campaign is being a part of the fight against bullying. Bullying is such a problem in our society and something that really needs to change. It’s also one of the only major world problems that kids can make a real difference and help to change. If kids know what to do to prevent and stop bullying situations, it is our hope that this epidemic will end. We hope that through CONTEST and Cartoon Network’s platform, we are able to educate kids and help give them the courage to speak up and stop the bullying. As kids, we have a front row seat to the bullying that goes on every day. Maybe we see someone around us being bullied and we don’t know how to help. Maybe we are the one who is being bullied for who we are or something we love. Maybe we are the bully who doesn’t understand how much our words and actions can hurt those around us. Whoever you are, YOU have the power to make a change and to speak up and stop the bullying. For more information and resources for parents, educators, and kids, go to StopBullyingSpeakUp.com .

Q: Is there anything new that your “Kitkats” will learn about you from this film?

Kat: Well, first of all, “Chatter” is my first original song to be released! I cannot wait for everyone to hear it and the rest of my music! One fun fact about the song is I actually had the flu when I recorded it! Luckily, I was able to pull it out and get the song done. I would love for the Kitkats to hear what I sound like without the flu though! Catch “Contest” on Cartoon Network, October 6!

First published @http://kidspickflicks.com/taramcnamara/3450-kat-mcnamara-on-why-contest-is-unlike-other-bullying-movies

Percy Jackson Interview articles

DSC_2589No Boot Camp, Just Summer Camp for PERCY JACKSON’s Logan Lerman & Alexandra Daddario

In the fantasy-adventure movie Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, the son of Poseidon and his friends must work in tandem to save the world (again). The cast reveals that the best parts of making the movie included the opportunity to reunite with one another.

“It was like going back to summer camp a bit,” says Alexandra Daddario, who plays Percy’s crush, Annabeth. “It was great because you’re with your old friends so there’s a familiarity. You’re very comfortable around them and you have people to rely on and lean on if you’re having a bad day. Even if you’re having a good day you have someone to share it with.”

For the first movie, the cast had to go through “boot camp”, or a rigorous training course that prepared them for the extreme stunts. However, for this movie, the actors didn’t have to go through boot camp.

“On the first movie, it was our first time preparing for such a big action film, with all the wire work and fighting, so we did a lot of training,” says Logan Lerman, who plays Percy. “But getting into the second one felt pretty comfortable. It didn’t really need too much preliminary training but throughout the whole movie we’re constantly preparing for new fight scenes, wire scenes, flying scenes or water scenes.”

Percy Jackson and the Sea of MonstersThe cast shot on Lake Ponchartrain, located in Louisiana. Many scenes involved a lifeboat –Percy and Annabeth must cross the mystical and extremely dangerous Sea of Monsters, located in the Bermuda Triangle.

“We didn’t have to get wet, which was nice. But we were on the boat a lot and it was a pretty small boat. And it was really hot,” says Lerman. “It was in the summer time so it was just the heat. But other than that, it was beautiful.”

Daddario, laughing, adds that while filming, she learned she was prone to seasickness. Nevertheless, the cast had great fun revitalizing their characters even off-set. “In our downtime we learned a lot of the choreography. Our training before really helped us jump back into it,” Daddario says.

Hold on to your hats (or helmets, shields, and swords) and get swept away by the waves of adventure in this movie. Be prepared for all the action and mythological pandemonium in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, coming to theaters August 7!

Continue Reading @Kidspickflicks

DSC_2591Leven Rambin & Alexandra Daddario: No Girly Girls in PERCY JACKSON

Fans of the popular Percy Jackson book series by author Rick Riordan will not be disappointed by the on-screen sequel. For starters, Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters incorporates Percy’s aggravating, but indispensable rival Clarisse, whose absence in the first movie riled many fans. In the movie, Percy’s frenemies, Clarisse and Annabeth are far from girly-girls. Even though the cast turned out to be a bit mismatched (blondie Leven Rambin plays brunette Clarisse, and brunette Alexandra Daddario plays blondie Annabeth), the two characters are tough fighters who kick-butt – and ever so often, one-up Percy.

“I put on that wig and changed my physicality a lot,” says Leven Rambin, who did not have to dye her hair, unlike co-star Daddario. “I felt a lot less inhibited and I felt down enough to be brash, powerful, strong. I kind of hid behind all this brown hair. It gave me the power and confidence to verbally rip [Percy].”

On the other hand, Daddario’s character shows her gentler, more sensitive facet in this movie. Daddario missed the aggressive nature of Annabeth. “In the first movie, Annabeth is very tough. I really loved doing that in the first movie and I’ve never done anything like that,” Daddario notes. “I think people are a combination of strength and weakness, but I loved that warrior side of her.”

altCLARISSE LEADS THE QUEST FOR THE GOLDEN FLEECE

Rambin discovered that even the daughter of war god Ares has her own vulnerable moments. “There were certain parts of the movie that Clarisse had soft spots for certain characters. In the end, she finally found the good in them and she saw their value as human beings – or half-bloods,” says Rambin. “I really enjoyed playing Clarisse. She’s kind of the reluctant team player here. There’s comedy in that she’s trying so hard to convince herself and everyone else that she knows what she’s doing when she doesn’t. I think that I would like to see Clarisse have a friend, or a love interest, or someone who finds her attractive, sweet and girly.”

But for now, Clarisse is still the feisty and gutsy competition that fans embraced from the book. In fact, Rambin read the book to understand her character on a deeper level. “I picked up the second book in which Clarisse is described as pigfaced, size XXL, and disgusting,” laughed Rambin. “So I tried to incorporate that. I wasn’t concerned about vanity and I wasn’t super body-conscious. I let myself fall into that because I didn’t want to feel like a pretty girl. I shut my eyes at certain parts, but reading did help me understand what the diehard fans are looking for.”

And fans won’t be disheartened. 

Continue Reading @Kidspickflicks

DSC_2603Lerman, Jackson & Daddario: PERCY JACKSON is a Movie “This Generation Really Needs”

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters mixes Greek mythology with modern-day life. A team of demigods (human god hybrids) battle flesh-eating monsters and evil Titans in this epic sequel. Our half-blood protagonist, Percy, takes on a quest to rescue his friends and protect the place he loves the most – Camp Half-Blood.

Surprisingly, Percy has his own insecurities as well. “At the end of the first movie, we left with him being the hero and now, he’s not the hero anymore,” says Logan Lerman, who plays Percy. “He’s thinking that maybe it was just luck, it was just one time, so let me accept being an average demigod. And it’s human. That’s where we find him at the beginning of this film. He’s kind of down on himself.”

However, the characters’ doubts and flaws make the movie relevant to kids of all ages. “I think that it’s really, really hard to be a kid and it’s hard to grow up – we all know that’s true,” says Alexandra Daddario, who plays Annabeth. “The series shows that no matter what you’re going through, no matter what you’re struggling with, you can still succeed. You have amazing powers and you have amazing abilities despite all your weaknesses. I think that’s one of the reasons people love the series – it’s just a really relatable inspiring story.”

altME & BRANDON T. JACKSON, WHO LEFT HIS SATYR LEGS AT HOME

The fans are part of a generation that looks for good in the world around them. “I think young kids these days – it’s a cynical generation – need something good to believe in,” says Brandon T. Jackson, who portrays Grover, the satyr. “You don’t see too many books and films that have underlying tones and positive messages. To have the positive force that readers can take from this movie is inspiring and great for this generation because they really need it.”

Regarding the movie’s X-factor that draws such a large fan base, Lerman says, “There’s something really appealing. It’s about young people in extraordinary situations dealing with human issues. Problems. Flawed characters as well — none of our characters are perfect, but I guess that it’s the extraordinary situation and being young. Kids got to save the world. That’s crazy. That’s fun.”

Director Thor Freudenthal set character development as his number one priority. “I wanted to make sure that we put characters and actors first – otherwise they become spectators of spectacular window dressing. But the story is really about them,” he says. “Audiences can expect tons of fun, to laugh with the characters, to feel with the characters, to be emotionally involved and have a rip-roaring adventure spectacle that I think appeals to most audiences and varying age groups.”

Continue Reading @Kidspickflicks

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The Odd Life of Timothy Green Review: “Odd” “Whimsical” “Enchanting”

Reviewed by Star Reporter Cassandra H    August 07, 2012

5 Stars

Earthy and ethereal at the same time, this feel-good Disney summer movie directed by Peter Hedges will sweep you off your feet. You may not have heard much about this film, but it is certainly a true gem that I didn’t expect.

Cindy and Jim Green (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton), a married couple, bury a box of their greatest wishes for their dream child, expecting to move on after finding Cindy cannot conceive. However, when a young quirky boy Timothy Green (CJ Adams) magically sprouts from the garden, Cindy and Jim along with the rest of their small town of Stanleyville realize that the unexpected is a miracle that must be cherished.

This “dramedy” gracefully switches gears between two emotions, which had me laughing heartily one moment and sniffling in the next. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the family and root for the Greens to succeed through the joys and sorrows of life.

Timothy Green is not just a force of nature, but he brings a breeze of tender feeling that parents can relate to. Cindy and Jim aren’t perfect parents, but they shine light on a different perspective of parenthood: they don’t want their child to be perfect, but they want his childhood to be perfect.

As for the leading cast, Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton’s on-screen chemistry is believable as the blundering, loving, and humorous Green couple. CJ Adams (Timothy Green) has a special twinkle in his eyes that is innocent, silly, and touching, capturing my heart from the start.

The fantastic supporting cast presents the town’s citizens as real, down-to-earth people who each have their own faults – a reality rarely reflected in a magical tale.

One especially stood out to me – newcomer Odeya Rush plays Timothy’s love interest, Joni Jerome, bringing a certain vibrancy and radiance to her character. Their friendship is a refreshing break from Hollywood’s shallow puppy-love romances.

Along with the splendid performances, I was also enchanted by the enthralling cinematography which will move audiences with marvelous shots of nature that showcase the visual analysis of the plot. The picturesque natural color palette astounded me as well.

This quiet little movie is directed towards parents, although the whole family can enjoy it together. The movie addresses many heartwarming themes, such as loyalty, honesty, and accepting others for who they are. Timothy brings out the best in others, and hopefully this movie will do the same. Younger viewers may not relate to the story, but teens, mom, and dad can walk out of the theater inspired to live a life worth living.

First Published @ www.kidspickflicks

THE WANTED Phone Interview

Check out my phone interview with THE WANTED !!!

Q: How are you guys doing today?

The Wanted: Just chilling! [laughter] Chatting away on the phone.

Q: The ICE AGE movies are really popular among American kids, were they a part of your childhood?

Nathan: Definitely, definitely. I think I’m fortunate enough to be in the stage where, uh, I have been lucky to grow up with these films and it’s by far quite the best-animated franchise. So now I’m very fortunate to be part of it. It’s very easy for kids to relate to the characters. It really gets across the message of how important family is.

Q: Nathan, you say that on your Twitter, you’re actually the real life Sid the Sloth. How do you identify with him?

Nathan: He usually says the wrong thing at the wrong time. And there’s the same looks between us. I usually do mess things up in awkward situations and I make people feel genuinely quite awkward. I do my best. [laughter]

Q: How was the making of the Ice Age video different from the making of your regular music video?

Siva: This video had a green screen. We’ve never worked with a green screen before, and we were standing on makeshift icebergs. It was fun. We made it in the afternoon, and there was this big power cut and we piled up the whole block. It was weird. The residents weren’t very happy.

Q: What was it like apologizing to the angry residents?

Max: It was in LA. They were a little bit angry, but we said they could come in and watch what we were doing in the darkness. When we finally got the lights back on they watched us film it and that really cheered them up. And the video is coming out next week, if you want to see it.

Q: How does chasing the sun link to Ice Age 4?

Jay: I think the part where they play it in the movie is pretty cool, where all the young guys are in this ravine, dancing around, they were going crazy, a little bit like partying. It’s a great moment and hopefully when they play it at the credits everyone’s spirit high. I hope they leave the movie still feeling good. We’ve seen the movie, so don’t be jealous.

Q: How was the movie?

Siva: Awesome. Really really funny. And Scrat, the little creature. He’s back again, with all his tricks. It’s just fun to watch. It’s a fresh funny movie.

Q: Manny, Sid and Diego find themselves in a whole different environment. They battle pirates, and different creatures. Sometimes it’s funny and sometimes it’s scary. Since you’ve been thrown into the spotlight, what is the funniest and scariest experiences you’ve had in your new environment?

Nathan: Good question! I’d say the scariest moment that we’ve had, was when we first got together, we were playing very small venues. The most we played for was 77 kids. The next day, we played in front of 77 thousand people at Wembley Stadium. It was quite a jump from one extreme to the other. So that was quite a scary moment for us. As for funniest… I have a short memory, so I’d say that my funniest moment over the last few weeks is definitely watching the Ice Age films.

Q: Besides Ice Age 4, what’s your favorite movie for kids?

Jay: Asides from the three awesome Ice Age movies, I think that the Lion King is an original classic and it should always be watched by everyone.

Max: I think E.T. is a great one for kids.

Siva: Beauty and the Beast is also a good one.

Tom: Toy Story!

Nathan: Toy Story 3. It’s heartbreaking. I cried about five times when I was watching it.

Max: I’ll give you one more. Big, with Tom Hanks in it. It just shows that being a kid actually is great. It’s so important. And it shows that you don’t need to grow up too fast.

Q: What is the best thing about America?

Nathan: The people of America are so optimistic. So welcoming, so endearing. And you especially, you’re so cute!

Siva: I think America has a great spirit – if you put your mind to something, you can do anything you want. Kids in America do grow up thinking that if they want to be, they can be the President of the United States. That’s really cool. I’d say that the movies are amazing. For example, the Ice Age films.

Nathan: I’d like to say, not just because you’re so young and we’re being overly nice, but we’ve been doing interviews all morning and you’ve been by far the best. You’re really, really, really good. [Applause]

Q: What’s it like traveling together?

Max: It’s really cool. I think for Justin Bieber, he’s young and he’s on the road by himself, I think maybe he might get kinda lonely sometimes, but the fact that we’ve got each other, it’s so much easier and a lot more fun as well.

Q: Does it get awkward sometimes?

Jay: We’re like the pack in Ice Age. Each one has their different roles. There’s the awkward one – that’s Nathan. Of course there’s also the tough one, so Max looks after us. Everyone has their different roles and we all fit in nicely.

Ice Age 4 : Keke Palmer “Experience” Includes Music, Travel & and Crushes… But Not Sharks!

560127_301169073300493_680547904_nYou’ve seen her before – the young star inAkeelah and the Bee is turning 19 this August. Keke Palmer is back for her new role as “Peaches” in an icy adventure this summer: Ice Age 4: Continental Drift.Keke launched the San Diego Zoo’s Ice Age 4D: Dawn of the Dinosaurs experience, a family-friendly 14-minute show that comes to life through perfectly synchronized special effects including snow, bubbles, wind, scents, mist, lighting and a surprise for all whose legs are long enough to touch the ground! The zoo also introduces unique animals which descended from the critters shown in the movie.

“I was so amazed!” Keke says. “I’ve heard the term 4D before, but I guess I really didn’t get the gist of it. Not only is it 3D, but you get to feel things, you get to smell things. I was so impressed and I wish it was longer because it was so much fun!”

292651_301183746632359_165730338_nIn the latest addition to the Ice Age franchise, Keke voices Peaches, Ellie’s (Queen Latifah) teenage mammoth. Manny, Sid, Diego and the rest of the fun-loving extended family embark on a journey across the seas filled with scary encounters with the ocean inhabitants. (Keke pictured with Scrat, Sid and reporter Cassandra H. to the right).Keke is absolutely positive she does not want to run into a shark during an ocean swim.

“I’d be too devastated,” she laughs, reconsidering. “If I was eaten up, I probably wouldn’t be thinking to be devastated!”

Along with baby Peaches suddenly entering adolescence, our quirky mammoth experiences her first crush on a handsome love interest. Of course a mammoth crush and a schoolgirl crush (including several that Keke herself has gone through) have nothing at all in common… or do they?

“I have to tell you, they’re quite the same,” Keke says. “Well, just besides from her being a wooly mammoth and besides from her being very, very big and hairy, Peaches is much like your normal young girl who’s growing up, having crushes, and going through those normal adolescence things. It’s just her way. I think a lot of kids will be able to relate to what Peaches is going through even though she is a wooly mammoth.”

DSC_0074Keke takes after Peaches in her independence and zeal for something new. Her new Nickelodeon movie “Rags,” a musical twist on the Cinderella story, premiered on May 28 – and not only did she shine in the main role alongside co-star Max Schneider, but she was also a producer of the movie.

“Being a producer has always been something I wanted to do outside of just acting. I really wanted to have something to do with the creative process of making the film and the characters, and the music,” she explained.

Besides the classic Cinderella fairytale element, music was also a very important component that brought her on.

“Music is huge for me and we had Rodney Jerkins to produce the whole soundtrack,” Keke says. “He’s an amazing producer and has produced for millions of people: Brandy, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, everyone. And so to have him come on board and really added that music flair to the movie. I had fun because I got to sing and do what I love, something other than acting.”

Even outside of her career, Keke is inquisitive about the different cultures of the world. She’s been bitten by the travel bug!

photo-29“There are a lot of different places I’d like to go [this summer],” Keke reflects. “Some places are just for [sight]seeing and shopping, and other places to look around and learn something new. I love to go to Africa and I love to go to Japan. There’s always an adventure somewhere.”

Embark on an adventure this summer with your family to Ice Age: Continental Drift, floating into theaters on July 13! Or, enjoy the Ice Age 4D: Dawn of the Dinosaurs experience at the San Diego Zoo — where else are you going to see real elephants playng in snow?

 First Published @Keke Palmer Interview @ Kidspickflicks
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